Blogging Under A Rock

I hope these key words in this headline don’t draw more readers…no one wants to blog under a rock, least of all moi. But, that’s what I’m accusing myself of absolute – I’ve been oblivious to anything outside of my immediate purview – client billable work, drafting content for my blog and a few guest posts, too, and that’s about it.

Here’s what prompted this post (and Steve Farnsworth and Paul Roberts thought I was kidding):

On Friday afternoon Steve tweeted me this awesome PR33 Blogs List from Paul Roberts’s blog. I thought, cool, I need to see this; thanks, Steve. Lo, I read the list to find myself included, much to my utter amazement. (And, thus the over-the-top thank you in comments that likely included my embarrassment at being late to the party.)

You see, I had not previously met Paul Roberts (that I knew of; unless we had drinks one night, Paul?), and here he had amassed an incredibly influential list of PR bloggers with insightful comments about each. (Again, thanks, Paul.)

AND, I DIDN’T KNOW IT!

So, I’ve been blogging under a rock, and that rock has bashed my head. Here’s what I’m guilty of and will attempt to change:

Problem: I use Triberr religiously to comment on bloggers in my tribes, and rarely do I hit others’ blogs to extend my reach. (I still like Triberr, and we’ll address that topic another day.)

Change-Up: Form another tribe with new folks and interact with their writings as much as original tribes.

*******

Problem: I go to familiar blogs with familiar communities who frequently come to my house and return the comments in familiar ways.

Change-Up: Get out of your comfort zone, Jayme! This becomes too routine; change it up, Girl!

*******

Problem: I realize the labor intensivity of extending blog reach, and while I sometimes comment on new blogs, it’s often isolated and not consistent.

Change-Up: Quit your whining and add “subscribe to comments” on all those blogs to keep you engaged.

*******

Problem: I go where I’m invited;  if you ask me to come, I’m there.

Change-Up: That’s not a problem; just stop waiting for an invite – insert yourself on more occasions.

********

Problem: I am failing at a consistent focus on Facebook community building, and now that Google has slammed all of us with forced participation, I’m worried how I’m going to manage enhancing all these channels.

Change-Up: Anyone got a solution to this one? I’m overwhelmed and want to go back under my rock.

********

Problem: I’m a Twitter girl to a fault; I keep it open all day long, attempt to work the stream and open new conversations on occasion, yet my faves column is filled with just that – faves! Twitter is my first love, my first channel (even before a blog), and I won’t let go of it, but maybe a little less here and more elsewhere?

Change-Up: Hah. Yes, create a new column called “Tweeps To Know” and head in their direction each day.

What problems and change-ups might you include to ensure you’re not blogging under a rock?

37 comments
Leon Noone
Leon Noone

G'Day jayme,
What's wrong with comfort zones anyway? Occurs to me that the people who exhort us to get out of our comfort zones seem to find it bloody comfortable doing so. Anyway......

I really do believe that you have to know exactly why you have a blog and how you measure "success." If you're not crystal clear on these two things, You'll be blogging from under Mt. St. Helens. And we all know what happened there: some rock!

Of course you could just blog for the fun of it and avoid all these little guilt trips. Sort of "I'm gonna wash that blog right outa my Mac" approach.

And that's your curmudgeonly quota for this week

Regards

Leon

Ameena Falchetto
Ameena Falchetto

Being comfortable is always dangerous. It's always nice to chat to the same people but it doesn't help you grow. Having the same people come in day in and day out to tell you are doing a great job and "great post" feels good but it's not making you try harder, nor is it helping you grow. 
It's a dangerous trap - after a while you get caught up in relationships and compromise your brand's position by feeling you have to share, comment, and love what they do.
I'm not saying ditching people is the answer but pulling back and regularly hunting out new people is vital especially if you are blogging for business. 

Great list of common problems that I think more bloggers need to address! 

Jonathan Gaurano
Jonathan Gaurano

Jayme. Personally, I think you're doing fine. I checked your stats on many other analytic sites and you're doing fairly well. I think you should continue what works and expand these successful traits. In fact, I think I need to start learning on how you built a community of people to follow you. 

Well, to answer your question - I'm starting this new thing where I hold an excel sheet. In this excel sheet are a bunch of blogs that I like. From there I read them on a weekly basis and will start commenting on their articles. I hope this will create a decent relationship. If not, then... **** 

We'll see where it goes. I do not want to be writing under a rock....I can't anymore. 

Keep up the good work! Also, I love your honesty. 

