5 Easy Ways To Get Your Blog Noticed
This blog went live six weeks ago -- today! -- and since it went live, I've learned stuff. Specifially, I've learned stuff about getting my blog noticed. Here are 5 Easy Ways you can get yours noticed, too!
This blog went live six weeks ago — today! Woot, yay me, and all that. I’ve been having way more fun with this than should be considered sane, and to top it all off, I’ve learned stuff.
My darling lovely readers, I’ve learned stuff about getting my blog noticed.
Granted, if I’m going to compare my case to all the cases out there, I’m still a newbie, so I don’t know a whole lot yet. But if I compared my case to other, more experienced cases, I’d end up a basket case, and I don’t think any of us want to see that happen. Let’s just not go there, mmkay?
So, here ya go. This is what I’ve got so far. This what-I’ve-got is subject to revision in future posts. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
5 Easy Ways To Get Your Blog Noticed
1. Write freakishly catchy headlines.
My main teacher in this has been blogging coach Judy Dunn. One of Judy’s main pieces of advice is to craft headlines that will catch people’s attention within a couple of split-seconds. If your headline doesn’t grab a reader at first glance, chances are she won’t click through to your blog, let alone read your post.
I had this in mind when I wrote The One Where I’m Not An Impotent Bachelor. Since I’m female and married, and most of my readers knew that already, that title caught their attention.
They came, they read, they commented. And there was much rejoicing. (Not to mention sniggering.)
2. Use a picture in every post
I’ve known this one for awhile, thanks to Aaron Pogue at Unstressed Syllables. When he first invited me to write What I Learned About Writing This Week, a weekly column for his blog, one of his top-priority instructions was that I should provide an image or two for each article.
Why? Because people like to look at stuff. We humans are that way from birth. Babies love faces. Thanks to tech, more and more of us are growing up as visual learners. Yeah, sometimes we get so much visual stimulation, it’s like binge-eating on a 12-course meal at 9 different restaurants at the same time —
— but on the other
plate hand, if there’s nothing to look at, we look away. We click away in search of something visually interesting.
I haven’t posted anything without a picture, yet, so I can’t compare pictorially endowed posts with posts not so blessed. But still, I’d be willing to bet a post without a pic would garner me fewer readers. ‘Cause you people like to look at stuff.
3. Comment on other people’s blogs — and reply to comments on your own.
Thanks to Google Analytics, I know who you are. *ahem* Okay, not really. But I can see where most of you are coming from — and one of those wheres is blogs I’ve commented on. You’re reading my comments and clicking through to my blog.
And that, my dearies, is pretty freakin’ cramazing. People on the Internet actually want to talk to me. Me! They want to hear what I have to say, they want to tell me their thoughts about what I write, and they appreciate it when I answer back.
If you know me at all, you know I’m a sucker for a great conversation. I’m having those conversations in the comments sections of others’ blogs. As a result, I’m starting to have some of those conversations in the comments section of my blog. ‘Cause you people want to talk.
And I love you for it!
4. Tweet like a maniacal baboon — but don’t overdo it.
If you have any interest in generating traffic for your blog, then you needed to be on Twitter a year ago. If you’re not tweeting yet, have no fear; all is not lost! I’ve only been tweeting for nine months, myself — but even though I was a late bloomer, this lovely piece of social networking media is serving me well.
In fact, many of you now reading this are contacts I’ve generated solely from Twitter. (Follow me!) And you folks are fabulous, I must say. You’re retweeting me! You’re getting me new followers and, thereby, new readers! Oh sure, I’m greedy for more…but aren’t we all?
But I’m careful not to tweet too much. I don’t know how the rest of you feel — but when I see a blogger tweeting his/her posts over and over within the space of a few hours, I cringe a little.
I don’t need to hear about the same blog fifty times in one day. 😉
So. Tweet like mad, yes — but be the squeaky wheel, not the pickup truck cruising down the highway at 100mph with no muffler.
5. Write stuff people want to read
Um, you might be thinking. Duh?
Well, maybe not so duh. Let me illustrate. These are the goals of my blog:
a. Discuss with my readers the creative writing process.
b. Provide a peek into the mind of a creative writer.
c. Establish a platform for my yet-to-be-published novels.
Guess which posts have generated the most feedback so far?
If you guessed “posts in categories (a) and (b),” then you have chosen wisely. So far, most of you want to read and talk with me about the writing process and the writing life. Fewer of you are responding to the posts in which I talk about my works-in-progress (WsIP).
