Lesson 3 – Top tips in self-promotion

Following on from my previous post on the subject of Learning to Blog, I decided to update my latest findings. I am looking into ways of driving more traffic to a blog.

To be clear, I have not yet found the answer. I am still wandering through a Google search to see what insight there is. A lot of the posts and websites dedicated to the subject use terminology I am not yet familiar with so I am learning by trial, error and a lot of playing about.

So far, a few simple things have worked for me.

1. Being freshly pressed. Frankly, I am not sure what it was about my post that stood out but thanks to the Freshly Pressed pickers I had over 900 visitors in 2 days. Before I feel too smug though, I admit that very few seemed to want to stick about to read more.

That’s fine. Lesson learnt that my writing may be cathartic for me, but maybe not so exciting for the reader. The main problem with this is that a visitor to a blog who doesn’t enjoy what they read rarely leaves a critical appraisal behind aimed at my personal development.

2. Browsing blogs and leaving comments. I like to read other blogs. I have browsed through a number of sites every day in the last few months. However I cannot agree with the concept that I should like and comment on posts even though I am not really interested in them, just to encourage the same reader to my own little corner. That seems rude.

I want people to comment on my posts because they are interested in something I wrote about, not just to grab my attention and drag it to their own page. So I will pay back the same courtesy. If I have liked or commented on your post, it is because it provoked a reaction. (If I haven’t, maybe I just didn’t find your blog yet. There are a lot for me to get through).

3. Replying to comments left on my posts. There seem to be 2 trains on thought on this. One is that I should reply to every comment left, to be polite and show my appreciation for a visitor taking the time to reply. Another is that replying to every comment is time consuming and becomes repetitive.

I suspect the latter is aimed at those people who receive hundreds of comments a day. Perhaps when I get to that point I too will run out of responses and time. For now, I really do enjoy every comment I receive and I do endeavour to respond to them all. It’s not just being polite, it’s because I am enjoying the interaction and the chance to meet new friends!

4. Using social media. Now this is the tricky one. So far I have created a Facebook page linked to this site. I believe I have had one visitor – a friend from the real world. I don’t think Facebook is the way to meet strangers online, personally I use it for friends and family.

I have also joined Mumsnet bloggers – it being suggested that as I write about family and my kids as often as anything else I should fit right in. I am not sure yet how much traffic that generates, but it has given a whole new arena of blogs to read. So much reading, so little time!

Twitter is of course the favourite. Every piece of advice mentions having a tweet – it’s a whole new verb in it’s own right. I have to say that I find it strange though. What should I post about on Twitter? Are you interested in what I had for dinner or should I stick to promoting the blog only? Or is that just boring?

So how much is too much?

I am currently setting up a blog for my brother to promote his business and photography. I linked it to his Twitter account, last updated 300 days ago. I suggested he should update it more often. He replied that he felt he should post less frequently but with ‘content rich’ posts, both on Twitter and the blog. Too much, he said, and no one would pay much attention.

I, on the other hand, have found most advice suggests to post more frequently to encourage interest. Only posting monthly would surely mean that followers lose patience in waiting for the next update. Neglect your readers and they will neglect you in return.

But who is right?

I expect the answer is somewhere in between. Post regularly, but make it relevant and readable, rather than random drivel. Of course, applying that to Twitter will require a different interpretation to applying it to a blog.

Now – back to my research to find out just what it is I am meant to tweet. Any suggestions?

About Piper George

Wife, mother, puppy chaser extraordinaire. Freelance copy-writer and blogger! Life is full of opportunities - it's having the time to grab them that's hard.

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Comments

Lesson 3 – Top tips in self-promotion — 9 Comments

  1. It sounds like you’re on the right track! Social media is a good way of meeting other like-minded people. You shouldn’t just promote your blog on Twitter though, post things about yourself too but most importantly join in with other people and have conversations. If you see someone tweet something interesting or ask for advice, reply to them. I don’t really use it enough to promote my blog I don’t think, but many people do see a lot of traffic from there. I think many people will promote a post about three times during the day – morning, afternoon and evening. I usually only manage to promote each of my posts once, if I get time!

