Stocking Stuffers for Writers: Blogging

Jim the Photographer

Stocking Stuffers is a series for the busy writer/blogger this holiday season. 

We know time is in short supply, so each day leading to Christmas, we'll offer 5 simple, smart tips on an important topic to writers, helping with craft enhancement, revision and social networking!

Today's Stocking Stuffer: Honing your mad BLOGGING skillz:

1--Provide share buttons to Twitter. I can't stress how important this is! Writers look for great articles to tweet about, which brings traffic to your blog...yet many bloggers don't have a share option available on each post. Blogger now offers a social network bar: Go to 'Design', then edit ‘Blog Posts’. Select ‘show Share Buttons’. Other host sites can find share buttons like this one to embed in posts. Make it easy for others to link to your blog content and attract new visitors!

2--Link to your blog in the ‘signature line’ of all your forum profile accounts. Write a short, compelling tag line about your blog to go with it. Every time you post in a forum, other readers will see your signature link, driving traffic to your blog.

3--Don’t make your blog about you, make it about your readers. Understand who your target audience is, what they need most & then provide it for them. Not only will they become loyal readers, they will pass on the word that YOU are a resource worth following!

4--Discover high traffic post ideas by reading writing-related #hashtags on Twitter, and by visiting Writing Forums. Are there questions out there that people are asking, and not finding much info for? Do some research, write a post on the topic and then spread the word. Great topics will always draw readers!

5--Remember blogging is a two-way street. Visit other blogs, comment and socialize. Look for blogs that have a similar target audience as yours and visit the people who comment. Also, consider asking a question at the end of your blog post. This opens the floor to reader participation.

22 comments:

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Great advice, Angela. By providing posts that other writer's find useful, you'll be amazed just where your name gets mention and what kind of doors it will open up. But the only way this will happen is if you do a lot of social networking first. Get your name out there by leaving comments on a lot of blogs.:)

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Plus, add the Subscribe Via Email widget to your blog. I have more people following me via email than I do as a Followers (though some might be duplicates).

AubrieAnne said...

Great tips. I really needed to know how to use the "share" buttons.

Steena Holmes said...

Great ideas. Thanks ;) The share button is now on my blog!

Heather said...

These are awesome, thank you! I'm going to add share buttons right now!

Nicole MacDonald said...

Blogging is very much a two way street and everyone loves comments! Did you know you can set your blog up in twitterfeed.com and it'll update your facebook and twitter when you update your blog. Is very cool :)

The Arrival, BirthRight Book one on Amazon 1.1.2011
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Angela Ackerman said...

The sharing buttons are SO important (including the email feed). I see so many great articles I'd like to share, but don't always have the time to take the URL, shrink it and then sign in to twitter and type it in. If adding a button will create a shortcut that will encourage people to share your ideas, why wouldn't the blogger add it in, right?

Thanks everyone for adding your thoughts, sharing these links and passing on your ideas! We all win when we passon what we know, and I appreciate it!

Angela

Beth said...

Angela, you're amazing. Although I'm good at commenting on other blogs, I could improve myself on most of the other posts. New Year's resolution: to follow through on your suggestions!

kathrynjankowski said...

I didn't know about sharing buttons, though I've seen them on other blogs. Thanks so much!

Stasia said...

Thanks for the great tips. Always a good idea to sit back and consider if you're serving your readership or moving too much into book-promo-mode!

Jaleh D said...

I'm going to try to implement some of these suggestions in the new year. I don't have time to follow any additional blogs (can barely keep up with the ones I have), but you've given some great ideas for other things I can do.

Kelly said...

Great ideas, Angela! I was wondering about that Twitter thingie!!

MG Higgins said...

I didn't know about the sharing buttons, either. I thought I had to be on Twitter to use them. Great tips! Thanks!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

I'm not on Twitter. Will the buttons still work for me?

Blessings,
Susan :)

Angela Ackerman said...

Susan, yes the buttons will still work. :)

zaelyna said...

Many thanks! I never know where to search for those "share" buttons.

Now I do! :)

Kathryn Lang said...

Thanks so much for the share tip - Wordpress has a plugin that was almost too easy to set up. :D

Monti said...

Excellent points! Thanks for sharing!

Monti
NotesAlongTheWay

Robyn Campbell said...

Angela, I was wondering about number 2. When and how? I know. I'm a blogging dummy. :) But could you elaborate?

Angela Ackerman said...

In almost every writing forum, if you go into your 'profile' there will be a place that says 'Signature'. If you fill this in with a link to your blog and a sound bite, it will show up at the bottom of each post you write. For example, at Verla Kay's my username is Momzilla. There, the signature that shows up in every post is: Do your characters sigh or roll their eyes a lot? If so, visit the Emotion Thesaurus for help! http://thebookshelfmuse.blogspot.com/

This way, every time I comment, people may notice my signature, and if they do indeed have trouble with repetitive actions like eye rolling, they may visit my blog and discover the Emotion Thesaurus.

Forums are a great way to be noticed, just because of the large traffic potential at each site. It's definitely worth your time to build a presense at places like Verla Kay's and Absolute Write if you write kidlit, for example. It isn't just about the sig line of course--you also build support lines with other writers, have access to informations and opinions of your peers and can also use these gathering points to find critique partners.

Most forums also have a 'What did you blog about today' thread, where you can post on every time you update your blog. This is another great perk of belonging to a forum or two.

Does this help you with your questions? If you want to continue discussing, just give me some specific questions and I'll be happy to answer them. :)

Mairi said...

Hi Angela. Great Post. Defintely one to share. And the clarification of signatures on forums is useful. But how do you find forums you might be interested in? Is their a guid to using them. They're a mystery to me.

Angela Ackerman said...

Hi Mairi,

If you run a search in google for 'Writing forums', you will see quite a variety. Based on your writing genre, you can decide what might be a good place for you. A good 'all genre' type writing forum would be Absolute Write. If you write for Children and YA, then Verla Kay's is the place to be. If you are looking for a writing forum/critique site, something like the Critique Circle might work for you.

There are sites that are geared only for fantasy, only for romance, sites that are heavy for poetry lovers or literary writers. Just key in some search words, and have a look around to see what the 'vibe' is at the forum, and if it's a good place for you and your needs! :)

Angela

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