My Blog Sucks and I’m Kinda Clueless

Indie Plot Twisters, please welcome Dan Alatorre to the blog today. Do you have a blog? Is it not going as well as you’d hoped? I’m sure we’ve all been there! Dan’s got some great advice to get more traffic and interaction, and for an all-around more successful blogging experience. So sit back, enjoy, and please help Carrie and me make our guest feel welcome.

2015-12-07 My Blog Sucks and Im Kinda Clueless

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Dear Dan,

My blog sucks and I’m kinda clueless about what to do with it…”

Okay, nobody said that… directly.

Indirectly, LOTS of you have.

Here’s some mistakes I see in unsuccessful blogs. They have no followers and they have no/few comments. That indicates that they don’t write interesting content OR they don’t know how to attract people to their blog.

Been there.

My blog had very few followers for about two years. Now, we add new followers to the blog every day.

I can guarantee these bloggers don’t track their stats. They don’t know what works and what doesn’t. (FYI, I achieved President’s Circle with two different Fortune 500 companies, so I tend to analyze stuff.)

I’m not saying I’ve mastered these things, I’m saying I may be a step or two higher on the ladder than you are, and it looks like a mountain from there but from here it looks easy-peasy.

Okay, okay! Enough preamble! What do we do? Sorry. I’m a writer. I get wordy.

Social Media, Kinda

2015-05-13 laptopWhen you looked at Twitter and asked how to get more followers, Twitterites said to find people with the same interests as you and follow them. That same theory applies to blogs. In fact, just about every rule of social media applies to blogs.

If somebody follows your blog, follow their blog – within reason. Puppies? Cool. Photography? Sure. Whips and chains? Um, I’ll probably have a peek but I’m not going to be a regular visitor or comment much because…

Comments = GOOD

Comment on their sites and click “like” when they post stuff you like! Duh, right? It’s the Golden Rule. What do you wish people did on your blog? Read it, like the post, make a comment. Then do that for them!

It takes about three minutes to read and like a typical blog post. That means you could read and like about 10 blogs in about 30 minutes. Now, whether you have that kind of time once a month or every day, that’s up to you. My advice? Do it every evening after dinner for two weeks and see the results. You’ll be happy.

How to comment

When you comment, make it a worthwhile  comment. Each lengthy comment I made on YOUR blog is in fact – ready? – an audition for MY blog to YOUR readers! If your readers saw my comment, maybe they liked it enough to click over to my site and read some more of my stuff there, and as a result, follow my blog.

No spamming!

Here are the rules for that. The comment should be an added value to the readers of that blog, not a spam for your own blog. Don’t say “I’m awesome and here’s my link.” Instead, if they are talking about something funny, ADD to the humor with a funny, relevant anecdote of your own that their readers will enjoy. That way, the blog owner gets a benefit from your comment. Golden Rule, right? You don’t want spammers; don’t be one. It’s not necessary because…

Network!

2015-10-14 Two Women Friends in Coffee Shop CafeAnd network through your network. For example, I mostly follow and comment on WordPress blogs. Anyone there can follow me with a single click when I make an interesting comment. It doesn’t get any easier than that, and while I have nothing against other blog platforms, if I have to jump through a bunch of hoops to subscribe to you, odds are I’m not gonna do it.

Occasionally check your stats and see how you’re doing. That means see what works and do more of it. Post on big days for blog traffic, largely Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday, depending on what you’re posting about, and…

Talk about your blog – the right way

Write an amazing blog post, then tweet about it. Wait, I have NO blog readers AND I have NO Twitter followers. Like I said, follow people with similar interests and make interesting contributions to the conversation and soon enough you’ll have both. Amplify that by posting your blog onto Facebook and by sending out a popular Instagram link with a cute picture of your dog or something.

Since I scan my Twitter stats, I take the day’s popular tweet and send it to Instagram, using the same hashtags. That takes less than a minute. You have a minute, trust me.

Occasionally I’ll post a pic of my kid or an amazing sunset, cos I do interesting stuff – and so do you! Readers and followers want to get to know you. Have fun. Act like friends. Yes, on your blog. Why? Because…

Comments Matter! More = Better

A “Great post, thanks for sharing” comment on somebody’s blog is nice. It helps – a little. But some witty banter goes a long way. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Let the OTHER people have the spotlight on your stage. That’s positive encouragement, and people love it. You’ll want to…

Say Thank You!

Each commenter gets rewarded by you for playing “Reply”! Most readers don’t comment. They’re intimidated. When they do, reward them for it. Thank them. Add on to their line of thought. Once they do it a first time, they are much more likely to do it again, and that means…

MORE COMMENTS = more popular, more attention, more everything.

People want to do what other people do. If you have ten comments, they’re less intimidated. Walk before you run or you will get overwhelmed quickly. Take on one new thing every two weeks until you’re comfortable with it.

Be generous

2015-04-01 Laptop (640x427)So you FOR SURE want to post on your other author friend’s blog posts when they come out – Golden Rule. Don’t be afraid to ask them/remind them/beg them to post on yours.

Yeah, it’s a lot, but ya gotta start somewhere. One last tip: ASK a question that encourages readers to make a comment.

What do YOU do to increase your blog traffic and avoid the abyss?

About the Author

Dan AlatorreBest-Selling author and humorist Dan Alatorre turned his sights on fatherhood in Savvy Stories, and the results were hilarious. Since then, Dan has racked up a string of #1 Bestsellers in family humor, novels, illustrated children’s books and cookbooks, and has been published in 12 languages throughout 14 different countries. His romantic comedy Poggibonsi: an Italian misadventure, set in Tuscany, will be released in a few weeks.

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About His Book

Dan Alatorre, PoggibonsiMike hopes an assignment in Italy will get him promoted and bring passion back to his marriage. His wife is the only woman in Atlanta not flirting with him, and what better place to pursue romance than the land of naked art, Valentino, and yoga pants? His working vacation shatters when a heart attack hospitalizes his Italian partner and Mike’s family does nothing but fight. After seeing his wife and daughter off, a stunning Tuscan beauty captures the attention of everyone in the train terminal. Mike returns to work thinking the flirtatious goddess will remain a fantasy – until she introduces herself as his new assistant!

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