5 WAYS TO GROW YOUR BLOG AUDIENCE.

You saw the title of 5 Ways to Grow Your Blog Audience and are wondering about seeing an image about a challenge. Keep going, this part is an explanation of that, or you can click HERE and head to the beginning of the main content. I’m this week’s host of Writers Quote Writers Quote Wednesday Writing ChallengeWednesday Writing Challenge over on SilverThreading.com. Colleen and I alternate hosting weeks since we combined her quote challenge and my Wednesday writing challenge into one huge jamboree of a wordfest. Colleen chose “Romance” for the theme last week, and I’ve chosen “Wisdom” for this week. Click HERE to check out what “Wisdom” quote I chose.

What does that matter to you if you are not involved in that wonderful challenge?

First of all, I’m not doing this to get you to go to my quote over on the challenge. If you’ve followed me for a while you know I am not a numbers hound when it comes to blogging. I enjoy blogging and used to be a data analyst in marketing, so numbers and how things work are hobbies of mine. When I feel it’s time to share something useful, I share it. That last part is the former teacher and corporate trainer in me.

However, I had to mention the challenge because I told people there I had some words of wisdom to share about blogging and I wanted the challenge to remain the focus of the day on Colleen’s blog.

Secondly, I hadn’t planned to share any words of wisdom here today at all, but felt there was a need to after thinking about the possibilities Quote Posts, and others similar to them, can bring to a blogger.

I’ll be sharing how to set things up to attract attention with a post and what to do with it once you’ve attracted readers. Okay, so I don’t make money from blogging, but to me the Readers are friends and encourage me to continue writing. How do you think the amnesiac finished a book and has it on Amazon? I was in limbo before I started blogging and found the community here.

5 Ways to Grow Blog Audience

YOU NEED TO GRAB THE ATTENTION OF THE CASUAL READER (CR).

If you’ve been blogging a while and look around for how to bring people to your blog, then you’ve seen tips about catchy Post Titles. Yep, this is the big one for getting people to click on your post to begin with.

  • Don’t lie or bait and switch. In other words, your title should be true about the post. If not, people won’t come back.
  • How do you create that attention grabber title? I’ll give you the three that work the best.
    • Use numbers if doing something like quotes.
    • Use the old ‘How to” if you are going to share a tip or advice.
    • Or use “What do you do …”

Do these work? Here are my top 10 most ‘Liked’ posts.

Anything I mentioned above stand out to you in that list? The question is, did I use those methods on purpose or not? The truth? I did it with only one, and that one I did use the numbering the way they said to. I used 18 instead of using numbers such as 5, 10, 15, 20, and so on. What you see though is, attention grabbers work. However, grabbing them doesn’t mean you keep them coming back.

YOU NEED TO KEEP THE CR’S ATTENTION.

To turn a visitor into a regular reader of your blog:

  • Follow through on what your title promised.
  • Make your post visually and mentally stimulating.
    • Get the readers eyes moving.
    • Mix up your post with Images scattered about and not always centered or all in a column along one side of the post.
    • Don’t have too many font sizes or colors. That gets annoying. If a list, like a list of quotes, perhaps alternate two colors, with odd being one color and even being the other.

YOU NEED TO PLAY THE NAME GAME

Sounds like I’m saying to spread gossip, right? No. What you need to do is make sure when you put an image in your post, you have filled in the Alt Text field for the image. Why? Do you notice that quite often people put images at the very topAlt Text Image in Media Library of a post? Have you ever noticed that I rarely put my images right at the very top?

There’s a reason I don’t. Search Engines crawl through your pages searching for key words a person is looking for. If you have an image taking up room at the top, and nothing in the Alt Text field, two things get messed up: the Search Engines may discover other more SEO friendly site pages and push you down the list during their hunt, and the other thing, nothing to do with Search Engines, is screen readers for the visually impaired don’t read that blank field and it throws them off a bit. Simply pick maybe the best five words to describe what the image is about in context of the post. It doesn’t need to be complicated. It could be something like “Writers Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge Image”. Also be certain to include what the post is about in the first paragraph as well as anywhere appropriate.

LINK TO RELATED CONTENT YOU ALREADY HAVE.

If people visit you looking for one topic, add a link at the end of your post to previous content of a similar nature the reader may find interesting. One thing you can do with the old post is change the name of it to something catchier and more attention grabbing for the reader to click on. The thing is, your content may be great, it’s just your title was bad. (See Blog Tip: Links to Blogs and Articles-How to and WHY to find out to link.)

YOU NEED TO INVITE READERS TO FOLLOW YOUR BLOG.

Make it easy for a visitor to click follow. You can:

  • Put a link to Bloglovin’ in your post and have people follow you that way. It’s not my preferred method but it is one.
  • You can also include your Twitter handle with a link included for people to follow you on Twitter. I do this. (Wonder how to add it? See Blog Tip: Links to Blogs and Articles-How to and WHY)
  • You can also put a script in your post that when people click on it, they follow your blog. I do this.

I imagine you may be wondering what that script is I mentioned. Let’s see if I can put it in here and make it not work.

