8

I recently started writing a blog. It's about many things: travel, food, my perspectives, photography, comics, movies and whatever thing I feel about writing. I'm using a WordPress blog. Since I'm being new to this, I don't have any readers (community). I don't want to be a famous writer or anything, but it'll be nice to have some people who read my literature.

What I need to know is:

  • Are people willing to read my blog? There are millions of books out there, so will they be interested in what I have to say?

  • If so, how can I show to others that I'm writing and how can I invite them to read? Or how can I create readers for my writing?

  • 2
    You've got some great answers below, but I would like to re-iterate Secestpus's point about your content. You would be better served to create multiple blogs about the different topics - blogs are followed because people are interested in that topic - they don't want to read pages of unrelated stuff to get to the one thing they like. Separate blogs solve this by allowing you to still write, but each blog will have a targeted audience – Thomo Jan 14 '18 at 23:57
  • @Thomo I just wanted to write those stuff that comes into my mind. For me, those are pretty interesting, sarcastic and sometimes they aregood, (As I see,myself) So I thought, okay, gonna write some of these stuff. From what you and some of the others've mentioned, best thing to do is to Organize my thoughts and make separate blogs for each topic, right? But isn't it going to be hard?what if I get everything wrong,because I've to maintain big load of stuff? I've habit that I'll easily get bored and drift away. I dont want that to happen to my blogs – Vishwa Jan 15 '18 at 5:13
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this question strikes me as being primarily about marketing, not actually about writing. According to this meta question, writing.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/743/…, it seems as if this is off-topic. – Craig Sefton May 31 '18 at 11:37
  • @CraigSefton Honestly, All I wanted is to start my own blog and getting readers is a basic need, no marketing purposes were intended. Matter of fact, I'm still working on writing and haven't got much readers on. but answers for this helped me a lot. So it should help someone else. I think these answers are far more valuable to be deleted – Vishwa Jun 1 '18 at 5:38
  • @Vishwa Sure, I understand that, I'm just giving my opinion on the matter. By marketing, what I meant was that it seemed like what you were asking for is about digital marketing: promoting yourself on other forums, identifying topics to attract readers, engaging in outreach etc. There are lots of useful questions that get asked, but they're considered off-topic (and even if the question is closed, they don't get deleted; the question will just be put on hold.) People will either agree or disagree, and vote accordingly. It's nothing personal, so please don't be offended. – Craig Sefton Jun 1 '18 at 6:52
10

Nobody can tell whether people will be willing to read your blog

There is no way to tell. First of all they have to like Blogs. Not everybody likes the style, some people prefer reading mostly books, some prefer mostly newspaper, some prefer magazines, some prefer blogs, ... Therefore the first thing to realize is that your target audience is limited to people who like blogs.

The next thing is the topic of your blog. Or topics in your case. You have a broad range of topics listed, so chances are people will find something there. But they will probably not find it condensed, because they won't like everything on it. You therefore have a target audience that wants a broad range of topics and probably likes your style of writing. People who want to only read something about comics will go to a blog that specializes on comics or they may only read those posts on your blog, so don't be discouraged if some posts will be better received than others.

Getting readers

The easiest way to go about this is to tell your friends and family. Maybe they will like it and tell other friends about it who might have an interest. Of course you shouldn't expect all of your friends and family to read everything from you. It's their decision how they spend their time and they may very well just don't like blogs. That's normal and to be expected, but maybe one or two will spread the word.

Other than that you may want to try and put links to your blog somewhere else. Be careful about advertising. For example randomly mentioning that you have a blog in an answer on StackOverflow may not help you much. But maybe you can go to SFF.SE and answer a few comic questions where you can reference stuff you have written on your blog. As long as you make it clear that it's your blog and make sure that the content you cite from your own site is useful for the question at hand this shouldn't be a problem. Be careful to still give a full answer, which means to cite or summarize everything relevant and only give the link for people who want to check that you cited (yourself) correctly or want to know more about the subject. Links can rot, stuff can be re-arranged and answers should therefore always summarize the important parts on SE.

This, of course, applies to other sites where you may be active, too. I don't know if you happen to be active in any other communities besides SE, but maybe some of them have places where you can show your blog. Maybe a chat? Or certain threads where everyone can post his own blog? Maybe a writers group that might be interested in reading stuff you wrote? There are lots of possibilities and as long as it's clearly not just advertisement, but really related to what that community is doing, mentioning your blog shouldn't be a problem.

There may also be sites that help you in this regard. Sites or chats where you can share the link and look at what other people are doing. This will also help you in getting an idea of what other blogs look and read like.

If all of this doesn't help you may want to have a look at communities you are part of and see whether they have blogs so you can write for them. Here comes my disclosure: I am sometimes writing short stories for the Universe Factory, which is an inofficial blog from WorldBuilding.SE. You can find the posts here on Medium.com. The list of blog posts can also be seen on WorldBuilding's Meta. One of our mods always makes one-week community events, so that people on WorldBuilding.SE can see the title of the newest blog posts and there are chat messages in the Universe Factory chatroom and the Factory Floor chatroom on WorldBuilding.SE. Medium helps you by providing stats like the amount of Views and Reads that you get and while I have not looked into it in detail as far as I know there is some way to monetize your work. You could theoretically for example write a few posts on your own account and a few articles for certain publications, like the Universe Factory. The latter would help you get exposure while the first one is easy to do and could be monetized if that was your goal. As there is already a big community your stuff will be shown to different people in their feeds and it might be easier to get new readers. Leaving the work about setting up the site and maintaining it to a company like Medium allows you as the author to focus on writing articles that your readers will enjoy.

If you can find a community with similar practices you may get a lot more exposure. It may still not be much, but it may very well be more than publishing on your blog alone.

  • 2
    "As long as you make it clear that it's your blog and make sure that the content you cite from your own site is useful for the question at hand..." ...and make sure it's not a link-only answer. I reference my own web site at times in answers or comments (and sometimes even edit summaries), but I make sure that the post is useful even if my web site is inaccessible or I happen to have changed it somehow. – a CVn Jan 11 '18 at 12:24
  • 1
    Good answer. A blog about diverse topics is basically alt.fan.me (for those who remember Usenet newsgroups). People will only read it if they care about you, or if they come across specific posts of interest through things like shared community interests. Shared topic-focused blogs like Universe Factory are a good way to get this exposure. (Disclosure: I'm an editor for UF.) – Monica Cellio Jan 11 '18 at 17:15
6

The workshops I have attended about these types of questions invariably suggest to build readers through Facebook. I have no experience with Facebook.

Another possibility is twitter. This can be used in tandem with your other approaches; one more tool.

On twitter, you can find people with many followers in the topic/field you like (say, fantasy fiction.) You can reply smartly to their posts. Some of their many followers will see your reply, and look at your profile, where you can link to your blog.

You will slowly gain your own followers as well, and these become a resource (and you are a resource to them, too).

Your followers are not all gravy though - there is a lot of chaff that comes with that twitter wheat. At the moment, one year into twitter, I have just under 100 genuine followers. I'm a nobody. But some of those followers are medium size fish in fiction, or otherwise related to what I write. I've asked my followers (whom I also follow back) to beta read and a few have agreed. When I launch a website with a blog, I'll mention on twitter. My followers will see it, and depending on the hashtags I use or whether I mention it within discussions started by 'famous people,' other people will see it too. I would expect some traffic to my site as a result. Some might then bookmark the site.

Patience may be necessary, but this is an idea to consider with the others you've received.

Note: I am surprised by how many authors are blogging basic writing advice. On the one hand it's nice to know there are blog posts out there about 'how to increase tension,' for example, or any number of things to do with writing - on the other hand there seems to be more and more to sift through every day and it's all variations of the same advice. I have no doubt some authors read blog posts on a topic just so they can write their own blog post on a topic, and that feels, frankly, like 'garbage internet' to me. Perhaps find unique topics to blog about to separate yourself from that.

