Today's blog critique victim is Shannon McMahon of Shannonigans. Actually, it's a whole website. Take a look.
I have one word for Shannon's blog: Love.
Shannon's website is perfect from the design to the profile location to the title. I know who she is, I can contact her, I know when she posts, I can search for old posts, she uses appropriate color, I know about her writing. She also does a great teaser technique where she puts part of blog post on her blog and then has a read more link to another site (the site she really wants you to visit). Seriously good blog. Learn from her.
I only have one minor peeve - I hate it when comments have to go through moderation before being posted. I do understand if you've had trouble from hecklers or spammers, but really they aren't that big of a problem. If you can bear it, make it as easy as possible for people to comment. I'd appreciate any readers' thoughts on this if you have them, guys.
Shannon's on the next step of blogging - building blog readership. Shannon, for such a tight blog, you should have a bigger following. Because you're really busy at work and still working on your manuscript you may not have the time to focus on this yet, but when you're ready, here's some suggestions:
- Participate in blogfests.
- Run contests for followers. To enter they must tweet, facebook, or blog about your blog.
- Ask the people you review for if you can do any joint promotions. You probably have contractual agreements prohibiting this, but if you are allowed to ever get people from those blogs to your blog, that's a huge way to increase your followings. Ways to do that would be, for an example, "If you enjoyed this movie, check out Shannonigans where I tell you five other movies you'd probably like." Another good one would be to say "For a meal that would go good with this wine, visit Shannonigans" and have a good recipe there. Make sense? You could actually do that last one just within your blog. At the end of a recipe post or a wine post, put a cross-reference link from your own blog to a a wine or recipe to go with it.
- Search your peeps out. Where do wine lovers visit on the internet? What do movie-goers read? Who wants amazing recipes? Find those blogs and leave comments that always include your website address. When possible, say things like, "I do a wine review on my website; I hope you check it out sometime."
- Have guests. Guest bloggers can really build your numbers. Invite people from those blogs you found that your peeps frequent to post.
- Steal followers. It's not really stealing, but what I mean is go to those blogs that have the people you know would love your blog and get them to follow you. Like if I were going to "steal" your followers, I'd start clicking on pics in your follower box and first, follow their blogs, and second, comment on their blogs with your website address.
Okay, this isn't much, but is it helpful? What do you think readers? Any thoughts/comments/suggestions for Shannon?