Why Blogging is Not Just Blogging
I started my blog a little over a year ago and my goal was to create a platform for my "real" writing. My site, Living Well With Epilepsy (http://www.jessicaksmith.blogspot.com/) addresses the wide range of issues that impact the 50 million people affected by epilepsy. But recently it seems my blogging has picked up steam and my readers are letting me know they want more.
Here's the thing though, blogging is not just blogging. Not for me, anyways. For me, it is Gmail, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, SheWrites and other blogs I follow. I use these other social media vehicles to continually spread the message from my blog. I also use these other sites as a way to connect with folks who may benefit from the service my blog offers. Not the hard sell or anything, just as a way to increase my connections and theirs.
Surprisingly, establishing these one-to-one relationships has become the most important component of this whole blog thing. I regularly reach out to folks who have a vested interest in anything remotely related to my topic. I reach out to offer these people and organizations a chance to promote their product or service on my blog (and I write the content). This is a win-win situation. Who wouldn’t want a chance to get free PR and the only work involved is to say yes.
This type of relationship building increases my sphere of readers, spreads my new contact’s message (not mine), and encourages the person to send other readers to me. The message becomes viral and the benefits are endless for all parties involved.
In the end, what it comes down to for your readers is what will I get from this blog? Does your site provide enough value to me to stay and poke around? Are there other people interested enough to comment on the posts? Are the topics diverse enough that I will find something new every time I visit?
When you are creating a blog it may feel like you are working in a vacuum, but you aren’t. And the people that read your site, they talk to each other, for better or for worse. So make it worth their while. Do that and they will not only come back, they will bring a few friends, too.
Jessica Keenan Smith is an author, blogger, and an expert in niche marketing. Her blog can be found at Living Well With Epilepsy (http://jessicaksmith.blogspot.com/). Jessica’s work can be found on Feministing.com, SheWrites.com, and in Exhalezine and GoodDays,BadDays. She is an active member of Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and her work includes essays, articles, blog posts and picture books. In addition, she speaks on living with epilepsy, making the most of social media, and other topics. You can find her on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and SheWrites and of course in the blogosphere.