Boy, do I have work to do. Not only am I not blogging enough, but I’m doing a lot of things incorrectly. So, I thought this month I’d share four of her main tips.
1. The blog title draws in your reader. That’s a no-brainer, right? But a few tips helped me a lot:
- Make it either humorous, numerical, or use alliteration. See above. I overdid this a bit here, just to make the point!
- Search keywords for your title before writing the post; the ones that come up first are those being searched most at the time. Search engines will pick them up much more readily.
- Be as redundant as possible. In other words, do a long series with the same catchwords in the title. If you’ve done your keyword search, search engines will pick it up more and more.
2. Always use an image (I know Maryann Miller will be proud!).
- I’ve balked at this because, well, it’s a pain in the butt. But studies have shown readers are much more likely to read a blog that has an image.
- Put that image up front. Readers are more likely to begin reading text under the image, so make sure they can see it as soon as possible.
3. Use a lot of bullet points and white space.
- Readers are daunted by long blocks of text. As authors (and especially those of us who began in the newspaper business), we know this. Note to self: I’m guilty of getting carried away with what I’m saying, and just ramble on.
- Readers love bullet points. Of course, I explain this to my writers of nonfiction every single day. And have utilized it in my own nonfiction. But did I think about it while blogging? You know the answer! And of course, I’ve overdone it here, to again make that point.
4. Blog more often.
Okay, now that I have that out of my system, I do understand the need for this. We all do. But I had no idea the impact, nor did I have the tools to manage it. A few good ones:
- Identify 4-5 categories, under which you can reasonably write a host of posts. Plan these out.
- Write series posts. Another no-brainer, right? So why don’t I do that? Now and then I do, such a series on Viewpoint, another on Structure and the Novel. But then, of course, I don’t finish them! Busted again.
- Here’s the tip that really phoned home for me! How many followers do you have on your blog? A few? A couple dozen? Studies have shown that for your first 1-50 blog posts, you’ll have a few followers. This might go up to dozens as your blog numbers rise. But there’s sort of a hundredth-monkey syndrome (my take) that causes your blog to take off, logarithmically. And that’s your one-hundredth blog post. The folks at Fun City don’t know why, but this is apparently an irrefutable fact.
Renee provided many more wonderful tips, but I have to stay within her 400-600 word limit, so I must stop.
What techniques do you use to pull more readers to your blog?
Award-winning author and editor Susan Mary Malone has five traditionally-published books to her credit (fiction and nonfiction) and many published short stories. A freelance editor, forty-plus Malone-edited books have now sold to traditional publishers. You can see more about her, and what authors say about working with her, at: MaloneEditorial.com