Blogging Lessons: Lesson 2
Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy
Ahhh yes. My blog just keeps getting all kinds of classy. Before I get into this blog, though, I should explain my absence. I had my finals in my classes over the weekend, followed by fairly horrible couple of days. Long story short, I am now an ice cream man who can’t sell ice cream. My cart died. I lost hundreds of dollars in product. *Sigh* I’m not overly upset, just extremely disappointed. Moving on…
So, this blog is all about pimping out your blog for increased traffic. Most people are better at doing this than I am. Okay, if I’m being honest, mine is one of the most poorly pimped blogs I know. I also really don’t try, which is why I have been a little amused by the times when I accidentally succeeded. So, through these successes, I’ve actually learned a thing or two.
Stripes of White and the Stench of Despair
I believe it was the modern day poetry of the White Stripes which postulated: one cannot be a pimp whilst also a prostitute. Or, you know, words to that effect. And yet, as bloggers, that is exactly what we are expected to do. First, sell your ass on the open market (a.k.a. write a blog), then get out there and self promote said ass for all you’re worth. It really is a little twisted when you think about it. I mean, you can NOT buy ad space on Facebook that says, “I just wrote a blog which I PERSONALLY believe to be some pretty awesome bloggage, but nobody is reading it. Please come by and look at what I have written, thereby validating my sense of self worth. Also, if you wouldn’t mind posting a comment so I don’t feel like I’m just talking to myself over here, that would be great. Okay?”
That isn’t a whiff of desperation… that’s the full blown stench of despair you smell in that statement. So there’s a bit of tact required in the art of navigating the waters of self promotion. Let’s assume, then, that (unlike me) you actually are willing to put some effort into promoting your blog. How should one begin?
Wow, Great Story Man.
Step 1: Comment on other blogs.
Seriously, it is the best way to help others discover your blog. Sure, like 90% of the time the ONLY person who will drop by your blog is the blogger for the blog you commented on, but that’s okay. Because, as I mentioned in Lesson 1, blogging is a community. We support one another, and the more bloggers you have reading your stuff, the more support you’ll have out there.
There’s another way to drive traffic, though. Comment on a blog with a massive audience, preferably within the first 25 comments on that blog. Here’s an example of how that works. The other day, I dropped by The Bloggess’ site because I hadn’t been there in about a week. I chuckled at her most recent blog, then typed a little comment. I usually expect to see my comments land somewhere around #380 or so when I comment on her site… but not this time. This time I was the 7th to comment. I noticed later that this comment happened to approximately coincide with the moment she advertised the new blog via twitter, but my dropping by when I did was merely a happy accident.
Now here’s the important part… if you’re posting a comment which will be seen by a LOT of people, don’t be a spaz. Don’t be in such a hurry to throw a comment down that you hack out the word “FIRST!” and hit submit. Not a lot of people are lining up to read the latest musings of the dork who shouts “first” on high traffic blogs.
Instead, make a point. Be amusing. Or, as was the case with my comment, be lucky and beat the rush. But say something like “Wow, great story, man,” only, you know, much MUCH better. In the hour after I posted my comment on The Bloggess’ blog, I had 45 views. That may be nothing in comparison to the number of views some blogs get, but for my humble corner of the web, 45 views in an hour is a friggin’ landmark event!
Get a Pimp
Step 2: Hook up with someone awesome.
If you’re extremely lucky, someone awesome will fall in love with your blog. If that happens, DON’T EVER EVER EVER LET THEM GO. Seriously. I’m exceedingly lucky that Lucy over at My Life as Lucille has become a fan of my blog and championed it (and me) on Twitter and on her blog. Friends like Lucy don’t come along very often, and I just really can’t even find the words to thank her. So, being a Microsoft Paint doodler, I chose to thank her with a drawing that she was free to use in any way she felt like using.
However… that said, Lucy’s MY pimp. Get your own.
Link Up and Guest Post
Step 3: Gain exposure to new audiences.
Linking up is something I do very infrequently, but it really REALLY does work. My occasional Theme Thursday posts and my forays into linking to other blogs in the past have been great ways of driving traffic to my site. Actually, I’ve never once guest posted a blog on another site, but I assume the results would be much the same. Either way, the idea is to get new people to read what you’re doing, which could lead to long-term followers, readers, and fans of your work.
Be a Search-Friendly Whore
Step 4: Google me this…
Pimpin’s a lot easier if you’re an easy to find whore. It’s like working the busiest street corner. I assume. Not that I know. *Awkward pause*
Anyway, where was I? Ah yes. A search-friendly whore is someone who caters to the sorts of things people on the internet are using the Googles and Bings and Yahoos to search for… WITH images. Because people click on things with pictures more often than they click on just text. Which, when I get to my blog about my most popular blogs, will be painfully obvious.
If you ever want to see what people on the internet are searching for, go to one of those sites (like Yahoo) which lists the most popular web searches. OR check out what search terms have brought the most people to YOUR blog and write more of the same to keep them coming. For example, my most popular search terms for today are:
1. Nerdy Love Poems
3. Bad Nerd Poetry
4. Hate Yolo
5. Other Meanings Yolo
6. Stupid Nerd Poems
*Sigh* In other words, only two of my blogs ever get views. So… okay this isn’t the best advice. Instead go with the other thing I said. Go look on Yahoo, see what’s popular and write a blog about:
1. Selena Gomez Bikini
2. Honeymoon Prostitution Arrest
3. Senior Prostitution Ring
4. Amputee Killed By Dogs
OH MY DEAR LORD!!! Seriously?! THAT is what people are actually searching for?? I’m not even kidding, people. At this very moment in time as I write this sentence, those are the top four searches on Yahoo. I’m sorry. This was horrible advice. Don’t make your blog search friendly!