Blog Promotion – A Hiatus at the Crossroads
It’s been a weird couple of weeks, people. In January, I managed to double my followers purely through networking. I busted my butt for hours and hours every week, reading other people’s blogs, liking their posts and leaving comments. In return, people gave my stuff a look and dropped comments, followed, or liked posts. It was rewarding, but exhausting and unsustainable.
I need follows, views, likes, and comments to come to me unsolicited. I’m standing at a crossroads, and I can’t really pick a path until I gain a better understanding of some things.
The Purpose of this Blog
If anyone has been able to identify a purpose for this blog, please notify me immediately. I have NO IDEA what I’m trying to accomplish here. My posts fall under two headings: stories from college and random contemporary insights. The first heading was initially my purpose. These old stories are easy and fun for me to write (which got me into the habit of writing regularly), and are entertaining to read (I hope). The second heading just kind of evolved.
I want people to read and enjoy my posts, and I’m trying to string them together in a way that tells a grand, coming-of-age story. Beyond that, I want publishers to see my blog as a substantial platform that can be used to promote the books that will make me super rich. Is that too much to ask?
I started doing research into ways to get more engagement from my time. The two general methods of blog promotion that I’ve identified are Social Media and Search Engine Optimization.
I know I should be using social media to promote my blog and that it’s a huge, obvious, step one approach that I’ve been ignoring. The problem is, I don’t really want my family to see this blog. It contains subject matter that would chafe their religious sensibilities and I don’t get to see them or talk to them often enough that I want to spend the few conversations that we have arguing about this stuff. For these reasons, my family has ruined Facebook for me.
Twitter is still available to me, and I’m radically underutilizing it. I just need a basic growth strategy that will bring followers from Twitter to the blog.
LinkedIn is a no-go for me. I’m in the process of changing fields and I’m months into the job search. I don’t want to broadcast my college drinking stories to the professional world.
Google+ and Pinterest are platforms that I’m totally unfamiliar with. I get the gist of them, but I don’t really know how to make them work for me.
I’m working on brainstorming some work-arounds for some of these problems, but others seem pretty insurmountable.
Search Engine Optimization
This is where the gaping void where my blog’s purpose should be is really haunting me. There’s a cornucopia of great advice and tutorials on how to make your blog easy for Search Engines to understand and categorize. If you make their lives easier, they reward you by putting you at the top of the results on relevant searches.
The question is this: How do I optimize a blog that isn’t about a specific subject, but is just a personal platform for whatever I want to talk about?
I know I could put in a lot of hard hours making myself the top result for people searching for my name, but I don’t see much value in that at this point. I’m not a highly searched guy. Additionally, I don’t want this blog to be the first thing that potential employers find when they’re making sure I’m not a criminal.
What would you say that this blog is about? I’ve gotta narrow it down to some keywords that are broad enough that people search them, but specific enough that I can dominate. Off the top of my head, “College” and “Humor” come to mind. Combine those two, and you get an enormously popular website that I certainly won’t knock out of the #1 spot in Google search results.
I’m pushing SEO to the back of my mind for a while. I will be focusing on a light social media promotion strategy that makes sure that this blog doesn’t get passed around to my family on Facebook. I will also be looking into other outreach possibilities, including listing this blog in any directories or blog networks that I come across, and reaching out to other bloggers for plugs and guest blogging opportunities.
In the meantime, I’m going to scale back the volume of posts for a week or two until I sort out what direction to take my daily promotion habits in. No sense in publishing all of my best stuff before I figure out how to find some folks to read it!
To Veteran Bloggers
Any help, advice, validation, encouragement, or informative reading material on the subject would be truly appreciated.