Some simple, free ways to start…………………………
Writers often share with me their frustration that their number of reads are not what they would like them to be.
First, allow me to encourage you by saying, for my first couple of years of blogging, it seemed like a heroic feat achieving double digit reads on any of my pieces.
That being said, here are some mistakes or omissions that I made that I see other people frequently make:
- Failing to share or cross-promote the blog posts of colleagues or other close allies — If you are part of a blogging team, promote the posts of others on the team. Comment on them. In other words, the “do unto others” rule applies here. If you would like them to help promote your blog posts, then you must also be willing to do the same for them.
- Forgetting to take advantage of link-ups on popular sites — For example, Jolene Philo has a link-up every Tuesday on her site, www.differentdream.com. Ellen Seidman has a weekend link-up every Friday at, www.lovethatmax.com. There are others out there as well.
- Not being where my audience is — If you are not on social media sites like Pinterest and Twitter, you need to be there. That is where your audience dwells. Pinterest is the #2 social media out there, according to a report in Mashable. Although I went there reluctantly, the mutual sharing ends up being like a continuous ripple effect through every piece you share on that venue. People can also invite you to join group boards, which continues to grow your readership exponentially. In Twitter, you can build many allies by retweeting other material out there that is similar to what you are doing. Using common social tags for things like #rare (rare disorders), #autism, #mhsm (mental health on social media) and #specialneeds, #SpNParenting, #SpNFamily also help people find your material.
- Not writing for other blogs or publications — Offer to contribute to other blogs to build recognition of your writing. They don’t even have to be in related areas. For example, one place you could be contributing is to a secular, diagnosis specific community, which will still build interest and readership for your faith-based pieces.
- Not sharing in diagnosis-specific groups — Number 4 being said, don’t be shy about sharing your posts in diagnosis-specific groups on Facebook or LinkedIn. Even if your post is faith-based and the group is secular, people welcome what you have to share.
- Not using platforms like www.networkedblogs.com or www.bloglovin.com — These sites help others with similar interests to find your blog pieces and facilitate easy sharing.
- Being shy about sharing your own pieces with your every-day friends — People with whom you are acquainted care about you. They are interested in what you have to say. They can be some of your best conduits to spread the word about your blog posts. Share with them on Facebook!
- Posting only once per day — In today’s culture, people have the attention span of a flea. If you use Twitter, tweet twice at a minimum between 5 AM & 9 AM, EST and 5 AM & 8 PM, EST. If you use Pinterest, pin your posts on a board once between 5 AM & 9 AM, EST, and on another board (if possible) between 5 AM & 8 PM, EST. If you use Facebook, make sure you give your post a “Like”. While that may seem self-aggrandizing, it actually keeps your post in people’s news feeds.
- Not creating visual interest in my posts — People are extremely visual. Do not underestimate the power of great photography, posted in large format to attract readership to your blog post. People also prefer photos to clip-art in a MAJOR way. Along that same line, creating visual interest by varying text size, type, boldness, and even color throughout your post makes it more appealing to people.
- Not creating large, quotable bullet points — Often times people can only afford a quick glance at your post. They can still find value in it by scanning the main points. Making those main points large and bold facilitates better scanning of your piece, and people are more likely to share it.
- Not including useful links — Even if you want to link a Bible verse quote to Biblegateway.com or Bible.com, adding some sort of link within your posts adds value to people. Readers LOVE resources, even if it means linking to a piece you previously posted. Go back and look at all the links I have included for you in this piece. See how easy I have made it for you to get to resources I mention? That is what you want to do for your readers.
Some of these ideas may seem overly simplistic, but regular attention to these small details will do a great deal for boosting your readership. Give yourself a pat on the back for each of these you are already doing.Blessings, Barb