I’ve been to spam prison and the school of ‘We’ll Knock Your Ass Down and See How Fast You Get Up, Sucker,’ but through it all I’ve been that long-lasting sponge that soaks up information without the nasty smell. So I will begin 2016 with a new series. One that will help you transform into “Super Blogger” without the unwieldy cape and tights. Okay. You can wear what you want.
Although I haven’t made a dime from this blog, not even a penny, I’ve learned a ton over nearly five years and writing 460 posts. Yep. If you disregard my lack of income, you could say I was something of a professional.
Where did I learn these valuable lessons I am willing to impart? Why through zillions of blog posts read online as well as the aforementioned ‘School Of Hard Knocks’ or SOHK. If you’ve been blogging for a while, you have probably been there too. It’s located in a war zone where IEDs explode all around you. You hide inside a windowless, bombed-out shelter in the middle of a sandy desert wilderness exposed in all directions. Afraid to step, you fear blowing your beloved blog to smithereens. You remain inside, trapped, naked and afraid, and with no way out until you solve the problem. I’ve been there many times.
I have a designated parking spot with my name on it.
Lesson #1 a.
You may be unaware of this simple trick to bring readers to your blog. No. Not by using the word, ‘sex, boobs, or I’m cheating on my husband’ in the title. I’ll get to that another day. This trick is solved by simply pushing a button. NOT THE RED BUTTON!
In WordPress, it’s located in Admin/Settings/Reading. Scroll down to “For each article in a feed, show.” Click on “Summary.” Unless we change it from “Full text,” anyone can read our entire post in email or the reader. WHAT? Yes. It’s true. They never have to click to your blog. That means, readers will never discover your amazing header or other fabulous posts or cat pictures or your latest tweet or read all ‘About You’ AND you won’t get the view click. That’s the worst part, right? Doesn’t that suck? Be honest. I know you care about the number of views you get. ADMIT IT! Okay. I’ll take my hands off your throat. Anyway, click the button and only the first 55 words will appear in the reader or the email. Which brings me to….
Lesson #1 b.
For the sake of all that is holy, make those first 55 words sparkly goodness! Don’t tell me you are so sorry you’ve been on vacation and haven’t posted in for three weeks. No offense, but I probably didn’t notice. Now I have no idea what your article is about except for your title, so I will move on. I always move on. Those ‘I’m sorry’ beginnings have a downer feel and since you haven’t done anything to me personally, that I’m aware of, and they put me off. Done, done, on to the next one. Done I’m done and I’m on to the next. *turns down Foo Fighters on Pandora*
Instead, pick a gem from the content of your article. It should be a moving wriggling beast. Hold it down with two hands and give it a bath while wearing leather gloves. Rinse and repeat. Then sharpen some of its nasty little barbed hooks and tiny quills. See how they sparkle? They are what will bring readers to your blog. How do I know this? Because I sat front row and center in the SOHK recently and still have the scars on my knuckles to prove it. Yep. Those words should be a lure. They should either seduce readers into thinking they will be thoroughly entertained or learn something that will help them in a huge way.
Here are the facts. Take notes. There will be a pop quiz. Joking!
Readers are self-serving. They don’t have unlimited time nor is our blog required reading. We are reaching readers through the Internet. They have tons of choices. There are the obvious time sucks like Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and Twitter, Snapchat, Buzzfeed, Huffpost along with real life. Yep. Some people have one. They can scroll by your post like pushing a shopping cart past generic canned liver.
Your blog is a product. You don’t want to offer readers something that looks and tastes like dirty gym socks. They won’t buy it, in fact, they will run away. You need to work a little harder to create something appealing. I’m not saying you have to spend hours on any of it. FIVE minutes should do the trick.
Raise your right hand and not-so-solemnly swear:
“I promise not to waste my reader’s time with yawnfest hooks. I will tease them with a new idea, amusement, or whatever it is I write while wearing a cape and tights.”
- Ask a question.
- Take the climax of your story and give us a glimmer of what is to come in the opening paragraph.
- Set the stage, place and time and fill it with actors and action.
- Start with what inspired you to write the article in the first place. If it was through reading another blog, don’t forget to link it up.
“What if it’s a Wordless Wednesday photo post?”
- Mime it.
With these two changes, your views will soar or at least you’ll pull in a few more suckers by the cheek. It will be an improvement either way.
By reading THIS SERIES, you will get the Wild Rider Money Back Guarantee. You didn’t pay me anything? Ha!
That’s all for now. Awww! I heard someone groan. Oh. It was only my stomach growling.
