How to Get More Followers

Have you ever just sat down next to a complete stranger and started telling them your life story, without so much as a by your leave; just rambled on incessantly with no pause to gauge their reaction? If you did you’d probably find that they’d shuffle along and, eventually, off their seat and then walk away as fast as their feet will carry them while turning around every few seconds just to make sure you’re not following them. So, my question to you is, if you wouldn’t behave like that in real life, why would you do it in the blogging world?

Have you ever just sat down next to a complete stranger and started telling them your life story, without so much as a by your leave; just rambled on incessantly with no pause to gauge their reaction? If you did you’d probably find that they’d shuffle along and, eventually, off their seat and then walk away as fast as their feet will carry them while turning around every few seconds just to make sure you’re not following them. So, my question to you is, if you wouldn’t behave like that in real life, why would you do it in the blogging world?

If you want people to follow your blog, you have to engage with them in exactly the same way as you would if you met them in a coffee shop:

  • Introduce yourself.

Of course, your blog can be anonymous but use your home page to tell people a little something about you and your life.

  • Ask them something about themselves.

In the blogging world we do this by visiting other sites and reading what their owners have to say.

  • Start a conversation.

You can write what you like in your blog (that’s the beauty of it) but write as you. Imagine that you’re telling a friend something; you wouldn’t suddenly adopt a Severus Snape voice would you? Or start using the kind of words that they’ll need to go and look up in a dictionary?

  • Listen to their response

Often other people will be writing about your chosen subject so go and read what they have to say about it. Blogging is not a competition, you’re not visiting other sites to size up the opposition but to find people that you have something in common with.

  • Show interest in what’s being said

If you like what you read, leave a comment; in my experience 95% of other bloggers will reply to you and that’s the way that conversations and then relationships begin :O)

Moving on to content. No-one can (or should for that matter) tell you what to write; only you know why you started your blog and what you hope to get out of it. Saying that, if you want people to follow you, what you say has to be interesting. You may have had the best time at Aunt Millie’s birthday party but people here don’t know Aunt Millie and the story of Uncle John and the camel is really only funny if you were there….

You need to get people’s attention.

AttentionImagine being in a conversation with someone whose facial expression never changed, who never used hand gestures and spoke in monotone; how long do you think you’d be able to keep your concentration (or even your eyes open!)? Blogging is no different:

If you write 1,000 words as one paragraph that’s the equivalent of having no facial expression.

1,000 words with no imagery (pictures, memes, gifs etc) you’re sitting on your hands.

1,000 words with every sentence starting with ‘I’ or ‘my’ and you’re sounding like the scientist guy on friends who kept on about his allergies (remember that episode?)

Continuing with our coffee shop analogy, how would you feel if you said something to someone or even paid them a compliment and they just ignored you? Would you fancy engaging in conversation with them again? Would you even stop long enough to finish your coffee? Nope, probably not.

It’s the same in the blogging world; if someone likes something you’ve written, visit their site and read what they have to say. You won’t always like everything that they write but 9 times out of 10 you’ll find something to like or even comment on. If someone comments on your site, that means they’ve taken time out of their day to appreciate you so, at the very least, say thank you.

My last point is about celebrities. If you saw Brad Pitt [insert name of celebrity who most often appears in your erotic fantasies here] in a coffee shop, what would you do? Would you go rushing over, fling your arms around him, beg him to be your best friend and then follow him around all day? Well, yes, possibly but that would only result in a restraining order and some slightly embarrassing explanations. Whilst liking and commenting on every single post that a ‘celebrity’ blogger (5000+ followers) writes won’t result in a restraining order (probably), it also won’t guarantee that they’ll follow your blog.

Be yourself, have fun and make new friends because the WP family is amazing and worth every single minute that you spend getting to know them :O)

I’m going to qualify all of this by saying that I am not an expert blogger so you can take everything here with a pinch of salt but someone asked me for advice about growing a blog so I thought I’d share what I’d picked up along the way.

