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Bulletin Board > Adding value to your blog -- what works?

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message 1: by D.R. (new)

D.R. (drshoultz) | 34 comments In addition to author interviews, book reviews, and updates on my novels, I've recently added original SHORT STORIES to my blog. My traffic is gradually improving, but still not where I want it. What have you found that works? Share your thoughts and examples.

http://drshoultz.blogspot.com/p/month...


message 2: by Shaun (new)

Shaun Horton | 248 comments Look around and pay attention to what's going on in the genre you write it. It may seem like an obvious statement, but for example.

My blog posts average between 20 and 40 views per post over the course of a month. Coming up to October, one thing I noticed going around the internet was a 2-sentence horror story sensation, so, for October, I did a post on those. That post, within two weeks, had 250 hits.

For November, I've done posts about working through a novel, in support of NaNoWriMo, those posts haven't gotten nearly as many hits, but they have caught the attention of a few writers a bit higher up the food chain than I, and they've shared those posts on their pages and on Twitter through no work of mine.

Also, in addition to horror, and my own works, I've done several posts about the business of writing. A way to pay all the advice I've been given, found, and learned forward.


message 3: by Marlowe (new)

Marlowe Sr. (Ariindam Chakrabortiy) (mrmarlowe) | 7 comments All great tips. So far as I am concerned, I dunno what to blog about, so I guess I'd defer it until I have really something worthwhile to write about, rather than starting a blog just for the sake of it and posting junk. :-)


message 4: by Gregor (new)

Gregor Xane (gregorxane) | 274 comments Marlowe wrote: "All great tips. So far as I am concerned, I dunno what to blog about, so I guess I'd defer it until I have really something worthwhile to write about, rather than starting a blog just for the sake ..."

Good idea. If you force it, it will seem forced.


message 5: by D.R. (new)

D.R. (drshoultz) | 34 comments Karl wrote: "I wish I knew the answer, I probably don't add content to my blog as often as I should. I have ideas but with so much other writing related stuff it's hard to find the time.

My personal recommenda..."


I agree with the pictures. I guess they help compete with the mass information that's out there. I do try to stick to posts about writing, mine or others.


message 6: by D.R. (new)

D.R. (drshoultz) | 34 comments Shaun wrote: "Look around and pay attention to what's going on in the genre you write it. It may seem like an obvious statement, but for example.

My blog posts average between 20 and 40 views per post over the..."


The birds of a feather posts like NaNoWriMo and the bigger writing contests do seem to get more traction. I haven't tried the hot topic in my genre approach, but action/adventure is pretty broad. Good ideas.


message 7: by Shaun (new)

Shaun Horton | 248 comments Pictures are also a good idea. People do searches for pictures as much as they do for words, terms, and names. Adding in pictures gives you something else that brings your blog up in searches. Just try to make sure they're (relatively) on-topic.


message 8: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 2189 comments I haven't checked my web stats in a while at least in a religious constant view lately but when I do I am surprised at what people are looking at. Shauns right about pictures, I have a page called the Chamber of Horrors which fetaures people fictional and real of horror, it gets a good amount of views. Short stories are also a good idea as well as poetry if your a writer of such. Also try to write articles and blog posts frequently as well.


message 9: by Jae (new)

Jae Holt (jae_holt) | 13 comments D.R. wrote: "I guess $20 isn't enough. I'm hearing crickets."

Do you have a facebook or twitter account? If you push your blog through social media outlets, you might find more followers. Although you want to be careful not to sound too much like "buy my stuff!" as that can be a turn off.

I always post links to my blog posts via twitter and facebook and it does help, although it would help me more if I had more followers myself! ^_^


message 10: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 2189 comments I got to start Tweeting more but I don't know Twitter doesn't seem to do much for me..


message 11: by D.R. (new)

D.R. (drshoultz) | 34 comments I have 8,000 twitter followers, and when I reference my blog on twitter, I get only a few hits on the blog in the next few minutes. It might generate hits more later, but hard to tell. RTs also help. I have 650 likes on FB and seem to get more traffic to my blog from FB. I try not to push "selling" too hard by mixing in "content" posts and tweets.


message 12: by Jenelle (last edited Dec 04, 2013 05:31AM) (new)

Jenelle Pictures, consistent blogging (people get burned out if you post every day, but I've found that 3 times a week is a good number), participating in various "memes" like "thoughtful Thursday" or "teaser Tuesday" or "movie review Monday" things like that that other bloggers are hosting with Linky Lists.

