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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Okay, you’ve got a blog –now what?

Please welcome guest blogger Maeve Greyson


As an author, how many times have you heard the following? Get a website. Set up a blog. Get on Facebook, Twitter, blah, blah, blah. Get your NAME out there. Hop to it!


So, you dive into the fray. You’ve got your blog up and running by using either Blogger, Wordpress or some of the other available blogging options. You’ve agonized for hours over backgrounds, templates, widgets and gadgets. Squinted for days to decide which font is easier to read until you’ve gotten it juuust right. But now that you’ve launched the result of your blood, sweat and tears, how do you get the rest of the world to find it?


I don’t claim to be an expert but I thought I’d share a few things that have worked for me. I can only speak for Blogger because that’s what I’ve found easier to use.


Submit your URL:


While Blogger eventually submits your link to various search engines, I found that if I submitted the main link myself, I popped up much quicker on searches. I resubmit the link approximately every three months to ensure the web crawlers continue to find me. Be advised; do not submit your URL more often than every thirty days or you run the risk of being tagged as a spammer and your URL will be removed.


Here’s the links to submit your URL to Yahoo, Bing, and Google:


http://siteexplorer.search.yahoo.com/submit

http://www.bing.com/webmaster/SubmitSitePage.aspx

http://www.google.com/addurl/?continue=/addurl


There is an additional site that will submit your link to various smaller search engines for free. It is: http://www.submitexpress.com/free-submission.html However, this site does require your email address and your phone number. You guessed it. A barrage of spammers are waiting in the shadows. If you decide to use this site, I highly recommend setting up a secondary email account through gmail or hotmail and registering on this site with that email. Then the spammers won’t have access to your primary account and fill up your inbox.


Blog Surfer:


This site was recommended to me by a friend. I’ve been using it approximately three months and my site stats have improved dramatically. I can’t honestly say it’s changed the number of comments I get but visits to my site have increased tremendously. I’ve gotten a few new followers but of course, I can’t be sure whether it’s from Blog Surfer or not. But the more hits my site gets, the better my odds of increasing my readership. Here’s the link to Blog Surfer: http://www.blogsurfer.us/ I’ve not had a problem with spammers from this site.


The good news is this site is free. It works both with Blogger and Wordpress blogs. List your link and your blog joins the “roll”. Install the widget on your blog. Whenever you post a new topic, click the Blog Surfer widget to shoot your blog back to the top of the continuously rolling blog roll.


Facebook – Networked Blogs:


Don’t forget to register your blog with Networked Blogs on Facebook and also connect it to your Twitter account. Every time you submit a new post, Networked Blogs will share it on your Facebook profile and will tweet it to your peeps –automatically. And as busy as everyone is these days: automatic is good.


Visit other blogs:


I know you’re busy. But if you’re too busy to visit AND comment on anyone else’s blogs, why would you expect them to take time out of THEIR busy schedule to visit and comment on one of your posts?


Be nice when you’re a visitor to another blog:


Yes. Nice does matter. Visiting someone’s blog is akin to visiting someone’s home. If you leave a comment, don’t say anything you wouldn’t want someone to say to you. Even then, THINK about the comment you’re typing. It’s very easy to give the wrong impression since your intent might not come across in a brief comment. I know we’re writers but it’s still VERY easy to be misunderstood when we’re keeping it brief. What you intend as a positive comment might be perceived as a hurtful jibe. Choose your words carefully.


Also, if you feel the author has posted incorrect information on their blog, either let it go or email them privately. Don’t post a comment on their blog telling them they’re wrong or misinformed. Think of it as going to a fancy restaurant with your best friend. While there, you make a trip to the ladies room and manage to tuck the back of your skirt into your pantyhose, revealing the satin thong Santa brought you for Christmas. Would you rather your friend shout across the dining room that your butt is hanging out or would you prefer she quietly slide to your side and yank your skirt back into place?


Announce your posts:


If you’re a member of any yahoo groups, announce new posts so folks will know there’s new content on your blog. Be certain to follow each group’s rules regarding blog announcements. Failure to do so could result in moderation or suspension from the group.


Acknowledge comments on your blog:


If someone takes the time to comment on your blog, respond to that comment as soon as possible. A commenter likes to know they’re not talking to a void. Don’t ignore them.


Tag your posts:


Don’t forget to tag your posts with key words pertaining to the post. This will help search engines pick it up. If you’re blogging about POV, some of your tags might be: writing, characters, point-of-view.


Invite guests:


When you feel ready, open your blog to visiting authors, editors or agents. Invite them to post or ask if they’d do an interview.


These are just a few of the things that have worked for me. Like you, I’m constantly on the lookout for more ways to improve traffic. I’ve yet to be a part of any of the large blogmania tours or have any contests. (My book doesn’t release until February.) But I hear good things about those things when it comes to drawing interest to your blog. Remember - in no way do I claim to be an expert.


Of course, the MAIN thing you need to do? Keep your readers entertained.



Bio: I'm a writer of paranormal romances, enjoying life in my wooded sanctuary with my husband of over thirty years and my writing partner, Jasper the rat terrier/chihuahua mix.



