Not so long ago – alright, 5 years ago, my fellow pedants – I was still up to my eyeballs studying Literature at university…
BUT WAIT! Don’t switch off just yet. There is a point to this:
In one seminar, we were studying the well known American poet, Walt Whitman. He’s best known for the hugely influential ‘Leaves of Grass’, which no doubt any citizens of the U.S. will be familiar with.
I didn’t mind the poem. Honestly, I didn’t really ‘get it’. But one thing our lecturer said was this:
Whitman worked at a magazine during the early stages of his writing career, and with nobody willing to review his writing, he only went and published reviews of his own stuff…by himself.
This did not go down well with me at the time. It just seemed like cheating.
A lesson learned
But there’s something that I’ve since taken out of this, and apply to any blogging, marketing, or writing activity I undertake. It’s that you need to be prepared to self-promote, or you will never get anywhere. You need to be prepared to put your stuff out there, and push it as much as is reasonable.
I’m not advocating reviewing your own stuff in quite the same way as Whitman – we live in a different time now, after all, where that kind of thing will get a backlash should it be discovered, and people are less understanding with all the marketing they are bombarded with.
There’s a pretty good example of this exact type of backlash to the film ‘A Knight’s Tale’ here, on what is coincidentally (oh who am I kidding, it’s the perfect segue) also about Walt Whitman’s use of self-promotion. Oh, and it ties really well into my article on Kanye too. Hey – sometimes these topics just align right, okay?
Regardless of the warnings, this doesn’t mean that – when it’s appropriate – you shouldn’t remind people that you’re here.
Besides, the ‘Rule of Seven’ – a well-established marketing adage – says it can take people at least seven times of seeing something before they actually acknowledge and engage with it. So just keep trying.
Here are a few ways I recommend you try to get your stuff read more:
5 ways to get more people to read your blog
Replace the word blog with product, marketing, campaign, whatever. The principle remains the same.
1) Use social media to your advantage
How many times have you discovered stuff you’re interested in via social media? Whether it’s content that’s shared by a friend first, or comes up as an ad – you’ll have found stuff through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Start a page for your blog, ask people to join, and share whenever you post. If people like your stuff, they’ll let you know, and might just pass the message on!
2) SEO your pages
SEO is ‘Search Engine Optimisation’, and it’s exactly what it says: Making search engines LOVE LOVE LOVE your posts, so they come up higher in search results for your chosen topic, or ‘keywords’. There are lots of ways to do this, and I aim to talk about each of them on this blog. It sounds really technical at first, but there are always really simple things you can do to make your blog more visible. Stick with Copoet, amigo, and I’ll show you how 🙂
3) Find forums
Forums have been around for forever, and they’re a goldmine for your blog. Take Mumsnet, for example – an entire community dedicated to exactly what mothers want to talk about, and passing on things they themselves have found helpful – is the perfect place to use as research, and to let people know you’ve written something that may be of interest to them. This goes the same for whatever topic you blog about, so why not search for forums on your topic?
4) Remember email? Yeah, THAT old thing!
We use it every single day, so it’s easy to forget how key this is. Start a newsletter, collect some email addresses from people who are interested, and send out notifications when you post new stuff. Most people can’t go five minutes without checking their phones (yeah, guilty as charged here too!!), so if they see your friendly email pop into their inbox, they may just read your stuff…
5) Ask for people’s opinions and feedback
Be it friends, family – it’s all valuable – but especially ask people who are influencers in your industry. Use social media, email people directly, and speak to people face-to-face. If you ask for people’s opinion, people feel valued, and want to help. You never know – if they feel they’ve helped, they may even feel invested in what you’re doing too, and want to help spread the word about your blog!
Good luck, amigos – just be proud of what you’ve created, and you’ll go far!