Q: Cool site….I am going to use this as my marketing inspiration page. Saw the reference on Murder Must Advertise.
I just started up (finally) on WordPress and wondering if you can suggest your top five ways to draw traffic there. I already do MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. but wondering what your thoughts are for making sure that your WordPress page stays clean and uncluttered but also builds a presence.
Here is my WordPress site: http://markhstevens.wordpress.com/
A: Mark –
Congratulations on starting your blog! These online journals are key to netting fans, who enjoy reading tidbits about their favorite authors' lives.
On blog traffic:
My good friend, Wade Lowrey, is the King of WordPress. I asked Wade for his own ultimate traffic tips for the site. Find out what he has to say in Top Five Ways To Drive Targeted Traffic To A Blog.
On blog design:
KISS. The cleaner the design, the easier the navigation and greater appeal. Use pages for blogrolls, bios, photographs, novel information and more. It is much easier to navigate a few page links than to scroll through hundreds of links in the navigation bar. Always remember to Keep It Simple. (And remind me to do the same!) YouTube now offers a video widget, but it is distracting and doesn't always provide the right content. Avoid busy widgets when you can. Be sure to add a ShareThis button and Feedburner RSS to the site.
Don't mix business with pleasure. Keep your links and posts professional. Don't share your political or religious views, unless they are the focus of your work. Steer clear of super personal information, unless you are comfortable with the world knowing about surgeries, births, or diseases. A good rule of thumb: If you don't discuss it over the dinner table, don't share it on your blog. Create a personal connection without TMI. Remember, publishers will look at your blogs, too. Drunken wedding photographs might not net you that major deal.
Search it well. Lijit offers a search widget that allows your readers to search all of your sites. Simply create an account and list all of the RSS fees from Facebook, Myspace, LinkedIn and other sites. This broadens your search appeal and sends fans to your other networks.
One of my favorite sites is Web Pages That Suck… and the accompanying books. You can use the information there to help create a clean blog. Google Worst Blog Design and see what people don't like in this Web 2.0 environment. It varies based on personal preference, so follow what your gut tells you to, and disregard the rest. Here is a link to some blog designs: