#FixThatBlog So many of us authors have this problem: we’ve started an author blog with high hopes, we’ve posted stuff, we’ve spent time, effort, and perhaps money on it— and nothing happens. We have created the equivalent of an Old West ghost town in cyberspace.
Can a ghost town blog be fixed? I think so. I’ve been dealing with the problem for years, and applying what I have learned I think my current blog is slightly livelier than a ghost town. My current effort is to learn more, share it with you readers, and so improve my blog and yours.
First, let’s look at some easy little fixes. They won’t make your blog into a viral superstar overnight, but they will make it a little bit better.
Your Topic is too Narrow
If you decide your blog is JUST about you-as-author, or, worse, just about your current book, your blog will run out of gas very fast. Broaden the topic! What else are your potential readers likely to be interested in? A genre? Other authors that you enjoy? Pictures of your cat? Look at other, more visited author blogs for ideas.
You Blog only Rarely
I used to participate in a monthly blog tour for Christian science fiction and fantasy books. I got to see a lot of author blogs and writer blogs that way. But some months I would visit other blogs and find the author hadn’t blogged since the last month’s blog tour!
Regular posting is a must if you want visitors on your blog. Once a month or once a week won’t cut it. Posting regularly not only encourages returning readers, it convinces Google to take you seriously. You need Google to take your blog seriously!
You Don’t Share Each Post on Social Media
I only got started on social media in order to get more traffic to my blog. Being on social media adds more work, and can end up being a time sink. My current blog on WordPress.com makes it easier – every post is posted to Twitter and to my Facebook author page.
You also have to tend your social media accounts — following interesting people and sharing their stuff, unfollowing those who won’t follow you back and who aren’t the president or the pope or James Woods, and similar things. After all, if you share every blog post on Twitter but only have three Twitter followers, it won’t get you more blog visitors.
You Don’t Edit Your Blog Posts
I usually compose my blog posts on my Scrivener software. When I finish the post I can re-read it and make corrections and improvements. I can also adjust posts that come out too short (less than 300 words) or that are long and rambling.
This also ensures my breathless blog posts are available on my computer for repurposing into books or articles at some future date. That’s a win, even if you are not currently planning to reuse your posts that way.
You Don’t Use Pictures
It seems dumb, but having a photo on each blog post makes a difference. It makes more modern blog themes work better. It makes your blog posts shared on social media look more attractive and generate more reads and shares.
It is best to use photos that belong to you. Even if you have to use a photo of your cat on a post not about cats. I also use photos of an old typewriter on many writing posts. I intend to create some new topical photos for this blog’s use once I get back home. (I’m currently in a rehab center because of a stroke.)
Have you been having difficulties with your blog? What do you need help with? Or have you improved your blog in a way that may help me or other readers? Give details! And don’t forget to share your blog URL!