Your blog is one in a million-literally, one out of a million blogs. More like one in several billion really. On average, your blog may get anywhere from several dozen to several hundred views a day. You have hundreds if not thousands of followers on WordPress and more on Facebook or Twitter. You’ve spent days perfecting your post, inserting the best images and links. You’ve re-read it until your eyes bled. You drank enough coffee to fill a one-ton truck. You click publish and wait for the top right corner of your screen to light up like the Fourth of July. Two days later, all of your efforts have awarded you 5 likes and ten views.
This is every bloggers’ nightmare come true: The overlooked, unappreciated, and possibly unread post. Why does this happen? Who is to blame?
Sometimes it happens as a result of the following:
- poor, lazy, or redundant content
- non relevant topic for your audience (your kids, cat (usually plural), current events, recipes, celebrity gossip, etc)
- boring titles and images
- vague titles and images: The title, blurb, and image should show readers what your post is about in a glimpse.
- weak introduction: Remember readers can only see the first 50 or so words of your post in the reader. Make these count. Don’t forget the hook!
- you didn’t use any or enough tags
- you didn’t share it
- you post infrequently
Let’s say you’ve done the following:
- you had good content
- you put the work and time into it
- you update your blog regularly
- you shared on social media sites
- you are active on other blogs
Well, either the stars were not aligned correctly in the universe or the following occurred: people just didn’t read it.
Let’s switch places. Now you are the reader. Do you read other blogger’s post?
Chances are if you blog, you have followers and those you follow.
Why did you follow them?
- to gain followers
- because they followed you
- to find readers
- to get advice
- because you genuinely want to read what they have to say
Kudos to those of you who selected the last one..
How much time should you dedicate to others?
In a world where it’s all about me, me, me, and not we, our focus is on promoting our own stuff while ignoring what others have to say. The result is like cafeteria noise where all of our voices are just part of a loud drone. No one is listening, and no one is heard.
We’ve all heard of various versions of the 80/20 rule. This can be the ratio of content dedicated to promoting our own product vs content beneficial to our readers. I think it could also apply to how much time we spend reading, responding, and promoting others.
But that’s a lot of time to dedicate to other people, you doth protest. How will that benefit me? Remember my post about the Rule of Reciprocation? If not, check it out here. To summarize, people feel obligated to help those who help them. If you want people to retweet, promote, review, or reblog your content, start by doing these things for them.
Engaging with others builds relationships. Not only that, but you gain exposure on their platforms when you leave comments or share (which is why it’s so important to watch what you say because others see it too).
So when it comes to the blogs you follow, do you hit like without reading? Skim the post? Do you read the entire thing? Do you comment? Do you share?
How to support others
- comment to their blog, Facebook, or Twitter post
- follow their links and check out their author websites
- download a sample or–better yet–purchase their books
- write a review
- share their cover reveals, interviews, specials, promotions, etc
I’m sorry this might seem preachy or ranty, but I wouldn’t ask this of you if I didn’t do these things myself. I work 40 hours a week, write, edit, do chores, raise a child, and help my mom, but I still make the time to support other indie authors when I get the chance. In return, they help me out in various ways like sharing my tweets or answering my questions.
The truth is, I read most of the post from blogs I follow, and do you know what I’m learning? I’m noticing a lot of frustration from indie authors who feel alone or who are not getting help from friends, family, and fellow writers. Does this sound like you or someone you follow?
Let’s see how many of you skim or read to the bottom. . .
If you read this entire post, please respond to this survey in the comments below.
- What is one way you can support others?
- What is one reason readers don’t read or don’t finish reading post?
- What is the title of this post?
- What is the topic for next Tuesday’s tip? (hint, read to the bottom)
- Name the movie or television show from the images in this post–or both
This may have been where a few of you stopped reading. Let’s see who really reads to the last line. For those of you who do, I think you should be rewarded. A random commenter will receive a $10 Amazon gift card. Use it to purchase some fabulous ebooks from indie authors or whatever you want. I’ll select the winner this weekend. That gives you all plenty of time to read, share, and comment. Also, stop by and visit my blog this Tuesday when my next tip will be about–you guessed it–how to get readers to read your post. Good luck to those who participate in the contest. Now go out there and read some more post!