I’m a lover not a fighter. Okay, so that’s not true. I’m actually neither, but it sounded better than the first thing that popped into my head: I’m a dreamer not a doer. Or a planner not a follow-througher-er. In fact, my lack of follow-through is something I’ve talked about again and again. And again.
But I’ve spent a little bit of time contemplating how to improve my blog following my recent attendance at Problogger Event as (at the conference), we were encouraged to prioritise a couple of things and bloody well do them.
My list is growing but I’ll start with the basics:
Be more findable
SEO – or search engine optimisation involves a series of things you can do to ensure more new readers find your website. It’s about key words and terms you use when writing, tracking ‘how’ people find you, and considering what people are looking for. I broke my Google Analytics (which helps advise this) over a year ago and am yet to fix it. So… I need to start with that.
This is an oft-discussed source of income. You’ll note that at the end of my book reviews (and in my side bar) I have links to Amazon or Booktopia. (Or iBooks.) This usually means I get a small percentage IF readers click on that link and buy stuff. I earned a mammoth $8.43 from Amazon in 2015, which I haven’t banked cos they sent a cheque and I couldn’t be bothered going into the bank to deposit it. I think I should be able to do better than this and – as there was an affiliate marketing session or two at Problogger that I didn’t attend – I need to listen and learn. ASAP.
For some reason I still don’t totally understand it seems it’s important to gather email addresses. Ostensibly it’s so you can send out an email newsletter every so often, but the list itself seems to be something I’m supposed to aspire to. I guess it’s getting more readers to your website – something you can do by directing them to articles via the newsletter. I kinda like the idea of a newsletter every couple of weeks, summarising what I’ve read and sharing stuff I’ve seen elsewhere on the internet, but I’m not sure it’s something readers want.
Vlogs / FB live reading recaps
I should mention podcasting doesn’t grab me for some reason. I know a lot of people listen to podcasts when driving or exercising but I think the medium better suits lengthy subjects or an interview style conversation – not just me droning on in my Aussie twang about some book I’ve read and not understood.
I’ve been vaguely contemplating video book reviews for some time. Vlogs if you like, but I really can’t imagine people having the time to sit and watch book reviews. Even if I was succinct and less rambling. On top of that, I’d miss writing.
But given the fact we heard that 81% of online content will be video by 2020 (at Problogger Event from Brian Fanzo) I’m wondering if I need to rethink this. Perhaps instead of individual reviews I could do a wrap-up weekly or fortnightly of what I’ve read. I already do this via weekly check-in on a Sunday but perhaps I could insert a couple of minutes of summary of my reading. Or… I could do a Facebook live session once a week or fortnight.
My biggest fear (of course) is that I’m not particularly eloquent, interesting or presentable. And I’m fat and speak with a weird lisp when speaking formally. So there’s that.
A book club
In our discussions at Problogger, Leanne from Deep Fried Fruit suggested I start an online / Facebook book club. I’ve seen a couple around and not sure how popular or engaging they are. She suggested we talk about a book or two a month in a Facebook group and even do Facebook Live Chats about it. I like the idea but it sounds a bit intense. Plus I’m not particularly good at analysing books if people are expecting I have answers to metaphorical books like The Schooldays of Jesus, The Natural Way of Things or The Chimes.
But I guess I could liaise with a book provider to get discounts for ‘members’ or give people enough notice to borrow books and view it as a bit of a project… or potentially a business idea. Somehow.
And of course I also want to pursue paid work on the writing front and SERIOUSLY need to stop bloody talking about pitching pieces to websites / online news / print sources and just freakin’ do it.
And that’s it. My #ToDo list to improve my blog. Not prioritised and definitely needing more thought. Any suggestions?
As it’s Friday I’m flogging my blog With Some Grace today.