We all want to offer something that is valuable and important to others, and we all have some type of agenda. Whether that is to satisfy our own desires to write and be read or to make sales or to reach some numerical goal, we all want to be appreciated. This is very true in the world of self marketing and self promotion. As authors, artists, musicians, etc. word of mouth or lack of it can make you or break you. I respect this, I really do. I don’t mean to sound like I don’t appreciate someone who works hard to achieve their goals.
I like to promote other bloggers and authors. I find that putting the time into giving someone a shout out and trying to shed a bit of light on their endeavors is good for myself and them. I love it when I form a connection with someone and we both work equally hard to promote one another. That is not what this post is about.
When does it go from promoting yourself and your blog, work, whatever it is that you are trying to put before people to shameless spamming? Here are my thoughts on what you should and should not do and why.
When promoting your ( ) fill in blank with whatever it is you are trying to promote, remember that you did not get to where you are all alone. It was other people, readers, fans, family, friends and so forth that got you to where you are right at this moment. Turn about is fair play. There are plenty of opportunities for you to get the word out in a respectable way. One of the better ones, in my opinion, is by sharing the spotlight. If someone does something for you, return the favor. The most successful people in social media (aside from celebrities) are the ones that remember where they came from. Give a shout out to your fellow blogger, author, friend. Do offer to host guest posts and interviews and let people other than yourself enjoy a little time on your blog.
Don’t: make everything about you. Yes, you want followers for your blog and your other social outlets. I understand this, I like comments and “likes” and attention as well. Who doesn’t? Moderate yourself. When every sentence begins with “I” the other alphabet letters begin to feel neglected. Allow others to speak their minds and support them.
Do: Share things about your daily life once in a while. I will not read a blog that is all about “Buy this from me it is the best thing you have ever seen and it is all I know how to talk about!” Will you? You don’t have to get overly personal, but it is nice when people know that you are not a narcissistic robot. Ask other people questions and show them support for the things that they find important.
Don’t: Become a constant “here is my link” commenter. When I see people constantly leaving a “and you can find my blah blah blah here” comment on my blog, I shut them out. You might think you are being sneaky by leaving a 3 word comment or worse just a smiley (okay smarty pants I am expecting it after this) with a hundred lines of follow me here BS attached to it, but you know what? Most people are smart enough to see you coming from a mile away. I am not saying to never support your interests this way. If you have a line in your email about your blog or other promo item, great. I don’t have to look at it if I don’t want to. But if you are only going to comment just so you can leave a link, don’t bother. You might just be hurting your chances of gaining a follower more than you are helping.
Do: Take an opportunity to put your book/project/thing in the spotlight when you are invited to do so, but follow the posted guidelines and offer to the person a favor in return.
Don’t: forget to realize that people are busy and that they might just have a life of their own that does not revolve around your schedule. Making unreasonable demands of people who have offered to do you a favor will eventually work its way through the grapevine and suddenly *you have been blackballed* us blogger boogers tend to talk to one another.
If you want successful relationships that keep giving back to you, give as much or more than you expect to receive. When you stop visiting other people’s sites because you feel you have reached the magic number and now you are too popular to worry about it any longer, you will explode in a ball of self-righteous flames. I will not pee on you to put you out.
Ever notice how we think roses are beautiful and we cherish them but we will quickly pull a weed from our garden and discard it as a pest? Well there you go folks. If you want to come out smelling like a rose stop popping up in people’s gardens as a pest. Do your part. Work hard, and you will get there. If you truly want to gain more than just numbers and have people that you can rely on that are happy to reblog you, retweet you, re-whatever-it-is-they-re you rather than repel you, put some thought into how you address the other people who are also working to get somewhere in this world.
I know how hard I have worked to have the minor success that I have. I am willing to share with those that I feel are deserving. If that comes across as crass I do apologise. Plain and simply, I am not willing to help someone who only wants to use me as a promotional tool. I am human, (last time I checked) and I would like some respect.
That concludes my rant of the week. I would like to thank all of the smart and amazing bloggers who already know this and live by this unofficial code of honour. For those of you who were not aware that spamming is annoying, here is your hint. This concludes my rant of the week. Thank you for attending my bitch session.