Friday, August 19, 2011

Blogging Stuff + Get More Followers

You know the cool "Feed" button that we all have installed on our blogs that updates our feed so that it's available to be seen everywhere in the interwebs?  Well, the fact is that this feed doesn't always update.  I've been tracking it for a while trying to figure out what's going on and my first real clue came when I started following my own blog.  Basically, after I posted, my writing was not visible in Google Reader or in the dashboard feed sometimes for 14-hours or more after I published it.  That's kind of bad for a number of reasons.  But there's also a solution to this.

You can force Google to update your feed by refreshing it in your Google Reader.  But, you have to follow your own blog. That way you can click on it and then hit the refresh button.  I sometimes wonder...if this has been happening to me, how many other people are experiencing the same fail?  It could be a reason behind why I haven't made it to some blogs very often.  If I see the information is old, I don't click and move onto the next one.

Here's how you do it.

Step One:  Follow your own blog.

Step Two:  Go to the dashboard and launch Google Reader.  See picture below:
Step Three:  Once you are in Google Reader, select your blog and hit the "Refresh" button at the top.
Here's a link to an article that discusses this well-known issue with the blog feed so you guys know I'm not just making this up.


Monday, August 22nd is Rachael Harrie's Platform-Building Campaign.  This is a great way to meet other bloggers and to build up your following so that you have more blogs to visit and more people to get to know.  I made nearly all of my blogger buddies in Rach's last campaign...most notably Rogue Mutt.  You'll get a huge spike in traffic while it lasts (that's always fun) probably pick up a hundred followers (if not more) who for the most part will visit your blog only that one time.  However, 10% of them will probably become frequent visitors and consequently, you'll pick up 10% more friends.  I'm going to participate again because it was decently fun the last time and really low-pressure, unlike some of the other blog fests like that A-Z challenge thing.  Here's a link to Rachael's blog.


Theresa over at I Need To Write gave me the Blog On Fire Award.  It's my third time winning this one, however, I'm honored that she would think of me.  I'm just going to post this here and encourage you all to visit her wonderful blog and I won't be passing it on as I think that this thing has been passed around enough already :P

This really should be called the "Rode hard and put away wet" blog award seeing as it has been around so much, but it is still kinda hot. ;)

Have a great weekend. I hope to see a bunch of you on Rachael's blog on Monday getting ready to gain mega-followers!


  1. I picked up most of my followers during the AZ Challenge but I think probably more than half only visited that one time. It does make the number of followers I have look a bit of a lie, but still, it also got me a bunch of followers who actually do interact with me.

    I'm looking forward to Rachael's Campaign although I expect there'll be a lot of familiar faces.

    Moody Writing

  2. Thanks for the heads up about Rachael's Campaign. Even if only 10% of the followers remain active, it's still nice to have them support you and such.

  3. Glad you find you. Rachel's thing sounds neat. Who couldn't use more followers? (Now imagine that in the most posh voice imaginable) lol. <3 a new follower.

  4. Oh, and btw, you used the word Kismet in your header, and that's one of my all time fave words. So...I had no choice in following you. Just a fact.

  5. Moody: I didn't participate in the A-Z challenge. It seemed like a ton of work and it wasn't much fun following those blogs that were in it because they all had the formula "P" stands for "P---", etc. etc.

    Marlena: I agree. Plus it's nice to have an active blogroll for those times when you just want to read what's going on out there for a couple of hours.

    Kelley: Thank you so much for the follow :) I'm gonna hit you back on your blog.

  6. I also picked up a ton at the A-Z challenge. Is it really time for the Crusade again?

  7. That's weird! Mine always comes up instantly...I wonder if it's because I've been blogging so long? Anyway, I think it's ALWAYS a good idea to follow one's own blog in case something weird happens with it.

  8. Ciara: Yeah it is. lol.

    Anita: My feed hasn't been consistent. Like I had to refresh it last night using Google Reader when I published my Friday post. I know it's not just me because there's a thread on it by the Blogger team.

  9. This isn't much help if you use Wordpress.

  10. @Rogue: The principle is still the same though on your feed if your feed isn't consistently updating. Thus far I haven't noticed anything weird going on with your blog's feed tho mutt so yeah...not applicable to you.

  11. I made some really good blogging friends during the A to Z challenge and we still visit each others blogs. Thanks for mentioning Rachael's blogfest. I'll see you there on Monday.

  12. Hey, thanks for the heads up! It hadn't occurred to me to even check, so I appreciate the instructions to figure this out.

    And I love the Crusade. i don't have time to commit this time around, but I've done it twice and it's incredible for growth. I wish you the best with it!

  13. I'm so old school. I don't follow blogs through feeds. I just have them on my favorites list on my browser. Maybe I should think about actually following people through feeds.

    Also, kind of awesome that in the picture above of your Google Reader, my post is on top. :-D

  14. Ooh thanks for the tip. I had no idea about the delay thing.

  15. Hehehe it now feels like I've come full circle in the blogging world.

    You gave me the award, I gave it to Theresa, one of my best real life friends and who I inspired to start blogging and writing. And now she gave it back to you. ^_^

  16. If wishes were Google Crawlers bloggers would cry...yeah that is the downside of Blogger. Google trying to avoid spam on one hand but lagging on the other.

    I wonder if when you refresh the feed in your Google reader if it forces a refresh for anyone using the feed for that blog...

  17. I sometimes see my post while scrolling through the dashboard, but I don't check for it. I should.

    Rachel's Crusade was fun last year and I did meet lots of new people, some of whom are now regular blogging buddies. I like what she's doing this time around in terms of following those with the same genre and interest. Thanks for reminding me about that. I even started a new novel because the flash fiction I wrote for one of the challenges.

