Marketblog_1First off, I want to share something that has been particularly useful to me. It’s like having mentors without asking people to mentor you. I call it finding good models. As a writer, I collect books, have a special shelf for them in my bookcase, that are good models to follow in doing something. Some are good examples of autobiography, some stylistic examples, some have parts that are especially good, such as an opening paragraph or opening sentence. All are there to show me how it’s done well. I study them to see how to do as well, or better.

I regularly blog surf, starting with a blog that I’m curious about, maybe then going to links on that blog, and hop scotching to others from there. Whenever I find a blog that has some element of excellence that appeals to me or that makes me curious I bookmark it to come back later for further study. If I like a design I may experiment with it on my own blog, innovate off it, or it may lead me to create something completely different, but that was prompted by what I saw on the blog I visited.

I encourage you to keep links to good writing examples, good design, innovative use of elements, anything that attracts you. Study them when you have a few minutes or want a break from what you’re doing, and you’ll gradually add to your own options and excellence in blogging.

Every blogger who does something well can be your teacher, at your convenience, and at no charge.

MarketblogI could title this series of posts something else, like maybe “Generating Traffic,” or “Getting People To Read Your Blog.” But, after reading a long and insightful guest post on by Tony Hung titled “How To Market Your Blog In 2007,” I think it is more useful to think of it as marketing. You’re actually selling your work online, even if you don’t get paid, just as you’re actually selling yourself when you apply for a job, or ask someone out on a date.

Thinking of getting readers and keeping them as marketing has a lot to offer. It moves the subject and tasks up a logical level and automatically widens the scope of options and possibilities you can discover and use.

So, the following series of posts (I don’t know how many that will be at this point, but a lot, so come back for more.) is all about marketing your blog, and that includes marketing your words, ideas, and a whole lot more. Use any of the following techniques and suggestions and you’ll increase your traffic. Use them all, and you will almost certainly create a huge increase in your reader base.