Growing a blog presents a challenge especially when the topic is focused on creative material such as poetry or writing. There is no shortage of talented writers who never grow an audience (or make much money) not due to a lack of skill but due to a lack of marketing. Getting the word out is key and to grow a poetry blog requires not only good content but proper marketing techniques and engagement with the readers. I consider the following 9 tips the most important ones I’ve learned.
1. Keep The Readers In Mind: as a creative writer, it’s easy to become a bit self-indulgent. While it’s certainly enjoyable to write about things I find interesting the important part is to keep the reader in mind. So I would always consider things such as overall tone, content, and readability. “Would this be fun to read if I were reading it?” is a good question to ask.
2. Contribute To Other Blogs: part of getting noticed is increasing the number of places my work was being seen. For every topic no matter what niche it has an audience and associated blogs for that audience. Writing for blogs that had similar tone and content to my own allowed me to reach new readers already interested in the type of work I was doing.
3. Communicate With Readers: growing a blog requires a bit of two-way communication. Readers like when the author responds. Level headed responses to criticism, thanks for the praise, and answering general questions engages readers and keeps them coming back.
4. Email Lists: the email list is a classic piece of internet marketing. Despite advancements in technology its retained its effectiveness. What makes the email list important is it keeps readers coming back. A simple mass mailing telling subscribers I have new content up gives them a reason to visit my blog. Many readers are not very consistent and may not visit for months until they see your blog name on a bookmark list. An email list is a way to directly engage with readers and prompt a response.
5. Downloadables: a blog can be more than the written word. Downloadable content increases visitor count by giving them something for their time. This doesn’t need to be complex to be effective. A simple ebook or pdf of poems that share a common theme is one such example. Podcasting or even videos are other such examples and can really grow a blog.
6. Social Media: a strong social media presence drives visitors to a blog and helps share content. There are numerous plugins you can add to a blog that allows readers to share it on a social media platform of their choice. This increases the reach of a blog and also brings in new readers via existing readers. In addition to allowing readers to share my entries on social media I also carefully manage several accounts communicating with visitors and posting updates. Social media is useful because it increases exposure to people who may not be familiar with my blog but would be interested if they knew.
7. Ads And Banners: part of growing a blog is increasing the money it brings in. Ad banners have been around as long as the internet and can still serve as useful financial support. I advise being selective when offering ad space. Banners bring in their highest profits when readers click on them. A banner that is of no interest to your readers doesn’t work nearly as well as one that is relevant to their interests. Much like writing itself a banner should fit the theme of the blog and its readers.
8. Affiliate Marketing: proper affiliate marketing grows a blog not only financially but also through audience crossover. The proper affiliate can be a hard thing to pin down depending on the type of content a blog has. Even similar categories (such as poetry) can have very different readers depending on content and themes. When selecting an affiliate partner I always focus on two things the quality of the product itself and assuring that what I market is something my readers would find useful.
9. Learn From Others: when building a blog one of the hardest things I had to learn was to the ability to learn from others. Every great blogging success story has common themes and approaches no matter what the content or topic. So don’t be afraid to look at other people and learn from their successes. The opposite is also true don’t be afraid to learn from others’ mistakes to avoid common errors.