Thank you for visiting my blog and for leaving such an honest comment. I just spent some time at your blog. It’s lovely!
I have to tell you that getting out there is hard, especially when you’re shy. I know this because I’m shy too. But I’ve worked very hard over the last years to be more outgoing. And being online can really help because you don’t have that immediate face to face and heart-pounding feeling that someone might not like you.
My very first comment on my blog was a negative one. Nearly broke down in tears. Then I realized that it didn’t matter what they said or that they thought my post (which, by the way was about grocery coupons for the week) was stupid. It was’t helpful or constructive so I got to click ‘delete’ and they went away. Like magic! I don’t encourage deleting comments, but the haters surface so you just have to start developing a thicker skin.
Given all that you’ve dealt with I’m sure that you could handle most any situation with grace.
But how to get out there? Twitter was my big step. There I am able to talk to people in short phrases and maybe not even lengthy conversations. Some people I never talk to but they know I support them because of what I say. Twitter is an amazing way to connect with people of so many different interests.
Joining online communities like The Blog Frog are helpful because as you check in to those communities and post comments or read other people’s blogs they’ll come to visit you. And they’ll tell other people about you.
Linking up to blog carnivals or weekly memes (pronounced meemz) will help bring people to your blog. If you like photography, there are many that do a weekly link up. Some will even give you a theme. You cook? There are blogs about cooking that have weekly link up and you link up your blog and then you go to the others and leave a comment and they come to yours and leave a comment.
Also, I’ve been very fortunate to have been able to attend a few blogging conferences. There I was able to put faces and names together and establishing true relationships and friendships with people.
One thing that was suggested to me when I first started was to find about 10 blogs I liked and go and comment there at least 3 times a week. These would be smaller/medium sized blogs where there are few commenters. Big blogs won’t show you the love back, usually. One of the blogs I followed, but never commented on, she posted that she was going to the same conference I was going to. I immediately commented. It started a fabulous friendship. She and I are so different in many ways, yet so similar. But it’s the similarities that shine.
When I first started my blog didn’t look like it does now. I had a basic header I made and it was much more plain than it is now. But I found a designer early on to make me a website that was more of who I was rather than something just out of the box. It was an investment, but I knew that I wanted to do this and I figured that if I was going to put myself out there I wanted something that could represent me well since I couldn’t personally meet and greet every person. I looked at hundreds of blogs to figure out what I wanted.
But truly, it comes down to content. What you write. Write from the heart, write what you know. Be yourself.
I hope these bits are helpful. If you have other questions let me know. I’ll try to help if I can.