[ blog_subscription_form ]

Success! What you need to do is take all the bold you see and remove the space between the [ and the b and between the m and the ]. Place that in your post and it will appear as everything between my Book Cover below and my Twitter handle. There is no actual HTML scripting.

Check out 10 Tips to Make Blogging Enjoyable. Traps to Avoid or 18 Quotes to Inspire Writers, Bloggers–Everyone. You choose which your in the mood for today.

Much Respect

Ronovan



Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling on Amazon

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How to be a Great Guest Blogger by author @RonovanWrites!

Visit my guest post on Hugh’s blog. Some great advice in the comments as well. Seriously.

Hugh's Views & News  

Ronovan HesterWhen Hugh offered to host a day during my first ever Book Tour for the soon to be released Amber Wake-Gabriel Falling he said to write what I liked, or words something like that. The man puts too much trust in my, often times, maniacal hands. If any of you know me, you know I have written some strange things, with a sense of humor that only I understand. I’ll try to be a good boy today. I’ve stumbled and fumbled along this blogging road long enough, to have found my way to temporary sanity.

Knowing Hugh, and knowing his blog, the topic came to me immediately from the many possibilities.

How to be a Great Guest Blogger

How to be a Great Guest Blogger.

I’m here to promote my book, and I’m not going to lie about that. However, what I really want to do when guest blogging, is to make you, the reader, happy. I…

View original post 1,770 more words

MAKE YOUR FONTS VISIBLE ON IMAGES.

You have a great piece of writing and a great photo to put it on. You put the words on the image and what happens? You can’t seem to find that happy color of font to show all of your words because a normal photo has a great number of colors in it. Even if your photo is the sky, you have shades of blue ranging from so pale a blue it looks white down to the dark blues to almost dusk. The answer? Overlay images.

A Note: All overlay images were found in the public domain. The actual photo of the building is mine.

Make Your Fonts Visible

One thing to know, this post is not that long, it’s mostly taken up with image examples.

How do you make it work and still see your image? You know you could put a block of color in the sky and put your text in. But that ruins what you’re going for.

Enter picmonkey.com.

I use picmonkey quite often in tandom with pixlr.com, a free photoshop like product online.

Below is a photo from the top of a parking deck on the campus of UGA. You can see the stadium lights to Sanford Stadium over the buildings in the distance. As you can see, my name doesn’t show very well across the building but very well in the sky.

UGA by Ronovan Hester

Below you see the menu inside of picmonkey.com after you have loaded your image. The thing to know first is to create the overlay image/shape you want to use and then type your text. You can then manipulate all you like and the text will be to the forefront. Of course you can always do it the other way around as sort of a see through a veil or curtain affect.

A-Points to the Overlay Icon in the shape of a butterfly. The overlay does exactly as it sounds, it overlays something on top of the image already showing. You can even pull in your own image to overlay on top of the image you first loaded.

B- For the purpose of what I want to do with this image and text I’ll chose the Geometric options.

UGA Picmonkey Overlay Demo

C-I am choosing the rectangular Geometric option because it actually can be manipulated to any height or width. The square, for example, will obviously adjust to remain a square.

UGA Picmonkey Geometric Demo

D-You are able to make the image height taller or shorter by placing your cursor on the point along the edge and dragging the edge down.

E-You are able to increase or decrease the width by doing the same as the above but along the side edges.

F-By placing your cursor over the small circle over the top of the box and then clicking and holding down your mouse you are then able to rotate or tilt the box however you like. Something to keep in mind is making the text and box lines parallel.

UGA Picmonkey Geometric Manipulaiton Demo

G-Here you see the Editing Box for the Geometric Overlay rectangle I used.

H-There are two boxes, one for the outline of the rectangle, and then below it is the inside of the box, the part we’re concerned with today. The box will start out as black, but you can click on the box signified by “H” here and choose a color. You may first want to use the part signified by the “I” first.

I-To make the box fade to transparent you increase the Fade. I left the color as black here and you can see the letters are still more visible as a whole than before.

J-You are able to do some different Overlay manipulation other than simple fading of a selected color by choosing the Blend Modes option. Simply select the different options within and see what they do. Some are very surprising.

UGA Picmonkey Demo

Below you see the final result with the box having been changed to the dark green of the trees in the background to the right of the building. I chose this color by clicking on the black box image, signified by the letter “H” above and choosing the eyedropper. I then clicked on the tree. I could have also let my cursor go over all the colors inside of that letter “H” box and the Faded Geometric rectangle would have changed colors as the cursor passed over each color.

UGA Faded Ronovan Hester Green Demo

And last we have the copyright in the sky with a red background of a box with the same blue lettering as above. Skies are difficult to have attractive lettering in and this will help you accomplish that. Something to consider with what I did here. I moved the box and text up and then tilted everything back to horizontal. Easy? Maybe for some, but what I did, to make certain the text and the box were in line with each other was drag them both to the bottom and line them up with the bottom edge of the screen. Then I moved them to the top.

