by Cat Rambo
Those of us living a solitary writing life can sometimes get a little too addicted to Google Analytics. It’s a validation to us if people are reading our blog — and comments are like gold. I freely admit I poke at mine from time to time, trying to figure out what drives numbers up. So here’s five things I’ve noticed that do:
- Repeat yourself a little. It’s okay to tweet about the same blog post more than once, but space it out so you know you’re reaching a different group. Not only do I repeat announcements of blog posts, I sometimes go back and remind people about old posts that were particularly noteworthy, like my Pink Hair Manifesto or Three Strategies for Snaring the Senses. Similarly on Sundays, lately I’ve been posting a recap of that week’s activity.
- Post or tweet outside your time zone. Apps like Buffer or Hootsuite allow you to queue up posts in advance. I have mine set up to tweet several times during the night because I know that’s a different group accessing my Twitter stream than the ones showing up when I first get online in the morning.
- Be responsive. Remember that social media’s a conversation, not a soapbox. “But Cat,” you’re saying, “what about the point just above, where you told me to use some canned tweets?” You don’t always have to respond immediately. But do at some point.
- Think hard about titles. Some titles are attention grabbers. Intrigue your reader or tell them why they need to read your piece. For example, one of my most popular posts, which still gets a lot of hits, is Popping Pimples on Paragraphs.
- Be consistent. I’ve started using the scheduling function on WordPress to make sure something goes up every day, and if I feel the urge to blog, well then, cool beans, it’s a two (maybe even three) post day, and that’s fine too. A consistent post schedule gives people a reason to visit your blog on a consistent basis.
Nebula and World Fantasy Award-nominated writer and SFWA member Cat Rambo just released her first nonfiction book, Creating an Online Presence (Careerbuilding for Writers). Her short stories have appeared in such places as Asimov’s, Tor.com, and Clarkesworld Magazine. She is the former editor of Fantasy Magazine. Find links to her work at http://www.kittywumpus.net.