Day Four’s assignment is honestly not one that I expected to see, but I’m glad that I did because looking back it would have been a good lesson when I first started this blog. The assignment is to follow five new topics and five new blogs in the Reader. If you’re really new to this and don’t know what the reader is, it’s that page that pops up when you first go to WordPress – or the one labeled “Reader” if you’re using an app – that shows a bunch of other people’s posts. You can choose a bunch of viewing options on the Reader, but the default shows the blogs and topics that you have chosen to follow.
The reason The Daily Post asks you to do some following? Well for one thing, community is a huge aspect of blogging. When you first start blogging you’re not going to have a big audience right away because no one knows who you are or how to find you. Your first followers will likely be other bloggers, and the way that most of them will find you is by returning the favor when you find them. Search for people who share the same interests as you, write about the same kinds of things you write about, or people who just make you think or laugh. The bigger you build your community, the more likely people will find their way to you.
I didn’t catch on to this gem right away when I first started blogging. I clicked on a few other blogs, for sure, but I rarely read them, and even more rarely interacted with them. It was probably a year or so after I started the blog that I began to realize, “Hey…why should I expect people to interact with me if I’m not willing to take some time to interact with them?” So I started to spend more time reading, liking, and commenting on the stuff that caught my eye. I built up a respectable list of blogs that I follow, and many of those bloggers have become internet friends and great sources of ideas for the blog. If it weren’t for the people I’ve interacted with, I never would have come across this blogging “course”, for instance, nor the A to Z Challenge, nor a number of other blog hops, awards, challenges, and various ideas.
Since I’m already following a ton of stuff, for the purposes of today’s assignment I’m going to share a few blogs and tags that I’ve found very useful. Check them out, and find some more of your own!
The Daily Post deserves a mention, of course, for being the benefactors of this particular challenge. Their blog has tons of helpful stuff for bloggers, including daily prompts in which they link back to your blog if you participate, and a “community pool” post on Sundays, in which you can share whatever you like and ask for comments, feedback, etc.
Kristen Lamb’s Blog is a must to follow if you’re a writer. She’s the guru on all things author platform-related, and also posts advice on the writing process itself. Occasionally she also has guest posters who have been known to share a wealth of useful information.
Perfection Pending isn’t a useful site in the traditional sense, but I love it to pieces because Meredith makes me feel a little less insane. She’s a mother of three who often writes about her children and her life in a funny, relatable way that makes me – as a mom and a writer – feel a little less alone in the world.
As for tags, it really depends on what you’re looking for, who you want to connect with, but I’ve found lots worth seeing by searching the tags “challenges”, “writers”, “mothers”, and “authors”. Just think about who you want to connect with, and hope that those people did a good job tagging their posts. 🙂