a blog on the craft of writing
Today I’m swinging in Gloria Richard’s Hammock as she interviews me, and reveals my secrets! Another opportunity to win a free copy of Little Red Riding Wolf. Check it out HERE!
As a recent blogger I’m always hungry for more, more, more information on how to make my blog outstanding. I read books like Kristen Lamb‘s We Are Not Alone, the Writer’s Guide to Social Media. And I follow experts on blogs like Brinda Berry on Gloria Richard’s Blog (HERE), and try to implement new techniques.
But even I, the brand spanking newbie, have stumbled upon a few things that other newbies, like myself, can use to fix their blogs in an instant.
Today’s tip is one that I have real trouble with, but I’m making it my goal to fix.
Post early in the day
I admit, I could do better at this. I post somewhere around 6am my time. But that’s too late. Why? Because 6am my time is 8am EST, and those people have already checked their computers and headed off to work. They missed my blog.
I only noticed this after I started using RSS to keep track of my blogs. I’m not sure everyone is aware of RSS, but once I discovered RSS I found that it was the easiest way for me to keep track of all my friends blogs. It works for me because my email box is so stuffed with Tweets and Yahoo Loop digests that I was losing everyone’s post announcements.
I have found that the RSS organizer I like best is Google Reader. It’s on a separate tab on my browser. Nothing comes in an email. I click on Google Reader and all my blogs that I follow are listed, if a blog’s name is highlighted then they have a new post. That’s it. No email.
Am I perfect at posting early?
No! I’m sure you’ve all noticed. I sometimes mess up my scheduling. I think I’m posting at a 06:00 and it turns out to be 18:00. And really I should be scheduling at 1:00am, not 6:00am. Right? Right. But this is a process and like all processes it takes time
You can still get emails even if you subscribe by RSS. Just subscribe through one of the other services, like normal, and you’ll still receive their emails. But if you subscribe only through Google Reader or another RSS service, no emails. That works for me. What works for you?
Back to our topic, now that I don’t get an announcement in my email. I have to go check. Which I do, at around 7am. My time. Not yours.
This means that my friends (and you know who you are!) who post on say Monday’s, but post late, don’t get seen until Tuesday. Why?
Because I’ve already looked at my RSS feed page at 7am and you hadn’t posted yet, so it didn’t say you were posting. And I don’t get the email. So on Tuesday morning, I see that you’ve posted.
Now this is not a big deal, most of my peeps don’t care if I’m there on Tuesday or Wednesday, and they know I love them even if I’m not particularly faithful about dropping by every post. Too many buddies and too many good posts! But it does mean sometimes that I miss out on giveaways, because I’m a day late and the contest is closed.
Once again, my friends aren’t worried about me. But they should be worried about readers like me. If you are using a contest to draw people to your blog, then you want them to feel good about coming to your blog. Not late, because they didn’t get the invite on time. Many times I’ve shown up to the blog to find out that the contest is closed. Luckily it’s not a big deal for me, but what about your other readers?
This can be frustrating for your visitors. Frustrated visitors means less visits.
How can you fix this?
You can run your contests for more than a day. I like that because it means you can get those last minute people, or people who don’t always have the time to check out their favorite blogs and so show up the next day. Everyone feels good.
Easy. More viewers, more people entering your giveaways, more satisfied customers.
Another benefit to scheduling your blog is that you don’t have to be there to post. You can be in say, Costa Rica on the beach, and your blog still posts. Love that!
How do you follow blogs? Do you have a stuffed email box, would RSS feed work better for you? Would you remember to check it every day? How about scheduling your posts? I know this is very easy on WordPress, what about your blog? As a blog reader, how do you feel when you show up late to the party?
And expect another hot blogging tip next Moonday Mania!