WordPress 103… Recruiting Followers

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I log into my WordPress account to check my blog stats. One visitor; one view. Hmmm, Australians are asleep and Americans just woke up. I scroll down to community and click support. I search for how to increase blog traffic. And that’s what you should do because this post isn’t about SEO, publicize, or  WordPress plugins.  Me? I started blogging six weeks ago.

The initial response to my blog humbles me. That you would honour me, an Ijaw girl, whose only claim to fame is that I come from somewhere near Oloibiri  in the Niger Delta, where Shell first struck oil, by reading my posts, I thank you.

Around midnight six weeks ago, I began sending mails to friends on Facebook and Linkedin. If I missed you, I’m sorry. I was struggling to keep my eyes open as I copied and pasted the prototype mail, changing the recipient’s name and customising each mail to take into account the circumstances of our friendship for that personal touch. Ko easy rara!

I sent the original to Yinka first. Then I copied and pasted it on Afi’s mail. I clicked the send button before I realized that Afi’s mail read: Hello Yinka!

What’s in a name? Plenty. People deserve to know that they are important no matter the time and distance that separates you from them. I couldn’t afford any more gaffes. At 2 a.m., I was still jogging my elephant memory, remembering the small details of our friendship and adapting  each copy-and-paste mail accordingly.

Did it pay off? You tell me.

It got to the turn of a friend who is an award-winning writer. The last time I saw her was in 2010. As we exchanged pleasantries, she mentioned an event involving her grandmother. I planned to attend, but didn’t get round to.

I sent this customised copy-and-paste mail to her:

Hello K,

How are you doing? Long time. The last my sister and I saw you was in PH-ou mentioned your grandmother’s burial I think?

I’ve just started a new blog which I think may interest you. But, don’t just take my word for it, check it out for yourself! Leave a reply, share & spread the word! http://www.livelytwist.wordpress.com

Regards,

Timi

A few days later, I received this response:

Hello Timi, I am okay, thanks. I will check out the blog. My grandmother is still alive.

Cheers.

I wanted to enter a forest so the trees could bury my humiliation with their green leaves. To think that my mail may have hit K as ill-wishes; tufiakwa! K, I only meant well o! May your grandmother live to be 120!

In his book, Axiom, Powerful Leadership Proverbs, Bill Hybels says, “Leadership is a lot about asking. After casting bold visions, leaders ask people to help make them become reality.”1 He writes about projects where the stakes felt sky-high and he had to remind himself to be absolutely shameless in asking people to join him.

So, here’s what I’m doing:

  • Casting the vision – this blog is about us, because we’re doing life together and when we connect, we do life better.
  • Stating the value proposition – every post you read will entertain, inform, inspire, or provoke thought.
  • Inviting you to join me – the follow widget makes it easy to subscribe, so you’ll receive my posts instead of occasionally stumbling upon them.

Recruiting followers goes beyond blogosphere because we lead daily. In my experience, men tend to be hunters, aggressively going after what they want.  Women on the other hand, tend to tell their potential followers all the reasons they should say no, and then apologise for asking.

Man:  I just started this project (goes on to make it sound larger than life), and I want you to join me (exaggerates all the reasons it will be worth your while).

Woman:  I know you’re very busy (adds more reasons why you should say no), but I just started this project (promotes project in humble terms), and I’d like you to join me (gives even more reasons for you to decline).

Well, it’s a new day for me. I’m learning to speak up about what I need and pursue what I want, without losing my femininity. What about you, how do you campaign for what you want?

 

©Timi Yeseibo 2013

 

 

1. Bill Hybels, Axiom, Powerful Leadership Proverbs, (Michigan: Zondervan, 2008), 21.

All people illustrations, animes, avatars, vectors by Microsoft

design: ©Timi Yeseibo

 

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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27 thoughts on “WordPress 103… Recruiting Followers

  1. Pingback: I Do | livelytwist
  2. Stumbled on your blog via one of the blogs I follow, yea yea, I am not as frequent as I ought to be on my own blog but seriously that will be corrected soonest. thanks for the inspiration to reach out and not hold back…

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    1. Lol@ “I am not as frequent as I ought to be on my own blog.” We all have our rhythms (and blues!)

      I’m so glad you stumbled on my blog. So it works; you know, when WordPress says: Want more views? Try commenting on other blogs 🙂

      One of the joys of blogging is networking with other bloggers. Nice to meet you too. Will stop by soon.

      Like

  3. Took me over two years of blogging and a move from Blogger to WordPress to start getting comfortable with promoting my blog. I used to tell myself I was writing for myself and ‘just for pleasure’ but God knows I loved it when my stats get booming and get super-excited when I read comments.
    Now I share links on all my social profiles and have gained more confidence because I realised more people read my blog than I had imagined. I guess it feels good to have your work appreciated and promoting has almost become normal for me, especially given it’s a central part of the degree I’m working on,.
    Have I already told you I’m hooked? Well, here we go again 🙂

    Like

    1. Linguerebi, well you’re more than making up for your slow start now. I couldn’t agree more about the confidence that comes from realizing that what you share hits home. It feels really good to know that your work is appreciated.

      Sometimes promoting your blog can seem egotistic . . . But, I’ve sort of come to terms with that. One on one, I try to promote my blog in terms of what benefits accrue for the reader. Not always easy to do when we’re marketing intangibles . . .

