Saturday, October 14, 2017

Your Blog Post 5 :: Write 31 Days

Continuing the Write 31 Days challenge, I thought about how it's sometimes difficult to write about what we do as bloggers. I most often feel that celebrating milestones or sharing good news is too much like shouting, "look at me!" But that is the kind of thinking that has kept my blog from finding more followers, having more views, or connecting with readers. 

None of those things matter to me, except that I like to write and I want my work to be read. Teaching probably influenced my thinking. I'm a firm believer that the students do the hard work, and they deserve to get credit for any successes. In fact, I know a few teachers who stand in front of their students when the spotlight is shining, and I never liked what I think of those teachers. 

Blogging is different. It's my work and it's okay to shine a flashlight (no spotlights) on any success I have. With that in mind I began thinking about what a blogger could do or say that would allow her to share good (or bad) news about her blog specifically or her writing in general. Start off by reminding yourself about how you feel when a blogger you follow has good news: something is published, she's hit a milestone, a new pattern or fabric line or book is about to come out. 

How do you feel? It's okay to sense a little jealousy, but aren't you truly happy for the person who put in the time and effort to get those accolades? Don't you want to know these things? Can you learn from them? 

One reason for sharing information about your blog (as opposed to sharing on your blog) is that you have a truly unique opportunity to show other bloggers how your blog works. What works for you? That's what you should share on this type of post. Every blog platform has a page that gives you information about your blog. That's where you're heading. On Blogger (the only one I know) Stats can be found in the left-side bar under Posts. You've probably looked here briefly to see what's going on: how many followers, views, likes, whatever. 

The information, however, is there for much more. What that is, I'm not quite sure. Remember, I'm not a numbers gal, so I tend overlook them when possible. But in this scenerio, we've got to go there. So let's have a look. 

Some of the information you can get to quickly are your pageviews. The chart can be reset by clicking on the tabs at the top. Click on All Time. Now you can see how your blog views have increased over time. Below the chart is a list of the posts with the most page views. Want to know what your readers have been checking out? This is the stuff!

To the right of that is another list informing you where they are coming from. Shout out to Crazy Mom Quilts! And there a map showing from where they hail. I actually have a few folks from around the world. Not many, but hey, we'll take what's coming, right?

The informaiton on this page is a goldmind of ideas for posts. But you have to be willing to share it with your readers. Why might my readers want to know that AmandaJean's blog shoots people over to my site? Maybe I can answer that for them. 

Every Friday AmandaJean posts "Finish it up Friday" and everytime I add my link, my page views jump. For some reason (I haven't figured out) they don't leave comments. But for the stats page, I wouldn't even know those readers exist. Maybe this is something I can explore for myself, but for my readers, I could write about how AmandaJean probably saved my blog. I can also explain how to link up with other like-minded bloggers. They might want to know that of all the linkups I post to, Crazy Mom Quilts is the one that is a sure-fire hit. Did I drop the other linky parties? No, and I can tell them that also. 

There are other questions that you can ask yourself just from looking at this particular page. Once you figure out the answers, you've got a post practically written. Here are a few questions to help you get started:

  1. what is your most-viewed post; why is it so popular
  2. where do your viewers live; why do people from other counties visit; which country outside your own seems to enjoy your writing the most; how can you give them more of that; 
  3. have you figured out who among your followers is most likely to return; do you converse with them in some other form, such as email; do you share other platforms; how did you become internet friends; 
  4. have you collaborated with anyone you've met on your blog; can you interview a reader or collaborator; how can you help another blogger
  5. how often do you post; which days of the week; when did you begin blogging; what was your reasoning for beginning; 
  6. how have you changed or refined your focus; what do you want for your blog's future
  7. could you have found a niche for your blog; what is that niche; how can you improve or refine your niche

Why write about your blog? There are those personal reasons: you want to shed some light on the information at hand. However, writing about your blog can help you explore ways to help your readers. Your blog becomes a case study for them. If you team up with other bloggers in your niche, together you can create a comparison case, which will help everyone involved in addition to the readers. And isn't helping your readers somewhere in those answers?

Links to other posts in this Write 31 Days series:
Writing about Writing Intro 

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