Category Archives: Thoughts

Deep down, we’re all like-and-follow whores

A friend asked me about getting more likes and followers, and I drafted this in response. It’s a little summary of things I’ve picked up since I started blogging.

I figured it would be worth sharing with you all, too. Maybe there’ll be something in this list that you never knew.

 

  • Content
    1. Find the thing you enjoy writing/posting the most, and stick with it. Whatever you want your site to be, there will be an audience for it somewhere. If you enjoy writing it, it’ll be an enjoyable read. The thing that comes easiest to you is most likely your strength.
    2. Honesty is key. People respond to the humanity of others. People love to read about people.
    3. Titles should be succinct, searchable, intriguing.
    4. Tag your posts with every possible search term. It’s OK to go ballistic on this, especially if you choose to hide the tags so they don’t clutter your site.
    5. Brief content is more quickly read and processed, and gets more likes. You can spam the hell out of people with one-liners, and they don’t seem to mind.
    6. When you create a website, you are fostering a little culture of your own. Whatever your content, likeminded people will follow your site. Whether or not you write weightier content or fluffy content is up to you; go with your gut. You’ll make weightier or fluffier friends, so choose wisely what you want your friends to weigh.
  • Consistency
    1. Post consistently. This is major. Consistent readers want consistent writers, and you want consistent readers. It doesn’t matter if it’s every day, every week, or every month, so long as you deliver on the same day each time.
    2. Write consistently. Choose a theme for your site and stick to it. Your readers get more comfortable once they know what to expect. If you have a variety of interests, consider organizing them into a consistent pattern. For example, you could do a real life post on Monday, a song post on Wednesday, and a quote on Friday. If your interests are too disparate, consider maintaining different sites for each.
    3. It takes time to build an audience. Don’t give up, don’t slack off. Schedule posts ahead of time if you need a break.
  • Marketing
    1. The more links there are to your content, the more searchable your work will be online. This means the more time you spend being active online (commenting, tweeting, FB group posting, etc) the more people will find you.
    2. Comment on other pages. If you consistently give feedback, you’ll make friends, and they’ll come back to your blog and comment back. This is especially rewarding, but you will find yourself investing a lot of time in reading others’ posts. It’s a question of what kind of an effort and reward you’re looking for. You get back whatever you put in.
    3. Take advantage of writing contests, prompts, word-of-the-day, etc. Readers who are curious about responses to the prompt will be driven to your site.
    4. Search for websites related to your favorite topics and make comments on their pages too. Don’t pander for likes, but an informed, thoughtful, or witty comment followed by your URL might get some attention.
    5. Follow the trends. If you truly want your site to be big, then take a look at which of your posts got the biggest responses, and lean your content that way. Be very careful with this tip: if you follow the trends too closely, you could end up a successful blogger, spend all your time blogging about blogging, and lose your soul.
  • You don’t want to be popular anyway
    1. The popular kids are the ones who don’t care about being popular, right? It’s a catch-22. If you don’t want to be popular, and don’t try to be popular, then people will be drawn to your confidence. You’ll post what you want, and your work will have integrity for it, and people will be drawn to that, too.
    2. Have FUN! There’s no point if you don’t have fun. Odds are you won’t be famous. But you will learn lots, and you’ll make friends, and you’ll have a creative outlet to be proud of. If you’re good, might get your site to pay for itself. If you’re downright amazing, you might get your site to pay for your sandwiches.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Q & A Tag: Come Chat With Me

I have been tagged for a Q & A by Cosmic Observation;  I haven’t done anything like this in a while, so why the fresh hell not? This one is nice and open ended and doesn’t have any sneaky ulterior motives, as so many chain posts do.

 

The Rules

♦ Answer the questions you receive (straight, funny, absurd…up to you)
♦ Create three questions of your own (for those you tag)
♦ Tag three people

 

The Questions

 

[1] If you were a Marvel Superhero, what would be your super-power?

It has to be Marvel? Gosh, for someone who claims to love comics, I really don’t know my superheroes very well… so I’ll make one up.

I would have the powers of David Bowie: to do weird, embarrassing shit and somehow be cool anyway, thus confusing my enemies. Maybe I already have this power… well, as long as I think I have this power, I’ll be alright.

