So you can read my books

Sunday, September 15, 2013


DON'T FORGET MY HALLOWEEN BLOGFEST where you can win Brad Pitt's autograph!
Click on my sidebar for details.

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Ten years ago, it was easy to stand out as a blogger simply because the number of blogs in any niche was limited. Today, this is certainly not the case.

1.) Write great headlines
 There’s no faster way to catch the attention of people in your niche than an intriguing headline.  But you have to play fair and have your content match the eye-grabbing headline.
The title needs to have keywords that will be noticed by the search engines but it needs to also entice the readers to go to the site to read it.
Weak –
Do You Need an Editor for your Book? (it has a keyword but no call to action)

Good –

The Top 10 Reasons You Should Get Your Book Edited.
2. ) Be controversial
People love posts with strong opinions.  But beware: titles like I EAT KITTEN BRAINS will draw traffic and comments ... and really trollish remarks.
but a good example of constructive controversy.
Writing this post, Srini had to have known that some people wouldn’t like it. Most Twitter tips are about how to get more followers.
But within the post, he used examples to back up his opinion, and the post was about starting a conversation about why we care so much about quantity and ignore quality.
3.) Create other forms of content, rather than just blog posts
You really can build an audience from scratch if you’re everywhere doing lots of different things at once.
eBooks, audiobooks, guest posts, eZines, anthologies, pod casts, trailers, and speaking engagements.
4.) Be the first to cover a news topic
This might seem impossible, but if you’re diligent about staying on top of what’s going on in your niche, you can often beat other bloggers to the story.
Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and get some relevant quotes from valuable sources.
Old school reporting is something other bloggers might be too lazy to do – they’ll just link to you instead.
5.) Do something wacky and different
Why should someone want to read the same-old same-old?
It is why I have the ghosts of famous writers and historical personages drop in for a chat on my blog.  It fits in with the haunted jazz club, Meilori's, that figures large in most of my novels.
It's not something you see on any other blog, and it ties in with my other protagonists and storylines.
6.) Fill a gap
Don’t just start another social media blog. Find your unique spin — something no one else is doing.
And if you can, be funny/humorous about it.  You don't have to be a stand-up comedian --

just a little funny will seem hilarious compared with most of the somber stuff out there.  :-)
7.) Participate in blog hops
These are similar to link parties and specifically set up to help you find new blogs to follow (and hopefully have others find your blog too).
Go to Google, write in Blog Hops, and get started.
8.) . Write guest posts on other blogs
Individually, guest posts aren’t a big deal, but if you start posting dozens of them across a single niche, people start to recognize your name,
which means they’ll be more likely to check our your blog.
9.)  Comment on other blogs consistently
One comment isn’t going to get you much traffic,
but if you become part of a community, others who are fans of the blog will start to recognize your name. 
10.) Mention other bloggers
If you can’t interview others, at least mention them on your blog, and don’t be afraid to let them know when they’ve been mentioned.
Alex Cavanaugh is great at this and at having guest-posters and letting his blog be a spotlight for other writers.
I've written entire posts that sprang from a blogger comment to another post and linked their blog in my post.


  1. Some good tips here, Roland. It gets harder and harder to come up with interesting ideas and new angles for posts. I certainly agree a little humour can go a long way. I only caught Word War Z a few days ago so your picture there caught my eye. Will check out your hop details.

  2. Both Alex and you, Roland, are great examples of many of your points.

    I agree with titles and content being important. A title is the first hook. I prefer quality or wit and not so much the chatty 'why I didn't write a post' post.

    Certain things that I look for (like images) put others off. Some people like blocks of text only. One even said images clutter up the post (this during the A to Z challenge). We all have our own tastes.

    Good Luck with your blogfest! Don't know if I'll be able to participate. I'll try to support your effort in other ways, if not.

  3. Thanks for the mention! I try.
    Being one of the first with news really isn't that difficult. I just note things as I find them and them post them all in the Ninja News. If you're looking, you will find things of interest.
    Great tips, Roland!

  4. Suzanne:
    Yes, interesting ideas are hard. But if they were easy to conjure, everyone would do it! I hope you join my blogfest. You have the whole month of October to talk of your scariest book and what you think of my idea of doing a Serial Trilogy. :-)

    All you have to do is post sometime during October on the book that unsettled you as a child or as an adult -- and just mention my blogfest. You can juggle it however you wish. I'm easy.

    Thanks for the kind words on my blog. :-)

    Being first is hard -- being one of the first is a bit easier for me!

    Thanks for all your help! Best of luck with CASSASTORM!!

  5. Good tips, Roland! The one thing I struggle with where my blog is concerned is connecting with the readers who don't leave comments -- the non-bloggers. How do I know what speaks to them?

  6. I've joined in this blogfest, Roland, even though I'm a scaredy-cat in some instances. Maybe reading a lot of scary stuff (gothic literature) may be just what I need.

    It's something we do for friends - face our fears! AND I did like Edgar Allen Poe's stories.

  7. Milo:
    Look at what is heating the headlines or the conversations between teachers at your school. What issues are important or nagging to you apart from your writing? Haven't you noticed the sense in so many around you that the world has started spiraling downwards into chaos? Write on that and other issues you can imagine being common to the adult browsing the web in search of answers.

    I'm a big scaredy cat -- you should have seen me on the streets of New Orleans after Katrina with no lights!

    Gothic literature can be fun. In END OF DAYS, I have Renfield teach from DRACULA, saying that since it is written in the form of assorted excerpts from journals and newspapers that it is much like life -- the reader must piece together the full picture which is denied him/her ... just like life forces all of us to do!

    Thanks for joining the blogfest. Steven was feeling lonely!

  8. Great tips. You forgot using tags with every post - I can't believe how many writers don't tag their posts yet search engines index tags and they are calculated by Google's super-secret algorithm. I started a paranormal dictionary on my blog, and even thought it is a work in progress it has been drawing in a fair amount of traffic.

  9. Steven:
    A paranormal dictionary sounds fun. I did forget tags. I stopped using them when Blogger changed formats. Thanks for reminding me!

  10. Great thoughts, Roland. I try to do those things when I remember to!

  11. great solid advice... it's getting more difficult to be seen... the one thing i find that works the best is in the titles, trending titles bring in the numbers. googling your site to see where you sit is good to.

  12. Creepy Query Girl:
    Thanks. I only they help my friends!

    MaMa seals might be paying you a visit now -- or GreenPeace!

    Yes, sometimes we just write our hearts in our posts -- and that is not a bad thing. :-)

  13. Jeremy:
    I googled my site to see where I was sitting. It was behind the 8 Ball. Ouch! Going with titles that link to what is going on in the culture's consciousness at the moment does, indeed, help. Thanks. See you Wednesday!

  14. Yes, Roland, I am afraid the tour posts are all beginning to look the same. Unfortunately we can't all be Alex —bad for us but good for him. :)

    You offer some excellent advice. I also wish there was a way to cut down on the repetitiveness of these posts. I only get out and about in the blogosphere one day a week, and there are days I'll visit twenty blogs, and eighteen of them have the same tour post. I'm not certain that benefits the blogger, the author, or blog readers.

    VR Barkowski

  15. VR:
    I'm not certain either. I think let others offer summation of the book. After all the posts, the synopsis is something everyone knows. Give a new insight into the author. Sigh. I wish I had the answers. I just have the questions. :-)