After one year of blogging, I thought I’d share some tips on how to get more blog readers.
The key to getting folks to return to your blog is to be a really good writer. But if you’re like me and you aren’t, you can shoot for funny or interesting or educational or heart wrenching or just plain odd.
But the key to getting folks to find you in the first place lies in:
Categories, Tags and Titles
Categories: Uncategorized is the default category in Word Press and many other hosting sites. This makes you hard to find. No one types in uncategorized in their search bar.
If you have a target audience, post in that category. This is simple because you get to make them up. 😀 My initial target audience was just about anyone with time to kill, which is the same as Uncategorized. It took me a long time to realize a category might be a helpful addition.
Tags: Add topical tags to your post (WP recommends more than 5 and fewer than 9). People will often find you by your tags. I’ve used tags like Ruby Slippers and Goodnight Moon (because they were a part of a post) and for months, I would have people regularly returning to Fork in search of more ruby slippers and red balloons.
Titles: This is the big one. Accidentally mislead with your title by using a common saying or term that makes people think your post is about something entirely different. This has happened to me several times. My top three accidentally misleading titles have been:
1. Number one, by far: Dead Man’s Hand. I’d never heard of a Dead Man’s Hand. I don’t play poker, but I do have Ace’s and Eight’s from time to time.
2. I Do All My Own Stunts This was a post about my inordinate clumsiness, not about jumping cars with motorcycles.
3. Six Degrees of Separation: by Tooth and by Song You might think the tooth and song part would have been a hint, but I guess not.
My degree of separation from Kevin Bacon is probably similar to my degree of separation from Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney – although their separation from each other seems to be miniscule. I’m from Iowa, so I can’t ignore the caucus tonight.
Just in case someone searches for the Iowa Caucus results and lands here, I don’t want to be misleading. It’s 1:45 a.m. and the Republican party just announced that Romney has won by an 8 vote degree of separation! That’s just incredible. Whatever your political persuasion, never think your vote doesn’t count!
I’ll re-post the 4th misleading title tomorrow. In the mean time, if you want to add readers, you might want to consider 7 Card Stud or Texas Hold’em (I’m sure there’s a misleading post coming with that title soon)!