The sixth official month of M3 is over. Six months with the title blogger and 475 posts in the files. By industry standard, M3 is two years old. I have made some discoveries along the way. A few of which can make the path smoother. A few of which will make you point and laugh. I will let you figure out which is which.
Yeah, yeah. I followed the directions.
Far be it from me to preach to others about following the directions, but the fact remains, read the instructions. Just as you would when you assemble a piece of disposable furniture, knowing how Tab B and Slot A should be combined is assumed important. Even if you did not do it before you started, it is worth a read. Partly.
Have you heard any of these?
- You want your blog to be found.
- Find your niche.
- Research your keywords.
- Find long tails.
Barf. Homework. I did all of this. You know what no one told me?
- Demographics of your audience
- What do they want to hear/discuss/learn?
- Stop taking yourself so seriously.
- No pigeon holes.
If you are looking to blog a service, as in this is the only thing you know anything about, by all means, check out who your competition is going to be. Strategize. Blog. Go back to start and begin again.
If you are looking to blog, make friends,
make a fortune blogging, sell a few ads…skip that stuff. At least in the beginning.
Who are you?
This is a two-fold question.
A.) Who are you…the blogger?
B.) Who are you…the blog reader?
A.) If you are an aircraft mechanic, chances are decent starting a blog about tatting (This is the art of making lace, people.) is likely an ill-advised choice. The majority of writers will tell you to write what you know. For a blog, this is fantastic advice. You do not want to spend hours researching a post which will likely never see the light of day after its initial die-down.
B.) You need to answer this one as well. Who did you invite to read your blog? No, not who did you tweet your blog. Who did you invite? *Ugh*
Mere guess, mind you: You did not start a blog without passing the idea before a friend or twelve. Did you ask any of them to visit? Did they? What do you mean you do not know? (Takes a deep breath. Twice.)
Those people you invited should have RSVP’d.
No. They should not have commented on Facebook or replied to your tweet or merely +1’d your post. They should have commented on your blog. Hits are important, but interaction is even more important. It pleases the search engine spiders when they crawl your blog to find the pages bigger with comments…especially when they crawl ancient pages and find new comments.
When you are traveling the blogosphere, you are likely going to go to the places where you read things in your groove (not niche, not yet). Cruising places of interest means you have a likelihood the blogger will be interested in what you have to say. This may well be your most important reader. Why are they not reading your blog? Did they know you were there? Wait…did you read the last paragraph?
Be seen when you visit. If you have nothing constructive to say, like something, follow or look around for something where you can comment more than a spam net hook… Great post! gets you in the spam filter on every single blog platform…even if you have previously made a comment on the blog.
You Showed Up!
What did you do when that blogger stopped by to see what you strung together into a post?
- Commented back
- Started a discussion
- Listened and posted subsequent to the comments
1. You lost a reader. Readers hate to be ignored. Who shops in a store with no sales clerks or cashiers?
2. Your reader will probably come back the next time you leave a comment at his/her blog.
3. Your reader came back to the same post…again, realized you might have a grasp of your topic, might have found you personable (or irritating enough to continue to berate), and a relationship was born.
4. Your blog took a step into being its own creation away from the niche you picked out.
Now, it may be time to go back to all those techno instructions about keywords and long tails. And definitely time to start marketing your blog. Next time, we are going to discuss some of the finer points in marketing your blog (and your books and albums) without paying for marketing or driving your friends and family to stab your voodoo doll.
Is your blog a niche blog? Are you keyword driven? Do you like strangers at your blog or are you more comfortable with the people whose blogs you read? What question would you like to see answered next?
(c) Ann Marie Dwyer 2012
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