In that case, I want the power of invisibility. I would use this power for eavesdropping, avoiding panhandlers, and sneaking bites of peoples’ lunch. My poofy mane of shocking red hair hinders me from developing this ability in real life.

 
[2] If you could go back to high school, what is one thing you would change?

High school was fun! Well, what little experience I had of it was fun. I left early to attend community college.

I’m not big on regrets. Without the mistakes I made then I wouldn’t have the values I have today. That being said, if I could somehow infuse my younger self with my current values, I’d tell her to not be so big on regrets. I’d also tell her to keep up on her drawing instead of ABANDONING IT FOR TEN YEARS and forcing me to start from 8th grade level skills. That would probably just make her feel guilty, though… haha

 
[3] If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

I don’t really want to move. Everyone I know and love is here.

But I would like to spend six months in Japan to learn the language and eat ramen and make some Japanese friends, and maybe a year in the south of France, just for eating. I won’t learn their language though, I’ll just scream English stubbornly at them, because they enjoy that in France.

Pretty much anywhere, if you said, wanna live here for six months to eat their food and learn their language? I’d say Yes, regardless of where it is. If you say, wanna live here forever? Hell no. I need my tribe.

 

My Three Questions

 

1.  What was your worst public experience? Alternatively, what is your worst imaginable public experience?

2. If you were made the dictator of your country, what would you try to change first, and how?

3. What kind of monster is hiding under your bed?

 

My Tags

 

Wayward Sparkles

Jo Fox – Adventures in Art

Basic AF 

Journal -minimalism vs hoarders

I’ve been taking time off work and clearing out my back room, previously the place for crap, soon to be reborn as a cute office. Looks like I’m not so good at the updating when my schedule breaks down. But I’ll learn how to keep up… eventually…

 


 

Cleaning up my room

Eliminating excess

Why does it feel so good

To get rid of stuff

And why do so many people not feel the same way?

Here is an item

Every time I saw it

I thought how ugly it was

A relief to not have it polluting my sight.

This thing

Itchy, uncomfortable

Thank God it’s being given away.

And here

A depressing reminder of abandoned ambitions

There

Grief-inducing mementos of lost loved ones

Old magazines? Guess what? I’m off the hook

I don’t have to read them.

They’re full of garbage and I can live without that data in my head.

I’m never using this warranty

I don’t like that photo

This drawing always bothered me

Who am I keeping it for? Posterity?

Nobody gives a shit about this shit painting.

I shouldn’t curse the future with such light-lacking things.

Nobody wants my garbage

Even I don’t want it.

 

How can anyone delight in having so much stuff?

They fill their houses with it

They get bigger houses so they can make room for more stuff

They are afraid to part with a single item

And if they do

They don’t forget about it

They really regret it forever.

Perhaps they are so beholden to their own identities

So shackled by the past

They cannot release a single newspaper.

The thing that makes me feel so free

Makes them feel unstable, lost

Freedom is instability

I suppose they can’t handle freedom

Because they have no faith in their own ability to handle it.

I don’t know much about hoarding

I’m a reverse hoarder

I’m a minimalist.

But I have a strong support network

And I have confidence

And I am lucky to not have

Such consuming fears.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Journal – How to be Cool at Parties

I promised to tell you my awkward adventure from Thanksgiving break last week.

It started first thing in the morning. I was on vacation from work, so I slept in, and when I oversleep, my dreams sour. I dreamed I was back in college, and I forgot to wear my shirt! How did I miss that? I tried to play it off like I was just a really confident free-the-nipple nudist type, and pretended I wasn’t bothered by the awkward awareness of those around me. When class ended, I tried to get the fuck out but promptly got lost in the building. The changing corridors and endless room after room was like Hogwarts or a dungeon, except with postmodern decor and architecture. Then a teacher found me and engaged me in a long conversation about an assignment, while both of us tried our hardest to act like I was fully clothed NOTHING WAS ODD HERE.

I woke up feeling like something that got dug out of the mud. I hadn’t had a dream with such bad confidence in ages.

