Numbers – how do you build them? A woman in one of my writing groups recently asked that question – how do you get more people to your blog? Because, let’s face it, getting people to visit is a big deal. Once they read, they’ll stick around … but how do you get them there?
I’m not going to call myself an expert here – I’m still learning. But I did share some of the techniques that I’ve used in the last 12 months. Here’s what I suggested to a novice blogger:
1) You need to have a THEME.
A Walk In My Shoes and Where Romance Meets Therapy are two excellent examples of themed blogs. I would avoid the instructional-themed blog. If people REALLY want to know how to write or what’s going on in the industry, they’ll look for Rachelle Gardner or Chip MacGregor. As a non-best-selling-author it’s important to have a consistent theme that’s also PERSONAL. My blog is basic – I’m going to post on it and share what I’m doing on my journey to get a novel published.
2) Visit other blogs and leave comments.
A GREAT way to get your name out there is to comment on other blogs (and not just, “Hey, come see my blog!” comments – really read and respond to the posts). This lets other people know you have a blog, and they might just stop by.
3) Make it interactive.
Invite people to comment. Ask questions. Chatterbox Chit Chat put up a fun puzzle.
4) GIVE SOMETHING AWAY!!
People love free stuff. It doesn’t matter what it is (I gave away a journal and pen that I picked up at a home builders expo!). My friend at Audience of One gave away a HUGE gift basket for her anniversary, but in order to enter you had to be a follower. I don’t require that on my blog (and she doesn’t with her smaller giveaways).
5) Invite others.
My followers started picking up when I started inviting other writers to contribute to my blog (if you’re interested, email me at kvbwrites(at)gmail(dot)com!). Twice a month I post things from other people. They will usually advertise it to their friends/family/followers, so people who never even knew I existed start reading my blog. Linda recently shared on my blog…one of her friends is now a follower.
6) Keep a schedule.
You can count on these things on my blog:
First day of the month – book giveaway
15th – “Your Story” – other writers’ stories about their journeys toward publication
Last two days of the month – published author interview (it’s this author who gives away a book on the first of the next month)
Monday/Friday – personal post (what’s happening with me)
Wednesday – writing prompt
Sometimes other things happen, so I’ll post on Tuesday/Thursday or the weekend. REGARDLESS of what is going on, however, there will ALWAYS be posts on those days. Katie has 3 Cs Mondays – Cares, Concerns, and Celebrations.
7) Make it attractive.
Sad but true (and I’m guilty of it) – people judge books by their covers. If it doesn’t LOOK interesting, people are more likely to skip it. I love Sherrinda’s style so I started following…then I fell in love with her posts!
8) Link it to everything.
I have a personal blog (my family lives in Vegas and I’m in northern Michigan) and a Facebook page. When something exciting happens on my writing blog (giveaways!) I always link it.
So … what do you guys think? Any other tips to share? What attracts YOU to a blog?