Every once in a while, I take a look into blog and/or podcast promotion and am always extremely disappointed by what I find. I write and podcast because I enjoy it, it’s a hobby and I don’t really measure my success by hits, although to be honest, I do surprisingly well, at least here on the blog, on those rare occasions I bother paying attention to the numbers. However, where I am always stumped with regard to blogging is what I can do to get the word out to people who are going to come and be dedicated readers of my content.
See, that’s the thing, I don’t want random eyes who will appear once and never be seen again. I want people who will come back day after day, week after week, because they want to read what it is that I’m writing. That’s why I totally reject sites like Reddit and StumbleUpon because those do not produce the kind of readers that I’m looking for, they produce a burst of hits, people who are just grazing the Internet, with very few worthwhile quality visitors.
I find I really have two fundamental problems and it’s somewhat surprising what they are:
1. I’m not selling anything. Online promotion is generally focused on people trying to make a buck, particularly through ad revenue. They all want eyes and clicks, they don’t care about their content. You will notice that there isn’t a single ad on the Bitchspot Blog, nor do we have any ads on the Bitchspot Report Podcast. Our YouTube channel is not monetized and never will be. Every single time I have gone to an SEO forum or group or community to ask what to do, I am either met with crickets as soon as they realize I’m not selling something, or with derision. Apparently the only reason to have hits on the Internet is to make money. If you’re not trying to stampede everyone you can find to your site to make a buck, they don’t want to talk to you. I suppose that’s not surprising because their only methods revolve around writing attractive crap that makes the search engines sit up and take notice because you’re stuffing every trending keyword into your content that you can. I don’t just want eyes, I want the right eyes. I’m not going to modify my content for people who will not appreciate it. Another suggestion is to run around to all of the most popular blogs and whore yourself out in their comments. Why would I do that? Believe it or not, I actually read blogs because I like their content, not because I want to self-promote. There isn’t a blog that I visit where I don’t personally respect and enjoy what is written. If you’re on my blog short-list, it’s because I find you interesting, not because you get a lot of hits. Content matters, in fact, it not only matters, it’s everything. I am not going to go to a blog I hate and post there because I want to milk their success. It’s not going to happen. I’m not a dishonest little shit and maybe that’s my problem, most of these marketing gurus have zero integrity, honesty or virtue. They just want a paycheck. I guess I’m just too moral for them.
2. I honestly do not have the time to spend the majority of my day finding readers. This seems to be an issue and I somewhat touched on it above. I have no time, nor interest, in running around posting comments on the “big fish” blogs, in hopes that some of the smaller fish will follow me home. I also don’t have time to be creating new content for every social media site on the planet. It’s bad enough that I’m on Facebook, Google+, Tumblr and Twitter and my posts and podcasts do go to each and every one of them, but somehow, I’m expected to go through each of these sites and create new and special content, just for that site? Who has time for that? Honestly, I find Facebook so utterly pointless that I may not actually log on for months on end, usually I’ll only bother because I get an e-mail that someone has left a comment or given me a like. Google+ is somewhat better, at least they have communities that I can interact in, but even though I have identities there for the blogs and the podcast, it does very little to actually funnel readers back to the blog, which is what I really want. I think that I have spread myself far too thin already, having to juggle the relatively few social network sites I do and there are dozens more that I could be on but I don’t think they’d give me any better rate of return than I already get. I’d actually be much happier deleting my Facebook account, getting off Twitter and spending 95% of my time here but you don’t get found that way, do you?
There just doesn’t seem to be any way to reasonably do what I want to do, to find those dedicated return readers that care what I have to say. Maybe they don’t exist, far too many people have a short attention span online after all and I’m alone in my interest to cultivate long-term fans. I know I’m not alone in this, I’ve watched vjack over on the Atheist Revolution post plenty of articles in his search to find the worthwhile reader too, it’s just sad that for people who produce so much content and I hope that it’s good content, a lot of us get rewarded with relatively few hits, especially compared to those who are loaded chock-full of ads, selling books and whoring themselves out for SEO.
Damn I hate being one of the few respectable, responsible and honest bloggers out there.