Since starting Average Jane Crafter two years ago (what!? look at that! I missed an anniversary ... again! heh!) I've been lucky enough to connect with fantastic crafters all over the world, I've had the privilege to receive review copies of dozens of awesome craft books and products, and I've somehow landed the dream job to end all dream jobs (for a craft blogger) of blogging for Craftzine.com.
I've had a lot of people email me and ask things like, "How did you do it? What are your tips? How can I get a larger audience on my blog? How can I get more followers on Twitter? How can I get/do/accomplish more!?"
I'm always kind of stumped by those questions. My gut reaction is to just say, "Uh .... have fun? Do what you love? Be nice to people?" And, at the very basic level, that's how I've done it.
I realize, though, that folks are looking for a more structured, thorough answer than just "have fun," and now I can now point them to the second book in Diane Gilleland's blogging e-book series: Creating a Blog Audience: An unconventional marketing guide.
I reviewed Diane's first e-book on blogging (Making a Great Blog) over on Craftzine, and any time someone asks me about starting a blog, the first thing I tell them to do is purchase that e-book. I think it should be required reading for any blogger.
Creating a Blog Audience carries the same prestige. I can't tell you how many bloggers I've come across who could benefit from the golden information Diane shares about how to build a blog audience. What I love about her premise is that at the root of it all, building a blog audience boils down to being a strong member of the crafting community.
One thing that I love about Diane is her ability to hone in on the specific roadblocks that face bloggers. She's exceptional at being able to get bloggers to focus, to think clearly and to move ahead with purpose.
She starts the e-book off by getting bloggers to sit down and truly think about why they want a bigger blog audience (she even has a set of worksheets that help guide readers through the process of figuring all this out). Diane's approach is all about engagement marketing, a new way of marketing that builds relationships and connections and growth through genuine partnerships. As she says, "A little genuine friendliness goes a very long way in the blog world."
Some of the highlights of the e-book for me are the following:
- exploring "not being nice just to get something"
- her 3 rules of blogging success
- the single most important thing you can do to promote your blog
- commenting on other blogs, and how not to comment
In this age of rampant sharing, ideas and techniques are like air - they're everywhere and free for everyone. You will not prosper by trying to clamp down on your creativity. You will prosper by being open and striving to build relationships.She also has great sections on participating in online forums, building your blog archives, connecting with other bloggers and submitting links to large crafting web sites.
Remember, the craft blogosphere is a community. If you treat people like potential friends, you'll have a much better experience and make many more connections. If you treat people as merely potential customers, you'll mostly turn them off.Even if your goal is not necessarily to build a huge audience, make money or land a dream job, the lessons laid out in Creating a Blog Audience are valuable for any blogger. Heck, many of the lessons are valuable just on the being-a-good-human-being level!
I've said it a million times before, Diane is my craft guru. Her writing is clear, simple, easy to read and follow and filled will a million gold nuggets. Grab your copy of Creating a Blog Audience (and Making a Great Blog if you don't already have it) today.