Have a great day everyone :O)

Lisa x

 

It’s My Round……

Do you have a local, a bar or a coffee shop where you can walk in and be sure of finding someone that you know? You can sit down for 10 minutes or a couple of hours and just chat with people about anything and nothing. If you’re feeling down they’ll buy you a drink and listen to your woes and you do the same for them if they’re having a rough day. Do you know a place like that?

Do you have a local, a bar or a coffee shop where you can walk in and be sure of finding someone that you know? You can sit down for 10 minutes or a couple of hours and just chat with people about anything and nothing. If you’re feeling down they’ll buy you a drink and listen to your woes and you do the same for them if they’re having a rough day. Do you know a place like that?

For me, that place is here on WP; granted there is no-one serving drinks (something for the marketing department to think about!) but there is everything else that I love about a local. It’s warm and comfortable with a constant stream of chatter and laughter. What makes it even better is that I don’t have to think about what I’m going to wear (be honest haven’t you chatted with your WP buddies in your PJ’s before now) and I have zero social anxiety (always a big plus).

FriendshipIn just a few months I have made friends with people who come into this bar from all over the World, (that’s you guys by the way). You are funny, patient, kind, loving, charming, understanding and completely non-judgmental. You are always there with a comforting word, some wise advice and a virtual hug on the days when I need it most.

I have felt your suffering as you made yourself vulnerable, shared your deepest fears and doubts; at those moments it feels so natural to hold you and tell you that you are loved. I have laughed with you as you recounted hilarious tales about your life. We have even chatted about politics and religion with calm and pleasant interest in each others opinions. You’ve shared poetry which made me weep and verse that filled me with joy.

I have learned from you, each and every one of you so, if you stop by the bar today, I’d like to buy you a drink, give you a hug and say thank you.

Lisa x

You Lovely, Lovely People!

I would love to be able to give each and every one of you a personal thank you and a big hug but as I can’t this is for all of you with my sincere thanks:

I would love to be able to give each and every one of you a personal thank you and a big hug but as I can’t this is for all of you with my sincere thanks:

hug

Lisa

x

Sunshine Blogger Award

And the award goes to…….those who are creative, positive, and inspiring, while spreading sunshine to the blogging community and, apparently, that includes me! I am chuffed to little mintballs!! A big shout out and a huge thank you to Word Hunter who kindly nominated me for the award and set a bunch of questions that I found surprisingly difficult to answer. Of course that could be because I’m still suffering from the plague a cold but enough playing for sympathy (if you could just pass the tissues and a hot toddy would be lovely, thanks) let’s get on with the rules:

i wonAnd the award goes to…….those who are creative, positive, and inspiring, while spreading sunshine to the blogging community and, apparently, that includes me! I am chuffed to little mintballs!! A big shout out and a huge thank you to Word Hunter who kindly nominated me for the award and set a bunch of questions that I found surprisingly difficult to answer. Of course that could be because I’m still suffering from the plague a cold but enough playing for sympathy (if you could just pass the tissues and a hot toddy would be lovely, thanks) let’s get on with the rules:

Thank the blogger who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog

Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you

Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions

List the rules and display The Sunshine Blogger Away logo in your post or on your blog

So, off we go, here are the questions that were put to me:

1. What inspired you to start blogging?

Quite simply I needed something that would help me fill a void in my life.

2. What is your favourite book/ books?

Difficult to narrow it down but I suppose the ones I have read repeatedly are The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillipa Gregory (I find Henry VIII fascinating despite his proclivity for offing wives), the Harry Potter books, anything by Terry Pratchett, Weaveworld by Clive Barker……OK I’m going to stop there otherwise I’ll be here all day!

3. How do you gather ideas for your blog?

I feel that I should be explaining a ‘process’ here but, to be honest, I don’t have one; random thoughts pop into my head (often when I’m in the shower) and, after a bit of fiddling about, they end up on my blog. Occasionally I’ll read something in the paper that inspires me to write but I find the news too bloody depressing these days to use it for ‘inspiration’ very often.

