Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

According to LJ’s home page, there are currently more than 28 million LiveJournal blogs and communities around the world, with about 160 thousand blog posts made just yesterday. That’s an awful lot of people and an awful lot of blog posts. So (assuming that’s your goal) how do you get more of those 28 million bloggers to take an interest in your own journal?

Everyone’s different, and what works well for one person might not be suitable for another, but I do believe there are some blogging tactics which are pretty much universal in their effectiveness (or lack of it).

A good number of folks want to use their LJ blog (at least in part) as a self-promotional tool, so I thought it might be useful to do a series of posts examining some of those ‘tactics’ in more detail. We’ll start with one of my favorites: 


Unlike (say) Facebook, where both sides have to agree, it’s possible for someone to ‘Friend’ you on LiveJournal – and thereby read all your blog entries (at least the ones which aren't locked) – without you ever having to return the compliment. However, from a self-promotional point of view, I don’t think it’s a good idea to take (what in the vast majority of cases is) a friendly gesture from someone and turn it (however unintentionally) into the online equivalent of ignoring the offer of a handshake.

When someone I don’t know adds me to their f-list, I take it as a compliment, I check out their journal, and friend them right back. If someone comments on my journal, or joins my FindAWritingGroup community, or responds to a comment I left on their blog, I almost always friend them too.

“Why should I friend people back? I didn’t ask them to friend me.”
True, but assuming they’re real people (even if they haven’t commented on your blog yet, a quick look at their profile and blog page will tell you if they’re genuine), where’s the harm?

“I’m doing just fine as it is. Besides, I don’t blog to make friends, I blog to keep people informed about my work.”
That’s your choice, of course, but remember those 28 million LJ accounts? Trust me, if all you’re going to do is talk at people, not only will you have a hard time getting folks to listen, the ones that do will get bored, fast.

For what it’s worth, I’ve enjoyed reading work by many of my online writer friends, but aside from r/l folks I’ve met through writing groups and conferences, I’ve yet to add anyone to my f-list whose name and/or work was already known to me.

“But I can’t keep up with the posts on my f-list as it is.”
That’s a valid concern, but if you’ve got a huge f-list, folks will understand that you might not be able to read their blogs, especially if you put a note to that effect in your profile.

Besides, LJ now has a brilliant f-list filter facility, which allows you to choose which LJ friends’ journal entries you want displayed on your friends page.

“What if we don’t get along? I don’t want to have to unfriend someone.”
Unless you really want to, you never need to unfriend anyone. Just filter them out (as described above). Let’s face it, if you don’t get along, you won’t be commenting on each others’ blogs anyway, so who’s going to know?

In case you’re wondering, I currently read all but about eight people on my f-list – the most common reasons for filtering people out are foul mouthed ranting, regular obscene language and/or consistently ignoring mine and other people’s comments. 

Of course, this is just my opinion.  What do you think?

Poll #1582705 To 'Friend' or not to 'Friend'...

When you friend people on LJ, then make regular comments on their blog posts, do you notice/care if they don’t friend you back?

Not at first, but as time goes on, and I keep commenting, it bothers me.
So long as they respond to my comments, I’m not bothered.
I don't care one bit.

Does it affect your opinion of him/her?

Yes, after a while I stop commenting.
Yes, after a while I stop reading their posts all together.
Not at all.
Something else, which I’ll explain in the comments

Does it put you off reading their books/stories in the future.

Something else, which I’ll explain in the comments

Next time on “Blogging Tactics”, we’ll take at look at comments and how (I believe) they can have a huge impact on both your readership and your f-list, in the meantime:

How about you?

What’s your policy on ‘friending’?

Site Meter


Jun. 23rd, 2010 03:09 pm (UTC)
I think friending and the reactions to friending depends on the situation.

For instance, I once had someone friend me and then when I looked at their blog they had posts about "professional women/ working girls" and how they should be treated. And they had a lot of posts where they expressed similar thoughts/ideas. Very angry, violent, negative. I did not friend them back.

Then you have people who are pro writers(countless books published)and have a lot of fans. Sometimes if you friend them, they will not friend you back. So, that doesn't bother me.

It does bother me if I friend someone who is not a pro, yet they don't bother to friend back.

As far as commenting goes, I don't worry about that. When I first started blogging it was a few months before I got that first comment. And that was bothersome.

Now, I think if you consistently get comments it's not necessary to worry about--"Oh, my gosh, they aren't commenting!"

It's enough to know that people are reading your posts even if they only comment once in a while.
Jun. 23rd, 2010 03:41 pm (UTC)
I'm not thinking so much about folks commenting on my blog, as when I comment on other folks' and they don't respond.

I confess it bugs me. I soon stop commenting at all.
Jun. 23rd, 2010 03:48 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that would be bothersome. They just have a list of people with no responses.
Jun. 25th, 2010 02:11 am (UTC)
I know what you mean. Although if I have a friend who comments in my blog, and I comment in his, it doesn't particularly bother me if he doesn't respond to my comments in his blog. It's less a sense that "bloggers need to respond to comments" than that I want a sense of a relationship existing? Some acknowledgement of my existence. If that makes sense?
Jun. 25th, 2010 02:15 am (UTC)
'Some acknowledgement of my existence. If that makes sense?'

It does indeed.
Jun. 24th, 2010 10:07 pm (UTC)
I agree with you, if a person is not a pro, then I hope and expect that they will add me back. Whereas if they are a pro with a zillion people on their list, it makes sense that they will not necessarily have the time to add back every person who adds them.

Things What I Wrote and Other Stuff

No longer in print but there are still some copies floating around out there

No longer in print but there are still some copies floating around out there



Books by my writer friends - compressed

NJ Writing groups - compressed

NJ writing conference - compressed

Page Summary


Latest Month

September 2019
Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Paulina Bozek