I am very excited to welcome you to my new blog.
Today is the launch day.
And leave a comment! Even if you privately consider yourself the sort of person who doesn’t leave comments, please read one of the new posts, and leave a quick comment.
Or download one of the free ebooks. Or join a writing course.
If you are a teacher, visit this essay about feedback and fencing.
If you are a fiction writer, visit this page.
If you write for your work, visit this page.
If you want to become a successful blogger, visit this amusing post.
If you would like to know what writing tools and apps I recommend, visit this page.
You may be wondering: why relaunch you blog? What’s the point of creating a grand new site?
After all, in the grand scheme of blogging, I am successful.
I have regular conversations with readers. Teachers adopt ideas from my posts into their syllabi. Academics quote my writing (not always positively). People email me month after month, saying I inspired them.
My readers even support me financially, through my Patreon.
And yet I still had these four problems.
Here they are, in a list:
- Everyone spends most of their time on fb.
- Most new people who visit your site never come back.
- It’s hard to provide extra value for your most committed readers.
- You aren’t making any money.
To explain how these problems work together: firstly, your potential readers are not surfing the web looking for interesting blogs to fall in love with. They are hanging out on Facebook, or Pinterest, or (maybe) Twitter / Linkedin.
So you have to struggle to get their attention and get them to click a link.
Secondly, most sites have a very high “bounce” rate. When you do get new readers, most of them appear, read one post, and leave, never to return.
Rather than stick around, they “bounce.”
(As an example: my posts have repeatedly been awarded a “Freshly Pressed” promotion from WordPress. Each time I received this honour, thousands of new visitors rushed over to visit. Amazing. And yet a day or two later, the blog’s traffic numbers returned to normal. The new readers checked out the site, commented, and departed.)
Thirdly — for the readers who do love your writing — it’s hard to reach out to them and offer them something extra. It’s hard to deepen that relationship or create something particularly useful for them.
Often, you don’t even know who they are. If they comment, you might have a name and an email address. But you don’t have an easy way to stay in touch.
Fourthly, a blog is free to read, and so it’s hard to make money from its (modest) success. And while this problem is perhaps not a big deal — many people write for free and are happy about it — over time, it eventually makes all the other problems worse.
The lack of an income drags down all the other aspects of your blog, because your time to write is necessarily limited.
Money Makes Everything Easier, Obviously
You could spend lots of time marketing your posts on Facebook. You could spend more time researching and planning great blog posts so that readers are more likely to stick around. You could create a cool Facebook group or Slack channel to build a community. You could devise intricate ways to advertise or build your Patreon.
But all of those things take time. And you need to be earning a living, and eating, and sleeping. Eventually, the lack of an income from the blog makes all the other problems worse.
Therefore, to run a more successful blog, I would need, somehow, to solve all four problems at once.
Want to know how I plan to do it?