Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Why are people unsubscribing to my blog? Part 2

Yesterday I shared with you the beginning of an email I sent to a friend who wanted to know why her readership was slipping. Today I'll post the remainder of that letter.

If you didn't read the first half go back and read it here.

I only post 3 days a week [sometimes two] and I've had 5,78 9 hits since I started my blog the week after last year's conference. This number does NOT include my subscribers [because the full blog is emailed to them directly] so these are all new or regular readers who do NOT subscribe. When I asked subscribers to visit my blog for a full week my numbers [hit count] nearly quadrupled for that week. So I'd conservatively put my hits over 10,000. But I know my target market [writers, primarily those who are on the cusp of publication] and I write things that I'm learning that will help them. I also reference back to previous blogs I've written [I may say in a blog "back in November I talked about fear" and then I'll link to that blog so they start reading more of my archives.]

I write all of my blogs on Sunday [or if I have a great idea I'll write ahead] and then schedule them to post the following week. If I see on my calendar I have a REALLY hectic week or two coming, I may post 5 or 6 blogs and schedule them so it looks like I'm still posting daily.

I also know Tuesdays are my highest traffic day, so I try to post my best blogs on those days.

Finally, I don't rely on comments as a gauge of success. I used to do that but then I realized that my regular readers don't regularly comment. It is those guests who want google to see them talking on a "relevant" blog in the comments. I've looked and the correlation between comments and traffic are NON-EXISTENT.

I'm a part of blog rush and have experimented with various catchy titles and try to use "key words" [money, improving, success, building, tough love, mistake] to catch attention and pull people over.

I tried to do it they way you describe, with having others essentially use my blog as a fell FLAT. I got bored, they got bored, it didn't work. And I even had it on shoutlife where there is a ready audience.

I found that honestly [guarded honesty] about things I've learned, the process, my struggles in writing a great book, etc. are what keep people coming. Especially as I work the problem out before them. If I say "I'm having a hard time finding time to write but I've learned that if I get up at 8:30 instead of staying up until 2am, I'm more productive." People comment on that. Then a week later I'll say "Last week on my blog I shared how getting up early was helping my productivity, [link to that specific blog] well I managed to write XXX number of pages since then!! I've also started outlining the night before I'm getting even more done."

Obviously this isn't EXACTLY your target audience. If you're writing to readers, tell about the writer's life in a way readers can relate to. "Many readers don't realize the stages to writing. Some days it can seem like you will never get there but today something great happened....."

or "Readers have asked me how I get story ideas, well, let me tell you about how an idea popped in my head today..."

If you're writing for writers...well, we know how to write to ourselves.

You get my drift.


I hope this has helped all of you. Now, go blog successfully!!

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