Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Pimping Your Prose

This guest post is from over at Typecast, she shares some great tips on how to get your blog/posts out there and noticed.

When you make the decision to start a blog, it is usually for self-centred reasons. Seven years ago, I had a very personal reason but managed a total of three posts. I thought about blogging again on a number of occasions but I was unsure how obtain and retain a readership.
During the advent of social networking, my online confidence grew and I found that networking sites such as , and StumbleUpon had enormous potential for marketing what I had to write. I had also accomplished a stack of experience across the World Wide Web through the use of forums (or newsgroups) for a variety of reasons and with many subject matters.
Writing or blogging has to be real. You have to write about a subject that you believe in or that is close to your heart; especially from a personal point of view. Research is important and let Google become your friend. Just type a few keywords into the search engine and see what is listed. I knew that I wanted to write about my experience as a parent, what my family had encountered over the last few years, what I was embarking on for the next chapter of my life and the next generation of our family. Keywords I used were “FAMILY BLOGS”, “PARENTING”, “YOUNG GRANDPARENTS”, “WRITING FAMILY HELP RESEARCH” to name a few but you will obviously tailor your search to your requirements and subject matter.
I found a number of website and forums than offered hints and tips. I also discovered a few writers’ links from a couple of forum members that I already knew. I read, and read, and read and scribbled notes, and read. I found forums full of valuable information such as British Mummy Bloggers and Judith’s Room, which also lead me to Erica’s highly recommended Bloggers e-Course. During this time, I also tried to connect with people in similar situations through Twitter and Facebook, slowly extending my network.
It helps enormously to become user-friendly with platforms such as Twitter , Facebook, StumbleUpon, Delicious and other similar operations as this is how you will reach further audiences. Don’t be afraid to click on links or ask questions in “help” sections – everyone was new to blogging at some point. Use applications such as Tweetdeck or Seesmic and look at connecting them to other social networking sites. Once you become used to using aspects of social networking, prepare to pimp yourself into oblivion.
Each time you write a blog post, tweet out the link to your followers asking your friends to “retweet” the link for you (therefore extending your network yet again). Use an application on Facebook such as “” which auto-posts your blog to your friends. If you don’t want your blog connected to your personal life, set up a second account dedicated to your blog alone – or look into a “fan page”. Make sure you add little gadgets or widgets to your blog that allows your readers to share your post with their friends. My current favourites are “Add Me” and “TweetMeme” – again, a quick Google search will lead you to the appropriate website where the instructions to add the widget to your blog are clearly displayed.
Slightly controversial at the moment are “auto-tweets”. They are like Marmite; people either love them or hate them. By using auto-tweets you can programme a tweet to appear in your timeline at a pre-arranged time. They seem impersonal but if you have a blog post that you would like to promote and you can’t be at your computer during the day, then this appears to be the ideal solution.
Finally I think that interaction with readers and the comments they may leave on your blog post is important. I like to reply to my readers/comments and keep the conversation flowing.
I am constantly learning about new ways to market my blog, for refreshing ways to reach a wider audience and always looking for new subjects to write about so that my blog is always current and doesn’t become stale. Keep learning, keep posting, keep advertising. It appears to be working. I have constantly been in the top 60 in the Top Tots Parent Blogs since March 2010 and I am really enjoying the boom in blogs written by parents.