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.

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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.

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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.)

You Can Squeeze By-Products from Your Creative Works

“The real voyage of discovery lies not in seeking new landscapes but in seeing with new eyes.” —Marcel Proust

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

You’ve worked hard on your creative work.  Wouldn’t it be nice if you could get more mileage from each project?

I assure you, valuable hidden by-products wait to be discovered in the projects you’ve finished.

Discovering a by-product from one creative endeavor to use in another is a creative exercise in itself.

Here are 2 examples that show how I’ve squeezed by-products from my creative endeavors.

By-products

Example 1.

by MrMagic
by MrMagic

My first grandson spent almost every Sunday afternoon and some weekends with my husband and I. We came up with adventures for our times together. Walks in the woods, pretending we were the characters in the stories we read to him. Airshows, treasure hunts, building cities with blocks and plastic roads. Finding the perfect walking sticks to keep the lions away. Even a trip to Florida.

Then, during the years I was learning to write fiction, my grandson turned seven. I wrote a novel about a young American woman who travels to a mountain mission in Costa Rica. She ends up on an adventure with a seven-year-old American girl, whom she protects from thugs hunting for the child.

From our adventures with my seven-year-old grandson, I knew just how a seven-year-old talked and thought. I knew how silly or sad or wise a seven-year-old could be. For my by-product novel, I milked his mannerisms, things he said, how he moved, his facial expressions, his emotions and fears, and his jokes for my story. All from the creative play and adventures with my grandson.

I didn’t sell the novel, but the one thing the editor commented on in her rejection was her interest in the relationship and interactions between the woman and the child.

Example 2.

Prayer Beads
Prayer Beads

Some years ago, I self-published two books of contemporary Christian short stories. After giving dramatic readings of some of the stories in several venues, an idea hit me for a by-product of my stories.

The theme of two of the stories was prayer. Using those two stories, I developed a workshop on prayer. Interspersed between dramatic readings of the stories, we broke into discussion groups, and ended the workshop with a fun craft. I was invited to give the workshop several times. This by-product from my short stories was the springboard to other types of speaking engagements.

To squeeze by-products from creative works, get into the habit of looking for elements within them that can be used in a new project.

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  • Discover and squeeze valuable by-products from your creative works.
    click to tweet

What by-product have you squeezed from one of your creative works?

5 Reasons I Don’t Care I Lost Money Self-publishing

“Dare to be naïve.” —Richard Buckminster Fuller 

ID-10047143Two Self-published Books

In 1999 before I signed with an agent, I had twelve contemporary Christian short story ideas that came to me like shooting stars from heaven as I studied the Bible. I wrote the stories to explain to myself difficult teachings.

photoAfter giving dramatic readings of the stories, listeners encouraged me to publish them. I did, relying on The Self-publishing Manual by Dan Poynter and The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing by Tom and Marilyn Ross. I completed more than 35 steps in the publishing process.

At my marketing expertise level, 700 copies would’ve been sufficient, but I contracted 3,000 books printed through my company, Holy Ghost Writers Publishing. In 2000, I did it all again with 15 more stories and 3,300 books printed. Talk about naïve.

But over time, the stories, the extra books, and the publishing process have become a boon.

5 Reasons Self-publishing Pearls in the Muddle and Crumbled, Tumbled, Humbled—Saved Became a Godsend.

Reason 1. Self-publishing showed me how to find talented people-resources in my own backyard.

Image courtesy of anankkml at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of anankkml at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In the self-publishing process, a qualified Christian co-worker edited my books. My nephew created the illustrations. A family friend, a graphics designer, designed the book covers. Friends and family members contributed funds. Friends organized my first public dramatic readings. All shared my vision. Many would’ve worked without compensation if I’d let them.

Self-publishing prepared me for finding gifted people for my later dream project: creating a church library.

Reason 2.  Self-publishing taught me how to research an unfamiliar industry and hire business providers.

In the self-publishing process, I contacted Advance Book Information to list my books in Books in Print. I obtained copyrights, Cataloging In Publication information for the title page, ISBN numbers, and barcodes. I requested quotes from book printers. I scheduled bookstores for signings.

These tasks provided me experience for working with many business providers in building our dream house.

Reason 3. Self-publishing provided a basis for honing my public speaking skills.

MP900289528I reaped public speaking experience from my corporate job, but my dramatic readings expanded my skills. I presented to women’s groups in churches, at women’s retreats, at community centers, from church pulpits, and to youth groups. I learned the worth of incorporating spin-off ideas by developing a workshop based on two of my stories about prayer and offering participants my books.

Today, this experience helps me build my platform as a writer. My presentations and workshops on the writing craft and industry allow me to give back to other writers what I’ve received.

Reason 4. Self-publishing demonstrated I had the determination to be an author and speaker.

When I pitched my first novel to my agent-to-be, my self-published books showed her my commitment. They also emboldened me to get two stories published in an online magazine.

I include my self-publishing efforts in book proposals to publishers to show my perseverance.

Reason 5. Self-publishing provided an avenue to help others.

I’m aware of one person the stories led to Christ. People have used the books for devotionals and Bible studies. Many of those extra printed books are on bookshelves of new Christian libraries in English-speaking third-world countries through donations to a library ministry.

Image courtesy of anekoho at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of anekoho at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Over my 8-year involvement in a prison ministry, I provided the books to young male prisoners, who passed them on to fellow inmates.

The books provide me a meaningful gift I can give new friends, associates, and acquaintances. A fun medium for witnessing my faith.

What “faux pas” has turned into a bonanza for you?