Finding my voice … again

The more time on spend writing and posting on the web, the more I come to realize what I have to say is one voice in a symphony of millions.  I’m ok with that relative obscurity. I’ve found many opportunities to express myself online and am fortunate to have met so many interesting people along the way.  I know I’m not alone.  There are thousands of bloggers  having thousands of conversations every day.

Over the past year, I’ve been thinking about where I want to have those conversations, where I want to join in a community and keeping it all real. What part of my voice should SPEAK UP and be heard? Do I continue to write here about social media, arts administration and marketing? Do I go gangbusters on my newest blog – Sing of Happy?  Do I write for other blogs like the Coastal Sound Music tour blog and the Reinventing M Network? Do I rejenvate the website where I firsted “blogged” with hardcoded HTML photo sharing back in 1998? Do I start over and finally put into action?  Its very likely I’ll do some of the above but to tell you the truth, I’m undecided. 

Quite by accident, I stumbled across the Parent Bloggers Unite (#PBUYVR) meetup that’s happening Friday evening at 6Pack Beach in Richmond.   Many of my favourite writers will be there – Rebecca Coleman, Meghan Simington and Kerry Sauriol among others as well as some new-to-me bloggers I’m looking forward to meeting. [Shout out to Eschelle Westwood and Raj Thandhi.] 

I feel good about my decision to go to this meetup and I’m looking forward to some new perspectives on blogging and taking another step on the journey to find my own voice…again.

Why Should I Comment On Someone Else’s Blog?

Recently, one of my workshop participants asked “Why should I take time to comment on other people’s blogs?” Here are some compelling reasons to make this part of your social media strategy:

  • Every comment adds to your online visibility. Each time your name appears on a comment, the blogger and other blog readers see you and become familiar with your name.
  • Building a community is a two-way conversation. By showing interest in other people’s thoughts, you demonstrate how much you value their contribution to your industry.
  • Blog comments help establish you as an authority in your field. You also make it clear that you’re a lifelong learner willing to hear new ideas. Don’t be afraid to share your expertise to enhance what’s already been written.
  • Frequent thoughtful, relevant comments on the same blog can help you build a relationship with the blogger and the audience. Check back for follow-up comments from the blogger and other readers and continue the dialogue as long as there’s something meaningful to say.
  • Often blog comments accommodate your website listing as well as your name. These inbound links, sometimes called backlinks, add to your SEO (search engine optimization).
Snapshot of some comments on my site

Read on for a few words of caution

  • Be careful about including links to your blog in the text of your comment. Anything you share must support what the blogger is doing otherwise you’ll be perceived as spam.
  • Sometimes it’s better to say nothing at all. A brief “thanks so much” may be courteous but it doesn’t establish any rapport with the folks you’re trying to network with.
  • I’d also encourage you to say nothing if you have a negative reaction to the blog post. If there’s a factual error, by all means politely offer updated information but please don’t post your knee jerk reaction. The damage you could do to your reputation is vast.
  • If you’re trying to build relationships from a business point of view, I suggest you avoid commenting on religious or political blogs. Why limit your market share to only those who share your beliefs?
  • Be yourself. It’s all about authentic relationships, right?

So stop reading this and leave a comment today.

3 Best Ways to Reach Parents Through Social Media

I’m still thinking about this podcast, I recorded last week with Cindy Lund Chow from Life Simplicated. We were talking about the best ways to reach working parents through social media. My top 3 are:

  1. Blogging
  2. Twitter
  3. Facebook

Hear why, in this podcast:

p.s.  I’ve added my voice to the grassroots movement to boycott the phrase “Mommy Bloggers” and instead talk about “women who blog”.