Friday, 1 April 2011

Friend Friday- Rules of Engagement

This weeks Friend Friday topic is Rules of Engagement

Katy said "A number of bloggers have reached out to me recently about how to deal with Tweets, emails, DMs etc… from people who seem to be only pushing their own blog. It got me thinking – for a new blogger the rules of engagement with others in the blogging world is uncharted territory. We learn a lot about how to do it from trial and error."

Funnily enough, this week in particular I have been really busy with guest posting, I have been doing guest posts as part of my business in promoting websites for a few years but have very rarely done so for this blog (this topic has just spurred me into action on this). Hoping I might be able to offer a little insight though from my business experiences though...

I am guessing I have probably got it wrong more often than right so it has been a steep learning curve.

1. Guest posts are a good way to gain new exposure. What do you think is the appropriate way to go about securing a guest spot?

I always think that any sort of relationship of this sort should be mutally beneficial in some way. Bloggers get so many emails and requests generally I don't think they have the time or energy to do favours. Any request you make should not be asking for a favour but stating what they can gain from it.

Some of the benefits could include a post on a really intersting subject that will help to draw traffic to their blog, an offer to provide posts during a busy periond for them or holiday, a guest post exchange so you both benefit from a link and traffic. Other possible ways of making it more attractive is that you will link back to them from your guest post page or perhaps you could offer to spend a little time bookmarking the post you have written which will help to optimise their blog.

A good way to start looking for guest posts is to approach blogs that already have an idea of who you are, so perhaps a blog that you have been reading and commenting on for a while. You should also show some understanding of their readership and that you can write for their audience.
2. Leaving comments is essential to growing your blog. But how can you leave a comment without coming across as ‘Follow Me. Follow Me!’?

I feel quite strongly that reading and commenting on blogs should not just be about getting a comment back. I try and visit everyone who comments on my blogs once but I only keep going back if I like what I read, my life is far busy to spend time reading blogs that don't interest me.

The only way to leave a comment without coming across as 'follow me, follow me' is to read the post properly and comment on how you actually feel about it. I never leave my url in blog posts, there is no need., if people want to follow you back they can click on your name.

3. We’ve all gotten a mass email at one time or another asking for blog exposure, a link exchange, etc… But the mass emails don’t work. How do you make your email stand out from the crowd?

Making it personal is definitely the key. State what you actually like about their blog, use their name and as I mentioned before state why it will be mutually beneficial. Also be just genuine and friendly.
4. In interacting with other bloggers where do you draw the line between seeking support and begging for exposure?

I don't ever beg for anything, although I might sometimes politely ask for advice. As I work with bloggers quite a bit through my work I guess I look at it from a business point of view which makes it a bit less personal and easier to detatch yourself from rejection. There has to be something in it for both parties otherwise you are highly unlikely to get any joy. If the benefits don't appeal to someone then I just think 'fair enough' and move on, there are plenty of others who might see the benefit to them. If I can't find anyone then I think I need to rethink what I am proposing and try something different.

5. What’s one rule of engagement error you made and how have you remedied that?

I am sure that I have made loads. Usually the errors are the ones that get no reponse at all though, which means no feedback so it is difficult to know what you have done wrong and very difficult to remedy. Probably the biggest error is sending impersonal emails or not sending them at all because I am too scared of rejection. Whilst you sometimes think that you are asking people for a favour, they see it differently and are happy to help as it offers them some benefit too. In my work and through writing this blog, I am constantly amazed by how friendly and welcoming fashion bloggers are. The more you become part of the community the more you will feel comfortable interacting with others in it.

You can read more of this weeks posts over at Modly Chic

Finally, I have been a bit lax over the last week with posting. Here is one outfit that I have had a chance to post.

Dress - Sandwich
Scarf tied around waist - vintage (Oxfam online)
Shoes - i can't remember, but it will come to me
Necklace - a pressy from my mum 
Cat - Mia
Have a lovely weekend, I am looking forward to a super long Mother's Day lie in.

With warmest wishes

Ceri X


Fabulous Florida Mommy said...

Excellent post. Thanks for all the information!

I didn't realize it was Mother's Day over there already. We don't celebrate it until May over here. I hope you get to relax and enjoy your special day, and that you're feeling better now. :)

Have a wonderful weekend!

P.S. Love your dress and all the pics...very pretty!

Couture Carrie said...

Fabulous post, darling!
Love those shoes!


Cafe Fashionista said...

Awww...Mia is so sweet! And I must admit that these tips are fantastic! Growing a blog takes a lot of nurturing, care, time, and patience - but it is so rewarding in the end!! :)

Laura Connell said...

I enjoyed your views on this topic and they are incredibly similar to my own! Blogging is such an amazing learning and relationship-building experience.
I love that picture of your cat. It made me smile.

Harriet said...

This is such an important topic, I'm so interested in the responses.

As you rightly point out, when you make a blogging faux pas, you do need someone to tell you, in a nice way, 'that's not how we do things here' or you never know. I know I made loads of mistakes, and still do, but I have to admit the 'follow me follow me follow me!' comments get so annoying! A genuine comment is so much more likely to get a response.

wardrobeexperience said...

very nice post.

love the outfit too. the ascarf woren as abelt is so awesome.

LyddieGal said...

that dress is so pretty, I love the chiffon layer!

Chic on the Cheap

Melissa said...

I love reading your answers. I agree with many of them. I do tend to leave my URL in the comment just because I find it easier to get to someone's blog that way rather than clicking on their name which takes me to their profile instead of their blog - but if that's not your cup of tea, I'll try to remember not to do that here. :)

I absolutely LOVE this outfit on you! I think it's one of my favorites. That dress fits you perfectly and I adore the sash, the bright tights and those fabulous heels. You really look great!

Fabulous Florida Mommy said...

I wanted to add an additional comment after Melissa's regarding leaving a URL. I also tend to do this if I am visiting a blog for the first handful of times, and also don't mind when commenters leave one on my blog. That way I know that they actually have a blog since I don't tend to click through everyone's blogger ID when they visit, not to mention it makes it easier to get to, like Melissa mentioned. I know I've left mine on your blog before, and won't now that I know you don't care for it.

I would like to know your point of view about not commenting back on blog posts. I always try to respond to comments left on my posts if possible, but have noticed more and more that a lot of bloggers don't reply to comments they have received. Why do you think this is, and is it a fair rule of engagement?

Style Eyes said...

Thanks for all your comments

Just to clarify, I don't really mind if people leave their url when they comment on my blog. i just don't do it myself when commenting on others. What matters more is that people have actually bothered to read the post.

I think the not replying to comments is probably a time thing. I also think some blogger just choose to and some choose not to. For me it should be about reading and commenting on blogs because you want to, not so that you can get a comment back. If I like a blog I will tend to read it anyway regardless of whether they comment back although the comments back sometimes give me a reminder that they are there.