I wish it weren’t so; but I understand why it ain’t. You haven’t read the books; why should you have an overwhelming interest in them? Hopefully, that will change once the books are published and you have access to these wonderful characters and fascinating worlds I’ve been talking about —
— but in the meantime, I’m learning I need to keep my WsIP posts to a minimum. I’ll keep giving occasional updates, but I plan to be more conscious of where my focus needs to be for now.
I’m learning what you people want. And I’m not shy — I’m willing to give it to you. 😉
So, my darlings, there are my Newbie’s 5 Blogging Tips. Let me know if your own blogging adventures have taught you similar lessons!
Or, even better: What other things have you learned? What have you learned that challenges what I’m saying?
Lemme hear ya!
I may need to hear more about tweeting because, frankly, I have no idea what that’s for or what I would even want to say on it. Doing a running commentary on my life seems exactly like what I don’t want from Twitter and yet if I don’t do that, I forget it’s even there.
Than again, you tweeted a quote from me yesterday so at least theoretically, I say things worth tweeting.
Josh, you do indeed say things worth tweeting. 🙂 I still feel like a newbie when it comes to Twitter, so I’m not sure I’m the best person to tell you more about what it’s for. That said, I’ve written a post about getting a blog noticed, and it seems to be getting attention even though I’m a newbie at that, too. So maybe I’ve got something here.
Anyway. Twitter didn’t start working for me until I started following more people in my niche and tweeting about stuff in that niche. Aka the creative writing/blogging niche. I started out with the running commentary on my life, thinking that Twitter is just like Facebook status updates. When I realized that it’s not, the medium started becoming useful.
So, occasionally, I tweet stuff about me/my life — but mostly, I’m tweeting and retweeting things that are going to be of interest to other people. I’m thinking out loud here, and here’s what I’m thinking: Facebook statuses are about me and what interests me; tweets are about others and what interests others.
On your blog, you mainly review stuff in the comics/graphic novel genre. So I suggest using the Twitter search engine to find other people who talk about comics/graphic novels. Follow them. Reply to their tweets, retweet them if they write something you approve of. Use suitable hashtags (such as #comics or #graphics novels; or, more specifically, #superman or #xmen) when you tweet your blog posts.
Oh, and follow all the authors/illustrators of your fave comics. And hashtag their names when you tweet a blog post about their work.
Does any of that help?
Thanks for this blog post! I agree with Josh – I need to get on the tweet wagon.
Also, I’m excited to read your WsIP (I have a strong desire to call them wisps)! And I have been reading your blog lately – wish I had found it earlier.
Mary, it’s lovely to see you here! Thanks so much for reading and for commenting. It’s delightful to hear the voices of my new readers. (And my “old” ones, too, of course!)
Yes, the tweet wagon does start rolling fairly quickly when we jump on it — so I very much encourage that jump! It’s a wild ride, and very much worth it for those of us needing the connections and the promotion.
And as soon as my wisps (ha! LOVE it!) are available, I’ll make sure you get the word!
I love your blog because your writing is so down to earth.
Even though I’ve had a blog account for a while, I wasn’t really active so I couldn’t gauge what posts my readers liked and what they didn’t. Thanks to people I’ve met on Twitter, I have become more active on my blog and I am well aware when I write something that’s pretty good as well as when I write something that sucks. It’s a process but I’m getting the kinks out.
Susie, I take “down to earth” as a very high compliment. Thank you so much! That’s a great encouragement. 🙂
Judy Dunn, whom I mention above, talks about a blog as a kind of laboratory. Our blogs are where we try things out and find out what works and what doesn’t. Blog-as-a-lab shows us what works in our writing and what doesn’t. It’s really an opportunity we writers have today that has never existed before. I love it that we’re all in this grand experiment, working out those kinks together!
I found this blog post interesting and helpful. I’ve only recently started my blog and I had wondered how to promote it. Your posts are always fun to read!
Thanks so much, Pam! It’s always encouraging and inspiring to hear that something I write is helpful to my readers.
As far as promoting your blog, I think the headline thing and the Twitter thing might be the most important points. I didn’t list them in that order…but those might be the two points that pay the highest dividends in the long run.
All great points! I’ve discovered the same things since starting my own blog. I’m pretty sure you nailed the top things. I only wish I had more time to cruise and comment on others’ blogs.
Becca, I know what you mean. I currently have 10 blogs I’m wanting to visit and comment on — but how to find time for that and reply to comments on my blog, write more blog posts, and do the final edits on a manuscript? (Not to mention scout a location for a photoshoot. 😉 )
I’m trying to learn to manage my time in such a way that it doesn’t all turn into a scary juggling act. Judy Dunn at catseyewriter.com talks about the blog as a laboratory where we try different things, find what works, and discard what doesn’t. The writing life as a whole is kind of like that!