Today I am featuring and illustrating the Growing Your Readership session from ALT Summit, in the same way that I did the talks from Camp Mighty. I found it to be such a great way for me to process all the information and also a great way to share it. You can click on the image above to link to a larger version that you can print out. (Edit: I also illustrated the Collaborations session!)
Growing Your Readership was hosted by:
- Jordan Ferney of Oh Happy Day!
- Kelly Beall of Design Crush
- Nicole Balch of Making It Lovely
- Maggie Mason of Mighty Girl
They had three main points about how to grow your readership:
1. ORIGINAL CONTENT
- Create a personal narrative from your own experiences. Examples included Jordan's move to Paris and Nicole's home renovation. Use these narratives to share tips and resources.
- Use your expertise for DIYs and tutorials. Showing people how you do what you do is a great way to gain readers. It's the old give a man a fish/ teach a man to fish parable.
- Do your own research and make something new. Don't just link to what other people have said or made, have a look at everything being done in a certain category or on a certain trend and do a comprehensive post that shows a complete picture and showcases your own insights.
- Make custom layouts, curate and remix. Creating your own content is key, but if you are using other people's content, be sure to ask first, credit sources and then present it in a way that is new. Add graphics, pair things up, put your own personal stamp on it.
2. CONSISTENT SCHEDULE
- Have an editorial calendar. Plan ahead and try to post on the same days every week. If people know what to expect, they will look forward to your posts.
- High quality posts are better than high frequency posts. Rather than post one item every day for a week in a series, consider posting all five at once on one day. Make it easy for your readers, don't space out content to have a post up every single day. Quality over quantity.
- Find the right amount of content for your audience. Kelly found that when she was posting three times a day, less people were reading, it was too much. When she scaled back she found more people engaged.
- Best times to post are 7am (EST), noon, 4pm and midnight. Know who your audience is and when they are more likely to be reading. Sometimes off times can benefit as well. Midnight is a good time for overseas audiences. Or you can just post it when it's done!
3. PROFESSIONAL LOOK
- Invest $ in your blog. Spend money on design if you are not a designer, quality giveaways for things people want, hire assistants and pay contributors, and make sure you have childcare so you can dedicate time to your blog.
- Masthead and URL should match. This means investing in a dedicated domain name and designing your header to be the same. Make sure you have a domain name secured before naming your blog.
- Good design is a prerequisite. Good design used to set blogs apart, but now it is common place. You must have a good design that is easy to read and navigate to be successful.
- Put stuff out when you are excited about it and tweek it later. Execute the bare minimum of what you need to do to get it out into the world and then update it later.
- Join Communities, build communities, comment on other blogs (but make sure they are quality comments, not just "cool post"), post on Facebook (have a page for your site) and contribute to other sites that have a similar aesthetic, style and audience with your writing or artwork.
- Capture search traffic with unique seasonal and event based content. Check out what the trending topics are for the day. You can post about current events and holidays, but make sure it is not something that other people are doing. Make it special.
- Learn how to do SEO and tags. Check out Google tutorials.
If you are interested in learning more about Alt Summit's Growing Your Readership session, check out Nicole's twitter recap on Storify.
Check out my other Alt Summit posts: