Friday, April 1, 2011

FBFF: Rules of Engagement

It's been a while since I've participated in a Fashion Beauty Friend Friday post. Katy has been so graciously providing the questions to us early but sometimes I just can't get my act together well enough to write my post. 

But I am today! I know, I'm also a master at stating the obvious. 

Here we go!

1. Guest posts are a good way to gain new exposure. What do you think is the appropriate way to go about securing a guest spot?
You know, I've only done two guest posts (and the second one hasn't even published yet)! I never really thought of them as a way to gain exposure. I thought of guest posts as a way to support and help my fellow bloggers when they were going to be away or wanted a different perspective on something. I suppose if I was going to approach someone to ask if I could guest post on their blog, I would first want to convey how my post would fit in with their content and how it would benefit their readers. I would never want to post something that has nothing to do with the interest of that particular blog's readership.
2. Leaving comments is essential to growing your blog. But how can you leave a comment without coming across as ‘Follow Me. Follow Me!’?
I guess the point of leaving comments shouldn't only be to grow your blog. I leave comments when I have something to say; I don't leave a comment just for the sake of leaving one. The point when I comment is to answer a question they asked or to support and encourage the writer. Maybe I've been a little ignorant about the reasoning behind commenting, but while I realize it does help to grow readership, that hasn't been my motivation.
3. We’ve all gotten a mass email at one time or another asking for blog exposure, a link exchange, etc… But the mass emails don’t work. How do you make your email stand out from the crowd?
I have to opt out of this one. I've never sent an email. I fear I'm exposing my ignorance with this post...
4. In interacting with other bloggers where do you draw the line between seeking support and begging for exposure?
I hope people will support and expose my blog, as well as my features and my challenges, when they have a heartfelt desire and feel a sincere connection. I don't want to ask someone to "advertise" me simply for the sake of doing so; I want them to do it only if they really appreciate what was said or if they were truly inspired by the outfit or the text or the idea. I realize that may mean I don't get a lot of exposure, but all I can do is be me and hope that I can truly connect with people.
5. What’s one rule of engagement error you made and how have you remedied that? engaging with fellow bloggers, I feel like I may have misjudged the support I received from a few people, and I invested a lot of time, energy and emotion into those connections. When the going got tough, I realized the connection wasn't actually there. It left me with a few weeks of sadness and made me question myself and my blog. My remedy to that has just been to focus even more on my daughter, my family, my job and my real life, and to make my blog as authentically me as possible. 

I can only write about what I know and I want people to engage with me because they feel a real connection with me, not simply because I asked them to or because they want more exposure for themselves. I want to develop real friendships through blogging and I want to be an encouragement and inspiration to those who read my blog and interact with me. 

So I guess my rule to engage readers is to encourage and inspire, and let things happen naturally. I suppose that's naive to not intentionally "market" myself. I'm okay with being a little naive, though. :) 

Hope you all have a FABULOUS weekend!!!


  1. First off: I love your new layout! I obviously haven't come out of my reader to comment for a while!

    My answers to these questions would have been very similar to yours. I don't really do much in the way of promotion, which is why I didn't answer the questions this week (also, I wanted to do a picture heavy post for a change). I'm not that ambitious really!

    I'm sorry to hear about you being sad over blogging stuff! I hope its all good not though!

  2. I didn't realize some of this stuff either - maybe I should be promoting more :P
    Hope you have a good weekend too!

  3. I haven't done a lot to promote my blog either. Emails? Am I supposed to be sending emails?

  4. On most of these Friend Fridays (which I've been too lazy to participate in lately hee) I could pretty much just copy and paste your answers as my own. Except my readers might wonder how I got so eloquent all of a sudden. :)

    I don't comment for exposure either. It's so much fun to get comments, I reason, I bet other people would like some support as well.


  5. Thanks for sharing, Melissa! It is always fun to read the questions and see your take on things.

  6. Maybe it will help you to know that I'm a mom of a 3 year old, back in the workforce again, and am thoroughly enjoying your blog. No false pretenses there, as I don't have a blog. I just enjoy getting ideas from your blog, as it is that notch more professional than some other blogs I've seen, and I feel like we are probably about the same body size/shape, so if it works on you, it just might work on me.

    I admit I'm super jealous that we don't have a Ross anywhere in the midwest (truly, look at the map on their website. The big grey bare spot in the middle is me) because you seem to have found some great dresses from them!

    Anyway, happy Friday, and please keep up the posts for the sake of us who like it just for what it is.
    Best, Andrea

  7. I find the balance between engaging and not a hard one. I feel like I don't have anything worthwhile to add most the time which grips me from starting conversations. I feel like that weird kid people are nice to because they feel bad. I got burned really bad recently by people I thought I was "friends" with online and it has all but scared me away from it all honestly.

  8. I don't think I could "market" myself either. I just don't feel right about it. I get the idea of promoting myself as a side effect of commenting but not the sole reasoning. You and I are very inline on this one.

  9. I love that you mention letting things happen naturally. I feel like the whole process needs to be organic or it isn't really worth anything in the end.

    Just Take a Bow

  10. NO definitely no naive to not intentionally market yourself. It isn't all about numbers. To me there doesn't seem to be any point in having hundreds of readers/ commenters if they don't have any interest in what you are saying. Also who wants to spend their life reading blogs that they have no interest in just to get a comment back, certainly not me. Like you said I think letting things happen naturally is a much better approach. I prefer to try and concentrate on writing posts that people want to read.

  11. I skipped FBFF this week (I'm taking a mini-blogging break), but if I had answered, mine would be very similar to yours. I think you come across as so genuine, Melissa, because you comment when you mean it, not to grow your readership. I was glad to read this because it makes me know I'm not alone in my thinking. I far prefer having a few readers who are genuinely interested than having a slew of them. You put it better than I could.

    And PS - I am glad you pushed through the tough blogging spot. I know that feeling, and it's not fun. You're such a bright spot on my reader, so I'm glad you pushed past it.

  12. I like your answers! Your honesty is always inspiring : )

  13. I think that by being fabulously you and leaving the funny, genuine comments that you do, you can't help but promote yourself because people just want to follow your blog!

  14. I am soo like you! For example, number 3 - I never sent out an e-mail, let alone a comment that says, follow me! Not once!

    Maybe I should? =)

    And as for #5, I think I've had a lot of misjudgment about that too!


    It's OUT!
    Come and join The Pajama Project!
    Twenty York Street

    Twenty York Street

  15. Mel, you are awesome :)

    Love your comments, love your blog, love your style...and that's why I follow you. I like that you are always you :)

  16. You are not being naive at all. I have not sent out mass emails or asked people to follow me or market my blog. I think these questions are really for the "business" bloggers or to help those that want to "make it big". I always thought it would be amazing to blog as a job. But, you know, it's a lot of work and when I was trying to market myself, I lost touch with real people. So I knew it wasn't going to work for me.

    I follow you because you are just so adorable in every way!

  17. I always enjoy your perspective on these questions! I have never sent out a mass email either actually, so don't feel too bad. I agree with Keely's comment, some people really want to make it big, and that prompts them to do some things like mass email. As for the follow me comments, I think some of it is a maturity issue, plus, when you start a new blog, I know it can be really hard until that first comment... and people do some odd things in response to that. Anyway, I really enjoyed your answers! :)


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