are you a business and think of your blog as a way to draw in consumers?
do you have dreams of internet fame?
do you expect to make real money from your blog and be able to retire?
do you think it's going to get you that book/record deal you want?
do you collect followers on your blog just like you collect facebook "friends" and twitter followers?
i read a lot of blogs. and i see a lot of blogs that seem to be more about driving traffic than anything else. so here's my advice:
- join networks. you don't really care if people are reading you, do you? you just want those all important clicks and backlinks. so join as many networks as you can. bloggers there who aren't reading your blog will all be part of that network and they'll all follow you in return for following them.
- go to conferences. same thing. spend a lot of time and money to go to meet thousands of people who don't really want to read anyone else's blog, but they want to have you follow theirs.
- invent blogging challenges. make some little blogging meme and get lots of bloggers to do it too, and hopefully they will give you a link. awesome. i LOVE to read dozens of nearly identical blogs every day when people take up cookie-cutter challenges.
- participate in a challenge. "august vacation!" "pic-a-day". "seven things about yourself". then you can all link to each other and see who's doing it, too. it's like death to the reader, but you'll have links.
- giveaways! give stuff away to people who leave comments! there. THAT will get tons of people to comment. and of course people who comment just to get a prize will stick aroudn and be a real reader, won't they? well, at least you'll have a backlink.
- make tons of comments on blogs. it doesn't matter if it has anything to do with the post, or if you're part of an actual conversation. you will have a backlink. and of course your comment will be so interesting that tons of people will follow your blog as soon as they see it.
- give out blog awards! make a little graphic that people can put on their page to tell the world how proud they are that you awarded them the "flowers and sunshine" blogging award even though they write about war atrocities. of course your award will have lots of little rules in it, including a mention and a backlink. and won't you feel special when they display your award right up there with the 56,000 other awards they received from people who want backlinks?
- ask questions. no matter what your blog entry is about, be sure to end with a question so that your readers will want to make lots of comments. it works because people love to talk about themselves. you know they do. you have a blog, right? so you talk about yourself and then ask a meaningless question so that other people will talk about themselves and give you their traffic.
- follow, follow, follow! follow dozens -no, hundreds of blogs. you don't have to read them. just follow them publicly and the people who write them will be polite and follow you back.
oh. were you just interesting in writing an interesting blog? and you don't care about traffic?
well then. it's easy. write what you want, when you want to. show pictures or tell stories or whatever. if you are blogging for a business, connect to your customers by giving them content that will interest them. if you sell barbecue accessories, blog about recipes and gardening and how to use a grill really well, but ALSO tell about whatever interests you. banjo music?
give people a reason to read you. provide a service that's not about making a sale.
on average i read about 400 blogs every day.
every. single. day.
some of them are aggregators. some of them give original content. there are professionals and average joes.
here are two of my favorites:
gurney journey this is the blog of a working artist/illustrator. he writes about his work, other people's work, and whatever happens to interest him at the moment. he has (i think) a large following, but he's about content, not followers. he post on average twice a day, and it is always interesting.
janette kok is a quiet little christian lady living a quiet little christian life in the pacific northwest. she writes on average once a day and talks about what she's reading and what's in her garden. it maybe doesn't sound like a must-read to you, but i read her every day and when i'm too tired or fed up to read a lot of the other blogs i read daily, i am always happy to read hers. she does not care one bit about followers or links or comments.
meanwhile, back at the farm, i am eagerly awaiting the opening of the glitch world tomorrow. and i am making lots of precious little recipes. i'm also signing up for various new internet services for communication and data visualization, just to try them out. i'll let you know if i get anything good.
oh! by-the-way- last night for dinner i made this casserole before i went out for my run and then baked it after. it's good.