For starters, many of my readers are in hospice and don’t care about spelling. So that helps a lot. But there are other secrets I need to share with you, and I will do so below the fold. (So to speak.)
First secret: people love music videos. I know, it’s crazy. But it’s true. You will draw more hits with those things than you’d ever imagine. You can even Rick Roll your audience and they’ll laugh. Just don’t do it too often.
Dogs, and dog stories, are gold as well. Stormy is more than my beloved dog: she’s click bait. I could write the most amazing story/profound thought and it wouldn’t get half the comments and praise that that pokey nose gets. People love dogs.
Controversial stuff. Last Friday I posted a piece about AGITPROP in Austin, Texas. You’d think the national media would have swarmed on this exceptionally well written piece by an obscure blogger. Eh, not so much. But it did show up in Google rankings and will eventually draw traffic. I’m cool with that waiting thing. See any piece on my author career: waiting is the key.
Nice stuff. Step outside yourself and write about a charity. Talk about your mission trip to Haiti with Healing Haiti. Start something with #commotiongrant programs. You can find something bigger than your own ego to lift the blog if you try.
Food. Doesn’t matter if you write about the pork ribs you did in the oven or the restaurant you ate lunch at last Thursday. It helps if you add pictures.
Girls. Well, my wife objects if I date around, so that’s out. But it seems to help when I put pictures of my friends who’ve written books on the blog. Seriously, book reviews are great for drawing traffic, but if the author sends a great picture it helps. My mug draws no traffic. Amy, Varina, Brandy, Nicole – well you get the idea. Every one of them brought their friends to the blog. It’s a strategy high school kids have utilized for decades: get your sister to bring her friends over when you’re around. It classes up the joint.
Consistency. We talked about this at a writer’s meeting on Sunday. You have to publish a few times a week, and make it regular. I’m pretty good about putting something up every week, always once, almost always twice, sometimes three or four times. But if you just drop by once a week, you know there will be new content at some point.
Bag jobs. There will be times when you’re just bursting about several topics. Write that blog then and there. Save it. Get it completely ready with keywords and the whole schmere and put it in the draft file. If it’s timely, run it the next day. If it can age a bit it will be there for that week when you’re on a mission trip, you’re wearing a red suit, or your dog dies and you couldn’t write a word if you tried. ALWAYS have at least one blog in the can, ready to go. Just don’t wait to post that restaurant review until after the place closes. It happens. Trust me, it happens.
So, you’ve got my total blog knowledge. Except for one thing: respect your readers. I have a very smart, funny, and sometimes silly group of readers. But because I treat them well and don’t insult them with lies (and nonsense to benefit me and only me) they keep coming back.
For that, I am very grateful.
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I have a favor to ask of my readers: would you kindly share this blog with your friends, family, and colleagues? We hit a million views in 2014, and while the readership continues a nice growth trend, it could be a lot better. Just hit the Facebook like button, share it on your timeline, tweet the blog with a link, and tell that person at the next desk that there’s this lunatic who writes about all sorts of stuff that they might like.
I appreciate your help. When we hit 2,000,000 readers I will give away something cool to a drawing from the subscribers (that’s the box on the right toward the top) who have helped promote this mess. No used sheets, probably not honey, more likely gift cards. Be a part of it. I’ll update from time to time where we’re at in the count. Thanks.
Oh, one more thing: I did purposely mess up the title of this piece. Narf!