4. What an ideal day like to you?

Honestly? One spent with my husband but as that’s no longer possible I’m going to say one where I wake up……..

5. Who inspired you the most?

My brother. He has achieved everything that he set out to achieve because he has absolute focus (whereas I have the attention span on a gnat)

6. If you could have any super power, what would you choose?

I’ve been asked this before and I think I said ‘the power to make people laugh’ but I;m going to change that to ‘the power to give people inner peace’. Sorry if that sounds a bit hippy, new agey but I think that’s what most people really hope for……..it’s certainly what I hope for anyway.

7. What is most important to you while writing?

Om. Sounds bizarre I know but I always have an Om chant playing on Youtube whilst I’m writing, it helps me concentrate

8. Do you enjoy poetry?

I do yes.

9. Which kind of poems do you like?

Those that move me in some way

10. Do you have a favourite poem? Which one?

This one by Stevie Smith, it’s called Not Waving But Drowning:

Nobody heard him, the dead man,   
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought   
And not waving but drowning.
Poor chap, he always loved larking
And now he’s dead
It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,   
They said.
Oh, no no no, it was too cold always   
(Still the dead one lay moaning)   
I was much too far out all my life   
And not waving but drowning.

11. What is the One thing you value the most in your life?

The fact that I have one.

Right, now I have to come up with 11 questions and 11 bloggers to nominate so, in no particular order, here are my nominations – drum roll please…..

  1. Darren because he is a genuine ray of sunshine in the WP world
  2. Wendi who does so much for others even though she suffers herself
  3. Billy who has his fair share of struggles but still keeps his wonderful sense of humour
  4. Tom, a genuinely great bloke who’s just been through a tough time
  5. Brian who is absolutely hilarious
  6. Matt, not because he is a bringer of sunshine exactly but because I think he’s a creative genius
  7. Lorraine who finds light in the darkness
  8. Dr Perry who always motivates and inspires
  9. Andrea who makes me chuckle
  10. John whose quirky little posts bring a smile
  11. Mike because I love his writing

Right, now I need to think of some questions………..here you go:

  1. What’s the thing that you like most about yourself?
  2. Do you have any little oddities?
  3. A million dollars or a 1000 hours of bliss? Which would you prefer?
  4. Which animal do you most identify with?
  5. Do you believe in fate or think we create our own destinies?
  6. Which of your blog posts are you most proud of (feel free to add link)
  7. It’s your last day on Earth – what will you do?
  8. What’s your favourite quote and why?
  9. If you had to give up one forever would it be reading or writing?
  10. What’s your happiest memory?
  11. Who are you?

Ok, I think I’ve covered everything. Thanks again to Word Hunter for the nomination and I look forward to reading the answers from my victims nominees in the near future.

Have a great day one and all

Lisa x

Do You Remember Your First Blog Post?

Your first kiss, the first time you had sex and your very first blog post; there are some things that we never forget. Can I take you back in time to yours?  Do you even remember what it was about or is it the feelings that have stayed with you? The fear of what people will think, the excitement of putting your thoughts out there for anyone to read? Were you just bursting with passion and desperate to share it with others or did you write, then rewrite, then trash and then finally hit post after a couple of glasses of wine? 

Your first kiss, the first time you had sex and your very first blog post; there are some things that we never forget. Can I take you back in time to yours?  Do you even remember what it was about or is it the feelings that have stayed with you? The fear of what people will think, the excitement of putting your thoughts out there for anyone to read? Were you just bursting with passion and desperate to share it with others or did you write, hit post after a couple of glasses of wine and then spend the rest of the day thinking ohshitohshitohshit?

snoopyDo you remember how you felt when you got your first like? Did you worry about how to reply when you got your first comment? Did you find yourself checking your emails 50 times a day worrying that no-one would respond and then be unable to stop the inane grin and little happy dance as that first one popped into your inbox?