I highly recommend taking part in the April A-Z blogging challenge - you can acquire quite a few new readers that way, and it's just one month, so not a huge commitment.

Anything you can get involved in where other blogs point to your own is a good way to get more readers. For example, I'm currently participating in an Author Blog Scavenger Hunt, which includes 33 blogs, and my numbers are THROUGH the roof this week compared to what they normally are (the starting post is here, if you want to see the sort of thing I'm talking about: http://brockeastman.wordpress.com/201... )

Also, doing a giveaway can be helpful - particularly if one of the ways to enter is to "like" your facebook page/"follow" your twitter account/"subscribe" to your blog... etc.


message 13: by D.R. (new)

D.R. (drshoultz) | 34 comments I've heard December is a slow month for blogs, so I added an original Christmas short story that has helped pick up the pace a little. Please come give it a read.

http://drshoultz.blogspot.com/p/every...


message 14: by Angel (new)

Angel Haze (authorangelhaze) | 18 comments Justin wrote: "I got to start Tweeting more but I don't know Twitter doesn't seem to do much for me.."

What kind of tweets are you sending out? Get to know people, respond to their tweets. Make sure your tweets are not centering just around you.

The biggest thing you can do is to find out top bloggers in your area and then start commenting on their blogs and social networks. Get them to notice you and then they'll likely reciprocate and spread the word to their followers.


message 15: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 2189 comments I don't tweet straight from Twitter but usually from my facebook fanpage which is usually about my book. When I send regular tweets they go unnoticed half the time. I don't know, just hard to get into a rhythm.


message 16: by Sharon (new)

Sharon French (Sharon_French) | 5 comments My blog is all "How To" in nature and I get a lot of readers who read in depth. My story is that I am "half my size" due to healthy eating and exercise within my limits.

I believe everyone can do it like I did - get over the miserable weight of obesity. So I wrote and continue to write books about it, hoping to help others.

I keep photo essays at Behance and I have a You Tube Channel. I try to swirl my traffic around my sites in hopes people will buy my books or donate because my free work helped them. So far, I have been selling slowly since publishing in 2013. Here are my sites:

• Fitinfun.com Site Writing http://www.fitinfun.com
• Sharon Fitinfun Foto Behance Photos http://www.behance.net/fitinfun/colle...
• Photographic "About Me" http://www.behance.net/collection/Abo...
• Sharon Fitinfun You Tube http://www.youtube.com/user/fitinfun
• Playlists: https://www.youtube.com/user/fitinfun...

I would love to hear any input from any of you about ways I can improve in getting my message out. Thank you for an interesting discussion topic and responses.


message 17: by D.R. (new)

D.R. (drshoultz) | 34 comments Angel wrote: "Justin wrote: "I got to start Tweeting more but I don't know Twitter doesn't seem to do much for me.."

What kind of tweets are you sending out? Get to know people, respond to their tweets. Make su..."


Good suggestions. Thanks, Angel.


message 18: by D.R. (new)

D.R. (drshoultz) | 34 comments Justin wrote: "I don't tweet straight from Twitter but usually from my facebook fanpage which is usually about my book. When I send regular tweets they go unnoticed half the time. I don't know, just hard to get i..."

I have a large number of twitter followers and FB Likes, but don't seem to get much traction from either to my Blog. I try to mix advertising my writing with other personable stuff. What I've found is followers will respond more to a mountain picture taken off my deck than an excerpt from my short stories. Human nature I guess.


message 19: by Lizzie (last edited Jan 18, 2014 07:02AM) (new)

Lizzie Chantree (goodreadscomlizzie_chantree) | 18 comments I have just published my first novel and set up my blog. I have no idea how to let people know I have a blog, other than Twitter and Facebook. Are there any thoughts on best way to advertise a blog? I would welcome some suggestions.