4

People love to voice their opinions. People also love to correct others. You could use this to gain readers by frequently posting excerpts of your writing on your blog and inviting readers to criticize it openly (you might be surprised at the amount of useful feedback you get). You may or may not want to follow any of the advice given by such critics but it will entice them to read. And definitely provide links to social media so readers can share the writings

  • 1
    See also First Chapter for Free? – a CVn Jan 11 '18 at 15:14
  • That is an excellent idea. but will they? I mean people are busy with their own stuff – Vishwa Jan 15 '18 at 7:09
  • If they are already reading info on your site, then they are practically there already. Nowadays, "their own stuff" consists, in large part, of frequent web surfing sessions. It's the new favorite pastime. – WelderGuy Jan 15 '18 at 16:27
3

1. Create outstanding, unique, above-average content

There are literally thousands of blogs for each topic you can think of. Only the best handful make it to the top page ranks. Have content that others do not have (valuable or inside information that can only be found on your blog) or present the same content in a more entertaining or more comprehensive manner. Simply, be better than anyone else.

2. Network

You need to be someone within the community of people interested in your topic – a person of consequence, a pivotal person, well-connected, well-respected, especially by professionals, experts, and other high reputation community members. (If you don't know how to network, begin working on your social skills.)

3. Have good design

Make your site visually pleasing and easy to navigate.

Also, have a great about-you page, give people a way to contact you, invite them to subscribe to your newsletter, become a friend or follower on social media, etc.


What you don't need:

  • comments (if you decide to do comments, you need to engage in the discussion, otherwise better do not have comments, they draw time and energy from writing content)
  • SEO (because content is SEO)
3

There is only one thing you need to grow a blog. It must be remarkable. By that I mean it must be worth remarking upon. This can be because it is great, solves a problem, is notably bad, or anything else. The only thing it cannot be is average. No one remembers average.

SO grows because whenever a developer asks a SO user "how do I find out about X?" the SO user can't help but remark that SO is the place to go. This happens because SO is worth remarking upon.

If you have yet to find it, dig up a copy of Seth Godin's "Spreading the Idea Virus". He talks at length about ideas and how they spread.

I assume that you have some readers already. Write for those readers. Write for them in such a way that they feel excited, pleased, enraged, or in some way provoked to a reaction. I strongly recommend writing in such a way that you satisfy a need or solve a problem for them that no one else can or has.

Once you have started to really scratch whatever itch your readers have, they will find it hard not to share your blog with other people. People tend to share things that will make them happy, look helpful, or seem interesting.

You can make sharing easier for them by providing the right social media links for quick and easy sharing, writing catchy headlines (CopyBlogger is a great place to learn about headlines), and asking them to share after a post.

You can reach new readers by guest blogging, commenting with great and insightful comments on related blogs, and generally being sociable. However, if you have not got anything that scratches an itch for your readers, then you are not ready to do that.

Everything that drives traffic to your blog is only of value to the degree that your blog has content that pleases, excites, or energises readers - in other words, it is remarkable.

If your content is good enough you can get away with bad design. Good design reduces the barrier to entry but really what makes a blog grow is great content.

I find that I get good success by monitoring Facebook groups for questions that I can answer and the writing blog posts to answer those questions. Then, when I publish, I share that post with that group knowing that there will be a hunger for that answer.

  • 1
    This is indeed a thorough and great guide. But I'm a still novice to these things. You said my contents should be remarkable. I have no idea how to be that good. I've thought, writing about things I see, I feel in my own perspective. It could be about anything. could be places I go, food , my views on certain thins[people, cars, movies, some other things], sarcasm, may be some weird stuff.....I dont know. This is great and I really loved reading this. Do you have any guides to perfectly novice guy to how to write a good blog? Thanks again for your answer. – Vishwa Jan 15 '18 at 7:08
  • Remarkable does not necessarily mean good or best, just different enough to be worth passing a remark on. In business, it is called The USP (Unique Selling Point). I blog about my thoughts on how to blog as an author (sometimes) for Author Buzz UK. – Matthew Brown aka Lord Matt Jan 15 '18 at 17:42
  • You can quickly see if what I post is interesting to you from my profile page: authorbuzz.co.uk/members/lordmatt – Matthew Brown aka Lord Matt Jan 15 '18 at 19:07

protected by Community May 31 '18 at 11:48

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.