What was the subject matter? Were you careful and reserved in what you wrote or did you just put yourself out there and critics be damned? Mine was about arses and how they sag as we get older; I’m not sure what that says about me………….so, back to you! Tell me all about it, I’d love to hear your story :O)

Lisa x

Song Lyric Sunday

Happy Sunday fellow bloggers, I hope that you’re enjoying your day :O) So, it’s time for us to share our favourite song lyrics based on this week’s theme which is ‘think’. As someone who doesn’t think outside the box but can sometimes be found rooting around in the deepest darkest corners, I decided to share a song with you which actually has no lyrics. Yes, you heard me right, no lyrics this week but the most beautiful piece of music and a video that I watched over and over again because I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

Happy Sunday fellow bloggers, I hope that you’re enjoying your day :O) So, it’s time for us to share our favourite song lyrics based on this week’s theme which is ‘think’. As someone who doesn’t think outside the box but can sometimes be found rooting around in the deepest darkest corners, I decided to share a song with you which actually has no lyrics. Yes, you heard me right, no lyrics this week but the most beautiful piece of music and a video that I watched over and over again because I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

This fantastic idea of sharing music that we love or inspires us came from Helen Vahdati and if you feel like joining in and flexing your cerebral muscles, these are the rules:

Here are the “rules”:

  • Post the lyrics to the song of your choice, whether it fits the theme or not
  • Please try to include the songwriter(s) – it’s a good idea to give credit where credit is due and it’s honestly just a simple Google search
  • Make sure you also credit the singer/band and provide a link to where you found the lyrics
  • Link to the YouTube video, or pull it into your post so others can listen to the song
  • Ping back to this post or my own Song Lyric Sunday post
  • Read at least one other person’s blog so we can all share new and fantastic music and create amazing new blogging friends in the process

So, back to the song:

This is Sacrifice, written by Lisa Gerrard and Peter Bourke and sung by Lisa herself.

The animation is Vita ex musica (2004) by Antoine Dekerle

It is rare to find a piece of music that reaches into your very soul but Sacrifice does that for me; it is powerful and deeply moving but, at the same time, almost hypnotic inasmuch as it leaves you with a profound sense of peace and regret when it ends.

The video matches the mood of the song completely. It is brilliantly innovative, weird and heartrendingly sad. It tells of a being, not of this world, who falls in love with a woman’s face, it is unmoving, expressionless but undeniably beautiful. He cannot stop thinking about her and can’t understand why she doesn’t respond to him, why she doesn’t awaken from her sleep…..

He has a gift which allows him to bring something back to life when it is on the very brink of death and he believes that he can revive this woman; he is alone in the World and desperate for companionship, for love. Although he is not something we would recognise as human the pain of his loneliness is palpable…

We see one moment of blissful hope and then watch as it dies in his eyes as he realises that even his rare gift will not be enough to revive this woman from her sleep. We feel his anger, his bitterness at his failure and his heartbreak at the unbearable cruelty of life.

For me this piece of music and its video are unique. I’m not sure that you’ll enjoy them  as such but, at the very least, I hope that they make you think….

Lisa x

Mystery Blogger Award

Well spin my nipple nuts and call me Susan!!  I’ve been nominated by the wonderfully lovely TheKabys at bittermarshmellos for the Mystery Blogger Award and I could not be more chuffed so a big, big thank you and please make sure to pop over there and have a rummage around – you’ll find some great stuff :O)

Well spin my nipple nuts and call me Susan!!  I’ve been nominated by the wonderfully lovely TheKabys at bittermarshmellos for the Mystery Blogger Award and I could not be more chuffed so a big, big thank you and please make sure to pop over there and have a rummage around – you’ll find some great stuff :O)

These are the rules for the Mystery Blogger Award :

1. Put the award logo/image on your blog: Tick :O)

2. List the rules. Tick :O)

3. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog. Tick :O)

4. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well: Okey dokey – That’s over here and this is why the award was created:

“Mystery Blogger Award” is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; and they do it with so much love and passion.

5. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself:

Hhhmm let’s see:

  1. I have nightmares about being strangled on a fairly regular basis (bizarre I know)
  2. I’m convinced that big spiders know that I’m scared of them and creep up on me deliberately
  3. I’d love to be able to wear pink flowy romantic dresses but I look ridiculous in them

6. You have to nominate 10 – 20 people

I’m going to nominate some new friends who have followed my blog recently or I’ve followed theirs:

  1. Thin Brown Girl
  2. PostivelyAlyssa
  3. Chape at Chape Fitness
  4. My Thoughts Exactly
  5. momwriter2boys
  6. Divya Krishnan at merrymotherhood
  7. Dr Andrea Dinardo
  8. Ortensia
  9. The Cozy Pages
  10. roughwighting

I really hope that you’ll all find the time to have a bash at this :O)

7. Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog

8. Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question

Ok, here goes:

  1. What’s your favourite joke and why?
  2. If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?
  3. What’s more important: being totally honest or protecting other people’s feelings?
  4. When was the last time that you unleashed your inner kid and what were you doing?
  5. If you knew that you had one week left on earth what would you do?

9. Share a link to your best post(s)

There are two, the first because it was the first time that I really opened up about my life and the second because it was so much fun to write:

The Hardest Battle…..

It’s the Little Things….

So now the tricky bit, on to TheKabys questions:

1. What do you think, what makes you a Mystery Blogger ?

I think (or at least I hope) that the love I have for writing and the emotions that it stirs in me comes through in my blog posts.

2. Do you like to be in a relationship or be single ?

I like the comfort and closeness of a relationship but I like the freedom of being single

3. What do you think, being in relationship is more beneficial than being single ?

We can be miserable in a relationship and happy single or vice versa, we can be lonely in a relationship or happy being alone; I think we only find the benefits of either when we look for them….

4. Do you agree that Introverts are more Imaginative than Extroverts. Why ?

No, not necessarily. I think introverts tend to spend more time focusing their attention inwards rather than on the world outside but I’m not sure that would make them more imaginative

5. How would you differentiate Self Love from Narcissism ?

These are some tough questions TheKabys! I think that narcissism stems from a need to be desired and admired physically which leads to an obsession with one’s own appearance  whereas self love usually comes as a result of following the difficult path of making oneself vulnerable and therefore open to the love of others and, finally, oneself.

There you have it people :O) Thanks once again to TheKabys and now I’ll hand the baton over to the guys that I’ve nominated and I hope they have as much fun with it as I did.

Lisa x

 

Ohhh This is Exciting :O)

This post, in which I will attempt (and possibly fail) to answer questions in a deep and meaningful way is thanks to the lovely Tom over at Tom Being Tom who nominated me for this award. Yep those are the words that are causing all the excitement; I know, I know, you’ve seen it all before but, in my mind, I’m walking up the red carpet with my acceptance speech clutched in my sweaty little hand!

This post, in which I will attempt (and possibly fail) to answer questions in a deep and meaningful way is thanks to the lovely Tom over at Tom Being Tom who nominated me for this award. Yep those are the words that are causing all the excitement; I know, I know, you’ve seen it all before but, in my mind, I’m walking up the red carpet with my acceptance speech clutched in my sweaty little hand!

So, first things first – a big thank you to Tom for the nomination and for being one of the lovely souls who’ve made me feel so welcome in the wonderful world of blogging and kept me entertained with his thought provoking posts.

