Laissez Faire

Letting Life Lead

Blog Reflections #4: Top Ten Things I’ve Learned About Attracting Blog Readers and Traffic

Top TenI’ve done things very differently with this blog this time around, and the results (while modest) are keeping me quite busy with answering comments, visiting blogs I follow, posts, and a lot of virtual paperwork.  I thought I would share the top ten things I’ve done this time around.

 


 

1.   Screw, “You can’t do that.”      There are just so many rules that make no sense and hinder innovation and progress.   This isn’t like driving a car on the highway where you might kill someone if you don’t obey traffic laws.     If you have an idea, just do it.   It might not pan out, or it might surprise you.   If you do nothing, you get nothing as they say!     I am so tired of the cant’s!   “You can’t have your babies at home, ”  “you can’t teach a baby to use the toilet,”  “you can’t skip purees,”   “you can’t let your five year old use a knife.”     Blog the way you want!

2.    I suggest using pictures on every post (even if they are the royalty free ones, or you use only a certain one for certain subjects) this is essential if you want to build a presence on Pinterest which is a glorified bookmark of pictures.    People love visuals and will be drawn to a picture of interest if they are scrolling in a sea of text, so pictures are useful even if you don’t use them all the time.

3.  Learn how to use hashtags.   Pinterest is a hashtag paradise.  There are no limits, but if you use none hardly anyone will find you.  I saw zero clicks on Pinterest until I started adding key hashtags such as:   #cooking  #crafts   #twilightsparkle.        This also applies to Twitter, but you need to limit it to one or two; choose thoughtfully.       Facebook isn’t so much in love with the hahtag though one or two wouldn’t hurt.  Facebook’s power, in my opinion, lies in @ing people and popular pages and sharing in groups.   I shared one article the other day that was topic specific to a very large group I’ve been a member of for years and my views tripled in a couple of hours (keep in mind my views tend to cap at 100 at the moment).  You can put a few hashtags in your blog, but google+ adds them automatically when you post to your page (make sure you know if you have #Wordpress auto-posts set to public not private).

4.  Don’t let your social fingers idle too long.  Join as many outliers as you can:  Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube etc.    At first it is going to be overwhelming, then it will just give you a headache, eventually (I hope) they will all sing together.   For the moment, my hub is WordPress — all my posts are set to automatically post to T, F, P, G+.    Any of the few videos I make an post I have YouTube automatically linked to Google+.    Twitter I reserve for tweeting things I don’t necessarily want to reblog, and Facebook for sharing things that don’t fit well with Twitter but I don’t necessarily want on my blog.   Pinterest also holds appropriate blog posts I’ve done, as well as things I want to save for later viewing.   I have not yet found a good use for Google+ now that I have finally got it working properly!   I have set up an account with Bloglovin but at the moment it seems to cater to very big, popular blogs.  However, I think it is better to have it waiting in the wings rather than trying to scramble to catch up later.    I made the mistake with my Youtube (which is a very old account) of not organizing the videos I found that I wanted to share.

5.  Don’t be afraid to like and follow.    It may seem like a good idea to be selective and keep things small if you are only going to be reading and aren’t interested traffic, but if you want people to read your blog you need to be seen.      The Blogiverse grows ever bigger day by day.  Your blog is a grain of rice in a great salt desert.    You want to be seen?   Be the social primate that you are!  Say hi, check out blog subjects out of your favorite zone, comment on other blogs, click like, share generously, and do everything you can do so that people can see you out there.     It is going to be hard at first sorting it all out, but each day gets a little easier when you find a method that works with you.

6.  Be consistent in how often you post.    In my observation, as long as you aren’t spamming with ten posts in a row, people don’t mind multiple posts in a day.   If you want to be seen in most blog readers like WordPress often throughout the day, you need to stagger multi-posts.   Use the Schedule Posts feature.   If you post less often choose how often, though it should be more than once a month at first — shoot for once a week or every two weeks (if you have a high number of followers and email subscribers you can get away with posting less often later).    I’ve made the inconsistent mistake with two blogs that didn’t have an established base!   If I can’t get a lot out there, I now try to shoot for a 6:00AM post and/or a 6:00PM post.   Those are just times that I can remember so that a post is waiting for readers when they get up or come home from work.

