For the last several weeks I have been blogging here about using social media for marketing. My emphasis has been on book marketing—I am a writer after all—but a lot of these techniques can be used for nearly any sort of marketing. As I have been working at increasing my social media presence, I’ve come to the belief that getting readers to come to my blog is probably my most worthwhile effort.
I started my blog in June 2006 which means I’ve just passed my 10th anniversary. Recently, when I was looking at my blog stats, I realized that a lot of my old blog posts had very low numbers of visits. Then I realized that a couple years ago I changed my blog’s URL to include my name (www.KathleenValentineBlog.com) and all the stats reset at that point. So, though I’ve been blogging for ten years and have over 2,000 blog posts, the actual stats are only for the past two years.
When I set my blog up I chose Blogger as the host so I am familiar with how they present stats. I am sure other blog hosts have similar reports, I just can’t tell you where they are. Recently, for the first time ever, I had over 1,000 visitors in one day and I credit that to using Twitter to promote past posts. Over the years, I’ve kept an eye on my stats and am frequetly baffled why some posts get so many more hits than others. One post about my cookbook has had over 20k hits but I suspect that is because the word “bacon” is in the title. I don’t get any special credit for that. It is not always easy to figure where traffic comes from, but I do notice that a lot of it comes from Facebook and Bitly URLS that I use on Twitter. Some observations on the value of blogs:
It gives readers a sense of who you are. I blog a lot about events in my town, mysteries, legends, and lore that interest me, and how these things are useful in my writing. I also blog about books I am reading, recipes, knitting and sewing, and random thoughts on life. If a reader reads my blog regularly, they know how I write and what I write about. If they like all that, they may like reading my books.
Individual pages/Tabs add extra information. It took a long time for me to set up separate pages in tabs across the top of my blog, but I’m sure glad I did! My individual pages have received a lot of hits. The largest number of hits have been on About Kathleen (over 5,000), a separate page for my 4 Marienstadt books (over 4,000), and a separate page for my 4 Beacon Hill books (over 3,500). What that tells me is that visitors to the blog were sufficiently interested to have a look at those pages.
All my books are listed, with buy links, in a single column on every page. Do people use these? I don’t really know but I do know that regular readers of my blog cannot escape noticing them. They know how to find what I have to offer.
How important is all of this to the individual blogger? Only time can tell. I’ve blogged regularly for 10 years but it is only since I’ve started using social media to promote my blog that I’ve seen a BIG increase in traffic. I am happy about this.
Another good thing about blogging is participating in blog events, like the A-to-Z Challenge and the TMI Challenge. If you participate and, as part of your participation, visit other blogs and comment, you build community and attract new visitors.
Let’s face it—we all know that getting the attention of potential readers is what marketing is all about. We don’t like it, but we do it. By making it as much fun as possible and following our own bliss, we cannot help but attract new audiences and isn’t that what we want. Have fun.
Thanks for reading.