How to Increase Visitors to Your Blog in Less Than 13 Words

“Yet nothing in the marketing mix is more important than a strong title. —Michael Hyatt

 

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Hurray! Hurray! This post is the 100th I’ve written. Because I have guests on my blog, I’ve published more than 100 posts, but this is a milestone for me!

I looked back at my early posts. Five posts did well at the time of publishing and continued to be viewed more often than others over the past couple of years.

Tweetable

I believe the titles made these blog posts popular over time. Click to tweet.

ID-10047143

5 Reasons I Don’t Care I Lost Money Self-Publishing(Blog #14)
Many in my audience are writers. They’ve probably considered self-publishing.

4 Crucial Elements That Make Your Audience Talk Up Your Creative Work(Blog #24)
Who wouldn’t want more people talking up their work?

4 Ways to Free Yourself from Procrastination in Your Creative Endeavors(Blog #27)
Who wouldn’t want to be free from evil procrastination?

4 Choices That Improve Your Perseverance(Blog #25)
Perseverance is a coveted commodity.

2 Tips to Pump Up Your Flat Characters in Your Story (Blog #28)

My Son's just purchased 1970 Chevelle
My Son’s just purchased 1970 Chevelle

Actually, the tag, Chevelle, that I included on this post, boosted this one to the all-time high number of views.

For over a year, this post received weekly views and spurred several emails from Chevelle-loving men. One wanted to buy our junked Winnebego mentioned in the content.

Including a word repeated often in the content (Chevelle) in my tags, showed SEO works.

Note Two Important Characteristics:

  • All titles have a number in them. Number of reasons, elements, ways, choices, and tips. In addition to “How to,” giving the number of items is particularly effective.
  • All titles told what benefits people would receive from the content. (4 directly; 1 indirectly) This is a must.

Tweetable

Work as hard on your post title as you do your content. Click to tweet.

Join me in celebrating Blog #100. What is the title of the most popular blog post you wrote and published? (Please no guest blogs whose titles’ effectiveness are masked by the promotion efforts of your guests.)

How You Can Do a Techie’s Tasks for the Sake of Your Project

“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” — Philippians 4:13 (NIV)

 

Techie Image courtesy of iprostocks at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Techie
Image courtesy of iprostocks at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Every morning, I ask God to direct the tasks I schedule for the week—and to equip me for each day’s work.

Recently, I received the idea of a countdown clock on my blog. It would tick away the days, hours, minutes, and seconds until my inspirational romance, Calculated Risk, is available.

Then I thought, “You’ve no idea how to add a countdown clock. And adding one might mess up your new website. It’ll have zip return on marketing your book, anyway.”

Image courtesy of luigi diamanti at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of luigi diamanti at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Then an idea slid in: “You prayed for a blog post topic. You could blog about a nifty countdown clock on your sidebar.”

I imagined you scrolling down to my countdown clock. I pictured your mesmerized faces as you watched the seconds tick away.

Had God given me this blog idea, or was He up to something else? I decided to tackle the daunting task.

I asked Google oodles of questions. The answers were over my head. I almost quit, but decided to open another search result.

I downloaded a countdown clock. Since I speak little HTML and was clueless as to what to do with the folders of code, I trashed the download.

Mesmerized Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Mesmerized
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I was torn between easier research on a different topic and your mesmerized faces. I decided to try one more Google search result.

Tweetable

When things go awry, picturing a good end result helps to keep you persevering. Click to tweet. 

Then, I received warnings that tasks I was doing were not secure. A giant caterpillar replaced your mesmerized faces. I imagined it chomping its way through my new website.

Maybe God was closing the door on the silly countdown clock.

Then—bling!—I remembered. My new website is self-hosted on WordPress.org. I narrowed my Google inquiries to countdown plugins on WordPress.

The online trail quickly led to Step by Step Guide to Install a WordPress Plugin for Beginners. Beginners! Hurray! Hurray!

I chose the method the author said was “by far the easiest way of installing a WordPress plugin” (if the plugin was in the WordPress plugin directory).

