When One Thing Leads to Another: Blog Traffic, A Book Idea and a Little Self-Discovery
As some of you know, I'm teaching about blogging at Mount Hermon Writers Conference in March. And I'm so glad that Marcus Goodyear will be at my side for one of the sessions.
Anyway, as some of you also know, I've not been one to be too concerned with increasing blog traffic. Today is my 200th-post birthday and at age 200 this blog has mostly grown through a commitment to write and through the friendly responses of people who stop by (I honestly believe that you all are part of what makes Seedlings work!)
I have been feeling a certain obligation. People at MH are going to want strategies. So.
This past week, I tried a few new things and I doubled my blog traffic. Yes, doubled. At this point I'm still trying to figure out exactly which button I pushed that resulted in such an amazing phenomenon. (Okay, so I've been a bad scientist. I tried too many things at once!)
Two things I want to share in particular are the new Socialize It button at the base of each post and in my sidebar. This button leads to a site that features all the major social bookmarking services like digg and del.icio.us. These may sound like something you'd find at a kid's party, but they are powerful ways to either remember, share, organize or celebrate favorite posts and blogs.
I also opened a Squidoo account. It has nothing to do with marine life, I promise. Instead, it's another way to create a presence on the web and drive traffic to your blog. This is where, for me, one thing led to another. I started innocently enough, by creating a "lens" called Writing Like Annie Dillard. But by the time I was finished, I'd decided to create two more, one of which features a new book idea.
Why did I do that? Well the last post I wrote on talking to editors and publishers through blogging got me thinking. People do get book contracts through blogging. I may not end up being one of them, but the simple act of putting the idea out to the world was an act of finally admitting that I'm ready. Stone Crossings is on its way and I want to put my pen (keyboard?) to a new task.
I was going to tell you how all this led to a little self-discovery, but this post has grown rather long. So I'll save that story for next time. In the meantime, you can try socializing and squidooing. And if it doubles your blog traffic, please let me know. So I can tell my seminar participants exactly which button to push.
Bridge photo by J Barkat. Used with permission.