Grandpa was always a bit miffed when he was asked the question.
“How long does it take you to complete a painting?” The unsuspecting admirer would ask him.
Grandpa might have been miffed but he never showed it. “Oh, about 3 or 4 days,” he would say calmly with a small smile.
One day he turned and looked at me. “You know what I really want to say?”
“What Grandpa?” I jumped from my seat to stand next to him.
“50 years. It took me 50 years to paint that painting.”
He walked away and I looked after him. I went back and looked again at “La Cinqua Terra,” a beautiful rendition of the famous Italian seaside.
It took me a while to figure out what Grandpa meant. I have never forgotten that conversation.
Just like Grandpa, an incredibly gifted and hardworking artist, I now know that where we are today is a result of all of our yesterdays. Most of us don’t get to the level of professional or create the ideal recipe after a few tries.
Just like anything else, building your readership on your blog and website takes time, effort, trial, progress and reflection.
You and I won’t get the results we want until some effort is put in and we find out what works and what doesn’t.
With that said, here are 9 ways you can trial and error with to see what helps you.
- Read other’s blogs and leave relevant, specific comments. It’s o.k. to leave your url if you really leave something of value. “Great post,” doesn’t count as a comment of value.
- Congratulate people on their wins, whether it is the release of a book, a new website, an industry award or other recognition. Twitter is a great place to give shout outs.
- Use social media to thank your vendors. You can use direct messages (private) or publicly acknowledge them. Few people take the time to genuinely thank someone. This helps in relationship building with your professional peers.
- Are your posts sharable? Fans and interested customers should not have to work to promote YOUR work. Go to www.sharethis.com to grab pins to enable your customers, fan and friends to share your work via twitter, email, google plus, facebook, pinterest, etc.
- Utilize a story within your blog posts. People will remember a story more than they will remember facts. If they remember it, people will talk about it!
- Use Google Analytics or other measurement tools to see what others are saying about you on the web. If others are reposting your blog posts, grabbing your articles from ezine.com or other sites, thank them!
- Request to be a guest blogger on a site you admire. Make sure to include a bio that has a link back to your own site.
- Follow people in your niche. Stay on top of current trends and topics of discussion. Include those topics in your posts when they pertain to your readers.
- Post fairly regularly. We all have bad weeks (or months!) but make sure those bad weeks are the exception. Be consistent in your writing.
Remember, it all comes down to building relationships. The online world is just as much about building relationships as our offline world, maybe more.
Build relationships, keep interacting, and stay relevant and interesting. Most of all, be generous with your content and help.
It will take some time, but you will get there. You will find the style, your groove, what your audience wants and your own voice.
And just like my grandpa, you will have people asking you how you were able to get so good.