I’ve been prepping this blog post ahead of time, because it’s been a very interesting month. This article has been a long time coming. In my six (!) years of blogging, I can highlight several trends I’ve noticed. First, the number of visitors has stayed roughly the same the last four years (WordPress didn’t count visitors separate from amount of hits prior to 2013), while the number of views has slowly decreased slightly. I blame this on a slower pace of writing/publishing and a general reduction in the amount of actual blogging that I’ve done. This includes book reviews and the like. The longer I’ve been teaching, the more time it seems to suck up and occupy, plus things like owning a house and ‘adulting’ take up lots of time also.
But what I’ve seen over time has been a continued disposition to my readers searching for three articles – how to write battle scenes, how to kill characters # 1, and how to kill characters #2. Which leads me to my point – if you want people to visit your blog, you must give them something to read that is needed. People who google “how to ____” will inevitably find your blog posts. These posts add hundreds of hits to your blog, which means hundreds of people visiting to see and learn more about you.
What they won’t find is some of what I’ve been doing here – “Day 12 update on Blah”. Those posts form a purpose also, but those are for your subscribers. In order to get them, You’d have to hook them first. So I suppose what I want to say is, write stuff that’s useful for other people. Or at least that you think other people might find useful. In the end, all we are doing is shouting on the streetcorner. If I don’t have anything interesting to say, no one will listen.
Some other things to do to build blog membership – comment on other blogs! Not randomly, not sticking your signature in all of them or spamming them, but in genuine conversation (He says from his lofty perch of not doing that very frequently). Also, if someone comments, thank them, engage with them. Finally, when you do
blog, be sure to cross pollinate with your facebook page and twitter page. You can set up your Twitter account to post what you post on your blog and facebook also, and you can now use #hashtags on facebook as well. Thus, all your accounts are now publishing on Twitter, where people do actually look at hashtags – I especially love the ones linked to NaNoWriMo, because those authors NEED help for so many things (as do I, googling Assyrian names at 2am).
Finally, use guest blog posts to add missing components/knowledge to your blog, and to bring in new readers. Put in time and effort into your own sharing blog times, in order to make sure that their readers enjoy what you’ve created for them.
So to summarize – write what people need, not just random stuff about you. Make sure to promote and connect, but be strategic and smart about it. Finally, be intelligent and dedicated in your blog-swap opportunities, to bring in new ideas or ask challenging, thought provoking questions. The pictures here are all examples of things/groups/people I’ve worked with before to build blog readership!
Anyways, just my two cents.