Everybody has a blog and most of us subscribe to more blogs than we can possibly read, so what can we do to attract readers to our particular blog? Decide first if this is something you can commit to. You can't hold readers if you're not faithful about new content.
Carve out a niche for yourself: Brand yourself with color, a photo, graphics, content, voice -- anything and everything that makes your content and appearance appealing and unique.
Giveaways: Many readers leave comments if you're holding a drawing. Pick up an extra book or DVD and hold a drawing. Ask your friends for a book or a special craft to give away.
Articles: Currently on Fridays I post blogs on the craft of writing. I feature authors who write the same sort of books I do, whose books I've enjoyed, and books written by friends.
Create a special day (or holiday) event: A few ideas are Hero Tuesday, Wordless Wednesday or Favorite Book Friday. Come up with something unique to you. I hold a Christmas Tree Tour every year throughout the month of December and readers and authors send me photos of their Christmas trees. It's a huge hit and readers have come to anticipate it. I've even had a couple of editors mention it to me.
Lists: People love a list and will often post theirs. Favorite romantic songs, favorite romantic movies or comedies, favorite authors or new TV shows you plan to catch are just a few ideas.
Reviews: Give your opinion on books you've read, movies you've seen, who you think should be voted off American Idol, your choices on Dancing With the Stars, the Olympic performances. When you tag your blog with a popular tag, you'll get hits from people googling that topic.
Recipes: Family favorites or cooking for special occasions. Ask friends to share their favorites. Nearly everyone likes an easy recipe.
Photos and graphics:
1) I make it a point never to post a blog without a picture. People are much more likely to pause in their surfing and read if there's a photo. For a solid year I posted Photo Friday and featured only a photo I'd taken myself. It was a very popular feature.
2) Title your photos. Don't ever post a graphic or photo that is labeled simply DMS00087. Keep tags interesting and people doing google searches will find your photo and come to look.
Your photo: Keep it front and center on all promo. Seeing a face lets people think they know you. It's friendly and worth a thousand words.
Be professional: Published or unpublished, it doesn't matter, publishing houses you query will seek out your web presence. If you're published, your editors and the marketing department will look to see how you present yourself and use copyrighted materials. The publishing industry truly is a small world. Word gets around. Persons of influence can show up in the least likely places a year from now.
Don't make a scene if you get an ugly rejection. Don't criticize a reviewer who didn't get your book. Don't bash an editor or another author. Even if you remove a hastily-posted remark, you've left a permanent imprint in cyberspace that can't be completely erased. Even if you write humor, conduct yourself with class and dignity.
Enjoy: Most importantly, have fun and don't let blogging become just one more thing you have to do.
A true romantic at heart, I love happy endings. I been known to cry at sappy commercials, so a real good romance really moves me. Bring on the tissue box and give me a happy ending!
Be sure to visit me at www.charlenesands.com