I begged. Three people felt compelled listened. And I love each one of you with all my heart. Truly.
Maybe begging was the wrong tactic. You know I’m opposed to bullying. How do I get folks to sign up for my newsletter then.
Here are some ideas I’ve seen others use:
- Contests: The only contests I’ve run on my blog have FAILED to get entries. I either give crummy prizes, or no one sees the contests.
- Pop-Ups: This feels like bamboozling to me. I don’t appreciate pop-ups when I visit sites, so why would I force my visitors to suffer through them?
- E-mails: Uh, I don’t have any email addresses on my list. That’s why I’m in this situation.
- Twitter: There’s a way to see if people ever come to my blog because of Tweets, but I’m guessing since I don’t have much of a following over there, it’s as ineffective as begging on my blog.
- Facebook: Yeah. My posts show up on Facebook. A few of my friends click through if the topic looks interesting. That’s a place to build relationships, not try to coerce people into something.
Experts say if I have offer my readers something of value to sign up, that will motivate them.
Question: What do I have of value to offer other than my writing?
Experts say that I need to write compelling content. Duh.
Experts say once I write something compelling, I need to make it easy to share.
Question: I have all the share buttons on my posts. How can I make it any easier?
Experts say if I visit other blogs with a similar topic to mine and comment regularly, other readers will see my comment and hop over to check me out.
Question: How many hours do these folks have? (FYI, I did this for the first year that I blogged and it netted me nearly nothing.)
- My content isn’t compelling.
- The topics I address aren’t interesting to my readers.
- I write about too many different subjects on this blog. I need to find my niche.
- I’d rather be writing my fiction or Bible studies than thinking up things to write about on this blog.
- The posts that I feel will have the greatest reach fall flat.
- When I visited a Facebook party, I had the most hits on my blog. So, people were checking me out based on how I commented there. Since that time, I’ve tried to repeat those results – no success.
- I’m floundering. I’m in over my head. I need to face the fact that I’m not going to build an email list (thus, publishers are going to reject me for having no platform).
Why does this writing thing have to have more legs than an octapi family reunion?
I NEED YOU.
Your thoughts could help me with this dilemma.
If you are reading this post, please help me.
What can I do to interest people in signing up for my newsletter?
What made you sign up? (I know, you’re related to me. Thanks for that.)
4 thoughts on “When even begging fails”
Man, Sharon, that’s a tough one! I’m sorry to say I’m not going to be much help here. Building up a readership is kind of like finding a job when you have no experience (although I hear that finding a job when you *have* experience isn’t much easier)—you can’t get experience until someone hires you, and it’s not easy to get people to read your book until people have read your book and tell other people about it. *smacks head against wall*
I’ve heard of some people putting chapters of their books on places like Watpad or selling them as novellas on Amazon. And I know you want to go the traditional publishing route, so it seems as if the platform has to come before the book (which is backward, given my analogy above). The good thing about self-publishing is that while you still need a platform, you don’t have to wait to publish until you have one. That’s how Hugh Howey did it—just put his first book up on Amazon and eventually people found him (more people found him after his *second* book, but you know what I mean). I’m not big on the sit-back-and-wait game, but the ability to continue to write/edit/publish, repeat on my own timetable is pretty appealing. At least I’ll feel like I’m getting somewhere.
In closing, as I said, I’m not much help here. Just know I feel your frustration—it’s pretty embarrassing when your 13-year-old daughter has more subscribers to her YouTube channel than you have to your blog/email list. 🙂
Thanks for the empathy. It’s “nice” to know I’m not alone in my bereft-of-readers position. Although that sounds bad.
I do have a self-published title, but it isn’t in the YA genre. I don’t write a blog that appeals to those of the YA age group, but I was aiming for the adult readers of YA and the parents/grandparents/aunts of the teens.
A YouTube channel. That’s probably what I need to garner followers.
“The posts that I feel will have the greatest reach fall flat.” Boy, do I know that feeling! It’s like there’s a giant “do not read me” sign on what I think is my best/deepest work.
I think if you want people to sign up for something, you have to give them an idea of what it is they’re signing up for. Maybe have a sample newsletter in a post?
On the subject of compelling content, maybe your desire to be doing something else is a sign that blogging as you’re doing it isn’t “you” – so perhaps look into what you would really like to be doing with this space if you didn’t feel there were things you “had” to be doing with it. Have you read Rise of the Machines by Kristen Lamb? I recommend it for figuring out who you are as a blogger.
Hope something in there helps!
I read Kristen Lamb’s book as soon as it came out. Maybe I need to read it again, see if something else strikes me as “who I am” as a blogger.