Sometimes, you nice people surprise me. A guest post by Diane Robinson on PoV for children’s books had so many daily visits last week, that I broke the 1,000 mark. Turns out, this was because someone from StumbleUpon had, well, stumbled upon it, thus generating this crazy traffic.
This kind of surprise is more common than I care to admit. I may receive a ton of unexpected likes on some posts, while other posts that are exciting to me, fail to generate any interest. Simply put, I am not sure what people like reading on my blog!
My day job being internet promotions, social media, SEO and web development, I fully understand the importance of content marketing: rather than selling something directly (for instance, ‘buy my book’) it’s much better to create content that people enjoy. Through this connection, they will get to know you and eventually may buy your book. Again, though, it’s quite tough to find out what makes followers want to come back to your blog.
Inevitably, to understand what people might enjoy on my blog, I refer to what I seek on other people’s blogs. First of all, I like to get a feel about the blogger. I enjoy informative posts, but also like to discover the experience a blogger has, an event in their life or a new knowledge acquired.
As always, the universe answered my prayers and provided me with the infographic below, found on Red Website Design. It presents what people like reading about. Going through the list, I nodded to myself, thinking “Oh, I like reading that’ and “Of course, that makes sense” (incidentally, the Red Website Design Blog has a lot of lovely material, so be sure to check it out).
So, what’s my takeaway from it? I tend to focus on the following:
- Content that takes us along a journey: writing being a journey, I like reading how other people have managed through their travel, what they’ve learnt and how they overcame difficulties. I particularly like series of blog posts that narrate a whole event in small episodes. It makes me impatient to read more on the next post.
- Content that reveals secrets: I check out most posts whose titles have something along the lines “Where to advertise your book”, “How to sell copies of your book” and “Secrets to marketing and promoting your book”.
- Content that confirms our assumptions: I was on Scoop.it the other day (useful tool, by the way – thank you MMJaye!) and I was going through the suggestions they had for me. I checked out every single one that claimed that self-publishing is the way to go, rather than traditional publishing. I did check the supporters of traditional publishing just out of curiosity and to play devil’s advocate. It felt safe and pleasant to feel that what I am doing is the right thing to do.
- Content that encourages us to never give up: Being a writer means that you take a leap of faith and pray that you will grow wings as you fall. I haven’t (yet) given up my day job, but there is hope that someday I will manage to live a comfortable life by selling my books. Reading about other authors or entrepreneurs who, after years of efforts, reached their dreams, encourages me. It makes me want to read more about how they did it.
- Content that has unexpected twists: life is unpredictable (cliché, but real!). Also, there is nothing safe or secure in life: it took me a long time to realize that nothing lasts forever. No matter how much we want it, there is ultimately no security in our lives: things change, we grow older, jobs are lost, people die, crises happen, new people are born, new friendships are made… things rise and fall, come and go. During all this chaos, things and events bring in unexpected twists. Now, twists can be challenging and humbling. But they can also be constructive and favourable. In any case, it’s good to read how a twist led to something new because it gives a new perspective for our own twists in life.
- Content that gives us faith in bigger things: when I first sold 10 books, I was ecstatic. But then, I realized that I had only earnt some $3. I had to believe that more would come (build it and they will come, sort of thing). I started going through blogs where the blogger would explain how the 10 books became 100 in 12 months and how progress was geometric after that. I liked reading something reassuring me that if I tried and persevered, bigger things would come.
As I write these lines, I realize that these 21 types of content are not confined merely to blog content. They actually work in life. People like to hear about things that make them laugh or cry; they want to be reminded that life should be enjoyed; they want to be educated and entertained. They seek validation and a pleasant experience.
So, although I started this blog post with 21 ideas about improving your blog posts, I end it with just a single one: use your blog to bond with people and make new friends!
To celebrate the holiday season, the last offer of the year is the best one so far: the three-book bundle of Pearseus will be on sale throughout December! Read all the books in my best-selling epic fantasy series for only 99c. If you bought Pearseus, Rise of the Prince in November, then just contact me and I will send you the bundle for free!