That's exactly what is happening to me at this very moment. Last night, I was invited to the house of a friend to talk with her father, a wonderful writer, about how to enhance his online profile, to improve the presentation of his existing blog and to attract more readers to his beautiful prose.
We had a wonderful discussion and I believe both my friend and her father felt they got good value for the time they invested in speaking with me.
The problem is, although I believe very firmly in every suggestion I made to them, I have come to the realization that I personally implement almost none of these excellent suggestions in my own work. It's really quite amazing: do as I say, not as I do.
In preparation for the discussion, I had read over most of the entries on his existing blog site, which has not been updated in some time. I was impressed with just how beautifully this man writes, how broad and creative is his vocabulary, how vivid his descriptions and how expansive his literary knowledge. This is wonderful writing and well worthy of a broader audience.
I also studied the site itself and how his work was presented. And I came away with a deep respect for his work as well as a number of suggestions on how to present it more effectively.
Among my comments and suggestions:
- Don't change your writing style to attempt to attract a larger audience -- write what and how you love and have faith in the quality of your writing to attract the right audience, an audience that can appreciate what you already do so beautifully;
- Include more images -- several of his posts include photographs and others include simply wonderful examples of his wife's creative endeavours (sketches and pastels) to complement the subject matter of his post. I think it is no coincidence that these posts, in general, attract the most attention and the most comments so I recommended that he try to include visuals consistently with each post, especially at the top of each entry;
- Add new entries on a consistent basis, at least once per week, so that, as readers find and enjoy the blog, they can get into a pattern of visiting on a regular basis, confident in the knowledge that they will find something new to read on each visit;
- Create an email list, to which he can send the link to each new entry as it is posted, and ask people to add their name to that list when they first visit the site;
- Be active on Facebook, Twitter and other forms of social media in order to build a network, make more contacts and give himself more avenues to promote his blog;
- Use the front page of the blog site to promote the fact that he hopes someday to produce a book of his writings -- create interest in that project early and see if it helps propel the book into reality;
- Promote himself (and his artist wife), both on the blog site and in social media, since people will often want to read your work if they feel they know, like and/or respect you.