A few weeks ago you got to hear my rant about those people who complain that Google+ isn’t working for them, and I listed my top 12 reasons for failure on G+. Well today I feel just as frustrated over the fact that there are still so many of my fellow food bloggers wasting their time in communities that will do absolutely nothing for them.
I still see food bloggers posting their blog posts to 3 or more food related communities on G+ thinking that it’s really helping them. The problem is that most of the communities that allow you to leave your blog posts are chaotic and basically unmoderated, which means that all your time spent posting, leaving comments and +1’s is not a productive use of your time. I see these communities and bloggers leaving posts there and all that comes to mind is a hamster on a wheel, chasing their tail.
First of all most of the other Food Blogger communities allow just about anyone to join, it doesn’t matter if they’re a blogger or not. I guess quantity out weights quality for those communities. But even if they were packed with nothing but fellow food bloggers the only people that would ever see anything you do in that community are the members of that community.
If you had spent that time posting and interacting on the public stream, you could have picked up some actual readers…..gasp……non food bloggers, the type of readers that all successful food bloggers count on for their traffic.
I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again. Food bloggers are not the targeted audience that you need. We love our friends and like to see what they post, but that will never get you anywhere in terms of growth. Growth will come when you begin to tap the general public, when you begin to interact with home cooks who are looking for good recipes to try at home for their families and while you may encounter some of them in food communities, the utter chaos of them outweighs any benefits.
At the beginning of my blogging career I played the comment game, I left them and they were returned, and every post would get 100+ comments without fail. But my readership was stagnant and never really improved, there was no real growth. Then I started using G+, and instead of spending my time leaving comments for other bloggers, I began interacting with regular people on G+ and within 3 months my readership had almost doubled. I actually had subscribers that weren’t just food bloggers and those numbers kept increasing. Of course the amount of comments I received dropped drastically, to the point of embarrassment…..but my numbers kept going up and I finally came to terms with the fact that I must be doing something right to finally see an increase in my readership.
Being in communities with other bloggers sharing blog posts is that same dead end. Of course you’ll feel good, because that’s what happens when our friends tell us how much they love our creations, but you’ll never see any growth from those pats on the back. Now if you spend the same amount of time in the public stream instead of those “Look at Me Communities”, actually interacting with those home cooks and foodies, you’ll begin to see growth. You’ll also gain some loyal followers that will look forward to reading your content, and Isn’t that what we all want? To increase our readership and to keep them? Or do we want the immediate gratification of comments on our posts by our friends.
I love my blogging friends and will always appreciate and need them, but they are not my targeted audience……they’re my friends. Much like when I started blogging and only my family read my posts, I love to have them read my post but understand when life gets in the way.
I still enjoy reading my friends posts and try to when ever I can find the tine and I love to leave comments when I do get to stop by. Unfortunately time is the problem, and it’s something we all face, especially as we grow. Do I miss the early days? Sometimes I do, life was easier, blogging was easier and I only did for fun. But somewhere along the way, everything changed and while I still have fun with my blog I’ve decided to see where it can take me, as many of my friends also have.
Google+ can be that vehicle that helps take you to the next level in terms of readership, but you have to use it correctly in order to get the benefits of the time you spend on G+. So use your time wisely my friends, don’t end up on that hamster wheel!
If you haven’t joined the G+ Food Bloggers Community, please stop by and ask for an invitation. Add me to your circles, make sure you have your blog listed in your profile, and your request to join will be approved immediately. It’s hard to believe it’s only been four short months that communities have been in existence on G+, we accomplished so much in such a short period of time. We have over 1400 bloggers already on our roll call with more signing up every day. In our community you’ll find bloggers helping bloggers, sharing best practices and offering answers to the questions we all have out our craft.
You’ll also find Community Education Events that are run almost every week on a variety of topics that are shared to help all of us improve and grow as food bloggers. You won’t find any blog posts there unless there tutorials, but you will find a lot great discussions and tons of information. So if you haven’t already joined please join today, because remember