Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Blogging with Purpose

blog graphic from
from collections at

Does your blog have a purpose?
And do you always remember it when you post?

If you're trying to raise your author/marketing profile you may think publicizing yourself as a writer is enough. After all, you mention your website or blog URL in your bio box whenever you post or guest post. People can find you, right?

We all know that great content will attract and keep readers but wonderful writing is not enough. Remember the disappointment when the article you labored over and polished to perfection had no readers, shares, or comments at all?  Visitors only return to a blog regularly when it appears regularly and provides helpful information they need.

The best marketers sell by providing valuable information and reports free for some time before they start promoting their own products. The secret of success seems to lie in the communication between author and readers. The most successful guest posts on my blog--and they're read again and again, year after year--are those written by authors teaching or discussing some aspect of writing for publication. If I don't pay attention to that, I'm losing readers and all ability to increase traffic.

The Mobile Revolution
I'm a new convert to checking out emails swiftly on my mobile phone. But if a site takes ages to load, I delete the email and I'm not the only one. In this week's Boost Blog Traffic , Greg Hickman pointed out that for the first time this year, more mobile devices than desktop PCs were accessing the Internet. My teenage students don't have e-readers, they read on their phones. My older friends read on their tablets.

It's worth checking out how well and how fast your site loads on a mobile device and also how easy it is to read. Anyone who finds you must be able to find your email opt-in box and fill it in easily.

For those of us running sites on a budget, ListWire is a free autoresponder with a good reputation so I shall be trying it out this month and reviewing it in October. So far, I have worked out how to make some jolly little boxes but not how to insert it into my Blogger blog where I have a dynamic views template. I'm trying out one of these flying hover-boxes which once appeared momentarily in a dazzling shade of blue (my mistake) but was never seen again (probably my mistake again. Still pondering that.)

Breaking News
 An email in my inbox this week announced the disappointing news that the Muse Online Writing Conference is not taking place this year but that all registrations will be carried forward to the 2015 Conference.

I have not managed to verify this as yet but am flagging it up as I see people still wondering about how to register. If anyone has any news please post it in the comments.

 You can of course follow my Write a Novella for Publication course in October instead--if I ever manage to get the course ready in time--of course I shall--and if I ever manage to fly in opt-in boxes that work. Not so sure about that--all still in the air.

 And all tips for increasing visitors to my blogs will be gratefully received in the comments below.

 Anne Duguid is a freelance content editor with MuseItUp Publishing and she passes on helpful writing,editing and publishing tips from time to time at Slow and Steady Writers 


Kathleen Moulton said...

Well, one thing I've been successful at for almost 3 years is religiously posting in my blog 3x a week. I'm up to 101 followers!

I didn't know about more people using mobile devices to read. Thanks for sharing that.

As far as increasing visitors to my blog, I use Pinterest. Each of my entries has a photograph so I pin it. I've gotten many readers this way.

Thanks, Annie, for some solid information. I will be anxious to hear more about ListWire and your success with the flying hover boxes : )

Shirley Corder said...

Thanks for a thought-provoking post Annie. I'm intrigued and disheartened by the comment about more people using mobile devices! Why? I have a small smart phone that I never use for reading websites as it's too much hassle - and I don't have a tablet. Sob! I do have a desktop and a laptop . . . at what point can we stop having to learn new stuff? (Okay, so don't answer that. It's redundant. I know.)
And very fed up to hear about the Muse Conference. I hadn't heard that.

Shirley Corder said...

Interesting to read about your success with Pinterest Kathleen. I don't think I've gained one reader that way. I do have pictures on each post, but I don't post regularly enough online OR on Pinterest I guess.

Unknown said...

Let's hope they fly before October, Kath. hehehe

Unknown said...

I find it odd that there seems to be only one post to Muse Conference Board on the subject, Shirl, and nothing on the website when I looked. Still trying to find out about this.
As for the new learning, you know that's what keeps us young :-)

Karen Cioffi said...

Annie, great post. I did hear that mobile devices had surpassed PCs for Internet access, that's why it's so important for everyone's blog themes to be mobile friendly.

And, consistency is what rules - with readers and with the search engines.

I hadn't heard of the free autoresponder. How does that work - don't you need a paid email marketing service to use it with? And, if you have the paid service, they should provide free autoresponders. Would love to know more about this - I look forward to your review of it.

Wow! No Muse con this year. That will be disappointing for many.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

Sorry to hear about Muse. I can't verify either. And Annie, I'd like to publish something as a guest post on your autoresponder once you've explored it. I do give really nice bylines and credits! LOL. I know my readers would like to know exactly how to use them, what the benefits are, and what you think of this specific one!

Kathleen Moulton said...

For Wordpress users, under "Appearance" is "Mobile". Click onto that and you will find if your theme is mobile friendly.

Mary Jo Guglielmo said...

Do we know if Writers on the Move is mobile friendly?

Karen Cioffi said...

Mary Jo, WOTM theme is mobile friendly. In fact it comes up with current blog post titles and a description. We're on the ball here! LOL

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