I love writing. Whether it is pen on paper or finger-tips on keys, the feeling I get when I express myself is uniquely gratifying. In some ways, it doesn’t matter whether people are reading my post or not, because the sheer pleasure of writing is really enough of a motivation. But once my viewership started going up, it started to appeal to the slight competitive streak in me. Who was I competing against? My viewership hits of the previous month.
I started to set goals for myself and finding ways to meet them. In this post, I will share the 7 most important steps to increasing your viewership that I have discovered.
Tag! Tagging your posts with the most relevant key words on the subject will make it easier to find on the world-wide web. Search engines use these to offer your post as a result when others search similar key words. If you use WordPress, which I recommend, there are also Categories you can create which also aid in this process. You can create as many as you want but the sensible thing to do is to create some which cover the broad areas which you most frequently write about.
Write about topics other people would be interested in. This is applicable to those who don’t use their blog exclusively as a personal diary or a venting space; (in which case, do you want to increase your viewership at all?). You could relate the topics that matter to you to broader topics of interest. It is the difference between talking to oneself and addressing an audience. But at the same time I wouldn’t recommend going out of your way to write about things you aren’t invested in. Then what’s the point of writing at all?
Publicise! Tell people about your blog, link it up to your Facebook or Twitter and any other social network you are part of so that every time you post, a notification is put up for others who are linked to you in those forums. If they find it interesting or useful in some way, they may also use the same forum to share it with their friends. This can be a great medium for people to become familiar with your blog.
Use pictures. Everyone likes illustrations to go with the writing. It appeals to the child in us who used to love picture books. This is a point I often slack off on myself but I’m very sure only blogs with pictures ever get chosen to be presented on ‘Freshly Pressed’ etc. (Beware of copyright infringements when using images from online. Most people wouldn’t take this seriously, especially if you declare that you don’t own the pictures but you never know.)
Post regularly. The more you have on your blog, the more people would be likely to find something within it interesting. If people see notifications of your posts often, they may also take you more seriously as a writer. Because, let’s be honest, everyone can have a blog and write anything on it. To be taken seriously as a writer, it takes more and more effort and, dare I say, discipline.
Read other people’s blogs and comment, or’ like’. It often makes them curious about your blog and they may take their time exploring your posts to understand your opinions better. It’s possible that over time you develop a friendship with some of your fellow bloggers because of uncannily similar feelings or interests.
Write well. Use real language. As popular as SMS language may be these days, when people read, most of them still like the aesthetic appeal of a complete sentence with as many vowels as a word should have. Avoid short forms like ‘u’ for ‘you’ and ‘tmrw’ or ‘tom’ for ‘tomorrow’. It looks shabby, casual, and almost immature. You are not chatting with your friends, you are writing on a public forum.The occasional spelling error or grammar mistake caused by bad proofreading is only barely excusable because this is not print journalism. But it goes without saying that the more seriously you take your writing, the more seriously people will take you. (And now I sound like my English teacher!). Note to self: avoid clichés.
There they are. The steps I learned over a lot of time. I know the thrill I feel when my viewership just exceeded my previous highest in a day. I hope you feel the same thrill many times after you follow these steps. Feel free to leave a comment on any other steps you have taken to increase your viewership that I may have missed.
And remember, there will still be days when you publish two or three heartfelt posts and no one seems to be reading, and after a week of not paying attention you come back to find that there was a sudden rise two days ago. It is really left up to the people who look up things online and whether they have time or the interest to read it all.
Best of luck my fellow writers!