I checked my phone and saw that my nice neighbor, with whom I have a budding and fragile friendship, was having a party today so that everyone could help her put hair in dreads (apparently it’s a very labor intensive and time consuming process). I wanted to go so badly but was really disgustingly sick, with full-on sinus drainage and coughing my way through contagious phlegm walls. I decided it was most polite not to go to her house and spray-sneeze mutant germs on her adorable toddler. Also, she might not appreciate having a disease permanently knotted into her dreads as I worked my dried-snot fingers through her hair strand by strand.

So I sent her a text explaining why I couldn’t come and said I’d pop by real quick just to see the finished result. She never answered, I figured she was busy with her friends. I waited until an hour after the time she’d said the party would be over, put on human clothes, sanitized myself as best I could, and knocked on her door.

She answered the door, silky-haired, not a dreadlock in sight. I stared at her confused, and said, “were you not… um… getting your hair done… today?”

It was her turn to look confused. She sort of turned toward the inside to address someone else and it dawned on me, dodo that I was, that this wasn’t the girl I knew. It was her sister.

I am bad with faces. Really bad with faces. Like, really, clinically bad. I think I’ve got a strain of Asperger’s in me somewhere. I should have known her face. I’ve been to her house two or three times before, she’s been to my house at least once, I’ve seen her drawings, we’re friends on Facebook. I had NO excuse. Granted, her sister looked a bit like her, same hair, similar features, but not similar enough.

I was mortified. There was a stunned moment while the sister realized my mistake, and I realized my mistake, and then she let me in. There may have been additional dialogue where I apologized in embarrassment and explained I was bad with faces, but I can’t remember the exact dialogue, only the trauma ricocheting through my soul. I walked in the door and was immediately faced with six of her family and friends, most of whom were wrist deep in her hair (three hours, five people, and it was only about halfway done, yeesh), all of whom had witnessed my blunder. Gaawwwwd.

Then came a round of introductions, and all I could think was, I am carrying Plague. Everybody here will curse my name in snot and misery in 48 hours. Blah blah name, sister. Blah blah name, other sister. Blah blah name, sister’s boyfriend. Blah blah name, friend and dread expert.

Hello, hello, hi, I say. Nice to meet you oh Jesus so many people where I expected none, howsooncanIleave?

I smiled at the toddler. The toddler smiled at me and presented me with a Barbie hairbrush. I wanted to take it to show her what her hospitable gesture meant to me, but I didn’t want to infect and kill this sweet child, the only person here with whom I actually felt comfortable.

“Well,” I said weakly. “I didn’t expect all these people to be here and I have a cold and I just wanted to see your hair real quick… maybe you could pop by later and show me when it’s done…”

“I can do that,” she said pleasantly, being the paragon of a gracious and polite hostess that she is, as well as twelve times my superior in matters of real life and social niceties and parties and facial recognition.

So I calmly left the house and shut the door. Then I hurried back across the lawn to mine… no. I fled. I ran like the most awkward party moment I’ve encountered in my adult life was nipping hard at my heels. I ran like a fucking deer. I raced to my door, skidded to a stop on the welcome mat, well, not so much skidded to a stop as skidded out entirely. The cheapass $3 welcome mat which I’ve had for ten years, the least welcoming household item I own, which looks like filthy hell and is utterly incapable of meeting any of the expected welcome mat functions, took my momentum as an opportunity to escape with my life in tow. My feet went sideways, and my ass went straight down.

I skinned my big toe and scraped my knee. Grownup injuries are different from kid injuries. When a grownup gets an injury, you can’t just cover that shit with a gentle kiss and a Little Mermaid band-aid. You need three fistfuls of wadded paper towels to mop up the dripping body fluids, and you have to get down on the floor and track yourself through the house to find and scrub out lost droplets and toeprints.

So that’s how I scraped my knee and toe. My adventure was so lame, I was literally lamed by the end of it.

 

P.S., She didn’t visit but she texted me a selfie and she looks super cute and she doesn’t seem to judge me, so I might still have a small, brittle hope for a future friendship.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

I’ve been neglecting the blog. I seem to be taking a break for Thanksgiving, so I might as well embrace it and say I’ve been doing it on purpose. I’ll return next week.

Hugs and loves! Happy Thanksgiving! Much food and warm coziness is wished to all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

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