Click here for more of the Wild Ride.
How to Write a Book in One Month
How to Write Thousands of Words a Day
An Open Letter to New WordPress Bloggers
Ultimate Life Hacks from 2018 including, writing and blogging tips.
thank you for the tips – applied #1 – will see what happens. I will be writing later today and I have to apply tip #2 or rather 1b. Hope all is well in your world – will be rooting for the Broncos this afternoon, too bad about the Packers. It was a good game. Take care and enjoy the week ahead.
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Sorry I missed your comment! It’s been another wild week.
Glad you were able to use the tips. Let me know if you have an increase in views.
Bummer about the Packers. What a game!
I was happy to hear that someone else thinks it’s lame to start a post with “I’m sorry I haven’t been around for awhile…” Even though I have been tempted I don’t think I have succumbed to that level of arrogance that the blogging world has all been sitting around waiting with bated breath for my pearls to drop into their feed.
You know what is weird? I love writing too but seem to spend more time thinking about it than doing it. 😦
Great post, I shall waited with bated breath for the next one so don’t go all procrastinating on me.
I actually am addicted to blogging, but think too much about my books sometimes. I finally decided to jump in with both once again. Once I get rolling, it’s much easier.
I don’t take blogging as seriously. I still don’t want to waste readers time and probably spend too much of it editing. The endorphin rush of seeing how it does and the comments, keep me motivated!
You had me until here:
Scroll down to “For each article in a feed, show.” Click on “Summary.” Unless we change it from “Full text,” anyone can read our entire post in email or the reader.
I couldn’t find the “For each aritcle . . . ” place to click. I use WordPress, but I never found any tab with those words.
Anyhoo, thanks for the tips. I look forward to getting more.
w/a Jansen Schmidt
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Me too. I’ve spent ages looking for it. 😦
You missed a piece of the WordPress puzzle – “it’s located in Admin/Settings/Reading.” Then you’ll find the rest. Admin can be found when you click on the W on the left side of your black bar. Hope you can find it!
Your posts are always so inviting and readable. And…I changed my email setting. 😀 Thanks, Susie!
Thanks, August! Glad to help.
Yes, I knew about the “full summary” vs tidbit view. I remember reading a scathing post by someone knocking those bloggers who chose the tidbit view because it was so clear that they were looking for clicks to their blog. At first, I felt guilty, like I’d been doing something wrong. But let’s face it — who among us is blogging and not expecting or wanting clicks to our blogs or wanting our other posts read? Isn’t that one of the reasons we’re blogging, I ask you!?
I meant “full text” — not full summary! Good Lawd!
Absolutely! Whoever wrote that would have gotten a reply from me! If they don’t come to my blog, they won’t see my other work or learn anything about me and what a crime that would be. Ha!
I LOVE your sense of humour:)
Great tips!! 🙂
Thanks for stopping by the Wild Ride!
Thank you so much for this article. I really enjoy the way you write and what you write about, it’s very helpful for us new bloggers!
Thanks for sharing this Susie. Have a great weekend.
Thanks Joel! It was so crazy. I figured there were many who wouldn’t believe it!
I wish I could have had a teacher like you back in my school days – practical and with a great sense of humor!!!
Just a couple of clarifications – right now I just hit ‘publish’ when I’m done editing and the 1st 55 words under the title is automatically the 1st 55 words of my post anyway. When you say “Pick a gem from the content of ……” are you suggesting the 1st 55 words be just a summary and different from the actual start of my post, and then…..my actual post begins after that? I’m muddling myself up!!! but I hope you get what my doubt is!!
Wow! Thank you, Radhika!
I mean when you’re writing your post be sure to make the first 55 words sing. The absolute worst and opposite is when bloggers start with, “I’m so sorry I haven’t blogged for a while. I have been on a vacation, blah blah blah. I could care less and worse, probably didn’t notice. *Yawn* I NEVER click.
Pick out something juicy from your article to hook the reader into reading more. It can take a while to come up with something, but it’s always worth it.
Hi Susie, Just come across your blog. The suggestion to hook readers with the first 55 words is a great one. Will see how it goes. Many thanks.
Oh, good! I’m so glad to hear that. So many bloggers who use that precious space to talk about how why they haven’t blogged. Nobody cares. Ha! Let me know how it goes!
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Oh dear, I won’t make that mistake! Will let you know. And well done on this blog, it’s very impressive.
Awww! Thanks. You made my day!
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I love your writing style, this post, and all your tips!
Awww! Thanks. What a great way to start the day! I’m glad to help.
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