Interested bookish person: And you write a book blog? I've not heard of it before, is it successful?
Me: I do okay. *quickly changes subject*
Once, I even had a lovely author (who I'm going to assume marketing herself and her books is somewhat of a requirement) jump into one of these conversations in which I was doing everything in my power NOT to be the center of attention and she sang my praises. Mentioned that I'd won awards, that I'd been doing this blogging thing awhile, that a lot of bloggers and authors and publicists know who I am, said a bit about my focus on Awesome Women and UKYA and Love month. And I just stood there silently. And afterwards I thought to myself 'why the hell didn't *I* say all that?'
Word of mouth
So, I'm pretty much failing at the whole tooting my own horn thing. My family on the whole do not know of my blog. Many of my friends don't either. I've only recently started giving out the blog address to people that I know. The looks on their faces when I tell them I've been blogging for over 7 years is always interesting. Especially because it's a huge part of my life and I just never mention it to people. I'm not sure how many of my friends or family would regularly read my blog even if they knew that I did it? But that isn't a great excuse for why I don't tell people.
Have you ever googled ways to get more blog followers or more traffic to your blog? I have. I lap up those articles with top 10/30/50 Best Things To Do lists. And then I ignore nearly all of their tips and advice.
Business cards and link to blog in email signature
I've been to many events since I started blogging. I meet lots of new people at these places and every single time I'm at an event, I'll meet someone new. Somebody nice and interesting and I think 'I must go home and bookmark this person's blog/website address' and if they have a business card, all the easier. I love receiving someone's business card. Me on the other hand, I never promote myself at events, even when asked. I have a bunch of pretty business cards (that N made for me for the sole purpose of handing out at bookish events) that I also never give out. I feel shy and self-conscious about these things.
I've gone as far as including a link to my blog in my email signature and called it a day. What can I say? I don't like being showy about certain things. It's something that I need to get over already.
Commenting on other blogs
I do pretty well with commenting on other blogs. I never think of it as 'networking' and I comment on the blogs in which I think I have something to say or add and while I hope comments will be incentive for that blogger to also visit my site and comment, I don't generally think of it in those terms. And I've never stopped reading or commenting on a blog because they've never visited/commented on my blog either.
There are lots of people out there who comment on blogs and end their comments with a link to their blog. I find that sometimes to be annoying but mostly I find it helpful as it's one easy click away to someone else's blog and I always think to myself that I just do that more often. Never do though.
I know that I am not the best at putting it out there for readers to easily know the different ways of reading my blog. I should be. I should at least mention occasionally that you can follow me via BlogLovin' easily. I use Feedly and you can follow me on there if that's your preference. Perhaps I should have a link in my sidebar for easy access to that?
One of the biggest ways that I've seen bloggers promote themselves is by giving extra entries in giveaways for things like following their blog, following them on twitter or liking a Facebook page. And while I can see the appeal of all these extra followers, I've never done it. I read someone say years ago that they'd prefer to gain followers because of their own good content and the readability of their blog and I liked the sentiment of that. But sometimes I also curse myself and my stupid ideals when I see other blogs gaining 100s of GFC followers and likes on their Facebook page during a giveaway and when I look back and realise that I haven't had a significant increase in any of my followers in a long time.
I am on Twitter. I don't think I use it to its full potential. I'll mention a current blog post on Twitter occasionally, more if it's a guest post, blog tour, interview or giveaway. But I don't do timed tweets. I don't use hashtags to their full potential. I don't always link publishers into my reviews. I don't think I'm overly original or interesting in the way I tweet about my blog posts either. I do try my best to tweet about other interesting things, to help promote other blogger's or author's posts, but I think I could do more for my own possibly.
Ah, Facebook. As I mentioned previously, not many friends of family know about my blog. Therefore, I don't update my personal Facebook page with links to my blog posts. I'm even shy about sending friend requests to other book bloggers or authors I know.
I do have a Fluttering Butterflies Facebook page that I update regularly and where I try to add content that isn't found on this blog. And while I do have several lovely readers who 'like' my status updates and comment on it often, it still has less than 100 'likes' and I don't know how to bump up that number in a non-annoying manner. It doesn't even automatically link to my current blog posts anymore!
All of the articles I've read about getting more traffic/followers to a blog recommend StumbleUpon. I'll admit, I logged onto it just now to see if this time would be any different ... and I still don't know how it works. It's too confusing for me and I hate that I just don't get it. I certainly don't use StumbleUpon to boost my traffic, though I remember that once, I did get a lot of traffic when someone else highlighted one of my posts.
Yes, I have a Tumblr account. And yes, I do check it ... maybe once or twice every few months. Only once in all of that time did I try to use that account (and my paltry number of followers) to promote a blog post. Mostly it's all funny gifs, right? I think if I were updating more and had more followers there than it might be more useful, but I can't see myself putting in that much effort to build a new following.
No. Just no. I know lots of people who use it. And I do get hits from Pinterest boards, which I'm thankful for. But I just don't want to do it. I don't want to take part in another online community where I'll be sucked into a time-waste. I just don't wanna. You can't make me.
The BookTubing community is one that I've been hearing a lot about. Mostly it's other book bloggers that are concerned that BookTubers are becoming more widely known over book blogs. And that maybe book blogs are going out of fashion based on the popularity these BookTubers are gaining? Is all that true? I don't know. Creating vlogs is still something that I'd like to do (my YouTube channel), and I'd like to dip my toes in the BookTubing community ... will it lead to more traffic or readers of this blog? I'm thinking no, but it could still be fun.
Other online communities
Can you think of other online communities that you're part of that you could utilise better? I have lots of friends on GoodReads. I'm part of the Nerdfighter community. Do I use either of these places to promote myself or my blog? Why are you surprised that the answer is still 'no' hmm?
So, what do you say? How well do you market yourself or your blog?