Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Growing an Audience Organically

When I started this thing three years ago, it was an outlet for my creative need and desire to keep everyone in touch what happened to us when we move to Florida.

Since then, the thirst for an audience has grown. When someone mentioned NaBloPoMo, I signed up (and wondered if I was crazy for getting into the daily writing thing.) Two months later, Blog365 appeared and I got hooked in. Then, emboldened by the positive feedback, I stopped hiding the blogging from all but a small group of people and a bunch of my online friends began reading, too.

Each event a blogger participates in brings more like minded people and if you're lucky, more readers and more feedback. That's getting better, too. I do wonder what is considered a good percentage of comments, though. Five percent? Ten percent?

I'm now hovering just over the goal I had to take the blog to self hosted, around fifty readers a day. Of course, this means I want more readers, lol. The organic growth got me from about a half dozen to 50 in three years, which is pretty darn good.

This year, though, I want to grow it more and happened to fall into other communities, ones created by bloggers and for bloggers. Instead of feeling like I might find a handful in a forum that know what I'm talking about, they ALL do. In the past month, I've learned more about improving the blog and growing my audience, as well as what goals I'm shooting for.

One of the things that I see many of these other bloggers doing that I haven't is product reviews and giveaways. It sounded great, but I didn't know how to go about getting those products to review. I thought they were ponying up the money to pay for those producs. Now I know better and know how to go about getting going in that arena. After twenty years of writing employee performance reviews, I think it'll be good to apply those concepts to writing about products.

This motivated me to start a separate blog, one for reviews and giveaways. So far, it's got two reviews, one of a service I tried this past weekend and the other of a cookware line I adore. More will go up over on that site in the next week or two, then I'll link in the blogroll. Eventually, the two will merge when I jump to self hosted sometime this year.

So, a question for you, my readers. Do you prefer that my reviews are their own separate entity, or should they be integrated within this blog?

3 People talked back:

ligirl said...

I know absolutely nothing about this stuff...but I think Amalah has a nice setup. You know how you go to her main blog but there are links to the other stuff she does?

Joyce-Anne said...

I have no idea. Does Grandy link to her other blog? Maybe it's the thing to do.

Suzanne said...

Donna, eventually, when I'm self hosted, it'll be similar to Amy's blog in the framework. The difference is that she doesn't do reviews-so it will be a www.reviews.whatevernamethebloggets.com. Separate but easy to access.

Joyce, Grandy does link to her other blog. Once I've got a bigger body of reviews, I'll link it. Hmmm, should probably review the camping gear that we love this weekend. More reasons to make sure the camera is charged!