7.  Even if your blog is “on subject” it pays to vary posts every so often with a feature or special message.   It will broaden the pool of people you are drawing readership  from and allow you to diversify tags so you can be seen by more people.   With my single subject blog I was afraid of offending people by replying with my blog link on totally unrelated posts I was interested in.    Really silly, I know.    Can we blame it on the pregnancy hormones?

8.   Join-in on some sort of blog participation posts.   It can be a link party, photo challenge, writing challenge, weekly prompts, round of humor, or legitimate theft (writer’s who steal the first line of a previous writer’s story in the chain and write their own with a link back).  Lindaghill does a one-liner Wednesday that I enjoy.  There is a something out there for everyone!

9.  About pages and Guest posts and re-blogging and spotlights.      Blog readers like to visit about pages even just to leave a quick note of thanks.  You can make up a completely anonymous persona, but do make sure your “about” and “bio” are filled in on all of your social sites and linked back to your hub.   When you invite someone to post on your blog, their readers become your readers for a time (maybe permanently) and vice versa.   That is also one less blog you have to write yourself and it can even be on a subject you can’t write yourself but your readers might be very interested in.    If you have old blogs or written things elsewhere, bring them to the surface now and then or do link backs because generally people don’t dig too far in the archives.  Smitten Kitchen does this quite cleverly with posts that are years old linked on current posts.

10.   Find a blog with a large following that invites sharing at a virtual round table and absorb some of their readership. Harsh Reality does this to great effect.  Not only amassing huge comment tallys buy new and old readers, but more link-backs and shares of a single post that does nothing but invite people to pimp their blogs and connect with each other.    Don’t worry about “stealing” readers away from anyone.   There are millions and millions of people online and they all read more than one thing!    Blog readers are like love; it only grows the more it is shared.


I hope you found some new ideas to keep you going.  I am sure I will be learning a whole lot more as I get back into all of the things I missed in five years of distracting babies.      Currently on my list is to sort out how to use Twitter better, but it has been a slow process.  When I first sighed up there wasn’t half the amount of clutter and clatter on it!

Advertisements

29 comments on “Blog Reflections #4: Top Ten Things I’ve Learned About Attracting Blog Readers and Traffic

  1. Opinionated Man
    February 26, 2015

    Millions and millions indeed! A nice post and thanks for the mention!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. reallifemarti
    February 26, 2015

    Word sister. I, for one, am happy when your blog comes across my reader. Thanks for today’s post, it is inspiring!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Laissez Faire
      February 26, 2015

      Thank you! It’s been a very foggy month of sorting it all out, but it is getting easier. It also helps to have a back log of pictures of things I wanted to do but couldn’t because the babies were hanging on me 🙂

      Like

  3. ljaylj
    February 26, 2015

    I usually forget #…the rest sounds like an awful lot of work to keep up with.

    Like

    • Laissez Faire
      February 26, 2015

      It is especially if you are playing catch-up. Not so bad once you find the groove and know what things you want to blog, tweet, or pin as you are going through your reader looking for interesting things. I used to just read posts…but now I take the extra second to like or follow when I am scanning and speed reading (I read and type very fast). If it is of particular interest I open it up in a new window for later so I can read it more slowly and thoroughly then pin, facebook, or tweet it if I want to when I’m done.

      Liked by 1 person

      • ljaylj
        February 26, 2015

        I read slowly and my olderly fingers don’t type 65wpm anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed your post. I’m not as consistent as you are with the follow through. Follow through is good practice.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. this abundant life
    February 26, 2015

    This is going to be a big help for me. I am overwhelmed right now with trying to link my wordpress.org page to wordpress.com, Facebook, Instagram, bloglovin and anything else that can reach some new audiences. I had no idea this was going to be such a challenge. I am going to take these recommendations to heart. Thanks for taking the time to put these together.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Laissez Faire
      February 26, 2015

      It took me three years to get google+ to work right. LOL Hopefully, you’ll have an easier time of it. It’s navigation, IMO is horrible.

      Like

      • this abundant life
        February 26, 2015

        That’s what I have found as well. Doesn’t look like your link to Harsh Reality is working-at least not from my iPad.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Laissez Faire
        February 26, 2015

        Fixed thanks!

