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Guest Blogger: My Lonely Year In The Blogosphere

Guestblogging with Suzanne Rico | Social Media Blogs

My guest blogger Suzanne Rico who used to be the morning news anchor for KCBS-TV in Los Angeles, made a life-changing decision with her family and in the words of this talented writer of Walking Papers, she and her husband are “now 21st century nomads on a quest to discover what should come next – for our kids, our marriage, our finances and our sanity”.

I quit Botox cold turkey on a smoggy Friday morning last year after I suddenly lost my job as KCBS-TV’s morning news anchor in Los Angeles. Feeling both liberated and scared (and in the mood to make rash decisions), my husband and I rented out our house, sold our cars and traded a comfortable city life for a low budget, long-term trip around the world with our two little boys. I opened a WordPress account to blog about what I hoped would be a “Motorcycle Diaries For Middle-Aged People With Kids” kind of journey. If I write it, I figured–and write it well–readers would come.

Nine months later, practically the only one who reads my “Walking Papers” blog with any regularity is my mother. When I posted My Argentine Angels Drives A Compact Car about rushing my five-year old son to an emergency room on Christmas Day, she commented “superb!”  And when I wrote Natural Born, Stuffed Animal Like Killers about nearly getting flattened by an angry hippopotamus, she complimented my “wicked wit”, but if I’m so fabulous and funny, where is everybody?

Perhaps my blog is lost in cyber space because I am a social media moron. I don’t promote “Walking Paper”. I don’t post everyday. I don’t Twitter it, Reddit, or Digg it. To me, the difference between a pingback and a trackback is as confusing as the old “chicken or the egg” conundrum. I’m even a Facebook virgin, fearing this potential time suck after watching my former co-anchor invest hours each day promoting his blog. I know this resistance to social media is like driving Fred Flintstone’s stone-age car on a modern day freeway; it might be unique, but it will never get you anywhere.

One night in Peru’s Valley Of The Incas, a thick mist creating ghosts at the windows of our small pension, I did try to educate myself. WordPress suggested “tags” so I read up and then chose words like “travel, adventure, mommy blog, parenting, and unemployment”. My readership spiked–by a few and recently, I stumbled upon StumbleUpon, and took the time to upload my posts, but so far, I’m the only one who has stumbled upon them. I clicked the little “like” icon on each one, feeling both embarrassed and hopeful, as if I were trying to win a high school popularity contest.

Being currently unemployed, I have no real excuse for being a social media moron, but between planes, trains, buses and rental cars–between dodging a terrorist scare in Turkey and nearly having a fist-fight with my husband at The End Of The World–I barely have time to upload one post a week, much less learn the tools to promote them. I am mystified at what qualifies as a good blog; one day, while reading Freshly Pressed, I clicked on a blog about writing only to find the post was a link to a famous author’s writing tips—something that probably took five seconds to upload. This feels like cheating to me. I’m no Sylvia Plath or Heather B. Armstrong, but I work hard on writing stories that only family and friends read.

So here are my questions for the experts—bloggers who have been sharing their message longer and more successfully than I: is there space in the blogosphere for someone who is not passionate about social media? If you write it well, but don’t promote it, will people ever come? Is content still king or do clicks rule?  Or do both? I freely admit that I don’t really understand what defines a good blogger (but I do understand why The Honey Badger gets five million views), and only blame myself that Walking Papers is about as popular a destination as Siberia in February.

On a sweaty afternoon in Brazil, both kids finally sleeping after coming down with a mysterious illness we prayed was not Dengue Fever, I expressed my frustrations to my husband Ethan; my blog, I complained, is like the tree that makes no sound when it falls in the forest because no one is around to hear it.

“Maybe you should just scrap blogging altogether and get really proficient at playing “Plants Vs. Zombies,” he suggested. “Then your oldest son will think you are even more of a goddess than he already does.”  Ethan is trying to help me temper my life-long need for achievement and external approval—not an easy task when your ego was formed in front of a television camera and though I knew this was a gentle reminder that my blog should be a pleasure and not a pain in the ass, quitting didn’t sound like such a bad idea. It would be a relief to stop checking my dismal stats—and worrying that the reason people don’t read “Walking Papers” is not because I’m a social media moron, but because I just don’t write it that well. I appreciate any feedback you can provide.