What is everyones opinion about using a free blog site, or paying for a less basic set up?

Thank you!


message 20: by Martyn (new)

Martyn Halm (amsterdamassassinseries) | 916 comments As long as you're not making serious money, I would stick with a free blog site. Another thing is that, for instance, Wordpress.com blogs are 'connected' - it's easy for Wordpress bloggers to follow your blog and get updates of your articles in their 'blog reader'.

Also, while a website should/could be geared towards the theme of your books, 'a blog is a blog'. Wordpress.com has dozens of themes that are free, free widgets and plugins, and all of that shouldn't distract from the prime reason for having a blog: publishing your articles.

If you check out my blog, http://amsterdamassassin.wordpress.com/, you'll see that I chose a basic and clear blog theme, put the important info (name and contact info) in the header, and didn't mess with funky fonts and cute backgrounds, so that the pages load quickly (even for people with slow connections) and readers can concentrate on the content, my articles.


message 21: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 2189 comments I was able to link my Facebook Fanpage to Twitter and unlink Twitter from facebook. I am getting into a good rhythm with Twitter on it's own so thats always good.

Websites and blogs? Let me tell you! Webs.com is awful...I'm using the free service and if I wasn't 3 years in committed to all I've put into it I'd delete it but can't get myself to do it. My site looks good, has a lot of great stuff on it such as info about my books, trailers, blog posts and even a Chamber of Horrors. However...Webs recently updated their whole formatting so now its hell to try to access certain pages and make changes to stuff. When I am able to make changes I go nuts lol. So aside from sharing that, a word of advice, don't go with Webs.com.

http://jbienvenue.webs.com/


message 22: by Lizzie (new)

Lizzie Chantree (goodreadscomlizzie_chantree) | 18 comments Thanks for your advice. I will take a look at your blog sites.


message 23: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Cunningham (brutesentiment) | 11 comments Here's a better question:

How many author blog posts do you read that you see in your various feeds? Honestly?

Throw out any authors you know or are friends with... Now how many?

Posting regularly is important to keeping readers, but quantity isn't enough. There is a TON of stuff out there for people to read. There are links posted every minute into the average person's social feeds. How is yours going to stand out?

Don't just write something for people to read, find a reason for them to read it. Be careful of making your posts sound like those buzzfeed things filling up Facebook, and but make stuff that will interest people.

And if it doesn't get hits right away, don't worry. Half that stuff will be of its best use in the upcoming weeks and months, when you do write something that someone notices and comes to read. Then, when you have three or four things worth reading your site, and then, they'll notice YOU.

And that's really the point, right?


message 24: by D.R. (new)

D.R. (drshoultz) | 34 comments If I had to chose between consistency vs. quality, I'd definitely pick quality, and for that reason, I think blogs are a better place for authors to spend their time than peppering the internet with Facebook and Twitter posts.


message 25: by Sharon (new)

Sharon French (Sharon_French) | 5 comments I'm using Twitter and FB to alert people to the content they can find on my blog, D.R. It is working very well. My traffic is up and the people who come from my social media posts are more engaged and read longer than my search traffic.

If you have other strategies to get people to your blog posts, I would love to hear them since that is the name of the game for me.


message 26: by D.R. (new)

D.R. (drshoultz) | 34 comments I've found twitter, google+, and goodreads are best at getting readers to my blog FB not so much, even with 800 likes.


message 27: by Lynda (new)

Lynda Dietz | 354 comments I think some of the problem with FB is that Facebook itself decides what's important for you to see, and if you don't click or comment on someone's posts often enough, then FB moves them to the back burner and you may never see them again unless you make it a point to change your settings. I have a FB page for my editing services, and the number of "likes" I have is irrelevant when only a fraction of them get to see what I post each week. My personal FB page generates more blog traffic for me than my editing page.

