A friend of mine from my LA days wants to start up his own blog, and asks how to get readers. I wrote back:
First of all, write enough in your blog that people have something to link to. Then find blogs you like and offer to swap links. There are blog directoris what will list your blog just for the trouble of signing up. You can find some of them in my sidebar. Mention your blog in comments on popular blogs; you'll start to get clickthroughs if you're saying intelligent things in the comments. Use trackbacks to create automatic links back to your blog. (Trackbacks used to be a surefire way of creating links to your blog, but I think Google has figured out how to ignore those links, reducing comment spam.) Mention your blog in the relevant sections of LiveJournal.
Do a Google search on whatever search terms you'd like people to find your blog by. The results are where your readers are. E.g. if you have a screenwriting blog, Google "screenwriting blog" and see who comes up. That's what your readers are reading now.BlogExplosion
allows you to get your first readers just by surfing to other sites. Of course it's a painfully retail way of getting readers, and they're not necessarily high quality readers -- they're other bloggers who want traffic. But you have to start somewhere.
You can track visit statistics by the free and easy to use Sitemeter
; you can track links to your blog through Technorati
. If you want trackbacks, Haloscan
will manage them for free.
In the long run, of course, nothing beats content, except already being famous.
Or you can host a logline contest like I did and burn your retinas out...
Oh the pain...the pain!
Another way to get people to visit your blog is to add the link to your IMDB.com or TVTome.com pages, if you have them. After fans/journalists etc. find your listing on those sites, they can look under "Official Links" in the sidebar and the link will lead directly to your blog (hint, hint, Alex)
Getting good readers is the tough part. I've noticed being consistent is incredibly important. Building a readership is done one by one, and if you keep a consistent flow of content, it helps build an audience. At least, that's the view from the newbie seats.
I frequent a handful of Blogs and why don't you guys answer or make comments to us commenters? Having a Blog is a Big ME ME kind of deal, but us plebes want to be acknowledged as well. Afterall, we made a comment to show you somebody IS out there reading, so let US know you appreciate it. That little acknowledgement may keep me coming back more often than not
Uh, Moviequill, I DO answer stuff. Not in the comments. In the text. See all the places where it says UPDATE? I put it there 'cause not everyone reads the comments.
Anyway, most comments are comments, not questions. They don't require comments back. That would create an endless cycle of commenting. A guy's got to get his work done some time.
As for the Me Me Me ... thanks a lot. Most writers don't tell you what they know. Some of us do. You'd rather John Rogers and Lee Goldberg and Craig Mazin and I just keep our knowledge to ourselves? No one pays us to blog, y'know.
Oh man... I am so very happy that you are a blogger, you have no idea... there are not too many out there who want to share with someone who is less experienced in the writing department ! I always appreciate your updates.
No comment needed on my comments, ( except if it's a question of some sort that hasn't already been answered. )
You automatically assumed I meant you was YOU, but it was meant 'most bloggers in general', not YOU specific because I know YOU answer comments. My comment was frustration venting as I have posted stuff here and there to other blogs (and then weeks later I see the writer complain nobody stops by to read or comment), like wtf? Am I wearing my Invisible Man costume again
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