Image: cbenjasuwan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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36 Responses to this post.

  1. James's Gravatar

    Posted by James on 15.05.11 at 2:28 pm

    Very well written , i enjoyed it :)
    Sure Blogging takes a lot of commitment time to build, and without traffic it can lonely . Just need to be strong and have patience , and then you get fruits in the long run .

  2. Deborah's Gravatar

    Posted by Deborah on 15.05.11 at 2:28 pm

    I, too, spent a very lonely year-and-four-months posting to a blog that got very (VERY) little traffic. There were long periods in which I stopped posting altogether, I was so discouraged. I learned, the hard way, that “if you build it, they will come” is a lie, at least in the blogosphere. Even if you’re a fantastic writer, you’ll be buried underneath all the unreadable crap that’s out there (and is mysteriously getting better rankings on Google).

    You don’t want to be a social media queen? IMHO, you don’t have to be. You can promote your blog by doing what you do best: writing.

    * Write more guest posts for other people’s (somewhat related) blogs to get the link(s) as “payment.” This one strategy has been responsible for most of my 3,846.67% gain in traffic in the past year. Be creative in choosing targets – write for a finance blog about the challenges of supporting a location-independent lifestyle; write for a parenting blog about the unique education children get from international travel. (You get the idea.) Check compete.com to get some traffic estimates on likely candidates, read their guest posting guidelines, and AIM HIGH (write for the biggest readership you can get in front of).

    * Do the same with print publications. Query the women’s magazines, etc., with the same sort of angles. There’s less “instant gratification” here — editors at print publications often take frickin’ forever to publish something, even after they’ve commissioned it. But their large readership could make this a good long-term strategy.

    * Leave useful comments on others’ related blogs and find online forums where you can answer member questions, making sure your auto-signature contains your blog’s description and URL. Another slow-build strategy, but definitely a do-at-your-own-pace-and-when-you-darn-well-feel-like-it one, too.

    * Hang with other bloggers who’ll give you feedback and let you bounce ideas off them. I’m particularly partial to The Third Tribe group (http://thirdtribemarketing.com). I’m sure there are others.

    I’m certainly not making myself out to be some sort of “traffic generation expert,” but hey … just last year I was where you are now, and the above strategies have worked pretty well for me (so far).

    Good luck, and keep plugging. Your stories DESERVE more readers.

  3. Karilee's Gravatar

    Posted by Karilee on 15.05.11 at 2:28 pm

    “is there space in the blogosphere for someone who is not passionate about social media? If you write it well, but don’t promote it, will people ever come? Is content still king or do clicks rule?”

    Ah, Suzanne, it’s not about your writing. It sounds like your adventures and courage, even if you wrote poorly, could attract an audience.

    The thing is, they don’t know it’s there, because you haven’t told them. Since there are many millions of sites, your “right people” need signposts to find you. Those could be through social media, SEO, internet radio shows, speaking engagements, YouTube videos, press releases, guest posting, article marketing… there are dozens of ways, some better than others, depending on your market and personality.

    They don’t have to be time-consuming, either, but you have to nibble away at it. If you can’t spend a half-hour a week promoting your site in one way or another – you won’t find that audience.

    But the short answer to “will people ever come?” is NO – not if you don’t help them find it. It’s a big haystack and a small needle. Content alone, even brilliant content, isn’t enough in most cases.

    I read your last post, about your friend Tracey. It’s good. It’s not “framed” correctly though, and people who would identify with it won’t find it. I’d like to show you what I mean.

    Please go to my website and take me up on my free half hour consult offer – it’s on the top of the first page. I’ll give you something that will help – and help you understand why your right people haven’t found you, yet.

  4. NicP's Gravatar

    Posted by NicP on 15.05.11 at 2:28 pm

    Interesting. From an owner of a blog which is mainly dormant and does not attract visitors but run a fairly successful website for our city.

