Today on the blog, I have the lovely Yawatta Hosby of A Writer’s Blog over for a visit! She’s going to share with us the most important things she’s learned by being a blogger! Be excited, folks, because Yawatta is a terrific blogger, writer, and book reviewer extraordinaire. Take it away, Yawatta!
They say that a blog is popular once it reaches 1,000 hits. Well, I say posting on a regular basis is a triumph in itself. I created My Writer’s Blog a year ago, and I’d like to share some things I’ve learned along the way.
- First things first. You have to decide if you want your audience to be writers, readers, or both. I wanted both. I was looking forward to connecting with other writers (especially newbies like me), so we could network and share tips. I loved getting a glimpse into another authors publishing/writing journey. I also wanted to attract readers, so later on, I decided to include book reviews, short stories, and creative writing prompts to my blog.
- If you want blog hits, then you can’t just post. You have to venture off to other blogs and leave comments and/or like posts. DON’T SPAM. If someone likes what you’ve written, then out of curiosity, they’ll check your blog out to get a sense of who you are. This helped me get plenty of hits by the end of the day when I first started out. Then I linked my blog to other social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Goodreads, other writing forums). Be active and engage in the online community. Build friendships. Friends like to support their friends. I never talk about my novels or short stories unless it’s in one of my posts.
- If you’re an author, create some posts about your novels and writing routine. Your followers may be motivated to buy your book once it’s published because they’ll feel like they took the journey with you. At least, that’s how I feel when I follow other blogs. In fact, I even set up a reading challenge, looking for books by bloggers (jf the description and genre piqued my interest). It’s rare though for writers to buy other books. Sometimes they’re too busy promoting their own work. That’s why it’s a good idea to attract readers to your blog. DON’T SPAM about your book though. Leave your book cover image, links to websites where customers can buy on your sidebar or on a particular page. When people visit your blog, they’ll see for themselves if your books will reach their reading shelves (or ebook readers).
- I’m a writer, but I’m also a reader. I’ve loved books ever since I was a little girl. That’s why I wanted to include book reviews on my blog. When I first started out, I would notice an author asking for someone to review their book. I would send them an email. My blog hardly had any hits, but I would still try to help any way I could. Some authors never responded back. Feeling snubbed, I kept it moving. Their loss. I decided it was best for me to find my own books to review, and that’s when I created my reading challenge last Christmas. It forced me to branch out, and I met a lot of friends along the way. Plus, it gave me experience on writing book reviews. Then, I created a Contact Me page, so authors could find me if they wanted to. It’s imperative to list guidelines if you have any, especially reveal what genres you prefer.
- Keep up with posting. I’m not saying you have to blog every day, but do it at least once or twice a week. I noticed when I post on a regular basis, I get more hits.
- You have visitors. Now what? If you want your blog to be successful, then you should gain a readership. That’s different than random passerbys only stopping once. To get a following, include widgets onto your sidebar, especially a “subscribe” link. Other popular widgets: gravatar (your picture), top posts and pages, blogroll, Twitter updates, Facebook Likes, etc. Also make sure when you post, include popular tags so search engines can find your blog. Search engines are a blogger’s best friend. Link to other sites, share information.
- Last but not least, don’t think of blogging as a race. I can’t even lie, I’m obsessed with checking out my blog stats on a daily basis. It was even worse when I first started LOL. However, I learned to be proud of any progress, even if it’s only 10 hits a day. Slow and steady is good.