Here is a fact that’s going to shock your socks off: PEOPLE ACTUALLY READ MY BLOG.
I know! It surprises me everyday too! In fact I just noticed I have over 4,000 followers on Bloglovin’ and this is not only exciting, it’s extremely worrying because do 4,000 people literally have nothing better to do with their time than listen to me rant intermittently about cake, fantasy novels, why lettuce should be illegal, and what books I’m desperate to own but as soon as I do own them I won’t read them until 2072????
You all need lives.
NO JUST KIDDING! YOU’RE PERFECT HOW YOU ARE! (No joke, please stay. I’ll like…I’ll like totally cry if you go.)
Now I do get occasionally asked questions that I should not answer. Like “how do you get followers, Cait” and “how do you think up blog posts, Cait” and “how do I avoid not murdering that lad who never returned my book, Cait”. Which are all good questions and can be answered simply with (1) luck, (2) luck, (3) murder.
But since it’s my blog, I’m probably allowed to give bad advice now and then. So today’s bad advice is going to be about:
HOW TO GET PEOPLE TO READ YOUR BOOK BLOG!
And I’ll share all the secrets I don’t have and pretend like I know what I’m doing when IT’S MOSTLY JUST LUCK.
1. REMEMBER, BEAUTY IS ACTUALLY ON THE OUTSIDE.
Hmm, what? Did I just…did I just write that out? Wow, that’s bad, Cait. That’s very very bad advice….
Okay now that we have THAT disclaimer out of the way (!!)…HAVE A PRETTY BLOG! And you can go absolutely anywhere and to any advice post ever and they will 500% confirm that an attractive blog = people staying round to read. And by “attractive” I mean specific things LIKE:
- Make sure the visuals aren’t too overwhelming, so now super bright yellows, and no white-text-on-black backgrounds because that hurts our EYEBALLS, son, and we only have 2. You don’t have to be minimalist, but don’t be so complex the eye doesn’t even know where to go.
- Make sure you have a reasonable font that people can read. Aka NOT my header font that says “paperfury” but also looks a little bit like “Papjfkdsald Furry” and I am not actually a furry dog. But, ya know, blog titles can be a bit wild so long as all your OTHER text is reasonable. Also don’t make it too small. gOSH.
- Have visuals within your posts that are nice to behold. A photo. A graphic. A piece of cake. People LIKE visuals. I’m not even going to pretend that we’re not shallow. We want to look at pretty things. It’s like scientifically proven that posts with images do better than posts without. And I mean, like, true studies have been done on that, not just me and a couple of frogs in the kitchen sink making up stats…
as is usual.NO ENDLESS BLOCKS OF TEXT.
- Make sure your blog is EASY TO NAVIGATE. Because if I have to spend more than 5 seconds just trying to find your latest post — I am GOOOOOOOOOOOONE. Nobody has time for this. If you’re going to have a main page (like I do here) then make sure the latest post is easy to find. Don’t send me to some intro page that has no clear direction to your blog. Please. Mercy.
Trust me, people LEGIT will stick around if they like how something looks. This is how Instagram functions. This is how clothing shops work. This is how cakeries stay alive. This is why I still have a family because at least I’m adorable.
2. WRITE POSTS THAT MAKE SENSE TO NEW FOLLOWERS.
I honestly can’t stress this enough! Actually I can stress it enough, because if this sentence and I hang out enough, it’ll get stressed because I AM PERMANENTLY STRESSED PROBABLY DUE TO NEVER SLEEPING. BUT IT’S OK.
SORRY FOR YELLING. #STRESSED
When I go onto someone’s blog and their first 3 posts are: (1) part 17 of a 67 part story, (2) review of a 5th book in a series, or (3) part of some blogging series that makes literally no sense out of context — THEN I AM OUT, MARGE. I AM OUT LIKE A CANDLE IN A THUNDERSTORM.
For my blog? I always try to have 1 post in the top 3 on my homepage that is 100% fine to read if you’ve never read anything from me before. I mean, you can blog whatever the heck you want — obviously — but if you want new readers? Don’t be referencing things people “should already know”…because you’ve immediately alienated newbies.
3. ALSO JUST…JUST WRITE POSTS. CONSISTENTLY.
I honestly blame a lot of my blogging success on
the dark ritual I preformed with 9 oranges under the trees the fact that I blog a LOT. And I’ve blogged for 6 years!! And I’ve not disappeared on 4-month hiatuses. And I am quite a little bit of everywhere. Obviously not everyone can or WANTS to do that. People need breaks! * Take them! Be fine with that! But I honestly am rather a consistent force and I do think that helps.
Nooooobody can forget me. ** Because I am always HERE.
Also probably because I never get freaking off twitter, please someone restrain me, I need to get work done.
* OMG WHAT IS IT LIKE TO BE A HUMAN PEOPLE????
** This is…actually quite terrifying.
I don’t even know how to network haha…I mean, I do. But I do it badly. I am GREAT at social media — twitter and instagram are the BEST. But the amount of times I actually refer people to finding my blog through them? HAHA HAH AHAHA….yeah, that’s something I should do. HOWEVER. People like my tweets so much (or so they tell me…liars or truthers? WHAT IS THIS LIFE) that they search me out in other places. So it does sort of work.
But my #1 tip for social media is DO NOT MAKE IT ALL ABOUT PROMO. Which seems backwards but here’s the thing: no one really likes being slammed in the face with “read my blog! read my blog! i wrote a new post! reeeead it!” and then a weird Gollum dance at the end. Make social media like 70% fun and 30% promo.
