Sunday, September 27, 2009

13 Days to go: Blogging in and outs - Part 2

Before I start on Part 2 of this series, I'd just like to point something out.

The countdown I have going in the title is the countdown towards the opening of the first ever Northside Makers Market that will be happening in Northcote, Australia. If you'd like to visit or learn more about this market, please visit the website for more info.

This is Part 2 of a little blogging tips and tricks that I will be posting over the next week or so.
New to this series? Read Part 1 here: Part 1 : Blogging, the ins and outs

Now let's get down to business.



Image by Koalazymonkey via Flickr


You have a blog now, you have a few posts. You still feel stupid. There's nobody reading it: no comments being left, no numbers scrolling on your traffic counter. Plus you think your posts are boring anyways. What's the point?


STOP!


Put a huge stop sign in front of all that negativity. That will be your number one reason for not having any readers! Get up from your seat and shake it all out. This is not a popularity contest. This is not high school. This is your blog and the number one thing you have to learn about it is that you reap what you sow.

Did you put in the effort to promote your blog? Did you drop links in appropriate places to ensure that people know about you? Back in the day where websites were few and far between, getting noticed wasn't quite as hard as it is these days. Now, there's more blogs, more personal websites, and even more pages on the internet than we could possibly fathom. If you don't do something that's going to make you stand out, what right do you have to expect people to pay attention to you?

So here are a few quick and easy hot-tips to get people reading:

1. Social Networking sites

Facebook, Myspace, Twitter: hate them? Too bad. They are really great networking sites that work. Set up linkbacks, set up fan pages, tell your friends on facebook about it all. You have to shout your name from the virtual roof top, and you have to shout it loud. Don't know how to work these things? Google and Help pages are your friends.

Or ask me. Email me and throw me your questions. I'm always happy to help. =)

2. Post constantly

Keep.on.posting : I cannot stress this enough. I don't want to have stumbled upon your blog and see that you only have 3 blog posts with the most recent one being 3 weeks ago! It makes me think that you cannot be bothered updating your blog. And if you cannot be bothered with updating your blog, why should I bother with reading it? Get into a habit of posting at least once every few days. You will form a routine, a habit and very soon you will be blogging spontaneously, or even planning up blog posts while you are away from the computer.

3. Give and Take

If you don't read other people's blogs and leave comments, just why should they return the favour unless you are some really awesome celebrity? And chances are if you are a hot and famous celebrity, you won't be needing these tips anyhow since your publicist would be the one getting the name of your blog out there. I know, I know. Leaving comments are a pain, a hassle, and troublesome. I used to be a lurker as well, and never bothered to leave comments. As a result, I didn't get any back. You can't expect something and not give the same back in return. Show the love to others, and they will show the love to you as well.

So start today, start now: leave a comment on this post and you'll be well on your way!



Image by Martin Deutsch via Flickr


4. Interactive content and incentives

People want to be able to get something out of everything. It's how the way the world works now: we are all terribly materialistic. So once you have gotten into the groove of blogging, start coming up with interactive content to involve your readers.

Kirsty from Kootoyoo has the perfect example of this: she keeps a growing list of creative spaces on her site and encourage people to show theirs as well. She picks her favourite creative space with the winner getting a featured spot on her sidebar. People start going back to her blog to add to the list and check out other people's links. It involves people, gives them ideas for blog posts and is creative at the same time.

You can also post up polls and surveys. Ask your readers what they think of something. Should the focal in this necklace be red or blue? Should I sell this or keep it for myself? Readers are people too, and we all love for our opinions to be heard.

Giveaways are also a popular way to involve the reader. I don't really think I need to elaborate more on this as this is pretty self-explanatory. Be careful on having too many giveaways though: people will just end up coming to you with the idea that they can get free stuff out of you instead of actually buying something. So unless that is your intention, try not to overdo the giveaway idea.

5. Photos, photos, photos!

Try to always have an image to accompany your wall of text. People love to look at photos and pictures plus they help to add some colour to your blog! Often if I see a wall of text, I start skimming and eventually stop reading. So have a photo to break it all up, and try to find photos that relate as well!

Of course there are other ways to promote your blog and obtain readers. But the above 4 are amongst the most basic of them all, so ask yourself: Are you doing these?



Image via Andrew Mo via Flickr



Part 2 will end here, I hope this has helped even a little bit in any way or form! Do you have any other tips to share on how to bring the readers in? Please do share your thoughts if you have any!

My next segment in this series will touch on the blogs from the perspective of a reader.

