If you have been following this series of blog posts, you should now have a blog and a set of social channels. That’s a great start, however how do you get noticed? How to you get a readership? How can you increase your Digital Profile? These are questions that I was asked yesterday following my last post. Here are my thoughts on this topic.
Have you ever Googled yourself? (other search engines are available). Did you appear in any of the search results or not? Did you check the images as well?
If you already have a presence in a blog or social channels the chances are that the search engine has found one of these – unless you have a name that competes with someone with a stronger profile, where if you go through the results you should be there. If you do not have any social presence its most likely you will not feature in the results.
Looking yourself up on a search engine is also a good way of checking any security or privacy settings you have on your social platforms. Have you opened up enough for the search engines to find you, or have you exposed too much and need to dial it back a bit.
There isn’t a super magic sauce for building a readership and some of it will happen over time, however there are a number of things you can do to get started.
The content you post is only half of the story. People will often like to click through if the content is good to find out who has written it. Having a profile will help the reader understand who you are and your background.
Lets break this down into two main headings. Profile and Content.
In most blogging platforms you can set your profile within your account. It is important to ensure that you have a good profile picture in place as well. Search engines love profile data as it tells them who has written the blog. Make sure you set the metadata on the picture as well. Name, Description, and Keywords which search engine pick up on.
Setting your About page to a good description of yourself. Think about using other sites such as about.me Here is my profile as an example – https://about.me/maxhemingway. You will see that it links back to my blog, twitter and other sites. You can also set these on your blog site using icons to link back to other pages.
Social Channel Profiles
Again it is important to set your profile and picture. Keep consistency in your profile information, although an alternative profile picture can be used.
At the end of this you will end up with a small web of interlinks between your sites.
Searchable Subjects – Blogs
Your subject and content are key in order to gain a readership. This will be down to what subjects you blog on, however using tags and keyword functions in your blog can also help search engines find your content. There are lots of search engines in use today and each has its quirks on how it ranks results and collects data, however using the standard features in your blog for Categories and Tags can help search engines. It also helps group content you write on your site and makes any local site searching using the blog search engine easy.
Posting regular content also helps build a readership and following.
When you write a blog or post something in a social channel you can link between the channels so one post can automatically be posted in other channels. For instance, when I post a blog, it also gets broadcast out on Twitter, Google + and LinkedIn using the Sharing function. You can link to a number of other channels as well.
Once a reader finds your blog post, they can have a look at the other content on your site. If its good, you can build a set of followers.
The time that you publish your blog or tweets can also have an effect on your readership levels due to different time zones around the world. I find that publishing after GMT 14:00 is usually a good time, but this may differ depending upon your own timezone and your target audience.
Popular Press has mastered this art and provides its reader with a catchy headline to its stories. You need to think about the message your headine or tweet is trying to convey. Will it attract the readers you want, or is it not quite on message. Short snappy headlines pull in the readers.
Social channels can provide a readership and following for your content. For example Twitter uses hashtags which are searchable via twitter and let you view tweets of a similar hashtag. Love them or hate them, the hashtag is a useful tool in building your readership.
Following the followers
You don’t have to follow lots of people to get a good following, however if people are following you, its because they like the subject you are communicating. They may have similar views or posts, so following them back may help you with research into your next post.
The important part to remember (as mentioned in my last blog post) is that social platforms are relational not transactional. Following people in your field/subject also shows your readers that you are interested in your topic and the views of others.
Having good content and messages that are re-tweeted or re-blogged by someone else introduces your post to a different circles of followers. This only happens though if people consider your content and messages to be relevant to their followers and readership.
When your in conversation and a subject comes up that you have blogged about, tell people you have a point of view on that as reference your work. Send out links to people so they can find it easily.
Consider guest writing for a blog or channel as they often provider a link back to the authors blog/twitter. This usually needs you to be established with some good content in the first place before being accepted as a guest writer.
Lastly, time is a factor. It does take time to build up your content, build followers and getting the search engines to list you in the results, however once you start getting noticed, your readership does go up.
Try searching for yourself in a couple of weeks again. Any change?