When I first started my blog my goal was simple. I’d read a book for pleasure and then write what I thought about the book. I didn’t know much about this book blogging world and really have learned by trial and error. I had few rules, but over time my goals have changed. As I’ve interacted with my fellow bloggers, publishers and PR machines, I’ve discovered that I actually love the relationships I’ve built and blogging has really added something to my life that I didn’t know was missing. An outlet for my creativity, certainly, that is still my main purpose. Reading books I love and talking about them. However, I’ve also discovered that I enjoy helping get the word out into my universe (which is admittedly not huge), but in my own way, promote reading and help some authors I enjoy attain success and hopefully make their living writing. This year, my goals changed slightly. I decided to apply myself more using my skills from my day job. So I am going to out myself on my blog today in the hopes that some of these tips may help some of you too!
I am an Advertising Sales Executive! Ok, it’s not like I’m a superhero or anything, sorry! However, being in the advertising business, my job is to help small or large businesses deliver a message to their customers, bring people through their doors, and to buy whatever it is they are selling. Thats remarkably similar to what we book bloggers are trying to do for our favorite authors, right? I decided to apply those marketing skills to my own blog, grow my followers, while at the same time, getting the word out and help authors sell some books! These five things helped me jump start my own blog and I wanted to share them with you all.
Clean Look– This one seems like it should be so easy! Nobody likes to view a cluttered blog. Keep the colors simple and please make sure we can read your blog against whatever background color you pick. No white on light pink backgrounds please! If I go to a website and can’t read the posts I hit unfollow. Put a menu at the top and make sure your followers can easily find reviews, Tags, etc. If they can’t find things easily your readers either won’t click follow, which is what your goal is, right? Or worse, they will hit unfollow!
Consistency– every blogger has their own goal for their blog. The key is to pick your subject and be consistent with your message. You are a book blogger and if you’re trying to market yourself as a reviewer then make sure you post reviews. If you start talking about gardening, cooking, or makeup you will lose followers. Be consistent in your message! You don’t have to stick to reviews, Book Tags, Stacking Your Shelves, TBT are all ok because you are sticking with your book theme. Stick with that theme to deliver a consistent message and gain followers.
Social Media– This has been a HUGE part of my own blog gaining traction. I will not lie, it takes work! WordPress will automatically send your posts to Facebook, Twitter, and a few more. Take advantage of that! Create a Facebook Page for your blog. Tweet out your posts, use Pinterest, Instagram, Google+. They all help deliver eyeballs to your posts. I love looking at the referrals section of my blog to see what post gains traction on what site. Of course, this is what I do for a living and seeing what works interests me. Recently I have noticed that Google+ has become particularly active with my Sunday Commentaries! Find where your traffic is coming from and cater to them. I wrote a review for the author Meghan March and when I posted it on Instagram I wrote one sentence about bringing a gun on your vacation, it was a romantic suspense novel and I hadn’t any idea that Google would rate that post high because of the word gun. I noticed a TON of views from Google. Ok, maybe not the best example because I’m sure some people didn’t know they were clicking on a book review, but the point is to be clever! It works!
Branding yourself– Remember while doing both of the above keep your message and the look of your blog consistent from Social site to Social site. You want your followers to recognize your blog name and the look of your blog. When a reader see’s the name The Reading Chick they know what they will get. Reviews, Tags and Comentaries! All delivered with my charm and personality, of course! Lol. When they see The Reading Chick from site to site and the message and look are consistent, it becomes branding. Everyone knows who McDonalds is, right? Golden Arches, red and yellow colors, Ronald McDonald, and burgers and fries. They are the master at consistency and their dominance shows that consistency works regardless if your burgers are sub par.
Organized topics/regularly scheduled– This year I introduced my Sunday Commentary, which I use to sound off, but to also post some fun tags. However, my blog is about book reviews, so I make sure I deliver on that promise and I post three reviews a week. This still gives me a few days to do other fun book related posts if the mood hits. Some bloggers post weekly Waiting on Wednesday or Throw back Thursday blog posts. These are great examples of regularly scheduled posts. We know what they are, they happen the same day every week and we come to expect them. In fact, I look for some of them! Branding, consistency and regularly scheduled all at work!
All of you know that reaching out to your fellow bloggers on WordPress, commenting, liking and developing relationships also helps you gain followers so don’t stop! It takes some time, but if you put in the effort you will see the results- and make some great friends while your at it!
I hope you all found this post interesting and helpful! I’d love to hear how you think you’ve gained the most followers. Please give your tips in the comments below!
Until next Sunday!