Adrienne
Adrienne

Hey Jayme,

Well, I'm glad you dropped by my place because everyone who comments on my blog I will at least stop by to see what they are all about. Of course if they are writing about something I know nothing about or can't contribute anything worthy of mentioning I won't comment but luckily that's not usually the case.

I do have my favorites, I will admit.  Let's face it, we make connection and build relationships while we're here so we can't help ourselves really.  But I do enjoy new faces and when I see someone on a blog I've commented on and their comment or post title looks interesting I'll pop on over and check them out.  I will admit though, it's hard to keep up with everyone and be everywhere so I've missed many a party too!

I'll also check out bloggers my friends recommend so I still try to "get around" the blogosphere often.  Either way, I have a feeling you won't stay under that rock for long.

Thanks for sharing this with us Jayme and it's a pleasure to meet you.  Great post and love the blog.  So, guess I'll be back for more.

~Adrienne

Carolyn Nicander Mohr
Carolyn Nicander Mohr

Hi Jayme, I enjoyed both the message as well as the format of this blog post. I can understand how you want to spread your wings and explore other blogs, making more connections. It's so exciting to discover a new gem of a blog, isn't it? When you find a blog with interesting content, an engaging style and a warm and inviting author, you feel as if you've struck gold.

I do, however, think it's important not to spread yourself too thin. I enjoy making quality, deep relationships with others as opposed to flitting by hundreds of blogs and dropping comments. I know the latter gets more links, but I enjoy the engagement.

I'm so glad to have found your gem of a blog, Jayme! You clearly engage well with your readers and write quality posts. Gold is definitely here. :-)

Amber-Lee Dibble
Amber-Lee Dibble

Blogging under a rock, Jayme?
Hmm...isn't it funny how we (not you) see you (whoever you are) looking in (even from up-close)? I wouldn't have thought that! I have no doubt you will do EXACTLY as you have stated. Although.... you are kinda scaring me. YOU (yes you, Jayme) are worried about "all those channels"?? Uh-oh, how am I (I wish that could be a HUGE "I"), a relative newbie still, supposed to keep up?! Geeze.

All jokes said and done, Jayme...I was actually thinking on this (similar). I love what we (Pioneer Outfitters, us) do.  I also have a new love...this world and all (well, ok, not ALL) you in it. Really? How can I do all that I have done? What I mean to say is... there is just me here. I still have to do what (you know) we do, I still have to do what Mommy does and still have to do what I am doing here...but WAY more. There is just me.

worries, worries, worries...

Bill Dorman
Bill Dorman

Well, I have added a quite a few new blogs to my reader lately but have to say I'm still hanging with my regulars first so I haven't spent enough time to get anything going at the other places. One thing I am trying to do is at least read and retweet, even if I can't leave a comment. 

I'm not ready to try a new platform; twitter and more specifically the blogs is my comfort zone right not. I am being pulled more to FB these days because I have now connected with a good portion of my blogging community there in addition to the 'personal' connections, but I'm not giving up twitter yet. 

Because I get lost in the blogs and get very spotty on following a twitter stream these days, I am definitely under a rock; but I'm ok with it. It just gets me crazy sometimes when I come out from under it and start chasing again; I don't need it and can certainly live with whatever level of engagement I am currently doing. I have to keep it sustainable and that is all I have to say about that........

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

Jayme, I can't believe you don't remember me!? Don't worry, I'm just kidding. You are right to be surprised. We've never met and outside of maybe a RT or two, we haven't interacted online either, but that hasn't stopped me from admiring your blog.

Your point about sometimes having tunnel vision is a good
one and is one of the main reasons for the creation of the PR33 list. While
Twitter, Google+, blogs, Facebook etc. have all enabled us to be more
connected, it is easy to connect with a handful of folks and rarely expand
beyond that group. I create the list in part to make sure that I dedicate some
time to looking beyond my usual resources for quality blogs and bloggers.

Thanks again for your kind words about the list. Let this be
a lesson to everyone that just because you don't know someone doesn't mean that
aren't reading, following and enjoying your work. Smiley face implied.

Mark Harai
Mark Harai

Social media is a constant evolution... new platforms, strategies, people et al!

Do. Adjust. Do some more. Adjust again.

It's a process...

All of this takes hard work and this is the one thing that will pay off in the end. 

Don't allow yourself to get overwhelmed. Your work is too important. 

If you simply focused on the platforms you're on now and people you've connected with so far, your influence and business will grow and flourish.