To take part in this, if I’ve understood correctly (and there’s always a good chance that I haven’t) I need to tell you 11 things about me, then answer Tom’s questions and then nominate some others to take part so here goes:

  1. It turns out that I love writing; only realised that in the last few months since I started this blog and it came as something of a shock let me tell you
  2. For most of my working life I was an accountant – now you know why I was shocked by the writing revelation.
  3. I am 52 years old. I’m not actually sure how that happened as I was pretty convinced when I was a teenager that I wouldn’t live past 25
  4. I think that animals are far nicer than people despite the fact that their conversation usually isn’t up to much
  5. I can’t watch Walt Disney cartoons as they make me cry, I was inconsolable 10 minutes into Watership Down
  6. I love reading and currently have 468 books on my Kindle all of which I’ve read…some more than once
  7. I’m a speed fanatic – I love motorbikes, fast cars and galloping horses
  8. I have a weakness for shoes……and handbags……..and clothes
  9. I don’t like confrontation unless I’m defending someone else
  10. Platform call centres really irritate me
  11. If I was put in a white room which had a red button on the wall saying “Do Not Push under Any Circumstances”, I’d probably push it.

Moving on to Tom’s questions and my answers:

  1. If you could have one superpower, what would it be? I’d like to have the power to make everyone I meet laugh and forget their problems
  2. Would you use it for others, primarily, or for yourself? It would be for others but, at the same time, I know it would make me feel good
  3. Twenty years from today, someone hands you a potion and a piece of paper. They say you can drink the potion and live forever or open the paper and see when you will die. Which would you choose? I’d return them both, thank them kindly and get on with my life without looking back
  4. Would you be in favor of universal healthcare in America? Yes with the caveat that no-one could sue the hospitals for malpractice – I’ve seen what that has done to the NHS in the UK
  5. How about universal background checks on gun purchases in America? Yes, absolutely!
  6. What about universal domination of the cosmos by America? I think that job is already taken ;O)
  7. Do you wish, at this point, that there were only 7 questions? No, it’s fun!
  8. Are alien species visiting the Earth? I certainly hope so
  9. Was JFK killed as part of a conspiracy plot? I don’t know and I don’t think we will ever know but it wouldn’t surprise me
  10. Should a person do what they do best, as a means of personal income, or what they love most, if the two are not the same? What they love most, no question but I think, if you have a true passion for something, it will become the thing that you do best.
  11. When you were 11 years old, what did you want to be when you grew up? A psychiatrist (of all things!) or an opera singer…

This is actually fun and these were definitely more interesting than the ‘what’s your favourite colour type questions – thanks Tom :O) So now I have to think up some questions and who to nominate……

Over to you Darren at Artyplantsman and Traci at atgofion also Ragazza Triste and Robyn at Autism Family Power; you’re all great bloggers and lovely people and I really hope that you’ll manage to find some time to join in with this :O)

So these are the questions that I have for you guys:

  1. If you could have the life of a TV character whose would it be and why?
  2. What always makes you smile even when you are feeling down?
  3. What are you most afraid of – your weaknesses or your strengths?
  4. What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever seen?
  5. What’s the most bizarre dream you’ve ever had?
  6. What do you do to relax?
  7. What’s your biggest vice?
  8. Do you believe that we create our own destiny or that our lives are pre-determined?
  9. Which cartoon character do you most identify with?
  10. What’s your earliest memory?
  11. If you were told you had 24 hours to live what would you do with your last day on earth?

Ok, that’s it finished! Thanks again Tom and now I’m passing on the baton……

Have a lovely Sunday everyone

Lisa

x

 

Mmmmmwwwwuuuhhhhhh!

Thank you so much to those 200 lovely fellow bloggers out there who’ve decided to follow me and read all the random spoffle that I come out with. I am amazed at the sense of community here and how lovely and friendly everyone is – it’s a real pleasure to be among you

Thank you so much to those 200 lovely fellow bloggers out there who’ve decided to follow me and read all the random spoffle that I come out with. I am amazed at the sense of community here and how lovely and friendly everyone is – it’s a real pleasure to be among you.

Sending you all a big sloppy one of these……..

Kiss

Lisa xxxxx