    In your case I looked at your piece about Namibia (http://walkingpapers.wordpress.com/2011/04/15/the-less-traveled-washed-out-mud-packed-road/)

    My observations (not criticism):
    You cover many topics in one post
    You write long posts which makes it difficult when reading on the Internet
    Maybe if you cut that post into more than one? A travel post about Namibia which is the country with the driest desert in the world but had (out-of-the-ordinary) high rainfall the past season (which would account for usually good dirt roads to become “sinkholes”)?
    A post about a widowed mother you gave a lift (what are the chances of you meeting?) looking for work in one of the most sparsely populated countries of Africa. How does that juxtapose with what you eperience at home?
    A post about the animals you encountered and which people back home they reminded you of?
    A post about your fear for your child who may have “a learning disability” and what the outcome was?

    It seems you are not enjoying your new life. Is the photo (Too Old For This Kind Of Behaviour?) an indication of what you think of this country where you are a guest or of your situation?

    Sometimes you need to look with new eyes to see new things in old places.

    I suspect that, if you experience your travels with the same “new eyes” as your boys, you may find many poeple waiting to read your posts that make them feel good or teach them something.

    I liked your post “Natural Born, Stuffed Animal Like Killers”

    And a last thought from someone who did not read ALL your posts: It is always a good idea, after writing and before publishing a post, to re-read the piece and get rid of at least half of the I’s

    Hope you will return to our country and to Kruger. We are very proud of it and like to share our natural beauty and diversity – even with “stooopid women” :-)

  5. Bradford Rickerby's Gravatar

    Posted by Bradford Rickerby on 15.05.11 at 2:28 pm

    The internet is a big place. To get people to find you, you have to let them know where you are. Marketing of some sort is key. Tags are a good starting point. After that, it really depends on how much effort you want to expend. If you build it, they are not going to come, unless you tell them that it is built. Good luck and if you have other questions or thoughts, please feel free to contact me. Best. Brad

  6. Amy Parmenter's Gravatar

    Posted by Amy Parmenter on 15.05.11 at 2:28 pm

    Suzanne!

    First, let me applaud what you have done! I am a longtime reporter (still doing it…) but have also made the leap to the blogosphere — and it’s been great. Mostly, because I’ve learned so much and have developed a renewed excitement for work.

    If you are trudging through – ugh – that’s a drag…but there is hope. It would take way to long to answer all your questions here but if you would really like to make a go of it — feel free to contact me at my blog. Amy – at parmfarm – dot – com. BTW – I am leading the ‘media track’ at the upcoming BlogWorld convention in NYC next week. It’s speakers and panelist all talking about exactly what it is you are trying to do.

    Even though you’re bummed right now — I am excited for you. The fact that you have been willing to open yourself up — sharing so honestly, will set you on a wonderful new path.

    Amy Parmenter
    The ParmFarm.com

  7. walkingpapers's Gravatar

    Posted by walkingpapers on 15.05.11 at 2:28 pm

    Thanks James. Just hearing from other people makes it all seem less daunting. Appreciate the encouragement.
    Suzanne

  8. walkingpapers's Gravatar

    Posted by walkingpapers on 15.05.11 at 2:28 pm

    Deborah, This is exactly what I was hoping for–feedback from others who have done it more successfully than I have. Thanks for the specific recommendations and I will check out Third Tribe. It is all a learning curve and I have my answer, in most part, to my questions. Thank you for being kind–I’m a little scared to put stuff out there!
    Best,
    Suzanne

  9. walkingpapers's Gravatar

    Posted by walkingpapers on 15.05.11 at 2:28 pm

    Deborah, This is exactly what I was hoping for–feedback from others who have done it more successfully than I have. Thanks for the specific recommendations and I will check out Third Tribe. It is all a learning curve and I have my answer, in most part, to my questions. Thank you for being kind–I’m a little scared to put stuff out there!
    Best,
    Suzanne

  10. walkingpapers's Gravatar

    Posted by walkingpapers on 15.05.11 at 2:28 pm

    Hi Karilee,
    I will absolutely take you up on your offer. Your constructive criticism is dead on–and it is a problem of mine that I cannot seem to write SHORT posts. This does not speak well for my writing, as I know “less is more” and it is something I am working on. I’m trying to learn so many things at once! I will be checking back with you. We loved South Africa so much and hope to visit again–even though we spent a month there, it was way too short.
    Best, and thanks,
    Suzanne

