I'm just a guy who loves to blog and feels like I have something to say in the sports world. Take the advice for what it's worth...
By Rich Winter
I started blogging on Sportsblog in April of 2013. During those first few months I did ok, mostly in the top-ten while Sportsblog was in it's infancy.
Early on I was putting up numbers like 6000 maybe 7000 people and I looked around at those people in the 30k and 40 k range and wondered aloud just how they were getting the reads that they did.
Several times I ventured out of my comfort zone and asked about five people - Can you offer any advice on how to get more reads?
Chirp - Nothing - Nada, no one ever wanted to share.
In fact, I was a pretty silent person on this site...didn't interact with anyone and just kinda did my own thing.
And then this little youngster named Jake Elman started interacting with me. So, I started interacting with him and reading his stuff and asking some advice and offering some as I went along.
I guess what I'm trying to say is I don't wanna be that guy that never tries to offer help. Several guys along the way have asked me that same question, and I've always answered them...Ask Vincent Trombley..
At any rate, someone asked me the other day how I got so many reads...so, here ya go...This is my advice, take it or leave it. I'm not saying my blog is all that, I'm just sharing with you what I've learned.
1. Interact with others both on Sportsblog and twitter - Read some of the other blogs that are being churned out on this site and interact with the blogger. Nothing is more satisfying that getting a compliment from one of your fellow bloggers or even a hint of criticism. The other day I got a twitter message from Blog of Sports - He is No. 3 on the site and I'm no 2. He told me that on my start em / sit em pieces I should bold more headlines so that it would be easier to see. Point taken. Make sure you are tweeting and favoriting other people's stuff on twitter but also make sure you're reading their stuff or at least skimming it.
2. Twitter - My twitter account got stuck at 150 for quite a while and I just didn't feel like I knew how to use it. One of the things that I found helped grow my followers was to again, interact with others. Go into the main page of twitter once in a while and comment on people's stuff. Disagree, start a conversation but let those people know who you are.
3. Don't be offended by criticism - I make a lot of spelling mistakes and grammatical errors and nothing stings worse than someone coming along that says your blog sucks it's unreadable. That's good criticism...It means they read your blog and they were a little pissed that you didn't clean it up all the way. I have gotten into so many squabbles on twitter, it's actually funny. Some of them had to go because they started the 'you're a moron or what a dumbass conversation.'
This is what I do when someone tells me I'm wrong or stupid on twitter. I favorite their remark and I ask them why they said what they did. Most of the time if you can get past the first bit of negativity you'll end up with someone who reads your stuff.
Remember - Even if they're offering up criticism they're reading your stuff. Controversey starts conversation...take criticism with a grain of salt.
4. Write about stuff that is a bit controversial - Sometimes I look at some of the blogs and I go, wow, seen that, done that. Don't blog about what everyone else is blogging?
Write stuff that appeals to certain fan bases?
A. Is Eric Weddle (Chargers) the best safety in football and then tweet that to Charger fans
B. Is Geno Smith a franchise QB - and then let Jets Nation here you defend your thesis.
C. Is RG3's career over - OOOOH, that will get the Redksins fans fired up.
Putting a little controversy in there invites criticism but it also draws readers.
I wrote a peice a while ago titled - "Did the New England Patriots knowingly harbour a murderer" or something like that...I thought Patriots fans were gonna track me down and kill me...But, others, people that hate the Patriots, got in there and defended my article.
I think it got like 4000 reads.
5. Write about stuff you like - I blog a lot. I try to keep various audiences interested in what I do. I write about Native American Sports in South Dakota because that's where I'm from. I write some Utah prep sports because that's where I live. I write about college football in Utah and about NFL football and other college football stuff. I'll be writing NBA soon because I love that also.
I try to send my stuff only to fans of the sport or event that I'm talking about. I love fantasy football and have really cashed in on a great niche of followers that love the fantasy stuff.
6. Apologize when you make a mistake and admit when you're wrong - I think admitting your wrong or human sometimes let's other people know that you're not afraid to step up to the plate and admit you musta been out of your mind for a minute...
7. Social Media tips - Don't blow your Facebook family up with your blog. I made that mistake and from time to time I got unfriended because people don't like you sharing on their timeline. I've changed to sending people Facebook messages if it's something near and dear to their heart. I created some facebook pages for my Panic Button and I had people subscribe to them if they wanted to.
Twitter is your friend...Learn how to use it and be active on it. I tweet every article of mine out to about 30 people...but I make sure that it pertains to an interest of theirs...I wrote a story about BYU football today and I didn't send it to my fantasy football buddies. Don't over-kill connections on twitter or send them to much of your stuff.
8. Don't check the status of your blog every 5 minutes...it will drive you crazy.
That's it, that's my advice...that's what I do...Who know, maybe I'm doing it all wrong.
I've been with this site for 18 months and it has served both as a bit of part-time income and a created outlet for all that I have to say.