You have probably clicked on this post because it started with ’10 reasons why…”. You would have clicked on the link even sooner if I had put the words ‘dating’, ‘you never knew’ or ‘that will change your life’ in it too. Whether you’re aware of it or not, you’re falling for tricks that are created in the marketing world and are adopted by blogging community. And frankly, I’ve had quite enough of it.
Blogs are popular. What started as an online diary is now a collection of communities, a place where you can get lost for hours, yet only read the posts that take you less than a minute. I’ve had a blog since I was 12, and I’m currently publishing about 2 posts a week. I love blogging, but I do have my questions about the methods that are used to get more readers, followers or subscribers.
Because there are so many blogs around, you have to do something that makes you stand out. People nowadays are being flooded with information, they simply can’t digest much more. So to make people click on your link and read what you wrote, can be quite a challenge. Marketing strategies come in handy here, because there are many easy tricks that makes your blog post more attracting. I’ve already mentioned the catchy title, but also the time of publishing and the frequency of posting is important. When you post something 2 to 3 times a week, around 8 o’clock in the evening, you will most likely have the most viewers. Find a ‘trending topic’ and put a scandalous opinion about it in the first few sentences, preferably in harsh words and with a mocking joke. You don’t have to agree with that first statement, the rest of the article leaves plenty of room to soften it up and state your real opinion with all its nuances. After all, that first statement is not about truth, it’s only for getting their attention. Oh, and don’t forget to add lots of pictures, use not too many words (500 max) and have ‘screenable’ layout – and watch those stats go up.
I could go on and on, the lists of tips and tricks are endless. I’m someone who does everything 100% or not at all, so it’s fair to say that I take blogging serious. I did my research and have found it useful. But there’s one big problem I have with all these things. You, as a blogger, can get lost in the stats and forget what it really is about.
I don’t write what others want to read, I write because I have a voice. I write because I believe I have something valuable to say. I write because I love it. I write because I want to inspire, encourage and stir up thoughts. I blog because I believe in sharing your heart, voice and passion. I named this blog ‘open horizons’, because I want to explore the wisdom of heaven and the unique experiences on earth – and I want to take my reader with me on this journey.
Of course, I feel the temptation to only write about traveling or only post pictures, because those are my most popular posts. And sometimes I do use some helpful tricks, because it makes me happy when people read my stuff. After all, I have plenty of personal journal that I could fill if I was the only person I was writing for. But I believe that I don’t have to use tricks and strategies to manipulate people into reading my blog. If I’m a good writer – which I aspire to become – my articles will be read. It’s that simple.
So since I’m getting tired of all the posts about ‘how to become successful in what you do’ and ’15 things you never knew about dating’, here’s my call to all the bloggers, writers, authors and people who should become one of them:
Write what YOU would want to read, not what others want you to say.
And now to finish off with another ‘trick’ that makes people comment and stick around, I will ask you a question, but only because I’m genuinely curious about your opinion:
“(In what way) Do you let your stats influence your blog and why?”