    I think that commenting on other blogs is really important, but I don’t comment just for the sake of it. If I’m having to do that then I probably won’t return to the blog anyway. I usually read blogs in Google Reader on my phone, so I add a star to posts that I want to comment on and then do a load all in one go. Then from time to time I will go on a hunt for new blogs, by looking through the lists on the various networks or by going through the blog roll of a blog that I enjoy.

    There is a really good post here which might help with some ideas http://www.tots100.co.uk/2012/11/14/50-ways-to-increase-blog-traffic/ (you might also want to join the Tots100 Index, it’s another way of linking up with some more parenting blogs/blogs written by parents).

    It does take a lot of time to build up traffic, but it does increase over time, and the rate of increase is quicker over time too I’ve found. Good luck, and you have me as a new reader!

    • That’s a really helpful reply, thank you for taking the time. I’ll be spending more time getting to grips with Twitter, that’s my project for the next few weeks I think. Although I really should try fitting in work, coursework, family . . . Oh there is far too much I want to do and read. Thanks for reading my blog though ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I think that short posts can be more easily absorbed and are more likely to get a response than the ones where it is hard to get to the bottom of the page if you know what I mean. Words on their own can be daunting to many readers, chuck in some eye candy and it becomes easier to digest.
    There is also a good and bad time to launch a post, an awareness of local time for your greatest audience is useful.
    One thing I have learned, these things we call blogs can become way too absorbing, they can start to steal your life, the drive to become more popular can have a negative side too.

    • That is also a very good point. I have no idea what a good time to launch a post would be. I find that I get more readers from the US than the UK – is that because WordPress is predominantly America I wonder? Or because of the time of day I post?
      I do agree though, the blog is taking over at the moment. I do tend to get focused on a new project and recently Mr G has complained I spend more time tapping on the laptop than talking to him ๐Ÿ™

      • It does seem to be mainly America that reads my stuff too, chances are that the time of day you go online is the same for most, so pick your audience and launch at that time on their time ๐Ÿ˜€ Who needs sleep anyway?
        Best to set aside a time to do this stuff, then keep to it, otherwise it becomes too much

  3. Oh no! I think I write a lot of drivel! ๐Ÿ˜€ But I’m guessing my readers like it because they keep coming back (though I’m still not sure why).

    I like to keep my posts short (as Arnold stated in his comment) but that’s only because I enjoy reading shorter posts. If I come across a long post from a blog I love I’ll save it and read it in bed before I go to sleep. I don’t really have time to do a lot of reading during the day.

    You’re right about FP. I had a lot of hits and comments when it happened to me and I think only about a third of those who commented stuck by me.

    If you find the magic button for driving more traffic – charge for it because you’ll make a fortune ๐Ÿ˜€

    • I agree, I prefer to read short posts and I do lose interest if they are too long, unless it’s really compelling. Good to get lots of points of view on this – I appreciate all the feedback I can get ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I study journalism at university and over the last couple of weeks we’ve had a series of lectures on increasing SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and how to promote. The online editor of Glamour magazine UK took the lectures so it’s pretty sound advice!
    Try and make use of bit.ly (https://bitly.com/) it shortens links for you so that you can post them on forums, social networks etc. Then it lets you know how many clicks your link gets, and where it is people are clicking on it (eg. Twitter or Facebook). Also make sure to tag every single one of your posts, and, for example, if you are writing about… Miley Cyrus, the title of your post has the words “Miley Cyrus” and also you mention “Miley Cyrus” as much as you can in the actual text of your post. This means whenever someone Google’s “Miley Cyrus” your blog post should come higher towards the top. Links between posts will also increase traffic, keeping readers on your page, and the number of “clickables” helps to keep readers engaged (videos, polls, links etc.) There’s a few tips that should hopefully help!

  5. Pingback: Lesson 4 – Well, a question really! « Talk About Cheesecake

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