        Like

  5. Stella's Mommy
    February 26, 2015

    Considering I do maybe 1 of these 9 things I will consider this post my new bible. thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Josh Wrenn
    February 26, 2015

    Great post for those of us just starting to get really interested.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Gail Kaufman
    February 26, 2015

    Great tips! I agree with your comment about G+. I feel lonely on that site.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Sherry Clayton
    February 26, 2015

    Great advice. Thanks! I took part in Seth Godin’s Daily blogging challenge and have been doing it since. It’s a great feeling. If nothing else goes right with my day, at least I know I shipped.

    Like

  9. shopgirlanonymous
    February 26, 2015

    Great tips, inspiring to try some new ideas, thank you!

    Like

  10. Mallee Stanley
    February 26, 2015

    Thanks for the tips

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: Musings #12: How Do You Read All Those Blogs? | Laissez Faire

  12. Julieann Dove
    February 28, 2015

    What a wonderful post! I will take into account all of this valuable information. Thanks so much for sharing:)

    Like

  13. Steve
    February 28, 2015

    I admit to still not “getting” Pinterest. I’m just not sure how it works really. Good points nonetheless !

    Liked by 1 person

    • Laissez Faire
      February 28, 2015

      Pinterest is VERY big for crafts, do it yourself, kid activities for parents, cooking, and self-help type of projects. It’s an infinite recipe book of everything. Honestly, that thing grew so big so fast I am really pissed that I didn’t think of it first 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Steve
        February 28, 2015

        So, what hapens when you follow a board? Is there some sort of feed?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Laissez Faire
        February 28, 2015

        Yes. I don’t use Pinterest a lot…right now it jut “holds stuff”. But when you follow people, new pins end up on your “home feed”, but you can also look at your messages to see who pinned on what day, who repinned you, who followed you. You can send messages and comment on pins too. Not as nice a the wordpress setup, but serviceable.

        Like

  14. vickiewhat
    March 1, 2015

    Great little gem of a post. Thanks. You have confirmed that I need to get myself on Pinterest. Is your blog linked to your personal facebook or a “writing” page? Is it chicken of me to not share my blog with my personal facebook page? I have close to 1000 friends there and I bet it would draw some nice traffic. But the nature of my blog is quite personal overall. I would love to hear your thoughts?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Laissez Faire
      March 1, 2015

      No I have a separate “page” just for my blog which I can manage from my private facebook page. If I am sharing something from my blog on my private page that I don’t want certain people to see I simply adjust the privacy settings on it to hide it from those people, or only share with a specific list of people that excludes the ones I don’t want to see it. I also will share in private or closed groups if the post is appropriate for the group. It keeps my personal page personal, but does give me some flexibility to tapping into those people resources.

      Liked by 1 person

      • vickiewhat
        March 1, 2015

        I love that! I will do it the same way. It is overwhelming with all of this social media. I am working on it tho. A giant thanks for sharing your wisdom and for the follow. Have a great night.😀

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Great advice. I can feel overwhelmed sometimes but remind myself it’s a marathon not a sprint.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Laissez Faire
      March 3, 2015

      I will be posting more as I learn. I’m kind of keeping my head above the water in the deep end at the moment 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Information

This entry was posted on February 26, 2015 by in interactive, musings and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , .

Email Subscribe and Support

Subscribe to Tara Writes at LaissezFaireLife.com Want to support me? Become a Patreon
pinterest-button Follow LaissezFaireLife on Twitter google feedburner
Follow Laissez Faire on WordPress.com

Get blog updates by Worpdress via email, or choose Mailchimp.

Join 1,437 other followers

Shop With Me!

My Reviews

Shop and Read My Reviews

Aspiring writer, wife, mother of two, owner two cats. Teacher, lover of science, books, science fiction, fantasy, and video games.

Categories

Visit My Fellowship

Writerly Writer Writing

...in which I share all the writing. And you will love it, dammit.

Wisdom and Madness and Folly

musings of a shellback, back on land

Longreads

The best longform stories on the web

J.M. Ames

Author

I Write Stuff

There's comedic gold behind every painful experience. Here are mine.

Frocks, Shocks, & Champagne

playing by my own rules

Unfolding Fiction

Opening possibilities

The Cool Cooks

We take the heat 'cause we gotta eat.

%d bloggers like this: