Marketing by Submitting

Gandhi drafting a document at Birla House, Mum...
Ghandi I am not... Image via Wikipedia

I’ve been thinking of ways in which I can broaden the readership of my blogs and get my writing self out there. I told you about submitting a short story for possible publication, but in the meantime I want to get more eyes on my blogs. Enter some guest posting!

There are a few blogs that I follow that have guest posting opportunities. They have bigger readerships than mine have, more regular commentors, and will therefore give me more exposure than my recent efforts (one can only force so many of one’s friends to actually read one’s blogs…and those that do will more than likely NOT become regular readers).

I’m not just submitting guest post ideas to them simply to further my readership, however; I really want to participate in their blogs. I love what they are doing and I want a chance to be a part of it. Plus, I need practice submitting things.

I’ve written more comments in recent months than I think is healthy. I’ve shared the link love on this blog and others. I even make a point of using pingbacks when I want to expand on something someone else brought up. I post daily or weekly on my blogs. I have played around with the design of the blogs and tweak the layouts. I’m having guest posts on my main blog. I’m observing all the laws of blogging etiquette, yet the following hasn’t come. Yes, I write blog posts for me as much as for others, but not getting feedback on some of the issues I am struggling with or validation from a growing readership can make it seem more or less pointless some days.

I’ve never been good at marketing my writing. I’m one of those writers where if people read it, they like it, and will continue to read and be loyal. The thing is, I have trouble getting people to read. As aforementioned, I’ve tried all kinds of promotion, both direct and indirect, and it hasn’t seemed to help. I’m not any closer to any of my writing or blogging goals.

So, how do you develop a readership when none of the traditional things seem to work for you? Is it a case of me wanting to give up too soon (after a year and a half of consistent, quality blogging, and a couple decades of writing in general)? What has helped you develop your following and readership? Do you have guest posting opportunities on your blog?

8 Comments

  1. I’m relatively new to bloggin — just opened shop the first week of January — so I may not be the best person to give advice.

    However, what I’ve done is search out other bloggers who write what I write about. My blog is all about writing. I simply comment on a blog and sometimes, someone follows me back to my blog. And sometimes, they don’t.

    However, I follow a few blogs regularly and make comments because I really have something to say about their comment. I’ve read the thing about blog etiquette, but I don’t know if I really follow it. I just write what I naturally would.

    As for pingbacks, I haven’t tried them. Sounds confusing.

    One of my biggest follow in links (and you can see these from you stats page) is my facebook page. It may not be much, but every day, I see at least 7 or 8 people visiting my blog from my facebook page.

    I make a simple statement: My latest blog is posted: and I insert the link. Wait a second . . . and Facebook fills in the thumbnail of the picture I’ve used for my blog, the first paragrah and the link. Taadaa! Anyone on my Facebook page can click and read.

    My Facebook account has very little personal information. It is all about my writing. People folllow me there and then learn when my next blog is posted to read.

    To be honest, I don’t know what a good viewing count is, so perhaps I’m way behind the game.

    But I’m new. And I’m becoming a lover of blogging. Regardless of how many people read my new post, it’s there for anyone in the future to flip to and read.

    Diane

    • 2blu2btru

      I have my facebook account linked to this, as well as a facebook app thingie called networked blogs, so it automatically updates to my facebook fan page (premature, I know) and my regular profile (for a couple of the blogs).

      So far, I haven’t gotten as many clicks from facebook as I thought I would. I’m glad your seeing some traffic from it.

      Thanks for the suggestions and continued success in blogging…whatever that means for you (whether it be readers or just writing quality content each day).

  2. I started my blog when my book, “The Mandolin Case,” was in development. I had just signed with a Lit agent. I recall he said, “You need to start a blog.”

    I asked, “What’s a blog?”

    He went on to say my readers would teach me how to write, and this proved to be true.

    I’m really not sure why mine grew. Perhaps part of the answer is that it is unique. As far as I know I am the world’s only physician bluegrass fiction writer. I’m a doc for a living but art, both music and writing, have always helped to sustain me.

    As I look at your blog, the writing is very solid, and the graphics are cool too. It seems to me it should do fine. You sure have better credentials than this old Doc, and I’ve survived to publication, though I’m sure Grisham ain’t worried I might catch up with him.

    I have had a few guest posts and you are welcome to do one. I have a big gig coming up this weekend, so it would need to wait a week or so. I do not censor my guest posts, but I do ask the writers keep it to about PG-13. I’m old, and kinda old-fashioned, and my my Mom reads mine. (Quaint I know)

    I loved your picture of Ghandi. I try to do right by people, but I wasn’t Ghandi either. Not long ago I thought about a post on him; something along the lines of how to be selfless in a modern world, but still enjoy one’s stay on Earth. I admire Ghandi, and yet was always conflicted on how to live with his simplicity.

    I guess my best advice is to write for the exact reasons you already do. You might write a year to find like a few like-minded human beings who cling to the dream that writing might inject just a bit of grace and dignity into a very tough and cynical world.

    Don’t give up on that.

    Dr. B

    • 2blu2btru

      Thanks for the kind, well-thought out response, Dr. B! 🙂 Congrats on the book. I’ve not gotten as far as havnig an agent; that’s an accomplishment in and of itself.

      I started blogging because I was told that it would help my chances for publication success to develop a readership before I had books out, to show there was a market for my writing.

      On my main blog, my readers have taught me what to do. I’ve focused it around subjects I get more responses to and what generates the most discussion. This writing one and the review one have attracted fewer readers and therefore fewer readers to help teach me to write.

      I would love to do a guest post on your blog. This week isn’t good for me, either (real life commitments beckon), but I will have a little jaunt around your blog and see what your content consists of.

      Thanks for reading and commenting! 😀

  3. Kaye Peters

    Yeah, um, as soon as you figure it out, can you let us in on the secret?! However, we just started our blog over a month ago so we are newbies to every aspect of marketing our writing abilities.

    What we do is we post to Facebook and twitter when we post. Both Ana and I will post about each other’s post so everyday we are hitting Facebook and Twitter about our blog.

    And don’t worry, if we figure out the secret before you, we’ll let you in on it!

  4. Pingback: This Never Happened to Me Before « Copywrite1985

  5. I don’t know the secret to attracting a following or consistently high readership. There are so many blogs out there, it’s difficult to stand out. I’ve seen some insanely popular entertainment-type blogs, but they tend to be racier than what I would do.

    For me, I just keep writing because I enjoy it. If a few others do also, that’s great. If not, then I’ll still enjoy it.

    As long as you enjoy the blog posts and it’s not another chore to do, then I’d recommend just carrying on. I believe this is another lesson in patience 🙂

    • 2blu2btru

      Well, we all know how fun THOSE lessons can be, right? 😉 No matter what, I’m going to continue writing…just expressing a little frustration.

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