      When my stats go up, up, up, my heart goes boom, boom, boom 🙂

      Glad you’re hooked, motivates me to keep feeding you. I like your blog, your photos, the perspectives you share, the way you write . . . I’ve already learnt a thing and then some!

      Like

  4. Hahaha….OMG!!!Thank for the rain…my unabashed laughter is muted or my neighbours woulda thrown me out this night.
    What shall we say to these things Timi?
    God help us….
    Pele dear…cringe no more…thy sins should be forgiven by now…lol

    Its the flip side of the coin for me.I enjoy following and publicizing other blogs other than mine.the knowledge that each time I put up a post,someone somewhere gets a notification kinda unnerves me…weird much?especially cos my stay on blogger was way loud(twitter,facebook,the works) ,with my recent return to wordpress, I wanna go undercover…*sighs*

    Phases sha…i’lld outgrow these in due course .

    Like

    1. Yes, I think my ‘sins’ should be forgiven by now. A blogger’s got to try right?

      I don’t get it, if you want to go undercover why have a public blog? Btw, I love freebies, please publicize my blog as much as you like!

      Thank you so much for being here. You’ve encouraged me plenty.

      Like

  5. Oops!! But I had to laugh though, hope she reads this and sees the funny side of it.
    Enjoyed reading it Timi as usual, you know I’m your number one fan 😉

    Now not sure if I’m your follower, I think I have clicked the follow button but I don’t get notifications of new blogs (I think). I just stumble on them on Facebook.
    Please can you check if I’m your follower 🙂

    Like

    1. Afi, thanks! I don’t know if K ever checked my blog & I’m posting this weeks after… I can only hope. But K is a nice person anyhow.

      Yes you are following my blog… you are one of those who motivate me to keep writing. You should receive a notification whenever I upload a new post, which is usually on Sundays. I hope the notifications aren’t going to your spam box… please crosscheck. Thanks again for your support 🙂

      Like

  6. This is one of the sweetest blogs I have read in recent times. No kidding.

    Honestly, I didn’t used to bother about promoting. I write for pleasure – usually, even though I am one of the few who have actually been privileged to make good money off a God-given gift. No kidding.

    Only recently did I begin to look at myself like ‘you can do more if only you care enough’. That brought me out of my shell. I have been reading more blogs lately – and there’s something to be said for networking.

    You can’t succeed in isolation.

    Sorry. My tafia don nearly pass your own – and na you get blog!

    Just so you know. I’m following, and if you ever get on twitter, do mention a brother (@seunodukoya). I follow back.

    Nice one.

    Like

    1. Seun, so nice to connect with you! I’m following you too! I agree, networking with other bloggers is good and fulfilling. Your horizons broaden as you read other blogs. Fellow bloggers are able to ‘like’ your post… this is something that some readers complain about- they don’t feel up to leaving a comment but they enjoy what they read and would like to ‘like’ it, but can’t because they’re not on WordPress.

      I think fellow bloggers also get the importance of leaving a comment here & there… they appreciate the effort that goes into blogging & what it means for the blogger to get feedback.

      Some of us write for pleasure, but if we didn’t want anyone to read it, we would write in our diary not online!

      I appreciate your stopping by. Please tafia as long as you want, after all, we’re doing life together!

      Thank you for the compliment Seun. 🙂

      Like

  7. Lol…sounded like when I started . Networking was annoying and exhausting sometimes. even my Nigerian celebrity old friends wouldn’t retweet my post. But people started taking notice and following without all my wahala. Your blog is great! 🙂

    Like

    1. Jane, that’s encouraging and thank you!

      I think anyone who’s ever started a business from the scratch can relate. You make the product, but you’ve also got to invest some energy in creating awareness & FB, Twitter, etc are the portals to reach a global audience. Yes, networking can be exhausting & annoying sometimes… but even established brands keep at it. There is so much to read out there & so little time to do it, we’ve got to ‘gently’ remind ’em

      I’ve garnered a small band of steady readers. In my view, consistency in writing good content is one key because no one wants to follow a flash in the pan…

      Like

  8. I remember when I started. All I was all about is views. what is the point of churning out articles I consider funny and life-changing when there is no one reading. Then after a month, I started looking into publicity. did a facebook page for my blog. did a one month free promo ad for the first five to send me their ads(then I did not know that WordPress only allowed ads for .org)registered with reddit, tumblr, stumbleupon and a number of sites that I never visit unless to post my articles. (I think my account in Reddit has been suspended for spamming. I didn’t even know that I could get banned for publishing my own articles on my reddit page, but you learn everyday). Activated my useless twitter. wetin girl go do. gotta get the reader.
    facepalm on the grandmother’s mistake.

    Like

    1. Hera girl, you’ve got me in stitches! If only readers know what we go through, they will not be so miserly with their ‘reading’ eyes and comments 🙂

      hmmm… Twitter, Reddit, stumbleupon,… haven’t tried… yet … I should activate my Twitter account! Pinterest… I pinned a few photos but I couldn’t keep up… social media can be a full time job

      Seriously though, I ask myself why am I blogging and because the reasons transcend ‘amazing’ blog stats, I continue… okay, I just started, we’ll revisit this when I’m further down the road

      But it’s good that we can talk about it & laugh at ourselves… stay motivated & encourage one another. Thanks for stopping by & sharing, you’ve encouraged me…

      Like

  9. Kai! Timi, I’m your ‘follower’ o! You are excellent with words, and you made me laugh out loud when I should be fast asleep in bed. 😀 Well done

    Like

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