  11. walkingpapers's Gravatar

    Posted by walkingpapers on 15.05.11 at 2:28 pm

    Brad, I would love to have your input. It is difficult for me (as I imagine it is for most people) to find the time to market “Walking Papers”. With two little kids and trying to start a writing career, I squeeze in minutes whenever I can, but it is never enough. Perhaps in the fall, when they are back on a more normal school schedule, things will change. I try to tell myself to keep at it, no matter what, because I truly love the process of writing and am learning so much “on the job”. Thanks for your comment–it is much appreciated.
    Best,
    Suzanne

  12. walkingpapers's Gravatar

    Posted by walkingpapers on 15.05.11 at 2:28 pm

    Hi Nic,
    See, I am such a social media moron, that I cannot even figure out how to reply to the right person in the right comment (see above replies to Deborah and Karilee, which I screwed up). Maybe I am just a moron in general.

    Anyway, your feedback is causing me to think about many new avenues and ways of doing things. You are right in that the blogging model allows a writer to compartmentalize and focus on fragments of a story, making those fragments into interesting whole stories of their own. And I need to be shorter for sure, and stop using all the I’s (although since I am writing about my specific journey, that becomes more difficult!) Thank you for taking the time to help. I loved South Africa and Kruger, as Karilee now knows, and hope to be back for a longer stint there in the future.
    Best,
    Suzanne

  13. My Lonely Year In The Blogosphere « Walking Papers Blog's Gravatar

    [...] who bills herself as an expert on “social media”.  She published it on her site:  http://lauraleewalker.com/2011/05/15/guest-blogger-my-lonely-year-in-the-blogosphere/ and called it “the most brilliant thing ever written by a homeless, down-on-her-luck, [...]

  14. naturalway's Gravatar

    Posted by naturalway on 15.05.11 at 2:28 pm

    Writing one’s life is a survival strategy and healing for both writer and readers.
    Emily Dickinson write:

    A word is dead
    when it is said–some say.
    I say–it just begins to live
    that day!

  15. walkingpapers's Gravatar

    Posted by walkingpapers on 15.05.11 at 2:28 pm

    thank you natural way! i love the poetic encouragement. and so true.
    best, suzanne

  16. Bruce Beck's Gravatar

    Posted by Bruce Beck on 15.05.11 at 2:28 pm

    SUZANNE,
    I KNOW YOU DON’T CARE THAT I DON’T CARE IF OTHER PEOPLE READ THIS, BUT I READ EVERY ONE OF YOUR POSTS AND I THINK YOU ARE “MORE THAN SUPERB”. I TRULY ENJOY YOUR UPDATES AND WONDER WHERE THE NEXT POST WILL BE SENT FROM, I FEEL LIKE I’VE BEEN AROUND THE WORLD WITH YOU!
    AND MY SOCIAL MEDIA TALENTS ARE NON-EXISTANT, SO YOURS IS THE ONLY BLOG THAT I HAVE EVER READ; I WOULD SAY THAT MAKES YOU VERY UNIQUE IN THE “BLOGOSPHERE”!!
    NOTHING IN THIS POST TODAY ABOUT THE BOYS, THAT SEEMS VERY ODD AS I’VE BEEN WATCHING THEM GROW UP THROUGH YOUR WORDS FOR THE LAST YEAR. TO ME THAT MEANS NO ONES BEEN BITTEN BY A SPIDER, CHASED BY A RHINO OR NEARLY FALLEN OFF A CLIFF SINCE YOUR LAST POST. CONGRATULATIONS!!
    HOPE YOU HAVE A GREAT WEEK, KEEP ON WRITING, ALL OF US OUT HERE LOVE IT!
    XOXO, BINK

  17. Ann Zevely's Gravatar

    Posted by Ann Zevely on 15.05.11 at 2:28 pm

    Have you ever dressed/washed in the morning without looking at yourself in the mirror. I will sometimes be so intent on getting my work done at home that (editing or wrenching on my 1978 Beetle resto. or some project) looking at myself is not high on the list for the day. By the time I have to pick up the 13 year old from school I still have not seen the condition of my mug. When evening comes along I will wash my face and then realize how odd it was that I never faced the mirror. Putting me last all day really puts a perspective on things. I have noticed a focus on Suzanne and how you are making it through these times. Really stressing writing about your feelings. Take a day away from the mirror and give us more fun stories about the boys, Ethan, the charging animals and all of the wonderment happing them. Of course we want to read your reaction to all of this too.

