Recently, I was involved in a twitter chat with WahibaChair, MBA of Simon Fraser University called: How to Get Results from Social Media.
In the course of events, the topic of blogging came up. The facilitator’s question was:
“How do you communicate in a way that maximizes conversation on social media?”
The comments proposed revolved around creating relevant and valuable content. Realizing this was the missing link, I wanted specifics. My reply was as follows:
“Ah yes, but how do you determine whether the content is valuable.”
The answer given was:
“That is the Holy Grail of it, Marissa! It's both an art and science, [and] takes lots of experimentation!”
I’ve been in the ‘blogging business’ for several years now, and I continue to wander about in relative obscurity, while other bloggers have hit the virtual jackpot. While droves of fans and subscribers flock to their timely and consistently updated content, my poor blog flounders in the mire of invisibility.
But where are these readers coming from? How do you delight and inspire people who haven’t even discovered you yet? How do you keep the content relevant and interesting for those wonderful friends and followers who do on occasion pop in to see what you’ve been up to?
Google tells us to write like the wind, keep refreshing content. The more you post (this also applies to Facebook, though Facebook also requires interaction—shares, comments, likes) the more you will rise in the rankings in search engines.
But what to blog about? If you’re a nonfiction author, you can perhaps blog about your favourite subject matter—something that is of keen interest to your readership. But what if you write fiction? What are your readers coming to you for?
If you have a book on the market and a loyal readership already, the task becomes easier. Many authors blog about their writing process, news and updates about their latest books, or they post images and videos of book tours and conferences … things that appeal to an avid fan base. But what of the debut authors? The authors who do not have thousands of followers and subscribers? What can we possibly do to get our voices heard?
There are so many authors vying for attention. So many writers toiling in the blogging trenches with little engagement, nonexistent shares, abysmal likes, or negligible follows. We keep throwing words at the wall, hoping something sticks, but until we hit upon that magical elixir, that secret to life, that mystical gold cup of relevant content our precious paragraphs and sentences fall upon disinterested ears.
So what are we to do? What is the Holy Grail?
I’m often reminded of The Book of Awesome by Neil Pasricha. This wonderful little gem of a book started with a simple commitment—to jot down one awesome thing a day. The project turned into a blog that went viral, sparked a movement, and garnered a book deal, to boot.
In this blog post by Canva: Why You Should Design Something New Every Day: 20 Awesome Case Studies To Inspire You, we are encouraged to find strength in the success and endeavors of others who have embarked on similar creative paths. The post speaks to designers, photographers, and artists, but it applies equally to writers.
Can you find something to write about every day? Can you pick a theme? Can you hone a style? Can you hit upon a relevant topic that might appeal to your readers? Can you find a way to tap into your own exuberance and creativity to pull a blog post out of the proverbial hat on a more frequent basis? Can you find something to get excited about—something to keep the juices running and the passion flowing? Both reader and writer need to be intrigued and titillated by your posts.
If you can do that, my friends, you will have found the Holy Grail!
Unfortunately, I’m still looking. But do not fear. I am of stout heart and noble intentions. I shall never give up!
What do you think? Have you found the Holy Grail? Anybody out there have a good map? J