When I first joined AR about 4 months ago, I had no idea what it was all about. I heard about the opportunity to market myself through this format and was eager to get some free marketing, so I signed on. I didn't dive right in. It was all so new to me and I was worried that it would just take up too much of my time. Boy, did I under-estimate how much time I would spend blogging!!
Since I joined, I've written 115 blog posts (this being my 115th), have made over 800 comments and received over 750. I've had a great time and have met some really nice people, some of whom have helped or inspired me to be a better blogger. Out of my 114 previous blog posts, I've had 1 featured on on Localism.com and 1 featured in both AR and Localism.com. I guess it took me a while to get going. This has led me to my point today. How do you break in to the Big Time on AR? I have some theories and will share them with you, but if you know some other secrets, please share them yourself.
1. NETWORK!! This is a networking community, so you have to join some groups, get to know some of the other members, add some associations. It can't just be about you, it has to be about the community and what you can share with the other 48,760 members of the community. This is how you build up a reader base and your reader base will be the foundation for comments on your posts. One great way you can build this reader base is to read and comment on other posts as often as possible. Some of those members will reciprocate on your posts.
2. WRITE A GOOD POST!! Your post needs to be significant. If you write about your belly button lint, you might get a few comments, but it won't be long-lasting. You have to write about something others will be interested in. Your post needs to be constructed well, have good grammar and spelling. A big block of words will turn off your readers faster than pictures of your aunt Gretel's recent case of gout. Although, come to think of it, I imagine there could be a group out there who would check that out as well.
3. INCLUDE SOME PHOTOS!!! Video works very well too. Your readers will want to be entertained. A good narrative always works for me, but break up the monotony with some good photos that will illustrate your point. Sometimes a good photo will say way more than you ever could. Video links are also a great way to get your reader to interact with your post. Be creative and remember that you have an audience.
I don't want to be assimilated by the Borg, I want to join your reader base by my own free will.
Yes, I used a Star Trek analogy. Do I get extra points for that?
4. LINK TO SOMETHING!!! It always helps to make a point when you are able to provide something to support your argument. It's also another great way to support your reader base by linking to other blogger's posts in order to have more interaction from your readers. For example, if you'd like to see who's belly button lint collection that is, go here.
5. BE YOU!!! This is the greatest piece of advice I've ever heard for building your reader base. If people like you for who you are, they will read your posts and comment more. I know a few people I have talked to have asked me, "Well, what if people don't like me?" That is just a fact of life that we all have to learn sooner or later. Not everyone is going to like you. I haven't seen any posts with 48,000 comments either. Don't worry about it, just write your posts and your reader base will grow.
Well, I guess that's all I can come up with. I didn't talk about SEO because I don't believe a great post has to have SEO requirements fulfilled. Your blog should have consumer based posts and community based posts to be most effective. Some write great consumer posts and some write great community posts. Some write great posts, no matter what. I want to be one of those!!!Of course, your comments are welcome!
Until next time...