  18. walkingpapers's Gravatar

    Posted by walkingpapers on 15.05.11 at 2:28 pm

    Thanks my buddy. You may have missed your calling as a cute cheerleader, but glad to call you my friend. Alas, no. You are not right about the kids. We lost Griffin on a ski slope last week and Adrian fell head first into polluted Boston Harbor the first hour we arrived on the East Coast. Luckily, both turned out ok, but my head is spinning trying to keep an eye on them. Will write more about it when I stop shaking in fear! xoxo, suzanne

  19. naturalway's Gravatar

    Posted by naturalway on 15.05.11 at 2:28 pm

    Bink: I’m with you/like you: Suzanne’s is the only Blog I’ve read. I not only wonder where the next one will be from but what the newest children’s “outrage”turns out to be or the newest “insight” into her own being, or the evolving epiphany about life in general.

    I keep thinking about “six degrees of separation” and how blogs allow us to enter into each others’ lives the way the early novels in the 18th century used to let us enter fictionalized experiences. except that Blogs are more immediate, more real, somehow, making us feel more connected as human beings, learning from each other, wondering how we resolve our crises, discomforts, sadnesses. I can see that blogging opens new horizons for us the way the seafarers in the Renaissance opened other worlds no one had dreamed of. So, I have to say that I can’t imagine traveling the world with a 2-3 year-old and a 5 year-old. I can’t imagine what the stresses might be on a relationship. But Suzanne’s blog has let me travel vicariously and to root for her tenacity and that of her husband, not to mention the pleasure of her descriptions and the unfolding of her Self.

  20. HH's Gravatar

    Posted by HH on 15.05.11 at 2:28 pm

    I would love to read fiction you author! Like some above, I don’t read anyone’s blogs. I blundered into yours a few months ago, put the link in my favorites and regularly came back to see what was new in your world. Over time, I went back and read most all of the earlier posts. Loved them all even though the pain of being dumped by your employer was always there to feel if not read. You need to get past that. Happens to most everyone, at least everyone good. Takes time, or something lucky to occur. Luck is preparation meeting opportunity, as someone said.

    I won’t tell here how I blundered into your blog, but it’s a tale unto itself.

  21. walkingpapers's Gravatar

    Posted by walkingpapers on 15.05.11 at 2:28 pm

    Thanks Amy–so cool to hear from you. I love writing, and have learned a lot from the back and forth after my “Lonely Year” post. It feels good to know I am not the only one out there who feels or has felt like this. I will check out the BlogWorld convention site and would love to chat with you when it is all over. Sounds like you will be busy for a while. It is a weird switch to go from headline and deadline reporting to a blog, where everything is fluid and self-driven.
    Best, Suzanne

  22. Monica Morong's Gravatar

    Posted by Monica Morong on 15.05.11 at 2:28 pm

    Thank you Laura-Lee for bringing us Suzanne! Hi Suzanne – I truly enjoyed reading your blog and am sorry to hear about your challenges over the last year. I’m confident you’ll figure out whether blogging is worth it for you and gives you the fulfillment you desire. I would say that both content and clicks rule, and that not everyone actively engages with your content but does read it (as Google Analytics can prove). The important thing, however, is to simply do what you love and to do your best to ignore the voice of the ego. I believe that God never gives us more than we can handle and blesses those who follow their passions. I too am trying to simplify my life and follow my passions. Wishing you the best of luck on your journey.

  23. Monica Morong's Gravatar

    Posted by Monica Morong on 15.05.11 at 2:28 pm

    Thank you Laura-Lee for bringing us Suzanne! Hi Suzanne – I truly enjoyed reading your blog and am sorry to hear about your challenges over the last year. I’m confident you’ll figure out whether blogging is worth it for you and gives you the fulfillment you desire. I would say that both content and clicks rule, and that not everyone actively engages with your content but does read it (as Google Analytics can prove). The important thing, however, is to simply do what you love and to do your best to ignore the voice of the ego. I believe that God never gives us more than we can handle and blesses those who follow their passions. I too am trying to simplify my life and follow my passions. Wishing you the best of luck on your journey.

