By David Joel Miller MS Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.
Does it matter if anyone reads what you write?
Unless you are Buddy Holly, the last thing you want to hear one you start posting to your blog are crickets. (Did you get that allusion? If not google him, or better yet ask your grandparents.)
Unfortunately, many blogs experience precisely that problem. You write something, you set back and hope. Thinking about how people will find your blog during the planning stage increases the chances you will be successful. Here are a few of the possible strategies for getting readers to your blog.
Write content that will rank well in search engines.
Often this is very hard to predict. You can spend a lot of time hunting for keywords that would rank well but if it’s not consistent with the rest of your content, even if you get people to your blog they won’t stay. Some of the posts I wrote years ago, by pure accident, have ranked well and year after year I continue to get reads for these posts. This can be a fantastic way of driving traffic to your blog, but it can disappear just as quickly.
An example of accidentally ranking well in searches.
Let’s say you are an enthusiastic gardener, always on the lookout for new and unusual plants that might grow well in your climate. You start writing a blog about your gardening experiences and how hard it is to find plants suitable to your locale. On one trip to the nursery, you discover a new, unusual variety of salvia (Sage.) I know from personal experience there are about 350 varieties of Sage, when I tried to grow them in my yard, only a few varieties thrived.
So, you write a blog post about this very unusual Sage and how it does so well in your yard. It turns out your post is the only one on the Internet about this species. Suddenly your blog goes from two readers a day to hundreds. People from all over the planet are finding you because of this one post. You are suddenly so happy with your blog.
Everything goes along fine until one day you discover no one is looking at that post anymore. What has happened? What you find out is that the nursery which grew this plant has a gardening website, and because of the sudden increase in demand, demand you created, they feature an article on the front page of their website about this unusual plant. Other nurseries in your state rerun that article or write articles of their own for their websites. Suddenly your post drops from the first position the search results to number 87, and you stop getting hits.
Search engine traffic is terrific if you write in a very narrow field and you write a lot of posts, but your position in rankings can change suddenly and dramatically, especially every time a search engine changes their algorithms.
Social media can help promote your blog.
Many bloggers spend a lot of time on social media. If your primary goal of writing is to develop relationships and have conversations with others, this may work for you. Social media can take up a lot of your time which is one reason I probably do less social media than I should. If your goal in developing a blog is to introduce people to your writing, you could find that your spending so much time networking that you never get your book written. It’s important to be clear who you want to read your blog and how you’re going to connect with them from the start.
Encourage readers to follow your blog.
Make sure you have a follow, or follow by email, button on your page. You don’t have to turn into a computer programmer to do this. The blog platform you use should make this easy for you. We won’t talk about the technical part of this today but put this on your “to do” list.
If you write a tightly focused blog, you can develop a core following of people who really like what you have to say. Make it easy for them to subscribe and many of them will come back week after week to read your post. If you count on readers finding you again by accident among the billions of web pages out there you’re making it hard for your readers to ever find you again.
There are some thoughts on making your blog discoverable, so you don’t find yourself talking with no one listening. Drop back again next week for what has become writing Wednesdays or better yet subscribe to the counselorssoapbox.com blog, so you don’t miss an episode.
You’ll find more posts on this topic under – Writing.
Staying connected with David Joel Miller
Three David Joel Miller Books are available now!
Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.
Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.
Wandering through a hole in time they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive? The guests had come to Meditation Mountain to find themselves. Trapped in the Menhirs during a sudden desert storm, two guests move through a porthole in time and encounter long extinct monsters. They want to get back to their own time but the Sasquatch wants to kill them.
For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller
Books are now available on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, and many other online stores.
Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.
Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.