In my quest to find 1000 “true” fans, February’s focus is on growing your fan base through social media. The suggestion is to have two platforms and focus on them. For me it’s Facebook and Twitter. (Many people have luck with Pinterest, Instagram, Linked-In, etc. I don’t have much experience with these…but will explore them as the year goes on.)
My favorite form of social media though? Yup, my blog.
Review of Past Week (Mission 7: Using your free giveaway): Success!!! Wow!
Last week was unbelievable in terms of mailing list growth. I participated in two events. The first was a giveaway of speculative fiction stories using http://www.mybookcave.com. I’m using the 60 day free trial. Here’s the free giveaway I’m in that still runs until the end of the month. I also coordinated my own giveaway, seeking 20 participants through http://www.kBoards.com and a Facebook group I belong to. How did it go?
Current Mailing List Subscriptions: 338 fans / 1000 true fans (Up 263 from last week!!! INCREASE OF 400%!) (Okay, I know these aren’t all “true” fans, and I know that my measure of mailing list subscribers is now a faulty way to measure this, but it’s what I have right now.)
This Weeks Mission: Putting your blog to work!
It’s been over a year now that I’ve been blogging about my journey and I’m still learning. As I said above, blogging is my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE form of social media. It’s the best of both worlds: you get to interact with plenty of awesome, like-minded individuals PLUS you get to learn something. (I love learning!) Here’s a hodgepodge of information I’ve picked up on blogging.
What are you blogging about? In Week 4 we discussed platform. Are you sticking with it? Is it what readers want to hear about? When I first started blogging, I thought this was a great spot to post my writing. Quickly, I found out I had more engagement blogging about my writing journey than I did with posting my stories. How did I know? I looked at my top performing posts. Which ones had more likes? More comments? Those were the type of posts I wanted to continue creating. Does this mean you should give up your dream of having a zillion people read your six-word-stories or your serial novel? ABSOLUTELY NOT! That just means you need to go out and find your audience. I had more interaction with my writing journey posts because I had been interacting with those type of people.
How do you find your audience? I’m exploring this more and more as time passes. I had never thought of promoting my blog on my other social networks. Twitter, Facebook, and KBoards have been great for this. Did you know there are twitter hashtags for nearly every day of the week to connect bloggers together?
- #TeaserTuesday or #TuesdayShare
- #WriterWednesday or #WWWBlogs
- #FridayReads or #FridayShares or #StoryFriday
I find, the best way is not to wait for people to find you. It’s to go out and find those followers yourself. Who would like to read your blog? Who’s your audience? If your platform is sharing your serial novel, connecting with other authors who write serial novels may be one idea…but you want READERS. Find people tagging their posts as “AM Reading” or “Book Reviews” or a similar. Here’s a nice link of hashtags. I tend to tag my blogs with similar tags. Then, once you find someone, see what they have to say. Do you agree? Like it? Make a comment. Interaction is the key. Hopefully, people get back to you and conversation happens. Maybe you’ll turn into mutual fans.
What’s your user’s experience? How “pretty” is your blog? I’m big on visuals. What does your blog look like? Will people actually read it? These days, you need pictures. Plus people have short attention spans and you need to keep your paragraphs short. Highlight keywords–as many people only skim what you wrote. Time is short, with all the information on the internet, why would they spend time on your blog? (Again, I’m not an expert, but I’m learning.) I’ve read that a blog post should be about 500-1000 words. (This one’s about 1000 words…which I’m thinking is too long.)
Other random ideas for putting your blog to work:
Cross-Promotions: Group together with similar people and use each other’s reach to grow your own. I hosted a book giveaway last weekend on a page in my blog. I had 20 authors participate and everyone received 100-300 new sign-ups for their newsletter. The best thing? Besides time, it was free. (And I met a whole new group of great people to network with.) Other things I’ve seen: Author interviews, blog tours, book reviews, and others. Whatever fits into your platform.
Reblog and Share: I admit, I’m not good at this. I love it when someone reblogs my stuff, but I don’t tend to reblog much. I’ll grow into this…someday. Consistent posting is helpful for building your audience. Reblogging and sharing is a great way to post something routinely AND build relationships with other bloggers.
And then, my biggest tip: Always engage your audience. Interact. HAVE FUN!
My goals this week: Get back to basics. My favorite thing about using WordPress is reading through other people’s blog posts. You can do this with other platforms as well. This week, I’m committing to cleaning up my reader and setting up the right keywords–hopefully, I meet some new friends.
Want to read more?
Next Week: Keeping Fans – Newsletter Content
If you want to get caught up on 2017’s journey to find 1000 fans, check out the 1000 “True” Fan Landing Page.