Saturday, 26 October 2013

If They Haven't Heard It, You Haven't Said It



How to get more people to read your blog posts using Triberr

Over at Ruby Barnes my blog has been running for two and a half years. In that time I’ve had around 183,000 page views across 161 posts. After a hesitant start I found my pace with several different posts about life observations, the writing process and first experiences with social media. But my carefully crafted posts fell upon deaf internet ears. I was shouting in the wilderness, like a mad preacher. Big excitement when five people looked at my blog in one day. It seems like a lifetime ago.

A man named Harvey Thomas once said “If they haven’t heard it, you haven’t said it.” (He was the guy who advised a budding politician named Margaret Thatcher to lower her voice by an octave. What if he hadn’t?) Harvey's truism was shared before the internet was widespread but it summarises what social media is all about i.e. sharing messages you consider to be worthwhile is necessary to reach your audience.

At time of writing 500 page views is an average day on the Ruby Barnes blog. I’m not talking about selling books here (for example The New Author), rather about the effective broadcasting of readerly, writerly and I’m an interesting person blog posts. At the beginning I tried a lot of things to attract people to my blog. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) was effective but I’m a non-expert and some posts attracted a lot of people looking for elephants. My real-life writer friends weren’t interested in some old blog by the class joker. I had a very small facebook circle and less than fifty RubyBarnes twitter followers. Blog visits were hard to come by. But like my protagonist, John Baptist, I’m evangelical in everything I do (though, unlike JB, I’m not a serial killer preparing for the Second Coming.) Determined to drive traffic to my musings, I persevered with facebook posts and tweets. Those had some impact but it was short-lived. With a day job, young family, active sports and music hobbies, and several writing projects on the go, I was going crazy and spreading myself too thin. Then a fellow writer suggested I join their Triberr tribe. WTF?

It took me a while to understand what Triberr was about and that’s why I’m going to try and explain it here for those who are interested in getting a wider blog audience for free. The idea is simple. You join a group of people who also have a blog. Ideally you’re all like-minded with similar blogging interests. There are a few settings to go through which will connect your blog and social media (usually twitter but facebook and LinkedIn can also be connected - I recommend to just use twitter) to the group. When you next post something on your blog it will appear on Triberr for the other group members. When they approve your blog post it will automatically go out on their twitter (or facebook, LinkedIn if enabled). Okay, nice bunch of friends. Tribemates, as we say on Triberr. You might get, what? Half a dozen people sharing your blog post? Big swinging Mickeys, as we say in Ireland. Well, there’s more.

A Tribe has up to thirty members. A good Tribe will get you around fifteen shares of your blog post. Each tribemate has their own twitter followers (there will be some overlap between members). Your blog posts will be tweeted by your tribemates to their twitter followers. I’m in 9 tribes with 96 tribemates. Between us we have 856,000 twitter followers. My blog post will be tweeted to some proportion of those 856,000 twitter followers and some of them will visit my blog. Those twitter followers are global, different countries, different time zones. This has to be better than just me tweeting my blog post to the 6,600 Ruby Barnes twitter followers. And guess what, it is.

The importance of making your blog post title work well as a tweet

A masterpiece of a blog post, expounding ground-breaking theories. A brilliant book review wrapped up in masterly SEO. A tempting snippet from your latest piece of fiction. All worth visiting the blog and reading, but no one will do that unless you tease them in with your blog title. This applies in general but in particular to blogpost sharing on twitter. And when tribemates share your blog post the title should entice them to do so. Regarding length, a blog post that fits on one line of your blog is about right. Triberr will add a goo.gl shortlink to the title and your twitter name e.g. Serial Killer Makeover for The Baptist goo.gl/VlfWGs via @Ruby_Barnes. You could also include a hashtag in the blog post title if relevant e.g. #bookreview #Goodreads #free.

The added benefits of Triberr
As well as getting global shares in different time zones for your blogposts via twitter, there are a few major additional pluses.
1. If you reduce your blogpost to a title that works really well as a tweet then it will get favorited, retweeted and even replied to on twitter.
2. New people will start to follow you on twitter. These will be people who are interested in your tweet and your blog content.
3. Of course you will get more page views for your blog post - that’s the whole point of Triberr - but you can leverage this for giveaways, mail list sign-ups, book launches etc.
4. It can be a major challenge to find good content for your twitter. Folks will soon get fed up if you send out the same tweets all the time with just one or two new blog posts every month. Triberr really helps with this and will save you a lot of time and effort. Your tribemates’ blogposts can make great twitter content for you. Just check them occasionally and you will soon start to trust their content. This can give you newsworthy, interesting tweets that add value for your twitter followers. You’ll also find new info through these tribemate blogposts if you read them yourself - writing advice, special offers, advertising opportunities, industry news, all kinds of insights.

