So you can read my books

Sunday, March 23, 2014


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. All excellent points, Roland! (And thanks for the kind mention.) Still haven't mastered the blog titles yet, but working on it.
    Filling a gap and doing something different can be one and the same if it's a passion of yours.

  2. Interesting. How right you are about Alex who reaches out to people in every post.
    I have been awed and amazed at the warmth and the wonder I find in the blogosphere and value the connections I have made. Most of the people I interact with I will never see, but they have a place in my heart.
    I am obviously lucky - because I don't think I follow any of these guidelines (sensible as they are).

  3. Alex:
    I think it is best if doing something different and filling a gap is the same thing as you say!

    Always glad to point folks your way!

    Elephant's Child:
    Ah, but you give us those lovely photographs and glimpses of your equally lovely spirit. :-)

    The blogverse is a great place, isn't it?

  4. Much like the blurb on the back of a book-jacket, you have to play fair and have your content match the eye-grabbing headline.

    You're like a wise old owl, Roland :)

  5. Wendy:
    Hoo, ah, I meant, who me?

    I couldn't resist. :-)

    I loved the seal's stealing the photo opp on your blog!

  6. I think a strong title pulls in more readers, I know it catches my attention. I also look for content, and I love images, if only to break up text. Formatting for eye appeal helps too.

    What brings me back the most - are the bloggers who reciprocate, and talk to their readers, not at them.

  7. Interesting tidbits here. Getting noticed...always the fruit that's just out of reach. As a kid I was getting in trouble...but I was getting noticed. Maybe I need to realign my actions to those of my youth!
    Thanks for some great ideas/help here. (And Alex Cavanaugh just blows me away with what he's able to do and accomplish.)

  8. D.G.:
    A strong title always snares my eyes on a book or a post. I try to have images on every post, like you said, to avoid eye boredom!

    People are the key in blogs and in our books. If we can amuse in our posts, hopefully, our readers may think our books will be equally as entertaining!

    I see my visitors as guests and try to repay their visits with visits of my own -- although my rare blood courier job makes that last a real challenge!!

    I'm just back home after 11 hours straight. Whew!

    Getting noticed is hard with everyone shouting BUY ME! Getting readers angry may draw attention, but I doubt it will produce many sales! Better to make them laugh or at least feel welcome!

    Alex is a juggernaut of blogdom. Me -- I'm just a minnow in a very big cyber sea!!

    I hope high sales come your way!!

    Thanks for visiting and staying to comment. :-)

  9. Hi Roland .. you've set it out clearly .. blogging is definitely not me, me, me ... and finding an interesting niche or angle that stands out.

    My post titles are quite nebulous sometimes - thankfully my readers know me and don't mind - I just don't want to the world to come knocking! I should do I know - when the time is right I'll do it?!

    11 hours on the road and couriering blood is tough .. I hope you've healed up and are still taking time to heal .. all the best Hilary

  10. Hillary:
    Yes, 11 hours takes it out of me for sure! I always love your posts although my limited time denies me ability to visit you and my other friends. :-(