Creating blog content to promote your cause, or, shooting arrows until one hits the target.

by Melva Gifford

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I’ve been blogging for a year now and have various reasons for doing so. One is that as a storyteller, writer and having various passions, I want to promote items I care about. This entry is geared to display techniques I’ve used to make my site unique and useful to potential fans. In my inexperience of creating a website and blog, I thought I would cater to five different subjects that interest me and see which ones may be of interest to my potential audience.

Most of the content on my website is material created for my blogs. I have to admit much of it is self-serving. It is my hope that some of the information may eventually become content for future books. My goal is to establish a fan base for the type of information I share.

Let me give some specific examples.

Having taught in church situations for several years, I’ve created a number of object lessons to help embellish a lesson. Some of my students were often worried of what I would do next. I’m a bit unpredictable. I think they often paid attention because of fear rather than interest <G>. So for Monday’s I have the topic of Teaching Embellishments. I discuss teaching techniques, how to use humor in teaching, and have created new object lessons on religious themes.

The content of Monday’s blog is also additional content and a continuation of material from a nonfiction book called. I know you THINK this is a Toaster: Promoting Family Values through Object Lessons.

Example: http://www.melvagifford.com/category/teaching-embellishments/page/2/

On Tuesdays, is a blog called Tasks, Errands and Projects Oh My. This is where I create a weekly To Do list. It was quickly apparent that I’m not all-knowing about multiple topics and so I end up doing research on a need to know basis. For example, I needed to fix my fence and thought that maybe I could do it myself (ha ha). I researched it and collected all my links and posted them up on Tasks, Errand and Projects Oh My blog so that if others were interested in repairing their fence, they can access the list I created. Another example is what to look for when buying a washer.

Example: http://www.melvagifford.com/category/tasks-errands-projects/page/2/

Someday I hope Tuesday’s material will be a stepping off point for a future nonfiction book called The Book of Lists.

On Thursdays. I have Speller Beezy and Other Ailments. I’m a notoriously bad speller. So I have a day devoted to how to spell words. Since memorization is not one of my strengths I try to use mnemonics, or visual images. Maybe after a few years, I might have enough content to create a short, spelling e-book.

Example: http://www.melvagifford.com/category/speller-beezy/

As you can see, if I have people following a specific blog, they may be interested in buying a future book on the same topic.

I have not yet figured out a way to have a blog to promote my fiction books, however I heard of a wonderful suggestion. Some authors will post blog entries from their book characters who are very popular with fans. When my career gets to that stage that is something to consider. An alternative will be that when I write my MG book Spell Binders (where the magic system is based on mnemonics) then I can invite fans to post spelling spells on line on the site.

But one step at a time, right?

Each of these blog topics may be of interest to a web surfer. If they like the content of a particular blog, they might seek additional content elsewhere on the web page. Maybe they’ll even buy a book or two or may want to attend one of my story telling events.

My webmaster created an analytics report to see which days of the week get the most hits. Now, I need to determine which of my topics stays or goes.

Example:

Day Visits
2/16/2013 8 Sat.
2/17/2013 19 Sun.
2/18/2013 17 Mon.
2/19/2013 19 Tue.
2/20/2013 37 Wed.
2/21/2013 38 Thur.
2/22/2013 28 Fri.
Total for the week: 166

 

One may wonder if this will be useful, but it’s something to try. Many of us bloggers are simply trying things through trial and error. I have attended a couple of blogging panels and have shared some of my notes from panels about blogging on my Rock Soup blog. Rock soup has to do with creativity of storytelling, writing, quilting, music and various other relevant topics. I’ll put some links at the bottom of this entry.

One point of advice I’ve heard from big-name bloggers is that you want to create content that people want to read. I think that’s what many of us are trying to do.

In a future blog, I will touch upon some ideas that I think may be useful for site promotion.

Please feel free to check out melvagifford.com.

Blogging notes from some big name bloggers:

http://www.melvagifford.com/2012/04/03/blog-your-passion-my-notes-from-a-presentation-by-leigh-anne-wilkes-31412/

http://www.melvagifford.com/2012/04/24/notes-on-blog-your-passion-and-grow-your-blog/

http://www.melvagifford.com/2012/05/16/notes-on-blog-infrastructure/

http://www.melvagifford.com/2013/01/08/the-art-of-podcasting/

For my fellow bloggers out there, what do you do, to build content and to establish a fan base? Please feel free to discuss your ideas below and provide your web site. Thanks

About Bonnie Gwyn Johnson

Bonnie Gwyn handles all guest bloggers on this website. Contact her if you would like to volunteer your time to share writing advice for The Authors' Think Tank.

2 comments
Thom
Thom

Hopefully your webmaster is taking into consideration not just which days get the most hits, but which blog entries are being read on those days. If your audience is trained to always come and read their topic of interest on the day you put it up, then the statistic may be helpful. But someone could show up a day or two late, or come because of a Google result a month later, and skew the results to make it look like some other topic was more popular. I had a blog post that went viral (by my standards) when a French fan site for the artist I reviewed found it a few weeks after I posted it. Had I not paid closer attention I might have thought my blog post on why I hate plumbing was really popular. I've found Google Analytics helpful for analyzing my blog traffic in meaningful detail.

melva@melvagifford.com
melva@melvagifford.com

Thom, you bring up some very good points. I would like my web master to make some changes and I'll see if I can get more specifics. Thanks for commenting.