How I got started on AC
I joined AC (at their suggestion) in June 2009 to write partner articles. I enjoyed this new activity but it was a short-term gig of 7 articles. After that I didn’t do much except read articles by other contributors. It wasn’t until late September 2009 that I decided to put my toe in the water to start publishing general interest. My first six contributions were recipes, and that gave me the confidence to branch out to other topics. I’ve written about cane toads and other strange Australian creatures, the Tiger Woods scandal, various music industry people, fiction writing advice, travel, quirky happenings, a mango glut in Brisbane and My Button Accordion and Me. In late December 2009, I was accepted as a Featured Contributor for Arts and Entertainment.
I am Australian, so I have not been eligible for up-front payments. This has not deterred me and I now find AC is putting in place a new system for foreign contributors. I can’t wait to see how it works.
Now that you know a bit about me, here’s how I manage my fans and followers on Associated Content:
My first fan was Jennifer Wagner. I notified her that I had joined her fan-base and that I would follow her on AC. Jenny has proven to be a great support and motivator and I so admire her work. I can’t always read everything she writes, but I try to fit as many of her articles as I can into my “AC reading time”.
Soon I had scored Pat Burroughs, Aida Shallcross, Abby Greenhill, Pattie Byrd, Donna Cavanagh, Roz Zurko, Lorraine Yapps Cohen, David A Reinstein LCSW, Dina Quirion and Karen Gros as my fan/followers. Many more have joined my group and I now have 57 fans, including some experienced contributors (Lyn Lomasi, Jaipi Sixbear, and Jan Corn, ) and some new starters (Roderick Chappell and Mike Powers). I simply can’t list everyone, so I apologies if you are a fan not mentioned. I’ll find a way to feature you in the future.
I am overawed that some AC contributors have hundreds of fans. It takes time to build such a large number of devotees. My system is to add people as fans and also subscribe to their content at the same time. I can’t see how it could work for me any other way. I have set up my e-mail client with folders for each of my fans so I can quickly file their publishing notifications. I can then see at a glance how many articles I have in stock for each contributor I follow and read them as and when I get time.
I spend about an hour each day reading AC content. Don’t ask my why, but I start at “Z” (Roz Zurko who is a very successful Arts and Entertainment Contributor) and work my way back to the “A’s”. Not every article by each of my group will be relevant to me as I am Australian. For instance, if it is about American basketball or football, I just don’t understand it. Restaurant reviews are also not relevant as I am so far away and I’d only get itchy feet reading about them. Being childless, I am not into kiddie/baby stuff, but some of it is interesting. So, in the course of an hour, I read and comment on as many articles as I can. I always learn something or get a prompt to think about a certain topic.
Now that I am accumulating more fans, I intend to do a weekly roster that includes going through the fan list (I have set up a document with links to the content pages of my fans). I hope to read and comment on at least 10 articles from each fan’s list focusing on one or two fans per day. This way I’ll catch up on past content.
I’ve just added JerseyNana to my fan-base and she informs me she has her fans on a spreadsheet so she can keep track of them. What a great idea.
I have received quite a lot of messages of support from various fans. This means a lot to me as I am in a fairly isolated situation right now. I care for my 90 year old mother who has dementia. Whilst I cope with this quite well, it does restrict my social life and I gain great enjoyment from the interaction I have with various fans through their comments and messages. I also like to reciprocate.
Recently I have been taking a break from publishing on AC due to a computer discrepancy between my computer and the AC system. The problem seems to have gone away. I thought I’d have to get a new computer, but I’m back in action again. I did not take a break from reading and commenting. It was so nice that several of my fans noticed I had started publishing again and sent me messages of support.
Fan loyalty = more page views = quicker success
It is inevitable that AC contributors will become your fan but not necessarily your follower. I consider the fan/follower thing to be a two-way street. If somebody joins my fan base but doesn’t appear to be reading/commenting on my content, I transfer them into a separate list of “no comment followers”. This doesn’t mean I forget about them – I just don’t give them the priority I give to those followers who regularly read my content and make comments. It is a sort of “three strikes and you’re out” process, but it is not set in concrete.
Getting back to my opening comments about collecting fans, you will certainly get more page views from a large fan base. I guess the trick is to demonstrate your loyalty so what you give out comes back to you.
Personal experience on Associated Content
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