I HATE pushy sales people. I HATE being followed around in a store asking if I need help. I HATE someone telling me what I need, or what I should buy, or asking me if I am interested. I REALLY HATE the homeless people who shake their cup rattling with change my direction (for the record, I am more apt to help the person who offers to hold a door for me, or who is not harassing me when I walk by.And on a side note-- what do you find yourself doing? I hate giving them money, and would prefer to buy them a cup of coffee, a bottle of water or a granola bar). I also get really clammy-handed when it comes to self-promotion. I rarely like to toot my own horn, and I really get uncomfortable around people who toot theirs a lot. All for accomplishment, but I love me a good dose of humble.
However, I need to learn that being humble does not mean selling yourself short, or depriving yourself of opportunities that you would have had, if you had only spoken up and done a little self-promotion.
This blogging thing never started out with the idea that more than my parents and friends back West would read it. Honestly- those probably are most of my readers, but there are a few others. I've connected with a few people in the blogging world, and I like that connection. I like receiving comments on my posts. I love seeing my stats each day and each month. I love watching my bloglovin' followers increase. All normal things to enjoy when you blog.
So why do I feel so weird about wanting more? More readers, more exposure, more people to connect with.
Blogging isn't a spectator sport. Especially on little blogs like this. You don't get to just write your posts, take some photos and call it a day if you are wanting to experience more readers than just your immediate family. There are HUNDREDS of posts about "How to grow your readership" and "How to make money from your blog" and every other aspect of making your blogger bigger and better. I take them with a grain of salt and try to stick to the idea that I blog as a hobby, not as a job, and the more readers the merrier, but not something I am going to stress about. I do want to connect with more people, which is where I have to step outside my comfort zone.
I comment on posts of other bloggers. I love when they respond back, I love even more when we have a dialogue going. I love when I see that they came to my blog and read one of my posts. What I have learned is--this isn't magic-- it only occurs when you do a little horn tooting. Put a link to your blog in the comments! Make thoughtful comments. Engage. Engage. Engage.
It is still awkward for me, but I am working on it. The world is full of amazing and smart people, and I want to get to know some of those people out there. I need to do a little horn tooting, and self-promotion exercising and I think you should too, even if you feel sleazy doing it- because trust me....you aren't being sleazy like a car salesman.