Beyond a Highland Whisper


The last time Latharn MacKay walked among his kinsman was in Scotland of 1410. Sensuous and charismatic, all the women wanted him, but none could capture his heart. Latharn's charm became his curse when a dark sorceress didn’t take rejection well. She snared his soul into a crystal globe until the one woman destined to be his love whispered his release. Now all Latharn has to do is find her and guide her to him without speaking a word.


One of the youngest archeologists in St Louis of 2010, Nessa credits one thing for this achievement: the recurring dream of a heart-stopping Highlander since the summer she turned eighteen years old. Little does she know, he's not some fantasy cooked up by her subconscious. He’s a trapped soul determined for Nessa to end his six centuries in hell. Can love prevail over the dark magic of a woman scorned?

30 comments:

Taryn Kincaid said...

Excellent post! I've just subscribed to them all. Tried Blog Surfer when I saw it on The Wild Rose Press loop, but didn't like the widget placement and took it down. After your great post I've decided to try it again!

Pages of Romance said...

Thank you so much for the great post. I am a new romance writer and blogger. All of your information is just the answers I needed. Keep em coming.

lynnrush said...

What a great post. Thanks for the resources. :)

Maeve said...

Thank you, my friends! I'm glad you found the information helpful.

:-)

Suzanne said...

Awesome post, Maeve--I'm trying out some of the links you mentioned!

Rachel Lynne said...

Maeve you are just a font of useful information! My morning plans have now changed; I'll be following all of those links.

Rach

Maeve said...

Thanks for stopping by, Rachel & Suzanne. Good luck in the blogosphere! I hope some of this info helps.

:-)

Gale Stanley said...

Great post! Thanks for the helpful advice Maeve. I'm going to try Blog Surfer for sure.
Best on that new release coming in Feb.

Maeve said...

Thanks for the kind words, Gale! I hope blog surfer sends loads of traffic to your site. (An awesome blog - I might add) I appreciate your stopping by. :-)

Ciara said...

What a great post!! Maeve, I just set up three of them. I'll let you know if it changes my stats. I love experiments. :) I'll try blog surfer when I update on Sunday.

Amy said...

Hey, Maeve--as you may remember, I'm a new blogger. I really needed this information. Thanks so much for all the tips! And as always, your writing is a pleasure to read.

Dawn Chartier said...

Maeve,

Great tips. Thanks for sharing.
I'm going to try them out too.

Dawn Chartier
http://www.dawnchartier.com

Cathy Yardley said...

Great post! I'm still not sure about using Blog Surfer, but will give it a try with your thumbs-up. I especially liked your point that if you don't take the time to comment on others' blogs, why would anyone comment on yours?

One other thing -- I've read that if you want people to like or re-tweet an article, it helps to actually ask them to at the end of the article. I've tried it, and it really does seem to increase it! :D

Maeve said...

Cathy, Dawn, Amy and Ciara - thanks for taking the time to comment, my friends! And also for the "retweet tip"!

:-)

Rebecca said...

Wonderful information here, Maeve! Thanks. :)

Maeve said...

Thanks, Rebecca! I'm glad I could contribute something helpful to the chapter.

:-)

Laura said...

Fantastic post! A lot of things I didn't know. And I'm glad you posted the links because as soon as you said something about submitting to search engines I was thinking "how do you do that?". Very informative, thanks!

Melissa Murphy said...

Thank you, Mauve, for this very useful info! And posting the links was so very helpful for a computer illiterate soul like myself. :)

Melissa Murphy

Maeve said...

Thanks Laura & Melissa! I'm glad you found the info helpful. I hoped posting the links would come in handy.

:-)

Kiersten said...

This was great advice and I'm so glad that you spoke in terms of blogger, which is what I use for my blog. I immediately did the blog surf, so we'll see how that goes. Already have a few of the others up and running, but you've definitely given me a few new options to explore!

Kiersten said...

Oh - BTW - I fond your blog post via re-tweets, if you're keeping track.

Debra S. said...

Great post. Thanks for the tip on submitting our URLs to search engines. I'm going to do that.

Janice said...

Good advice. I submitted my website and bloh to a couple of those sites just now. :)

Janice~

Maeve said...

Sounds great, Janice and Kiersten! I hope my few tips help increase traffic to your blogs. Thanks for stopping by!

:-)

Pat McDermott said...

Intriguing ideas, Maeve. Will have to try them as soon as I can sit in one place for more than five minutes. Thanks!

Maeve said...

LOL! You're always going 90 miles an hour in ten different directions, Pat. Thanks for stopping by, my friend.

:-)

Marsha A. Moore said...

Thanks for all the links for crawlers and blog surfer. I made good use of that info.

Maeve said...

I'm glad I could help, Marsha!

:-)

Traci Bell said...

Thanks, Maeve. My first novel is about to be released and this information is very helpful.

Clover said...

Spotted your write – ups, it’s cool. Very beneficial and interesting there are some ideas I haven’t heard before. Thanks for sharing.

clover
www.n8fan.net