Friday, October 24, 2014

#MFRWorg Newbie World: Is Your Blog Gaining You New Readers?

Is your blog gaining new followers?
(How to Transform All of Your Blogs Into Evergreen Content)

It’s a question most of us avoid asking ourselves. We know we’re “supposed” to blog, and so we dutifully crank one out at regular intervals. Sometimes, the blog is about something trivial, like our cats. Or it’s a clear promotional piece for another author or for ourselves.

Don’t quote me as saying that either of those things are unimportant. But will they get you new readers? Probably not.  So what does work?

Evergreen Content!

Let’s talk about something that marketers call evergreen content. I first learned about it from Jeni Elliott (aka The Blog Maven). Evergreen content is that content that people come back to again and again – those posts with engaging titles and easy quotes that we love to forward, comment on, and share.

The main question is: Will people still read this and think it’s interesting a year from now?

Now, I know for sure that most of my blog posts are not that kind of content. Are yours? Are they the type of things that your readers are searching for, year after year? For instance, let’s say that you write paranormal romances (ahem). You could do a post on your top ten paranormal romances, ever. Or try a post on a popular but timeless book, TV series, etc., and what you think about it. Like “How Anne Rice Transformed Paranormal”. (And be nice! We all know karma’s moniker.)

What we don’t want to do, though, is just continue to post because we feel that we have to. If it’s not something great, then don’t post it. Don’t we all tend to filter out or delete posts and emails that we feel have no relevance in our lives? Our readers are doing the same thing, so make your post amazing.  Or at least great.

Make use of keywords.
Even though Google has tamped down on allowing us to find the best keywords, you probably already know what these are for you. For instance, I should have paranormal and romance in my content somewhere, because that’s what my readers are searching for.  And try these  other ways to search for trending keywords.

Know your Reader.
Of course, all of this only helps if we know first who our ideal reader is. Who is that one reader out there that you think of when you sit down to write your blog – that one reader that retweets, shares, and comments on your posts? What does that reader most want from you? Is it recommendations for new books, insight into your writing process, or just general personal information? Thinking of what that person wants will help to shape your writing.

A reader survey is also a great way to get to know your readers. If you already have a newsletter (and if you don’t, start now!), then you can include a very short questionnaire on the reader’s wishes. A give-way helps here to get responses. Try to see if there is something that the reader gains from reading your books and blogs – what sort of emotional transformation do they get from reading what you write?

TALK TO US.
What are your tricks for bringing more readers to your blogs? Do you feel as if you are hitting your target audience, or just struggling to find stuff to write about?

Posted by Author Erin Moore
Erin writes sensuous paranormal romances set in exotic locales. Her latest book is a sexy minotaur shifter story set in Crete.  A regular blogger for Marketing for Romance Writers as well as Heroes and Heartbreakers, Erin is sadly neglectful of her own blog. She lives in Atlanta with her two little paranormal beings and one unruly husband.

Erin also now offers editing services, including help with bios and queries, on her website.  She's giving away a critique of a first chapter with a subscription to her newsletter!