You win some money and decide to open a restaurant. Looking at the local phone book, there are already over a hundred restaurants in the area. How will yours be different? What will make people flock to your restaurant?
Thursday Thirteen: Thirteen things you should do to peeve off readers of your blog. Because readers aren’t everything…
1. Make sure you have a bunch of ads appearing on top of the screen, before they even see a first post. Make them EARN the right to see your greatness.
2. Don’t add a link back to your home/ front page. Really, once they’ve clicked away what do you need them back for?
3. Make sure you show them how much you value them as paying customers. Write “Your Ad Here” all over your blog.
4. Use pop up ads. That will really get their attention, they won’t forget you any time soon. Might even tell a few friends.
5. Make them register to see your site. Think of all the email addresses you can snag that way.
6. Use word verification for any comments they try to make. Make sure it’s in some kind of really tiny (or script) font so it won’t be too easy to read. As an added bonus choose colours like blue on black, or something people who are colour blind or otherwise disabled can’t see. That will spare you from all that reader feedback.
7. Put your Google and Alexa rank in prominent places on your blog. Show off your best achievements. Make lots of posts about your blog traffic, your blog stats and how much money your blog is going to make. People just can’t read enough of that.
8. Run at least one long ad down your sidebar with a graphic that flashes and spins and possibly causes seizures in some people. Just plain motion sickness in others.
9. Add videos and music files that will take at least 15 minutes to load for anyone with a less than great Internet connection.
10. Forget all that spelling and grammar and punctuation from school. It’s much more fun to make your own rules and let them figure it out.
11. Run paid ads as regular posts make it sound like you sincerely use the product and fully love it, don’t let on that you’ve been paid for your opinion and your post. Why spoil it for them?
12. Every now and then, just to shake things up, get an ad that takes over your blog. The kind that loads your blog partly and then changes to another page over your blog which is, of course, just a huge ad. This works really well if it’s an adult ad.
13. Run groupings of text link ads between your blog posts. Just like flossing your teeth, it gives your blog readers that little something extra.
14. (An added bonus) Put up an ad for one of those contests they have already won that sends them off to a second site which collects their email and cell phone number. By the time they actually win a free gift card for $5 they’ve given away enough information about themselves to have their identity stolen. All thanks to you, I’m sure that $5 will come in handy.
15. (Another addition) Run something that causes every fifth word in your post to become a hyper link which sends readers to some spam search engine or other junk or sales stuff they don’t want. This is great camouflage for your real links, no one needed to find those anyway.
Finally, good luck. Get more ideas by looking at other blogs. They’re out there!
A customer is yelling at you on the phone. You have never dealt with this person before, yet they are yelling on and on about what “you” have done to their TV, dishwasher, etc. After a few minutes of listening to how everything is your fault you get tired of it. You push that secret button on your phone which “disconnects” the call.
What does the secret button really do? Send the customer to some remote place in the wilderness? Drop the customer into a vat mushy worms? Or, does it only disconnect the call, do you let the customer off so lightly, really?
Do you wake up in the morning with the plot for the world’s greatest novel formulating in your brain? Not every morning, but about once a week I do. Often when I’m in the middle of something else: driving, showering, putting away groceries, watching TV, talking on the phone, making dinner, plotting my greatest ever Canadian World Domination… I get the best ideas but have no paper handy to jot them down. I forget a lot of great ideas before I can write them down.
Sometimes I can rip something out of a magazine or the newspaper or the back of the box, etc. That way I can remember what I was thinking at the time. I keep a notebook in my purse, it takes up more than it’s share of space but gives me a chance to keep some of my ideas. Not so handy while driving but, like using a cell phone, I can usually find a place to pull over to use it.
A lot of ideas are stashed in folders inside a file cabinet under my desk. They aren’t well organized but they are there and I have some hope of tracking them down. It’s great to know I have some kind of backup.
I write non-fiction so articles along my topic area are great as sources of quotes, research and people to contact. I’d like to write mysteries, maybe horror but it wouldn’t be icky stuff. I thought about writing romances because they would be easy, they seem to be a formula more than a story. Put it on the list for someday. Everything I find to inspire me in those genres has a folder too.
For now I’m working with non-fiction and I do love it. For me its a combination of teaching the world and learning more myself. Each time I research one idea I find another dozen from there. Life is great.
One thing anyone reading this has in common is that we are writing online. Its a different market/ medium from print, obviously. But not always in obvious ways. The language is different. The rate at which content needs to be refreshed is much different. The problems with having content stolen are also different and more challenging. But, there is a huge audience out there, if you can lure them in. You don’t have to be a big ticket item like Woman’s Day, Cosmo or National Geographic to pull in readers. But, you do have to find a way of pulling them in.
One other difference that not a lot of writers take advantage of is self promotion. You can set yourself up as the controller of your own little empire. Add all the clips you want, promote them everywhere possible and even break into new markets by offering free content to other sites.
But, you do have to take those first steps and get yourself out there, into the community. A big part of doing that is a personal/ professional website. You really do need a place to hang your hat online, an address to send people to when they want to know more about you, see what you know and how you think. Also, of course what you have that someone else doesn’t already have.
One important thing is balancing personal and professional. Unless you have a couple of separate websites You need to make sure your website isn’t saying too much about you. There are some hobbies, collectibles, activities, political leanings you might not want to offer up right away. For me its Wicca. My sister was looking over my resume and was astonished that I had left in a reference to my BackWash column, Bewitching Vagabond. She strongly suggested I take it out. I decided she was right and I have removed it.
What about your own site? Is there anything there you need to consider a problem area? Assuming you have a site, of course.
Add a resume to your site too. Just don’t be careless about leaving your street address and phone numbers on there. Blank them out or just delete them.