  24. walkingpapers's Gravatar

    Posted by walkingpapers on 15.05.11 at 2:28 pm

    Oh, do tell, HH!! Would love to hear that story! And I love the luck quote. It is really how I feel about all of this whole adventure. If I write my story, throw it out there and keep an eye out for opportunity, what might happen?

    Re: job. Yes, it still stings at times. But less and less over time, and I try to remind myself that one person’s opinion of me/my work/my talent does not define who I am. I was the best thing that has happened to me in a while and I’m so grateful for this next phase in my life. Thank you for checking in and the kind words about my blog.
    Best,
    Suzanne

  25. Jacquelynn Mendez's Gravatar

    Posted by Jacquelynn Mendez on 15.05.11 at 2:28 pm

    Hi Suzanne,

    I enjoyed reading your post, especially because it is something most beginner bloggers can relate to since most of us have felt the same way, wondering if there’s anyone out there that cares. It looks like you already have a hand full of comments to help you out, so I’ll just wish you best of luck on your journey.

  26. walkingpapers's Gravatar

    Posted by walkingpapers on 15.05.11 at 2:28 pm

    Hi Monica–What a lovely comment. I don’t even KNOW what Google Analytics is–but it sounds like I should. You last piece of advice I like best–to do what I love BECAUSE I love it, not because I need external approbation. Simplifying has led to amazing changes in me as a person, as I sit here in five year old jeans and an old sweatshirt–feeling pretty comfy in my own skin. Thanks for writing. Best,
    Suzanne

  27. walkingpapers's Gravatar

    Posted by walkingpapers on 15.05.11 at 2:28 pm

    Thanks Jacquelynn–and I wish you the best on your journey too! It a whole new world out there, isn’t it? I’m still a social media moron, but getting better! I may even get a Facebook page.. GASP!
    Take care, Suzanne

  28. Kyle Jones's Gravatar

    Posted by Kyle Jones on 15.05.11 at 2:28 pm

    I have been a nomad for about one and a half years. I tried the blogging thing and decided that writing really isn’t my love or passion. Instead I decided to take a different tack and started an online directory of Latin American businesses(http://www.elrevisor.com) . Within one month I was getting more traffic (and more PPC) then I ever did on my blog. The growth curve still looks exponential, which is cool.
    One thing I can suggest is the axiom “what gets measured gets managed.”(Dr. Peter Drucker) Keep an eye on your stats, and try to make them go up. Use the carrot and the stick of your stats to make sure that every day you do something to improve the number from the day before, even if it is just by one.
    And the best you can do to improve your stats is to get yourself linked in somehow from high quality sites.
    Good luck, we’re in this together!
    Kyle Jones
    Canadian Nomad

  29. Kyle Jones's Gravatar

    Posted by Kyle Jones on 15.05.11 at 2:28 pm

    Oh,and if you want to do some online contract work for your writing check out elance.com and odesk.com . I don’t really recommend them long term, but if you need connections and a mobile job, then that is a decent place to start looking.

  30. walkingpapers's Gravatar

    Posted by walkingpapers on 15.05.11 at 2:28 pm

    Hi Kyle–yes, we ARE in this together, and that is what I am learning about the blogging community. Pretty cool. Loved El Revisor. How the hell did you do that? Do you live in South America? You must speak fluent Spanish, which is one of the dreams of my life. Right now I can get by, but only poorly!

