A few blogging truths & strategies

Here is a list of a few things I have found out during my first 4 months of blogging:

Truths

No matter what we say, we all want some site traffic.

“I’d be writing these things either way.” Not entirely true. My blog is about showcasing my own writer’s journey from start to finish. While yes, it is true I will write my book no matter what, if the blog all of a sudden went to zero visits for a few weeks straight, I’d probably scrap it. We all want traffic. Seriously, who doesn’t look at their own blog stats? Who doesn’t try from time to time a little strategy to get another follower, even if only to test the strategy out? Don’t lie. It’s good to do those things. There is one thing I think they need to change though. When using the mobile app, it doesn’t count as a view when someone clicks on your post to read the whole article, only when they click the link at the top to go to the actual homepage. That makes it a little difficult to get a full idea for how many people are reading, or…not reading (shhh! Don’t say that!).

Almost everyone on WordPress is also a writer. 

This truth is a little more unfortunate than anything, but it’s just the way she goes. I bet some 75% or more of my followers clicked the button without reading anything and/or had no intention of reading further. That’s okay. That advertising tool works well I’m sure. Yet it isn’t like Twitter or Tumblr where there are tons of people with accounts who use them solely to read other posts. Everyone on here in the end is looking out for themselves, so to speak, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as long as you do the thing I mention at the very end of this post.

Strategies

Split posts into parts whenever you can.

There are a lot of reasons why this works. 1: You get more posts for the same idea. Splitting it up means you get more for less, and each of your posts will be shorter. I don’t know about you, but when I see a post that says “1,200 more words”, there isn’t a great chance I’m going to read the whole thing. 2: When you make a series of posts, you have the potential to get more readers. Why? Well, if someone read post #6 in the series and they liked it, they may read all the previous ones as well, and, if someone has passed over your posts in the feeds, by the time they see a few they might think, ‘ah, what the hell’ and give your site a try.

TAG EFFECTIVELY!

Did you know that when you use more than 15 tags, that your posts will NOT show up in the Reader feed, or the tag feeds? The tag feeds are where we bloggers get new readers, so keep it to a minimum. Use tags that actually have to do with your post, and use general terms for your tags; categories that people might actually search. Also, use more than just 3 or 4, try and use more in the range of 10-12.

Don’t post on Friday nights.

This isn’t a big deal, but from personal experience, I have never had any success with Friday afternoon or later posts. People aren’t on WordPress at that time. Makes sense to me. However, I don’t know the official statistics on that one, I’m just throwing it out there.

KEEP ON BLOGGING!

I’ve been blogging on my site for about four months now, and I’ve already seen a number of other blogs come to life, flourish, then die off just as fast. Some of them were really great too, it’s such a shame. I could tell though, that a few people thought they could come on and everyone would flock to their site, but it doesn’t work that way. You have to keep the ball rolling, and earn what you expect to achieve.

Add Like buttons to your homepage.

On the sharing menu in the blog dashboard there is an option to add sharing buttons and the like button to the bottom of your posts on the homepage (important for mobile, especially). This is only if your site is set up to show full posts on the homepage, as opposed to summaries where a visitor has to click a “read more” type of option (another interfacing option). If that is the case, add the setting to place Like buttons to your homepage feed. Just do it. Either way, put some effort into the appearance, layout, and functionality. 

One last thing…

If you like it, LIKE IT!

If you did read a post, and thought it was great, good, or not bad, then click the Like button! Help a blogger out! Don’t be shy. Show that you did read it. It helps out writers since the more likes there are, the more likely someone sifting through the tag feeds will click on it. It is just reality that the average person is most likely to read along with something that had 5,000 followers than something with 17, even if the content on those two example sites is nearly identical. Your readers are out there, but you need to guide them to your site. 

© 2013 FOTS Fantasy

6 comments

  1. Scott Kaelen · · Reply

    I completely agree. So far I fully admit I haven’t yet got the hang of WordPress, yet I continue to post because the day will come when my WIP becomes a finished first draft, and later a polished manuscript, and hopefully eventually a novel – at which point it would be nice to already have a number of . . . not ‘fans’, but people who have at least raised an eyebrow at some of my posts or pages and thought, “Hmm. Sounds interesting,” or, “I like what this guy has to say.”
    I’m not after massive numbers, because, as you sort of pointed out, the vast majority would end up being bots or just people who once made an arbitrary ‘follow’ click and never bothered returning.
    All we can do is keep writing, not posting posts that are BS, self-absorbed or just downright yawnworthy, and hope that we gain some recognition.
    Good post. 🙂

    1. You’ve said it perfectly! That is the same reason why my own blog exists, a nice foundation already in place once that day arrives when the WIP becomes a finished thing. And in the meantime, it’s just as you said, continue to add interesting content. I’ve found writing on here to be a lot of fun, and I too agree that if we continue to be genuine, recognition will come our way. Thanks for the great comment!

  2. Exactly my experience! Glad you are still blogging. I always enjoy your posts and happily volunteer for betareader should you ever need one 😉

    1. Awesome, thank you. I’ll keep that in mind, I would be glad to have you as a beta-reader once it is finally ready. 🙂

  3. I read this from my phone, but you pointed out that the stats only count if you get a hit from the reader. Nice post, I have found many of the things you state to be true as well.

    1. Yea, I wished they changed that, but oh well. Thanks for reading!

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