|image courtesy of Nujalee/FreeDigitalPhotos.net|
Tuesday nights see not one but two Twitter chats I like to make an effort to follow - #craftblogclub I have mentioned before, hosted by Emma @livepeachey and #CBUK hosted by Hillary at @craftbloguk
Both chats are aimed primarily at craft bloggers (although if you are looking to find NEW craft blogs to read then these hashtags are a great place to start), and both are a great source of inspiration and advice.
Last night's #craftblogclub chat was all about Pinterest. You know how much I love Pinterest - it's a great place to store ideas and get inspiration! You can read Emma's round up of that chat here.
#CBUK concentrated on the tricky subject of engaging readers.
The whole point of blogging for most of us is that we are sharing our thoughts, images, ideas, knowledge with the world wide web (does anyone actually still use that term?). In return we like to see that people are interested - whatever people say about not caring about the stats, in the end we want people to visit our blogs, look around, comment and, perhaps most importantly, subscribe, follow and come back another time.
Now I am not one to worry myself too much about keywords and SEO - I like to think I write descriptively enough for searches to find me and I always make sure I use a number of different phrases within each post to ensure that I have covered several search options. For example my tshirt yarn projects posts include phrases like 'tshirt yarn projects' 'tshirt yarn tutorial' 'making tshirt yarn' 'crochet with tshirt yarn' and 'recycling tshirts' - phrases I would hope anyone actively searching for tshirt yarn related blog posts might use. That said I have had more vistors to those posts via the images I have pinned on pinterest. I know there is room for improvement and I realise I am going to have to take SEO a little more seriously if I am to get more visitors...
But once they are here, how do we keep them here, get them to contribute and better still get them to return?
I don't know if there is a set formula that works - great content obviously is the key. You have to be writing stuff that people WANT to read or else they will just click away. Great images help tremendously, particularly if you also use Pinterest to promote your blog. I have noticed a distinct upturn in visitors via Pinterest over the last few months - never underestimate the power of a beautiful photograph, particularly if it illustrates a tutorial/recipe/how to!
But most importantly you must LOVE what you are doing! If you're not mad keen on your latest blog post how can you expect anyone else to be? Content written because you feel you HAVE to will never be as good as content written that you really love/believe in. I have always said that when blogging becomes a chore it's time to step back and re-evaluate.
So what do you think makes a good blog?
What makes you hit the 'Subscribe' button? (top of right hand column by the way ;-) )
What makes you want to keep coming back?
I would love to hear your thoughts!