Troll Techie Image courtesy of Victor Habbick at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Troll Techie
Image courtesy of Victor Habbick at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

No nasty troll had written the directions. They were easy! And the directory had countdown plugins!

Soon, a countdown plugin appeared in my Widgets.

During ten setup attempts, no countdown clock appeared on my blog’s sidebar. Maybe I’d believed God’s agreement with the project too soon.

I decided to try one more thing.

Tweetable

Before giving up, try one more thing—a different thing, of course. Click to tweet.

I put a checkmark in a box and—tada—a working countdown clock appeared.

You put your keying hand in,
you put your keying hand out,
you put your keying hand in,
and you shake it all about.

You do the persevering pokey,
and praise the Lord Your God. 

That’s what it’s all about.

Soon, I’ll have marketing tasks I’ve never done. I think God used the frivolous countdown clock to show me I can do these tasks through His strength, if I don’t give up.

What techie’s task have you persevered in and succeeded?

3 Behaviors That Strengthen Your Creative Work and Its Impact

“Creativity is more than mere imagination. It is imagination inseparably coupled with both intent and effort.” — Alex Osborn

Image courtesy of Idea go at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Idea go at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Loving your creative work isn’t enough to guarantee you’ll impact someone else’s life.

Try these three behaviors that together will strengthen your work and its impact on others.

Succumb to Your Gift

We should give in to the gift that says “Me, me. Use me.” Some creative people view the world and are compelled to make up song lyrics and melodies. They may impact more people by becoming songwriters than by giving speeches or writing articles.

Examples:

Young Choir Members SingingI’m reminded of two brothers from the 18th century. John Wesley, the founder of the United Methodist Church, brought in the crowds with his sermons. His brother, Charles, still reaches many through his hymns that are in church hymnals today. They might be unknown men now if they had ignored their gifts and each pursued his brother’s gift.

After I became a Christian years ago, I wanted to learn all I could about God from the Bible and Christian writings. Whenever I puzzled over a difficult truth, I wrote a story to explain it to myself. I knew little about the craft of writing, but I used my underdeveloped gift of expressing through words. I published twenty-seven short stories in two books.

Of the feedback from the stories, the most significant impact remains that one story led a person to Christ.

 

Care About the People on the Other End of Your Work

Sometimes we’re so wrapped up in the creating end of our work, we forget audiences on the other end are wrapped up in wanting to spend their time on something worthwhile to them. If we wish to make an impact, we must understand what they want.

Example:

bulldog wearing eyeglasses sleeping over a good novelSee this article from Goodreads, “What Makes You Put Down a Book.” The reasons listed from what Goodreads compiled from member readers included:

  • “disliking the main character,”
  • “weak writing,”
  • “bad editing,”
  • “inappropriate,”
  • “immoral,”
  • “ridiculous (or nonexistent) plot,”
  • “slow, boring,” (46.4% members on this one) and
  •  other reasons.

Although authors can’t please all readers, they can do something about most of these issues by learning the writing craft and understanding their target audience.

Stay Stubborn

Who would spend years writing four books, which were rejected, and proceed to write a fifth? What kind of impact does four completed manuscripts stored away have on anyone?

My hand shoots into the air. “I wrote four novels and was energized to write a fifth! And I can answer those questions.”

Example:

Coming!
Coming!

My passion to express the stories in my head propelled me to persevere on each of the books. Those four dust-gathering manuscripts impacted one person: me. They taught me how to write, to find my writer’s voice, and to consider readers’ interests.

My stubbornness paid off. Pelican Book Group has contracted the fifth book. Now, I have the opportunity to impact readers’ lives. Perhaps they’ll:

  • laugh at the funny parts,
  • shiver delightfully at the first kiss,
  • find answers through the issues the hero and the heroine overcome, and
  • latch on to spiritual truths.

 

Impacting people is more likely when we express through our individual gifts, care about members of our audiences, and never give up.

What have you done that improves your creative work and your impact?