Blogging Insecurity…or…Déjà Vu (Again)


This post serves as my December entry for Alex J. Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writers Support Group and today I’m going to discuss a different type of insecurity…blogging insecurity.

I still remember what if was like when I first started blogging and the only people who read my posts was…me.  I was clueless how blogging really worked, how this particular blogosphere operated and what the “rules” were.  Once I started attracting a few followers, a new panic arrived with them.  I was terrified to open my mouth for fear that what few followers I had would simply yawn and walk away…unimpressed.  It wasn’t until I decided to treat my blog as just another test…a test to decide whether or not I deserved to be published…that my blogging voice started to blossom.  If I couldn’t attract a respectable number of followers, hold their interest, spark some discussions via the comment section, and make my blog as interactive as possible, then I didn’t deserve to be published.  That’s all I’ve ever tried to do, and the jury’s still out.

In that vein, you learn early on that blogging is not a “if you build it, they will come” endeavor.  You have to participate…early and often…if you expect readers to take an interest.  To assist with this, bloggers have created events such as Blog Hops, Blog Rolls, and Blogfests to help cross-pollinate the expansive blogosphere.  All of these are designed to do expose bloggers to others they may never otherwise come in contact with.  I want to talk more about Blogfests because I actually have one scheduled to begin in just over a week.

How do blogfests work?  The host (of which there can be several) announces the topic, the posting date (usually several weeks in the future), any guidelines, and provides a web-tool that creates a list of every blog signed up to participate.  Why would you need more than one host, to broaden the exposure base and make sure as many bloggers as possible find out about it and sign-up.  To sign-up, the blogger simply inputs their blog name and paste a link to their blog in the web tool.  How do you obtain a link to your blog?  You see that address bar at the very top of the screen?  With your own blog on the screen (the home page, not a specific post) click anywhere in that box and the entire address will be highlighted.  Next, position your mouse over the highlighted address, right-click, then select copy.  Return to the web-tool and paste the copied link into the appropriate box, and wah-la!  Now all you have to do is make a note on your calendar (you’d be surprised how many bloggers sign up then forget) and post your contribution on the day scheduled.


 
The blogfest I’m hosting, with three of my blogging buddies, is called the Déjà vu Blogfest.  On December 16th everyone who’s taking part will be re-posting their favorite blog post, or one that never received the exposure it should have.  Then as the day unfolds and everyone jumps from one blog to another (using the list on any of the four hosts blogs), what they will be reading constitutes the best of the best.  It’s perfect for newby bloggers and veterans alike.  What a perfect way to showcase your finest, to introduce yourself to hundreds of new followers, and discover new blogs to add to your Google reader.   The best part…no additional writing necessary!

I have a feeling this blogfest is going to be EPIC!  There’s going to be “a great disturbance in the Force” as the cream rises to the top.  A ripple will be sent through the blogosphere that will be remembered long after the next round of posts are updated. At last check we had 124 bloggers registered, but that only scratches the surface of what's possible.  Some might be deterred from participating because 100+ blogs is a lot to read, but there's no need to do it all at once.  After everybody post on Dec. 16th I will edit Mr. Linky so that all of the names point directly to those re-post, so even if you can't get to all those blogs that weekend you'll be ever to find them anytime you wish.      

I didn’t start with such lofty goals.  When I pitched this idea to my three cohorts, Katie Mills (Creepy Query Girl), Lydia Kang, and Nicole Ducleroir, I hadn’t taken the time to really think about the impact a successful blogfest of this type could have.  There isn’t a blogger out there that doesn’t have a couple favorite posts, or a few that really struck a chord with their readers.  Should you pick a post that generated the most comments for you, or the most site-hits, or one that tugs at your heart?  But I suggest you don’t wait until the last minute to decide which to re-post.  I’ve known about this for a long time and I’ve changed my mind more times then I can count.

So, if you’re a little bit insecure about your blog, now’s the time to start putting it to the test.  Click on the badge above and sign up now, then tell everyone you know about it.  Still hesitant?  Leave me a comment and I’ll hold your hand through the entire process. :)

PS.  Don’t forget to cast your vote for Round 5 of WRiTE CLUB!

27 comments

  1. I was terrified when my blog went live for the first time. Finding one's blogging voice takes time and deep breathing exercises. Even today, I get a little insecure about mine.

    Looking forward to the blogfest!!

