With that disclaimer in mind, I'm going to give you some tips for how I've built my blog into something I like maintaining. You might apply these tips to your blogging and see if you can expand your blogging horizons.
Why am I doing this? I've received some emails from people that say things like, "I can only hope to get my blog to where yours is someday."
And I'm here to say: wrong!
I didn't hope for this and then one day it came true.
Like most things in life, it took a freaking lotta work. So dispel that myth that I haven't done anything to increase my readership.
Disclaimer #2: I'm not bragging. I'm simply saying what's worked for me, and what I think you might try to turn your
Now that we've got all that out of the way, let's recap.
I started blogging in February 2008. Under an anonymous name. Even though my name was the name of the blog. Yeah, I'm not the sharpest crayon in the box. But whatev.
I didn't tell anyone I was blogging. I didn't read any other blogs (besides literary agents). I didn't comment on blogs.
No one read my blog. No one commented. Why would they?
Fast-forward a few months. I joined a blog chain. It was mandatory for the members of the chain to comment on the blog chain posts.
I blogged irregularly, but at least (a very few) people knew about my blog now. Which leads me to my first two tips:
1. Tell people about your blog. Use a forum, your signature line in your emails, whatever.
2. Choose a regular blog schedule and stick to it. I blog daily now. And when I'm going to be gone, I tell my readers. Even once a week is fine. Set a schedule and stick to it.
When I started blogging for QueryTracker, I got smart. I started blogging daily.
My readership didn't do much though. I didn't have many followers. How to get more? How to get people to come back? How to get more comments than just my blog chain buddies?
I had a blog, but it wasn't functioning.
Which leads me to:
3. Set goals. What do you want from your blog? 10 comments? 30? 100 visitors a day? New friendships? What's important to you? My goal was to increase my readership and get repeat readers. I didn't set specific numbers. I just knew I wanted people to come read and keep coming back.
Question: How in the world do you do that?
So I had a schedule. My blog was out of the bag. I knew what I wanted. Now, to do it.
Here's the greatest secret of all...
Are you ready?
4. Post meaningful content that relates to your goal. (Remember I blogged about how it's not all about you? It's really true.)
That's it. That's the key to turning your non-functioning blog into a functioning blog. Posting meaningful content that relates to your goal. Before, I was posting, well, weird stuff. Since I figured out what people want to read, my readership and comments increased.
But this post is getting long, so I'm going to save what I did next for later. I just wanted to say that just because I started posting meaningful content doesn't mean my blog became popular. I had to work to make it so. And I'll spill how I did that next time. I think these four things are a great place to start if you're considering how you can make your blog more functional.
What do you think? Have you announced your blog? Are you scheduled? Do you have a goal for your blog? Are you posting meaningful content for your readers? What would you add to this list?
And remember these are general guidelines for beginning bloggers. Building and maintaining a blog readership is not something you hope for. It's something you work for. And there's a big difference.
So start with these few steps and join me next week for how to build your now-functioning blog into an author brand.