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The secret to blogging success: a follow-up

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
Contact:
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Kim at Later Levels
Somewhere in the south of the UK
Wednesday, 15 November 2017
 
 
Later Levels defends Community and Collaboration
The company responds to allegations about their product
 

London, 15 November 2017 – Following on from the announcement of their product on 13 September 2017, Later Levels has come forward to dispute allegations surrounding the effectiveness of Community and Collaboration.

Advertised as the latest innovation in the blogosphere, the company made bold claims about their product stating its use would result in new visitors and an increased follower count. A number of writers however have declared this ‘secret to blogging success’ to be nothing of the sort after seeing extremely limited results.

“We’re shocked and dismayed to hear that bloggers are losing faith in Community and Collaboration, tempted once again by dubious SEO deals and offers to purchase hundreds of followers,” said a representative. “Let us state right here that these methods do not work in the long-run and make it clear when a writer isn’t willing to put in the hard work. For example, take the case of the blogger whose site showed they had 11,896 followers but only 5,866 views.”

Under the Community and Collaboration scheme, Later Levels advised customers to follow blogs they admire and leave comments on posts, declaring this would result in the sharing of ideas and building of relationships. Rather than remove their product following on from allegations of misselling, the company claims that those who have seen limited success are in fact using it incorrectly.

“In our announcement, we clearly stated it was important not to spam and that a blog may deteriorate through neglect if its owner failed to maintain the required level of effort,” the representative continued. “However, we have since been made aware that certain bloggers have not taken this advice fully on board and are therefore using Community and Collaboration in a way which was never intended.”

Later Levels has made publicly available two pieces of evidence to support this statement. The first is a comment by a ‘motivational and positive stuffs’ blogger which included a link to promote their own site; this was left on a gamers blog party post without any context or full participation. The second is a remark from a ‘petrol-head and motorsports fan’ about an ‘F1 2017 game’ review, made on an unrelated article about weird gaming habits.

Their representative said: “Cases like these are clearly ‘copy-and-paste jobs’ left on hundreds of sites, by bloggers who are obviously hoping for a quick-win without the hard work. This is bad practice which goes against everything Community and Collaboration stands for. We distance ourselves from this exercise completely and will do everything we can to help those who believe in and want to use our product in the correct manner.”

The company has issued the following guidance:

  • Don’t hit-and-run. It’s disrespectful to leave a ‘like’ on a post without taking the time to read it through properly. If you feel you have something to add to the conversation or a question to ask, leave its author a comment to give them an opportunity to respond.
  • Don’t spam. If you’re pasting the same comment into multiple sites each day, stop right away: this is extremely bad form which is doing nothing except damaging your reputation. Instead, embrace the community and get involved in two-way discussions.
  • Don’t go out of context. Leaving a comment on a post about something completely unrelated shows you haven’t had the courtesy to read the article in its entirety. Be respectful: go through the post in full and make sure your remarks relate to the subject.
  • Don’t leave links – unless of course they’re appropriate to the post you’re commenting on. Leaving a link back to the front-page of your own site without any context isn’t a good way to promote your brand or display your knowledge in a particular area.
  • Don’t follow in the hope of a follow-back. Click that ‘follow’ button because you like and understand what the site owner is doing, and want to read more of their posts in the future. Don’t do it just because you’re hoping to see a rise in your own follower count.
  • “We hope this statement clarifies our position and clears up any misunderstanding regarding Community and Collaboration,” said Later Levels’ representative. “Using the product in the way it was designed has been proven to successfully build relationships and increase morale. Anybody who would like further advice is welcome to contact our helpline and we are open to hearing suggestions for future collaboration opportunities.”

    52 thoughts on “The secret to blogging success: a follow-up

    1. These tips make sense. But shouldn’t there be a section about the content the person is actually posting?

      “Always aim to improve your writing” or “Find your writing voice and personality.” – or maybe that’s a given? Following and reading other blogs can be a good way to find out how you do and don’t want to write – by seeing others give it a go.

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      1. Oh definitely! For me, the hardest part of blogging was finding my voice. It’s taken a long time to reach one I feel truly comfortable with and even now, I still have times where I doubt myself and my writing; but you can only get better, and there’s something new to be learnt and improved upon every day.

        In a post last month I spoke about how blogging gives you the opportunity to meet so many different people and each of them has the potential to teach you something. It’s important to be open to that, to get involved with the community and collaborate with the writers around you. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Sorry if this seemed a little confrontational – wrote it the second I woke up. Didn’t mean it to come across that way at all. Cool post all the same!

          Do you have any advice as to how someone might go about establishing a blogging collaboration?

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          1. Ha ha ha don’t worry, it’s all good! πŸ˜€

            I usually contact the bloggers I chat to most frequently in blog comments and on social media, to see if they’d be up for joining me on a project and then take it from there. If I want to cast the net a little wider, it’s good to ask those same lovely bloggers if they’d mind sharing the details on their own social media channels and asking anyone interested to get in touch with me directly. Sometimes it can take a while for a collaboration to take shape but they’re really rewarding – I’ve had a lot of fun doing them and have met some awesome people as a result this year.