And 0% weird Gollum dances. Where did you even get that idea.
If I tweet small funny things, people will HOPEFULLY come over to my blog to get longer funny things. Like this whole post. WHAT A JOKE. *
* No really. Are you listening to this advice? You need help…away from me.
5. BRIBERY ALSO WORKS SO YEAH…JUST GO FOR IT.
Look, rewarding people for doing something for you is not only #1 parenting rule, but it’s also a really great mind-training exercise and people do it ALL THE TIME. You go to a coffee shop = they give you free WiFi. Your brain immediately goes “I HAD A FUN TIME HERE. I WILL COME BACK.”
Blogging is 100% the same. You reward people for coming, and this could be ANY number of ways.
- Host giveaways on occasion. But don’t break your bank doing this, that’s not cool.
- Lure them in with interactive activities, like quizzes or scavenger hunts or link-ups or games.
- Have content they need to keep coming back for — like woaaaah I’m interviewing FAMOUS AUTHORS someday and pt 2 of this series will be “how to preform a fun spell using only sporks and candelabras and you’ll get more blog followers”.
- Do shoutouts on occasion.
- Reward them by being FRIENDLY and TALKING to them…
…which brings me to #5…
6. BECOME INVESTED IN YOUR FOLLOWERS.
My #2 goals * with blogging is to be someone who’s friendly and interested in YOUR blogs!! And this sometimes doesn’t work for me when I have 60+ comments to reply to, which means 60+ blogs and apparently I still have to function as a human off the internet too. Weird. BUT I TRY TO VISIT YOU ALL!! And I think that’s a huge reason people read my blog because who doesn’t want to say words to someone and have them return the words.
If you support me, I want to thank you but supporting you.
Woah that’s disgustingly nice.
But commenting-back and replying to comments is definitely my chief form of networking and also doubles as a GREAT REWARD for people who want to say hiiii to me. I mean, why not comment? I’ll come shout at you on your blog, shout at you here, shout at you on twitter. It’s like a blessing.
* My first is obviously world domination. Read my tagline, seriously.
7. DO SOMETHING A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT TO EVERYONE ELSE. AND BE ENTERTAINING.
This is haaaard. But worth it if you can think it up! Like I will legit follow a blog that makes bookish food just because BOOKISH FOOD. I will follow blogs that post reviews of books everyone else is reviewing so should be boring but you know what?? They’re really freaking HILARIOUS. So I love it!
Be entertaining. Seriously people love humour.
The #1 way you can be different is to just cultivate your own blog’s voice. And this takes time. And your voice will change. Believe it or not, my voice used to be a little more like a deranged hyper puppy on redbull and … no on hush. It’s different now. A little different??? Regardless. Write in your own way and your own style. Make your blog stand out that way.
This is all I’ve got, to be honest, because do you know what my talents are?????????
NOT BAKING ABOUT BOOKS, THAT’S FOR SURE. *
* Okay so there was this one time I made an orange cake and it tasted 100% like salt so I totally discovered nONE OF MY FAMILY ARE SECRETLY DEMONS. But also the cake was less than not good. It was gross.
BRIBE PEOPLE WITH FOOD. BE RELATABLE.
No really. I mean who doesn’t like food? Who doesn’t think that talking about food is delicious and relatable? IT IS SO FUN. So I talk about things I know we all like! I have made rather a name for myself by associating me + cake. Which is actually mind control and you’re welcome.
Sometimes I also talk a lot about other hugely relatable things: like pirate and dragons and magic and avoiding people and sometimes murder.
I am relatable. *
Also it’s 500% cool to now and again do some personal posts. I really love bloggers I feel like I “know” a bit better. You don’t have to put all your personal life on the internet if you don’t want to! But occasionally talk about yourself! Your life! This makes you seem really real.
* Except when I write a book in 4 days and then I’m not really relatable…mostly people just want me dead. BUT HEYYYYY. I LOVE YOU TOO, EVERYONE!!!
9. NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER TELL PEOPLE NOT TO READ YOUR BLOG.
I mean…I kind of just did…but I mean this in a DIFFERENT way. Don’t ever say your blog is boring! Don’t apologise for your posts or what you want to post about. Don’t tell people you don’t like your blog. Don’t BE ALL DOWN ON YOURSELF.
Be unapologetically you.
It makes a difference okay? You don’t have to be confident in real life. I will let you in on a spoiler: I am not a confident person. But I am EXCELLENT at psychology on the internet. If I tell you my blog is fabulous and that I love it, you will think the same. So just start manipulating your followers little brains. You do have a good blog. You are a good blogger. You will keep improving your writing and your voice. You are fab at this. You’ll even get better.
And if someone tells you the opposite? PFFFFFFFFT. Tell me who they are and I will eat them for you.
10. STAND BEHIND THEM THREATENINGLY WITH AN AXE.
I’m just…well…look if all else fails, I’m saying there are other options that aREN’T DUBIOUS and WON’T GET YOU ARRESTED SURELY.
You think you got this advice from me?
It was never here.
You can take away ANYTHING you like from this post.
Except me. I’m stuck here in this computer screen. It is my life.
But if you want the condensed version: (1) be friendly and approachable so people enjoy being around you, (2) have an easy and pretty blog to read, (3) bribery or threatening is ok.