  18. You want me... to follow... myself? Isn't that kind of like a dog chasing his tail? Or maybe like that snake... um, no, nevermind on that one.

  19. Rachel Harrie's event was wonderful! This time though she says you are only supposed to follow everyone in your group. I will still visit other groups and follow, but I don't expect the number of new followers to be as high. Which is fine, because though we love big follower numbers, it's the people we actually interact with that really count.

  20. I had no idea there was a weird feed/refresh problem. I'll have to check that out. Thanks.

    And OH YEAH, I'm totally doing the Rach crusade/campaign thing again. It was fantastic the last time and I expect it will be this go around too.

  21. I pick up followers along the way. I'm in the Star Trek blogfest on Monday. :D It's always so fun when we all finally bump into each other.

  22. Interesting about the Reader issue.

    I've been debating doing the Campaign again. Trying to follow too many blogs did me in, but keeping it just to our groups should help things. That's how I found your blog.

  23. So helpful! Thanks so much! I meet some great bloggers during the last campaign and had a lot of fun.
    Edge of Your Seat Romance

  24. Great tips. Your estimates for how many folks you get to stick around seem about right too. As sad as it is, I think the number I have now is about perfect.

  25. @Rosalind: Monday will be fun /throws confetti.

    @Hart: I don't think I'm the isolated person to whom blogger eats the feed...but I might be. I dunno. I found the support article and thought I'd let others know about it in case it wasn't just an isolated incident.

    @Ryan T: Glad you liked it sir. I visit your blog at every opportunity I can.

    @Alyson: Yeah me either until I started studying it.

    @Misha: I should have passed the blog award back to you.

    @Steph: I think refresh forces a refresh for all those using the feed...that's my understanding.

    @J.L.: I shall have to see how the whole genre groups are going to end up being like. I have a suspicion that YA will have a million people in it.

    @Andrew: It does sound kind of bizarre but it will help you to see the phenomenon I'm talking about.

    @Margo: I agree...the people we interact with are much better than high follower numbers. Quality over quantity. Unfortunately, I kinda think the bloggers using WordPress get kinda left out a little bit because of the issues with the follower widget or possibly the feed. I know that I follow Mutt's blog but I get an email whenever he posts anything new so I'm immediately notified of it.

    @Angela: Yes. Please do check it out so I'm not the only one spouting off crazy talk.

    @M Pax: Star Trek blogfest? I kinda wish that the campaign wasn't happening at the same time. I'll go read up on it tho and pass the info to mutt. He loves William Shatner.

    @Liz: Following too many blogs did you in, yet, somehow you are able to crochet things that require massive amounts of patience, skill, and time?

    @Raquel: Thanks for visiting beautiful.

    @Rusty: My math is always correct sir. I use calculus in my sequel.

  26. I am becoming less and less enamored with blogger. I found a way to keep track of my wordpress stats last night and I see so many really classy Wordpress blogs now that I wish I did my main blogging on Wordpress. Alas...

    I am not going to do the campaign. There is no way I have the time. I can't keep track of the followers I do have and do my writing any justice but I hope you guys have fun! I will try your suggestion too on the Google Reader. I am not very good about using Reader though... like I said, feel like I barely keep up with the blogs I really like (like yours!)

  27. I gained about 100 followers from the last Rachael Harrie campaign too. I haven't decided if I'll join or not. I'm bad about doing challenges, though I like to read other ones.

    Congratulations on your award from a different Theresa.

  28. Hi Michael,
    Come on over to my place. There are a couple of awards waiting for you over there.
    Valentina x

  29. Great advice. Congrats on the award. I don't follow blogs in google reader, myself. Just wondering if it only updates your view of your own blog not everyone else's?

  30. Hey, I don't know you follow comments on blogs after you've made them, but I did want to let you know that I responded to the comment you left... just in case.

  31. I always wondered why my own blog feed came into my mailbox around noon every day. Interesting!

  32. I have been following my own blog as well and haven't noticed the refresh problem, but thanks for letting us know! Thank you too, for following my blog. I'm a new follower of yours and will definitely see you at Rachel Harrie's blog on Monday :)

  33. Hmm... So I just made a new post, and, since I'm following myself, now, I looked for it to come up on my feed. And it didn't. So I did the refresh thing, and it still didn't come up. Have you seen instant results when you've done that?

  34. Congrats on the (re-)award! And that sucks about Reader not updating. To be honest I've slacked off on even LOOKING at Google Reader lately. I need to get back into the habit...

  35. Congratulations on receiving the award, Michael. I am not surprised.
    Right now I am trying to catch up with reading. I think I missed some of your postings too.
    Would you ever write something for younger readers? I mean a book, because we do not have many writers to motivate boys to read. I mean we have JK Rowlings but since Roald Dahl we don't have too many. May be you will have a series up your sleeve, you can surprise the world with eh?

  36. A hundred new followers that fast scares me! The A to Z Challege added so many in just a couple weeks, it was a bit overwhelming.

  37. Michael: It's wonderful to be a Campaigner! I am so excited to read other blogs and learn about this process. I'm new to this and hope I gain some real knowledge - your post has already taught me something I did not know, so THANK YOU!

    I appreciate your comment to me, if you think my blog is awesome - I'll take that as high praise!

    I, too, volunteered to judge; but I don't know if I'll be selected to do this since I am so inexperienced. I'm planning to follow your blog - your writings are fun and informative.

    Best regards from a fellow Trekkie,

  38. Just wanted to stop by and say hello! I'm really looking forward to getting to know more bloggers during the campaign. And I appreciated the google reader tip. Thanks!

  39. That point about the feed is a good one. Is it only Google follower though? I use Feedburner mostly so I'll have to check that.