Cheers Jaymee!

T. Shakirah Dawud
T. Shakirah Dawud

I ended up going ahead and subscribing to a bunch of blogs outside my Triberr and regular routine earlier this year. I'd been holding out because I have commitment-expectation issues, but I find it's just easier to decide in the more comfortable light of my cozy email screen whether I want to build new relationships or not. Otherwise I'm constantly chasing and saving tweets, and it gets ridiculous. But I'm sure I'm going to be feeling as under-a-rock as you are--and adding another armload of blogs to my route--sooner or later. So it's probably a relative thing.

davinabrewer
davinabrewer

Think my rocks form a little cave a few doors down from you Jayme. And yet I think it's the nature of the beast; like speaks to like. I have, do searches for different PR and social media marketing blogs (b/c blogs on fishing and home decorating, probably not gonna help build my biz) and yet.. STILL don't find that many 'new' ones. Part of it I know is the filter bubble; part of it is that I am searching for the 'wrong' things. Now sometimes when I do find, I shut the door too quickly if I don't get my comment or RT acknowledged; or others, there's really not much community going on there. Thanks for sharing that PR list; I've lurked or read most but a few are 'new' to me, or some I need to visit more often. 

These Change-Ups of yours - WORD! - have been part of my mission statement for a while, trying to make it work. It can be overwhelming for sure. I don't do much biz marketing via FB, trying to hold on to one last 'personal' corner of the webs; per @twitter-54546555:disqus I treat G+ as my "Longer than Twitter, FB for biz" place; I share things that would be too long to comment via a tweet, too 'professional' for my personal FB (and frankly, none of my F&F are/care to G+); sometimes it's even what's too short for a post, but I want it out there. I killed my TweetDeck columns at the end of the year, still trying to make new lists to better manage what I'm interested in. Shame there's not a #lookingtohiresmartPRhelp tag, ya know? FWIW.

The JackB
The JackB

I drag my rock around with me. It is not great for the wood floors but it is a terrific way to stay in shape.

Erica Allison
Erica Allison

Under a rock, huh? I've been in a cave! 
I feel the same way, Jayme. Too much in the familiar comfort zone leaves us both feeling stifled, bored, more disconnected than connected, perhaps? I've been chained to client work all last week (happily so, don't get me wrong) and am on to write a guest post today and one of my own for my now weekly post! ;) I've been branching out like I once did in the early days of my Twitter existence and that's by sharing content via my news sources and less and less by my Triberr feed. I barely visited Triberr last week and think that we should automatically be forced to change tribes every 6 months - just to mix it up and find new territory to cover. 

Good observations and even better suggestions for how to change it up. Go do it!  And congrats on making the list!

Hajra
Hajra

I am blog hopping like crazy! Seems like there are still so many blogs that I haven't visited in a long long time! I have to make a list to make sure I am visiting them regularly. I promise to be there, but somehow I just can't ! Seems like I was blogging under a rock. Also, I was so inactive on Twitter. Also, I need to go to more newer blog so what I do is go to my fav blogs; check out the comment and go to each commentators blog individually! Phew...! 

Jenn Whinnem
Jenn Whinnem

What if you treated Google + like Twitter?  Maybe you'd find more fun in it?

At any rate - I've been under a bit of a rock myself lately. Gosh it's bright out here!

Soulati
Soulati

Wonderful of you to stop over, Ameena! I tried to heed my own solutions yesterday to branch out of the comfort zone. There are so darn many good blogs and content, it's so difficult to keep up. I'm using bookmarking, duh, to help me, so hope it gets easier!

Thank you...totally agree!

Soulati
Soulati

OHMYGOSH...REALLY DUDE? You checked my stats. That's almost like asking me how much I weigh!!!

Seriously, I have never (not for want of wanting to) been an analytics girl. I've motored along without a care (that's changing in a few weeks with a relaunch of this entire site), just doing what comes naturally.

I'll make you a deal -- you teach me analytics tricks and I'll teach you community building (but, the secret is...I have no flippin' clue how this happened...no lie...it just did). I'll resurrect a GP with some tips that seemed to resonate for tomorrow's post. Wow. Still blown away you did that.

P.S. Honesty. I'm going to write on that, too. Someone betrayed my trust yesterday; it doesn't feel good.

Soulati
Soulati

Sweet of you to come, Adrienne!! Here's a secret...your blog was part of my "change-up solutions" from above. Trying to heed my own counsel, and, lo, found your amazing content on video with Paul Wolfe. If you have a mind, drop your url here so peeps can come by to visit. Thank you so much!

