For those of you who have been reading my words about faith and life for the last few years, the following piece might not be, how shall we say, riveting? The focus of what I share below is mainly directed to other writers and bloggers~
At the beginning of the year, God gave me the word ‘Adjust.’ Boy, has it been an apt descriptor of 2017 (and it’s only May!) Part of that adjusting has been to refine the purpose of my blog–I recently changed the tagline to read, “Encouraging Readers to Find their Voice & Deepen their Faith”. (For those subscribers reading via email, you’ll have to click on over to my blog to see it. I’ll wait.)
My passion IS encouraging other writers to find their voice. Over the 5 years I’ve been blogging, although I’ve no great numbers of followers as the blogsphere goes (I almost typed ‘glogosphere’), what I do have is rich relationships with once invisible friends. And, as a blessing and a bonus, the reach of my words has grown little by little.
Like every other good thing grows–little by little.
Blogging for me has always been about people, not platforms. The apostle Paul’s admonition is to “grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” That’s where I want to spend my efforts.
So–here are 5 tips on how to grow the reach of your words and your readers:
- Talk like yourself–No one else has your voice, your vision or your view. (click on the ‘Categories’ tab above to find other posts On Voice). We don’t need any copies or clones, we need YOU–your experience in life is the lens that shows us what you see–and we want to see it, too.
- Cast a wide net--submit work in multiple places. Here is a list of four places to start with. Scatter joy, as the saying goes, and see where it lands. For a random writer like myself, this is a good approach. If you’re more linear and like deadlines and sequence, still, looking at other places to submit your work is a good idea. One of my new favorite sites for moms is Kindred Mom, facilitated by Emily Allen.
- Comment on the blogs you follow–(I only follow a handful of people whose voices add to my life–you need to decide who those people are for you.) Over time, writers notice who’s showing up each week to weigh in and leave comments and connections are formed. Connections often lead to relationships and readers come through relationships.
- Participate in Link-ups to meet other writers/bloggers. Weekly ones that I like are Faith on Fire–Lyli Dunbar’s blog and ‘Faith-Filled Friday’ at Missional Women. (Links are below). The guest host/blogger has a particular day that everyone gets to post their week’s work and you can usually add your piece during the week. The protocol is to visit the ‘neighbor’ on either side of your link and leave an encouraging word. These writers will often return the favor, reading your work and commenting. When I began blogging 5 years ago I met many, many people this way, some of whom are actual, real life friends. Comments come through connections.
- Engage on social media–Twitter, Instagram, Facebook. I originally thought Twitter had less than redemptive qualities, but changed my mind after going to a panel at a Writer’s Conference where the process was de-mystified for me. The beauty of Twitter is that conversations are 140 characters (not words) long–quick, quick, quick. Once you choose who (m?) to follow (VERY important) it’s like being at a child’s birthday party or high school reunion, with conversations going on 24/7 and you drop in at any time. Instagram is the quieter, gentler version of Facebook and people are vewy, vewy quiet….but it’s a beautiful place to meet people and enjoy some remarkable photography. (Instagram only works on phones and tablets, not computers, by the way.) If you’re not sure how it’s set up, find a teenager. Once you have an account, you will be able to also search for people to follow, who may in turn decide to follow you. Facebook is well, Facebook, and if you can manage the time you’re on there–a constant battle–it has a tremendous upside to it. The upside for me is the virtual connections that come via conversations which open the door to being able to speak into peoples’ lives–much like real life.