            NekoJonez coordinated quite a big project last month about The Legend of Zelda (https://arpegi.wordpress.com/2017/10/01/the-legend-of-zelda-retrospective-bloggers-journey/). It could be worth checking that out for inspiration! πŸ™‚

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    2. I’ve actually never come across any follow for follow, comment spam or anything like that in blogging, but on YouTube is happens all the time.

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      1. Sadly, follow-for-follows are just empty stats. They don’t equate to a community and people who are following you because they like what you’re doing!

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      1. I guess it must work in some respects, otherwise the practice wouldn’t continue, but I just don’t understand the logic. It always makes me feel a little sad when I get hit with one because I know the person hasn’t taken the time to find out what I do.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. You’ve hit the nail on the head – it certainly is all common sense! I guess follow-for-follows and other similar actions must work otherwise people wouldn’t keep doing them; but it comes across as insincere and as though you don’t want to participate in the community. I count myself lucky that I’ve met such a great group of bloggers. πŸ™‚

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    3. I’m pretty straightforward with folks that leave comments promoting their own sites. All comments with links in them are sent to my Pending folder, where I approve or reject them. If it’s something related, like a video on the subject or even a post they wrote themselves on the topic, I leave it. Otherwise I just modify or delete the comment entirely, and I leave an explanation as to why.

      I mean, I get why someone might want to get traffic and that leaving links to your own site on one with a larger following is tempting, but it doesn’t really work, and it just annoys the hell out of everyone.

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      1. I’d be interested to hear: what sort of explanations do you give, or do you have a standard ‘template’ for a response? I’ve been thinking about creating one and pointing this out in the Later Levels code of conduct, so any tips would be very much appreciated. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      1. This right here. I’ll follow you if you post interesting things. You can follow me if you want that’s up to you. I chat in the comments because I like to talk, especially about games haha.

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    4. great advice once again. I’ll sadly admit I tried the follow to follow method, not on my gaming blog, but for my old bands twitter account. To try and spread the word as people advised me to do. It worked in building up the bands following, but it didn’t mean anything. Twitter was very empty, no interactions at all, and the feed was just a mess with all sorts of random stuff that are band is not related to. Very bad…

      Compare that to my twitter account for my blog, it’s a fraction of the followers, but everyday on it is so much more meaningful compared to what I tried before. Even if I don’t reply/like the feed itself is more than enough to be relevant to my own interests.

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      1. This is really interesting – I’ve not met anyone previously who has done the follow-for-follow method, so it’s good to hear the other side of the story. It sounds as though it gives you the stats you’re after but makes your whole online presence a hell of a lot harder to manage and benefit from…

        Liked by 1 person

        1. yea, and the main thing, we had 400 follower but never felt like anyone cared about our presence, that’s the key take away I suppose for me

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    5. Oh, the “expect the follow back” thing happens quite a lot to me on Twitter. A random game dev starts following me and right after I follow back or interact with one of their tweets, they unfollow me. I hate it when people follow me to just “hey, here am I, this is my game and such. So, I unfollow you now so my timeline isn’t filled up with stuff of people I don’t know about.”

      I favorite a lot of posts I read that I enjoyed, but I often read them on the train from and to work, so I forget to comment. And I think leaving a comment with “great article” and calling it a comment isn’t enough… so yeah.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh I do that too – sometimes I read a post and really enjoy it, want to add a comment to continue the conversation, but aren’t sure what to say! I guess sometimes I need to have a bit more confidence. πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

    6. *likes, leaves generic comment, and then runs* I’m kidding! πŸ™‚

      This was a very good post about the blogging community! When I first started on WordPress, I followed back anyone who was nice enough to follow me, but these days I only follow back bloggers I’m truly interested in. I’d rather just have 2 followers who comment on my posts than an army of the internet’s spam-like-bots. The spam bots do falsely inflate my view count, making me feel slightly better about myself though, haha.

      But yeah, this is all about the community for me now. I’ve met so many awesome people through blogging. That’s worth much, much more to me than a big hit count πŸ™‚

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      1. I’m with you on the only-following-who-I’m-interested-in point. I think a follow is a show of appreciation; and besides, how can you find all the good stuff in your reader if it’s clogged up with posts that don’t appeal to you?

        Some of my ‘real life’ friends are people met through blogging, and I wouldn’t change that for the world. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

    7. This article is hilarious in its “in universe” style! On top of that, it’s full of some really solid wisdom and reminders. I think a good rule of thumb on the link dropping is leave a link to your work in someone else’s comments section if you’re invited to. I like to invite others to share their thoughts in that respect (especially since it’s difficult for me personally to read everyone’s work that I want to beyond the editing for contributors that I do while I’m not writing myself). Just my one cents.

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      1. Very well said! I love doing events like the blog parties where everyone shares links to their favourite posts. It’s the comments and links that are completely out of context which are annoying… although saying that, some of them can be kind of funny. πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

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