Stay tune for more, and I do welcome feedback! I love getting comments so please do leave some. I check back on your blogs via your username as I love to follow new blogs and read them. So if you don't leave a comment, I don't know where your blog is to follow =P


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25 comments:

  1. I really should start up a blog shouldn't I? I need to wait for your series to finish first, hee hee.

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  2. i have a poll and currently a blog giveaway - they are great ways to get people to interact with you an them on a more personal manner, and not just on etsy ... Oh I also always thank people in my posts for reading and I have in the past posts directed a question for people to leave feedback and such ... like my post about me changing up photos in etsy, and what people do to revamp their shop without relisting -I like for people to feel welcome and a part of my world :)

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  3. hello cutie, here's me sending some love your way XD i know i dont comment enough haha

    p.s hopefully i get back to melb this year and we can go drink bubble tea like we used to

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  4. Very good insights! I especially like the one about photos. It's always daunting to me to see a long blog post without any pictures, I almost don't want to read the blog post then. Thanks for sharing!

    [inkihandmade.blogspot.com]
    [inkihandmade.etsy.com]

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  5. very interesting & well written....I need to get better at some of these things (well most...all of them really) XD

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  6. These tips are great! Thanks for sharing :)

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  7. Excellent incentive tip from Kristy's blog. I love the non give away options!

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  8. Thanks for sharing your tips! I discovered how to have the facebook widget on my blog through seeing yours and clicking on it!

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  9. Great tips! ...and great blog too!

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  10. I love the reminder for making it interactive. People love to share their opinion! Great article, Thank you!

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  11. Great ideas. I also join blog carnivals or memes related to my blog which give you an instant topic for your post and interested readers. Great for networking!

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  12. I only started my blog about a month ago, so I'm still working my way through all these steps! At this point I just feel good about keeping up with my posts! I am currently in the "collect other blogs I like so I can read and comment on them" phase :)

    p.s. Love your profile pic w/ the "shooty dog thing" :)

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  13. I am wondering how you got a button on your FB Fan Box so people can click directly to become a fan.

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  14. Deb - Yes, yes you should! I think yours would be terribly interesting if you detail things such as the antics of your Miss 2 and 4. I know I'd love that so so much.

    Creative Fly Designs - Indeed a poll and a giveaway would definitely be a good way to get people interacting! And you are right, we must always remember to thank our readers! It's only polite after all. =)

    Yumeko - Thanks for the love dear! I don't comment as much as I should on your blog either, so I think we are even! I can't wait till you get back to Melbourne. Dinners aren't quite the same without you!

    Esque - Thank you =) I do believe that photos play a huge role. Even with my current posts on blogging tips, I try to find interesting photos that are somewhat related to the post content!

    Vickie - I'm glad you think so. Practice makes perfect, I can't wait to see what you get up to.

    Artsyclay - Thank you!

    HeatherScent - Hurray! I'm only restating everything I've learnt over my years of blogging, so I'm glad you like them.

    Cypress Sun - Kirsty has quite the amazing blog doesn't she?

    Black Rose - I'm glad!

    SleightGirl - It's only great because of great readers!

    AccountingSPOT - Thank YOU for dropping by =)

    Allison - This is true, blog carnivals or memes are good for networking. Plus it's interesting to see all the other people write up on the same topic!

    Alison - 6 years later, I'm still in that phase! I love to collect blogs and I love to read them. I covet every single blog that I have on my reading list which is miles and miles and miles long. And thank you *blushes* for commenting on my profile pic.

    Elizabeth - You need to have a FB business page first, and once that is established, there will be a link to create a fan box for your site. =)

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  15. Hi Celeste, First of all it's so nice to meet you through Etsy forum. Now I'll be following you through your blog. This is a great series you're doing. I've been blogging several months now and for some reason I'm addicted to it. I started blogging before I started Etsy. Still waiting for that elusive first Etsy sale.
    I have two blog sites. This can get very time consuming when also trying to knit and sew, so I have to set time limits and a schedule. Your tips are very useful. Thank you.

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  16. Thank you so much for taking time to write this advice. It's really useful to a new blogger like me! I intend to post about dogs, travel, literature and my shop on an alternating basis. Will it work? Does anyone share my list of interests? I guess I'll find out

    :)

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  17. Great tips!

    Jordan
    www.jpulliam30.etsy.com

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  18. Great read & food for thought. Plus a really upbeat way of saying get off your butt & make it happen!
    X Kerri

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  19. Hey Celeste.. Thanks for sharing your tips with us.. They are great.. Im new to all this blogging.. did start one ages ago, and yes i was one that didn't go back daily/weekly and post something new on it.. But im learning and listening... Still trying to figure out how you put the bloggs that you are reading regularly as a link list down the side.. (all tips are gratefully recived..) Cheers...

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  20. thanks for sharing.
    And you have found some great photos to illustrate your post.
    does it take long to find great photos?

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  21. Hi Celeste,
    Thanks for the tips, very helpful for a new blogger like me. Thanks also for dropping by my blog and becoming a follower. I hope you liked some of what you saw there. I shall be following along with your blog now, I am sure I am going to enjoy the ride!
    Kylie

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  22. Blogging is a struggle at first, thats were I am now with mine!! Thanks for all your pointers! debi

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I love to read comments and chat, so please do leave me some titbits! Thank you so much for adding that little bit of sparkle into my day. Hopefully my blog post added some into your day as well.

Love,
Celeste

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