So, we know this already:
We all blog for different reasons.
Usually it’s one of these:
To get free shit
Recognition (i.e., “I EXIST, WORLD!)
Hopes of making it rich and/or getting a book deal
SAHM Mommy loneliness
A way to connect with the world
Showing off and Bragging
Wanting people to feel sorry for you
And More, of course
Regardless, most bloggers have one thing in common: we want to be read. Unless of course, we make our blogs private, which a lot of people do.
I began blogging in 2007. My reasons were none of the above, actually. I just wanted to get people off my back with requests for me to email them photos of my kids. This was before the dawn of facebook, blogging was sorta new, and I was in the throes of postpartum hormonal “Don’t Give Me Another Job/Guilt-Trip Mode.” E-mail was the main source of electronic communication.
I knew that people just wanted to see my kids’ growth, etc, and some family and friends lived far away, so I could see their point. But to me it felt like a guilt trip. No new mommy wants that. I didn’t even know how to reduce the size of photos, and it took a long time to email them to family and friends individually. I decided to alleviate this problem with an Awesome Solution: I Started A Blog!
Yup, I announced to the world (well, MY world – family and friends, that is) that I now had A Blog. When I got the Guilt Trip email requests, I’d email so-and-so the blog link. Or I’d tell them I had a blog and give them the link. I began to post some pics of my kids, not obsessively or anything, but I put a few up weekly, and set up Google Analytics.
THIS FAILED MISERABLY. Because:
1. No one read the damn thing except for maybe 5 online friends whose blogs I read, and one family member popped on there occasionally.
2. It became a tit-for-tat thing, where people would say they’d follow and comment if I did so to their blog – all non-family friends who had kids around the age of mine.
3. Which gave me another Job – reading like 5 blogs a day and posting comments. (Was this harder than sending out the damn photos on request?)
4. It exposed family and friends as fucking liars when they’d say “oh, yeah, I’ve been looking at that,” when Google Analytics showed they’d never once gotten on my blog.
5. It caused tension when I inevitably said, because I couldn’t keep my trap shut – I am Mommy Needs Vodka, after all – that I knew they were lying because I’d checked my Analytics and saw they hadn’t visited it.
FTW: The only thing it really did for me was this: put the ball back in their court and let ‘em know they could see my kids in person if they wanted or look at my blog, I wasn’t emailing photos, period. So in that sense, it filled its purpose after all.
So who WAS reading my blog?? Acquaintances and undesirables whom I had NOT shared my blog link with! Or so I thought.
I asked myself: “Okay, so why are the people who professed to want to read my boring blog NOT reading it, while people who shouldn’t give a shit, are reading it 2-4 times a day? Huh?”
It was a matter of psychology, obviously. I now see that. So at long last, if you’re still reading:
5 Ways To Get Family & Friends To Read Your Blog
1. Don’t tell them you have a blog. See, it works both ways. While it feels like “A Job” to fulfill a request to email someone photos, it also feels like “A Job” to read someone’s blog. People don’t like Jobs or Obligations. Who needs ’em?
2. On your email siggy, put the link to your blog way below the end of your email. I mean about 2 inches or so. Not everyone will scroll that far, but the friends who do will probably click on it and once they find out it is yours, they’ll be all “WTF, why didn’t she tell me she had a blog! It must be a secret. Maybe she’s saying shit about me on there?”
3. Let someone overhear you say to someone else that you have a blog. If they ask you about it, say you’re not giving out the link because it’s personal. Like I said in #1, people don’t like Jobs, but they sure as fuck crave Secrecy and Voyeurism! So if you do this, that person will spend HOURS googling to find the link to it. This happened to me by accident. I’d begun dating a guy and he overheard me mention to a friend something about my blog, and he asked me for the link. I said I’d rather not, and he
lied told me he respected my decision. My ass. Took him days to find it, and when he did, read every banal post on it.
4. Vagueblog. As in, vagueblogging. Spill some coffee on a memo at work? Make that into: “After what happened yesterday, I don’t know how I can go on anymore. I’ve just had it!” That’ll bring you viral traffic from all those friends and fam who didn’t take the time before! Just be sure to turn off your ringer.
5. Post More than Just Photos. Diversify. Sure, your people wanna see your kid. Now and then. Like one or 3 pics per post, per week. Not 20 per post with 2 sentences of text. Maybe Put some meat (read: intrigue) in your blog, along with the pics, and that will bring gawkers back.
Everyone wants to believe they’re reading something they can’t get on Facebook, that you don’t necessarily want them to read, that they figured out some little secret, and that it will allow them a window into your soul that they otherwise would not see.