So how do we do it?


Just a few simple steps. Here are some screenshots to open up a new account (caveat - these things change from time to time), but first log in to your twitter account before you get started on Triberr.

Step 1
Go to http://triberr.com and click top right to Register.


Step 2
On the pop-up screen enter your name, email and blog address, and click Sign Up.



Step 3
Click Login top right of the screen and then click, under Member Login, on Sign in with Twitter.



Step 4
Your Twitter avatar will appear top right of the screen. Click on Account > Settings > My Blogs > Edit and check your RSS Feed URL is in the box. If not then add it (more about details of your blog feed will be added in another post).



Step 5
You need to find a Tribe to join. If a tribe has been suggested by a friend then follow any link they send you. Otherwise you can search through the different categories of Tribe. Find one you like the look of, follow it and ask to become a member.



Step 6
Go to Account > Settings > My Blogs > Assign and assign your blog to the tribe you have joined.



Step 7
Go to your Triberr Stream every day (or whenever you can manage it) and you will see recent blog posts from your tribemates. (If you can’t see a Stream then Triberr has logged you out, so login again with Twitter.) If you hover over the green Share box then that blog post will automatically be fed out to your Twitter followers.



There are various other settings, including frequency of sharing to your twitter, changing from hover to click to Share, but you have the basics above. It’s well worth the initial effort. Things will never be the same again for your blog.

I’ll leave you with this thought. 

If someone stands alone in a forest and shouts, are they (a) not looking for an audience, (b) crazy or (c) angry with a tree?

9 comments:

Lee said...

Interesting. So has it made a significant difference in the number of books you sell?

@Ruby_Barnes said...

Hi Lee. Short answer - no. My blog posts are mostly not about my books. When I write posts about writing, social media etc then I do get increased sales of The New Author, but I don't think blog traffic translates into novel sales. Unless the novel has a particular topic and the blog posts follow that topic.

Chris Longmuir said...

I suppose it's all about creating a platform, getting yourself noticed, and your name recognized. After all, why bother writing blog posts if no one reads them? And surely if your name is recognized it will have some spin off for your books. Great post, Ruby.

JO said...

I've just had another go - and given up. I click things and they don't send me anywhere useful. And if it just gets people to click on my blog - does that show that they actually read anything? I take your point about punchy titles for blogs - to point people in the direction of my work, but fly-by people just to make my stats look good, I'm not sure where that gets me.

Louise Wise said...

Great post.

Triberr works by sharing your blog all over the world. Sometimes it'll get read, sometimes not--that will depend on your content. And punchy titles? Oh yes! The times I'm asked to share a blog post and the title comes up with 'Interview with Mr Smith' BORING!

Bill Kirton said...

Slowly the mists are beginning to clear thanks to your patience, postings such as this and the added expertise of Chris. I still can't see myself flitting from Tribber to Twitter to all the other sites with nonchalant ease but I know more now than I did when you mooted this idea, Ruby. Thanks for all the work on our behalf.

Lee said...

Thanks for the frank answer, Ruby. I don't blog much at the moment, but I do tweet a bit. Since I'm one of those traitorous types who gives all my fiction away for free (except for Amazon, because they won't let me), I'm unconcerned about sales - though I suppose nobody sniffs at a few more readers. Still, I'm trying to cut down on online time, not increase it, though at some point I may give triberr a 'tri' out of curiosity. In any case, I'm glad you've told us about it.

@Ruby_Barnes said...

Lee, I've found Triberr good for getting the word out about freebies. I give my books free as a welcome gift to people who join my mail list. Triberr has definitely brought people to my blog on that score. I also try to cut down my online time and Triberr plus something called Feed140 make things look like I'm much more active on twitter than I really am. I might use my AE slot next month to cover Feed140, it's brill!

Reb MacRath said...

Thanks, Ruby. A proper tribute will be posted shortly on the Private Page.