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  2. I'm still working on "If you build it, they will come." :) I've got 'em trickling in slowly. I think sometimes it's hard to find your blogging voice because you have different kinds of people in your audience. For us, it's mostly writers, but there are other family members and friends who may want to follow. That's where it gets tricky for me. Knowing my boundaries without losing people who may not be interested in writing. Although, I think those people only follow my blog because I said one day, "Hey! I've got a blog! Check it out!"

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  3. I didn't start my blog to get followers. I never thought I would. I started the blog to 'talk' (aka bitch and moan) because I think I was annoying my family with all my ranting. Great tie in with your hop!
    HMG

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  4. This is such an awesome blogfest idea! I can't wait to see everyone's posts...and to feel the disturbance in the force. Actually, I've already sensed it. True Jedi powers, yo.

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  5. Your journey sounds like mine. I panicked when I realized people were actually reading my posts.

    I won't be participating because I'm doing my 12 days of Christmas posts. And if I participate, that means the last one will fall on the day after Christmas (since I don't want to blog on my non blogging days). And I'm NOT blogging on that day. Cool idea for a blogfest, though. :D

    It's drives me nuts when people sign up for a blogfest and forget they did, or post at a later time. Then I have to go through a bunch of links until I find one with the correct post. :P

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  6. I blogged for about a month before I told anyone I even had a blog. I've been blogging for almost a year now and I'm still insecure about every post I put up!

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  7. Blogfests are awesome! Great way to get involved and make new friends. I am all signed up and ready for yours.
    And I don't know if my writing voice comes through in my posts or not. I always just thought I amused people.

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  8. The first time I got 10 comments, I flipped out. I had no idea that many people were READING, let alone wanting to remark on what I was writing. I've said this many times, but you should never worry - you're a fabulous writer and an all-around great guy. But don't listen to me, just look at all those followers and blog friends you've attracted!

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  9. Blogging is truly a "give and you shall receive" sort of activity. I'm looking forward to reading all the posts during the Deja Vu blogfest!

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  10. Did you say cross-pollinate? That's what we're doing cross-pollinating?
    I'm already having a goofy day, can't help myself. That's really funny to me right now. So glad I signed up.

    Actually, I'm laughing so hard,I've forgotten all about my insecurities. Thank you!

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  11. Did you say cross-pollinate? That's what we're doing cross-pollinating?
    I'm already having a goofy day, can't help myself. That's really funny to me right now. So glad I signed up.

    Actually, I'm laughing so hard,I've forgotten all about my insecurities. Thank you!

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  12. Learning the ropes of blogging took some time.

    The blogfest is a great idea. And easy. Looking forward to it.

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  13. Thanks for this post! I am a beginning blogger, so it is excellent timing. I am only just learning about blog fests and blog rolls and am looking forward to joining in yours!

    Allison (Geek Banter)

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  14. I was always insecure. Still am, I think. Although it's different now. I used to worry that people would think I was insane. Or stupid. Or not. funny. at. ALL.

    I think to this day, every single post that goes up has me all twitchy.

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  15. As a baby blogger myself, I have been super impressed with blogfests and the support that other bloggers give newbies. Lydia was the reason I even started blogging (because the girl is so incredibly supportive!) and I hope that someday I can pass on the "blogging torch" to another.

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  16. I remember the absolute terror of putting up that first blog post! So scary!

    Looking forward to the blogfest :)

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  17. You have awesome blogfest ideas Don. They are always a blast.

    I remember how scared I was when I started my blog, and I still feel a little scared after nearly two years.

    You have a fantastic blogger voice DL, one that was missed on your hiatus. I'm glad you returned.

    ......dhole

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  18. I had a natural high for days when peeps first started commenting on my brand new blog. lol.And you're so right, I think some bloggers get here and expect it to just happen, not fully understanding the work it takes to build a following. Any blogger we see with a ton of followers, is working hard in a big way. :)

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  19. I'm in! What a great idea for a blogfest!

    And I'm co-hosting my first one too in a few weeks. It should be a lot of fun!

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  20. This sounds great. I'll play.

    I look back at some of my old posts and shudder. It's a miracle I got any followers at all. LOL.

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  21. Ooh, it's coming up soon! Hooray!

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  22. I know what you mean about being an insecure blogger! I always get nervous when I press the publish button, afraid that my readers will disappear when they see what I have to say. What a fun idea to hold a blogfest!

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  23. Blogging is terrifying in the beginning, you're so right! :) I really wish I could take part in your blogfest, booo... but I suspect I'll be severely jetlagged that day! Wishing you and everyone involved a great deal of fun.

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  24. This is a great idea for a blog fest. I was just thinking about a post that I really liked the other day.

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