I seem to have attracted several new followers lately. Welcome!
Some of them are spammers or businesses wanting me to buy something. But many are actual bloggers hoping to connect.
For those of you bloggers who are new to the scene, allow me to share with you a bit of wisdom I’ve learned over my years of blogging.
I guess by now you’ve decided why you’re blogging. Want to make money? Then I hope your blog is cooking, kids, fashion or cute pets. Those blogs attract the most hard-core fans, and you’ll want to cultivate a fan base in order to sell them things. Kevin Kelly has a theory that all any artist needs is 1,000 true fans to survive. So build that fan base and sell that book, or whatever it is you’re trying to sell!
If, like me, your blog is a creative outlet, fear not. Sometimes we, too, get lucky. Go ahead and build that fan base. These are the people who will support you when you’re down and rejoice with you when you’re up.
There is no easy way to attract people to your blog. You’ll want to put yourself out there on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. That means putting content on each of those sites and engaging with fans there. I confess, I’m not so good at that. Facebook wants you to have a 2-hour response time on comments, but I have a life outside of social media! Just do what you can. Pics will reach further, so post them often. Videos are OK but keep them short and sweet.
Study your readers. No, you won’t know everyone who visits your blog, but you will know those that “liked” the post. About those likers- up to 1/4 of them never read your content. They’re scrolling a reader liking everything in hopes you’ll return the favor on their blog. Some collect likes as a means of stroking their ego. Others use WordAds and are making money if you click on an ad. Over time you’ll be able to tell who’s who.
Respond to comments left on your blog posts. That lets readers know you heard them, and creates relationship with them. Don’t argue. If it’s a troll, use them to your advantage. Some bloggers have been known to cement reader loyalty when they gang up together to fight a common enemy. Or you can do like me and delete them.
Don’t sell yourself short. I get emails most every day from people wanting me to hawk their product. Some want me to do it for free. Others offer me the “opportunity” to try their product for free in return for a blog post about the experience (and social media posts). Look, your time and the exposure you give a company is worth more than that $10 toy or bag of treats, so they’re definitely getting the better end of the deal. Don’t forget, if you take them up on the offer, you need to say something to the effect in the blog post. Don’t do it too often because you’ll find your readership numbers will fall on days you post reviews. Unsolicited reviews are more attractive to readers because they don’t feel you’re being influenced.
And, finally, the only way you’re going to stick with blogging as long as someone like me is if you enjoy it. So write about what interests you. Allow your blog to evolve as you do. Now go forth and conquer!