UGA Ronovan Hester Sky Demo

You may pull in your own images as overlays by choosing the Your Own at the top of the Overlay options. Following are two examples. One is the UGA G, the image was found in the public domain. The photo is mine. It is followed by the same image with a curtain, found in the public domain, overlay over it.

UGA Image Ronovan Hester G

UGA G and Curtain Ronovan Hester

You may have a lot of fun with this feature. I did have to make the G and the Curtain fit the building image. To do that all I had did was take the corner of the image and drag it to increase the size. Try it, you’ll see how easy it is. The other Overlay image options do the same thing as the Geometric and Your Own.

When you save the image, remember to rename it to something other than the original name of the image. That way you keep your original image in its original form.

You are also able to use these techniques when creating book covers.

Enjoy!



Ronovan Hester is an author, with the debut novel Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling due out in December. He shares his life as an amnesiac and Chronic Pain sufferer through his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com with the hope if inspiring others to overcome and continue on. His love of poetry, authors and community through his online world has lead to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge and the creation of a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources known as LitWorldInterviews.WordPress.com.

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@RonovanWrites

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Improve your Blog’s Reach

To improve your Blog’s Reach try these Hashtags. If you forget them, they are on my sidebar. Add them to yours so your followers and friends will know as well.

For those who apparently think for some reason I haven’t given credit for this image, I thought the URL at the bottom showed who created it. Also if you click the image you go to the creator’s website. But to clear it all up, below is a link to the creator’s site. I got the image from Twitter when she shared it on my #BeWoW day.

http://mentalillnessgodandme.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/lets-hear-it-for-hashtags.html

blogshareimage

 

Much Love, Success, and Respect

Ronovan

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Blog Tip: Be A Free Blogger or Go Super Nova.

Caught in a trap. Can’t walk out. Cause I . . .  wait, um, let me start this again.

What is a Free Blogger?

We’ll get there, if I remember.

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you can’t walk away from something because of responsibilities? I’m not talking about relationships, but you can probably take this along that same line.

When you have been blogging for a period of time something will happen. That something is called inspiration. You will develop these ideas, then–there you are—commitment.

You get these ideas that would make great blogs, great community building ventures. You see a support blog that NEEDS to be created.

These things are all well and good, whatever that means, but count to a million aloud and then see if it still sounds good. If it does, hold your breath to the count of a million.

The great authors and creators of the world do something I find interesting. When an idea comes to them, they don’t write it down. If in six months the idea is still with them, they go with it, if not then it wasn’t that great of an idea.

If you spread yourself too thin you become just that—thin. Your blog content becomes weak and your ability to connect with people suffers. I’ve been fortunate that in my one main inspired venture, Lit World Interviews (LWI) has a team taking up my slack. You see, I love authors. I mean LOVE them. I am one, and I know the agony of feeling you are alone and searching for help. Thus LWI was created and now a sister blog Authors Supporting Authors (ASA).

LWI runs because of that team, not because of me. I don’t even need to exist for it to be there. And it is a way for the Team members to have another outlet and help people once a week. ASA runs when people tell me they have a need. I just realized that as I wrote it. I had felt badly about how slowly ASA is moving. It has a good number of followers for such a young blog, but the activity is not that great. And now I am fine with it.

But the problem comes when you commit to an endeavor that takes you away from the love of what brought you to blogging. One thing to always ask yourself—if you don’t love blogging, then why are you still here? That means if you are doing all these different things and are feeling pressures you are now doing a job, and part of blogging is to get away from pressures. I know some do blogging as a job or to build a platform but that is a bit different.

One thing about LWI is that it’s a volunteer thing. The members write when they like to write. Two of them have somewhat of a schedule they keep. I’ve given them days that are theirs. That means only they can post on those days unless I have something that needs to go out. But no other team member can post on those days. But if they don’t post, they don’t post. If they don’t post, I worry, but I’m not concerned about there being no post, just the fact they always do and I am worried something is wrong.

Having so many blogs going on, and guest posts to do will cause a major problem. That problem is you find you don’t have the mental energy and at times the physical energy to do things on your personal blog that you want to do. I’m into cartooning a bit now. It takes a lot out of me physically in many ways. I feel guilty because of commitments I’ve made in other areas, and that is part of the strain on me mentally. And no, if certain people are reading this I’ve agreed to guest post for, I don’t mean those guest posts.

Be a free blogger.

That means:

  • Don’t get tied down to anything in blogging that will take away from the release blogging gives you.
  • If you want to do something like LWI or ASA, become part of something that exists already.
  • Groups are a great thing. The more you have the less each person has to do.
  • The less each of you have to do the more you can do on your own blog and still have that sense of helping in something else.

You are thinking that you like to control things or you want it done your way.

  • Start in a group.
  • Learn.
  • Discover if you do want to do this for the long haul.
  • If so, then do one of your own.

Excitement is great in blogging, but you want to keep that excitement. One sure way to lose it is to use it up like a super nova.
Much Respect

Ronovan

© Copyright-All rights reserved by ronovanwrites.wordpress.com 2015