My blog has been getting more hits simply because I've been visiting more blogs and making a point of commenting when I have something to add to the conversation. When anyone comments on mine, I always go to their own site to see if I want to follow them or at least check in regularly.

I also post here when I have a new blog post (which is typically twice a week, Monday & Thursday), and every once in awhile I'll get a new visitor from here.


message 28: by D.R. (new)

D.R. (drshoultz) | 34 comments Good input Lynda. I actually canceled my FB acct this week. Staying active on my blog, goodreads and google+.


message 29: by Lynda (new)

Lynda Dietz | 354 comments D.R. wrote: "I actually canceled my FB acct this week. Staying active on my blog, goodreads and google+."

Those are three good ones to focus on. I like your blog! It's one of the dozen or so I check every time there's a new post.

I like my FB for the social aspect, but I'm not fooling myself into thinking it's doing anything other than keeping me social.


message 30: by Jenelle (last edited Jan 24, 2014 01:23PM) (new)

Jenelle Facebook actually works fairly well for me, but I am crazy about posting stuff on there daily (and multiple times a day). Usually there's a "question of the day" or a "name that movie quote" and then random updates such as:
"I wrote 2,200 words today, that's a record!"
or
"Why does someone think they might be able to sell a used copy of my book for $999 on amazon, when you can buy it new for $10?" (true story)
or
"We find out tomorrow the results of (insert writing contest I entered a while back)! Cannot stand the suspense!!!"

And I link to all of my blog posts.

The majority of my views actually come referred through facebook. It can be very helpful, but only if you use it correctly. If you only link to your blog posts and get on there personally once a month, then no, it won't do you much good, and it's probably better to find an avenue that works for you. Not everything will work for everyone. I had twitter for about a week before I decided that I just couldn't stand being on it enough to make it a worthwhile endeavor. Find what works for you, and what you enjoy, and stick with that. There is no "right" answer to how to get your blog to take off (and, I'm not really one to talk, I only have 32 "official" blog followers to date... so take my advice with that grain of salt).


message 31: by Lynda (new)

Lynda Dietz | 354 comments Jenelle wrote: "Find what works for you, and what you enjoy, and stick with that. There is no "right" answer to how to get your blog to take off..."

I agree. I have a Twitter account and don't think it does much good for me, but I follow some neat people with good editorial advice. However, there are people out there who LOVE their Twitter accounts and feel very connected to the community there. I guess it's all in how you use the medium. What works for one may bomb for another.


message 32: by D.R. (new)

D.R. (drshoultz) | 34 comments Gee, Jenelle. I thought I was the only author with a $999.00 used copy waiting for some lucky reader on amazon. :)

I'm sure I didn't use FB effectively, but tired of having too many irons in the fire. In the end, I believe quality and consistency wins. Each person needs to find how to best accomplish that.


message 33: by Martyn (last edited Jan 24, 2014 02:43PM) (new)

Martyn Halm (amsterdamassassinseries) | 916 comments D.R. wrote: "Each person needs to find how to best accomplish that."

I think you made a wise decision to focus mainly on the social media you can control best. Your blog.

If you keep the FB account, you can still 'publish' your blog articles automatically to FB. Doesn't hurt and takes little effort to do.


message 34: by Therin (new)

Therin Knite | 10 comments I don't even have a FB page. I loathe FB. I'm active on WordPress, Twitter, Tumblr, and Pinterest. I don't get too much traffic coming to my blog from Twitter or Pinterest, but I get a few from Tumblr. The overwhelming majority of my traffic comes from other WordPress users and Google searches.

In terms of content, I write poetry, short fiction, writing and reading topics, publishing journey posts, and book reviews. Variety has served me well so far, so I plan to continue with it.


message 35: by J.T. (new)

J.T. Buckley (jtbuckley) | 159 comments D.R. wrote: "Gee, Jenelle. I thought I was the only author with a $999.00 used copy waiting for some lucky reader on amazon. :)

I'm sure I didn't use FB effectively, but tired of having too many irons in the..."


The second day my book was available there was at least 1 copy for a ridiculous price.


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