    I have no idea how to do any of the things you suggested, but I am slowly learning, so we will see where it all goes from here. For now, it is enough for me to just continue to write (as it IS my passion–I think!). The encouragement I got just from writing “Lonely Year” has been awesome.
    Thanks for writing–and good luck to you too!
    Suzanne

  31. huffygirl's Gravatar

    Posted by huffygirl on 15.05.11 at 2:28 pm

    Hello Suzanne, I thought your blog was lovely, although some posts a bit long, causing me to go into skim mode. You’ve gotten wonderful advice in many of the comments above. When I first started blogging I too thought that wonderful writing would bring everyone in. It’s not enough. Getting Freshly Pressed helped me get started, but as you’ve seen, it’s not always the best blogs that get chosen. Once you get a few loyal followers, follow their blogs, comment and add them to your blog roll. I follow my regular group no matter what. Good luck. http://huffygirl.wordpress.com/2011/03/30/the-group-of-four/

  32. walkingpapers's Gravatar

    Posted by walkingpapers on 15.05.11 at 2:28 pm

    Hi there–I just checked out your blog which is lovely as well. So positive, and “The Group Of Four” was great. I guess that’s why I wrote “Lonely Year” in the first place–because I was looking for community and friendship in the blogosphere. Like you (like everyone) I can’t read everything, but I am constantly surprised by what great things are out there if you just look. No one has put me on their blogroll (I don’t think), but I just found out what a blogroll even IS, so one more piece of the puzzle just fell into place! Thanks. I’ve appreciated every one of these comments so much.
    Best,
    Suzanne

  33. huffygirl's Gravatar

    Posted by huffygirl on 15.05.11 at 2:28 pm

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. Funny – I wrote a post about a colonoscopy too. :) I’ll be happy to add you to my blog roll. You can figure out how to put one on your blog under “links” and ask me or anyone if you need help.

    BTW – two other ideas. You might want to add an “about” page on your blog. I don’t know about other readers, but I like to know a little about the person I’m reading. And go to the blog of EVERY single person who comments on your blog and comment on theirs. I think you’ll find your blogging community before you know it.

  34. walkingpapers's Gravatar

    Posted by walkingpapers on 15.05.11 at 2:28 pm

    It would be nice to be on your blog roll! My first! As for “about”–I DO have one, but it is perhaps not as noticeable as it should be. I think I need to change my format (or whatever you call the actual blog page). Here’s a question for you about etiquette. If someone “subscribes” to your blog, or puts you on their blog roll, how obligated are you to return the favor or the compliment. I am in a place in my life where it would be really hard to be fake about this (i.e., just doing it because I want them to “like” me and come to my blog, not because I really think their writing or blog is great). I see some of the comments on the FP stuff, and it seems like some people are just commenting as a PR or marketing thing, not because they’re really compelled by content. But then I think to myself, maybe they are just being supportive and kind, which the world can certainly use more of. Anyway, just musing about that… I will check out colonoscopy blog. Who knew it was a trend! (:

  35. huffygirl's Gravatar

    Posted by huffygirl on 15.05.11 at 2:28 pm

    I don’t consider myself the expert on blogging etiquette, so hopefully someone else will chime in here. My general rule of thumb (rule of thumb – where does that expression come from?) for my blogroll is to include blogs I enjoy and/or are somewhat likeminded, and the blogs of my regular readers/commenters. I notice some people have very long blog rolls and some short, so it seems to be very individualized. I have people on my blog roll who don’t have me on theirs and that’s fine with me – it’s their space. I probably would not include a blog that seemed contrary to my beliefs/style or was poorly written.

    As far as the comments on FP’d blogs – I think it’s a little bit of both. This thread has come up in comments before in fact, to the point where I had one commenter trying to “duke it out” with another commenter whom he felt only commented on FP’d blogs to advance his own blog. In general I only comment on FP’d blogs that I enjoy and leave the politics of it to others to figure out.
    http://huffygirl.wordpress.com/2011/01/27/huffyhow-birdy-buffet/#comments

  36. walkingpapers's Gravatar

    Posted by walkingpapers on 15.05.11 at 2:28 pm

    Please people, do chime in here! I feel a little between a rock and a hard place, because I don’t want to offend but I also don’t want to blow smoke. I like your rules of thumb, huffygirl. i have to say, after ALL the wonderful, educational, positive, thoughtful feedback from “Lonely Year”, I am still not sure what makes a good blog by general standards. Guess I just have to see what makes me laugh (or cry) or think, and go from there. Today, with the help of the lovely Laurelee, I finally figured out how to put a “subscribe” button on Walking Papers. Progress!! Yay.
    Best,
    Suzanne

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