I follow your blog and am so impressed by all you’ve seemed to accomplish through it. I was hoping you might be able to give me a couple tips on how to gain exposure? I post my posts on my Facebook page, but obviously that only generates so many hits…
I could go on for hours about this (and if you’ve sat in on one of my classes at SFU, you’ve heard me do just that) but these 11 points sum it up quite nicely.
1. Reach out. Oh hey! You’ve just done that. Social media is well…social and that’s a beautiful thing. Comment on other blogs, tweet @ people, share links you love. But reaching out offline is just as important as online. You’re in Vancouver (such a pretty city!) and the Couv has a gazillion events that people actually attend — art openings, restaurant tastings, fashion shows — you name it, there’s a community dedicated to it. Don’t yet get invitations to these media-only events? Send an email introducing yourself to local PR reps, they’re lovely people (hi guys!).
2. Study the blogs you love. Analyze them to death. What do you love about them? How do they make you feel when you read them? Do you like the photography? The subject matter? The writer’s voice? Ask yourself why you click on them when you click on them. Is it that you’re bored at work and you want a bit of an inspirational pick-me-up? Whatever it may be, keep a list of your answers.
3. Study the blogs you don’t really like. Dissect them because you can often learn as much from other people’s mistakes as you can your own. Does the blog look like a mess? Does it bore you? Does it drive you crazy that the blogger only posts once every three months? While I’m not suggesting you become a hater, it is smart to spot some of the pitfalls bloggers fall into.
4. Study your own blog. What do people respond to? What do they share? What do they like (I mean this in the Facebook sense of the word). Take a look at your Google Analytics. Ask your friends and family for input and conduct a reader survey. Look back on your first few posts (and laugh!) — what do you know now that you didn’t?
5. Take it seriously. Be professional. Make business cards, network, prepare a media kit, be consistent in how often you post.
6. But don’t take it too seriously. When momentum really starts building it can be stressful, busy and exhausting so sometimes it helps to remember we’re not saving lives here.
7. Set goals. And I’m not talking about traffic, I’m talking about big picture goals — what do you hope your blog will do for you in five years? What career path do you hope it will send you down? Write these things down and post them somewhere you can see them. It’s amazing to see how quickly you’ll start checking them off.
8. Start doing what you want to be doing. That’s the beautiful thing about self-publishing: you can get practice, learn as you go and build a portfolio while you do so. Want to do on-camera work? Record video posts and get comfortable in front of the lens. Speaking of appearances, keep folders of your media exposure — save copies of magazines you’re mentioned in, footage of TV clips you appear in, screen grabs of the websites you’re profiled on (don’t just save a link because it might get taken down).
10. Love your readers. Make sure their time is well spent, or at the very least, well wasted. Entertain them, inspire them, make them laugh, make them cry — whatever, just don’t forget who you’re talking to. And on that note, your boss and your mother are reading your blog so keep it kosher.
11. Love your blog. It’s more fun that way. <3
Happy blogging, Emilie. I hope this helps!
[Photo by Sherry Lu.]
P.S. A little while ago Shona asked How Do You Do It? And I answered right here.
P.P.S. Have a question you’d like a reeeeeally long answer to? Send it to KDundon@TheAnthology.ca