Soulati
Soulati

#RockHot, Carolyn! I have the most amazing relationships in this community; many I now call dear friends. I'm so grateful for this experience; it's what's seen me through a dark basement in a town I don't much prefer. I plan to frequent your house and glean your amazing expertise in tech. There are too few of  you; don't go changin'! Thanks for coming!

Soulati
Soulati

Let me let you in on a secret, Amber-Lee, Alaska. I, too, am only me. A parent of one (10yo), a breadwinner of one, a company of one, a writer of one. It's my thirst for what's new and that type-A thing that pushes me beyond limits. If there's anything I can share to pave your way, please just ask. I don't have all the answers, but something tells me lending you a tip or two as you traipse through the wilderness in pink chaps just may give me a gift, too. Dang, what a visual. Thanks, Chica!

Soulati
Soulati

I was just going to find you on Twitter to thank you for sharing all those bloggers tonight. I hit about four of them, I think, and left comments. All good posts! So, you're doing more than all right; in fact, still not sure where you're pulling it out from, but OK!

See you in Knoxville in April? I think you can make the trip!

Soulati
Soulati

I can say nothing; you said it so very well yourself. I hope to meet you at Social Slam in April? That would be delightful. This is my final "thanks" for today. Thanks!

Soulati
Soulati

So, you're suggesting it is OK to focus on a community that is alive and well rather than always trying to expand it, Mark? Want to be sure I'm hearing that correctly. That feels like solid counsel, too.

Soulati
Soulati

I think it's also a sign of longevity, too. When you're blogging awhile, it makes sense that the expectation is for more people to stop in and you stop over. Or something like that...How old is your blog, Shakirah?

Soulati
Soulati

Seriously? You're not finding too many good PR bloggers out there? Can you do a list of your faves (that would be really cool to see, actually). It feels like from all the comments, each of us continues to struggle with managing the load. It's really not getting better, is it?

Soulati
Soulati

I will not read between the lines.

Soulati
Soulati

I wish you'd keep your momentum going more than once/weekly? When you reach a high level as you've worked hard to do, I think it's important to keep that level built and the community engaged. Now, ask me why I say that...no, don't!

Great to see you as I'm missing you tons. Thank you.

Soulati
Soulati

Wow. That's a hefty load, Hajra! I should also have said something about my Google Reader as a problem. I pull all the posts in there to read sometime, and alas, that never happens. I need to make it a once/week habit...where is our time? It flies. Thanks for coming here, too; I do appreciate that!

Soulati
Soulati

Swell suggestion; I am going to take it. Thanks for being the first to stop in without any prompting! Awesome of you.

Jonathan Gaurano
Jonathan Gaurano

LOL! Yes. I. Did.

Email me at jonathan [at] gaurano.com And, we'll go from there (: 

Mark Harai
Mark Harai

Well sort of Jaymee... If you're part of the right communities (which you are) your community will expand on it's own. I've connected with many other folks and even landed client work as a result of folks learning about me from the comment sections of other blogs I comment on.

Always be mindful that when you comment, others (who may not be) are reading what your contributing...

davinabrewer
davinabrewer

Not many that are 'different' or new, or engage that much. Plus I think I'm searching poorly. IDK hard to put my finger on and again, I read things and don't get what makes them 'better' than my stuff (a few names on that 33 list fall into that, my ego's feathers being ruffled). And yes, it's a struggle to manage it all, so thanks for the 'list' idea, I'll come up with something.

Erica Allison
Erica Allison

Thank you, but I don't see it as losing anything if I'm delivering QUALITY over quantity. I know that I get more traffic from my top quality posts delivered as I can deliver them, than when I push to post and see trickles coming in.  I love it that there's an expectation or desire to have more of me :), but sadly, at this moment, I can not deliver on that one! Perhaps I'll throw in a quick video...sprinkle them in from time to time. 

Jenn Whinnem
Jenn Whinnem

I've been down a computer for the most part - just getting back up to speed! Mornings are the best times for me to catch up on blogs.

I'll get over to G+ to cheer you on.

Soulati
Soulati

I need to check my tone at the door; flip works 99% of the time, but that 1% -- ouch. Thanks for the reminder in last sentence, Mark.

Soulati
Soulati

Looking forward to it, D!

Soulati
Soulati

Hah. Well said. Quality over quantity. Good reminder.