Today’s tips are for a relatively new comedy blog called Eric’s Fake Fliers, that was launched by Connected Comedy reader Eric Johnson. The blog features photos of fake fliers that Eric’s created and posted in public places. Here’s an example:
I checked out the blog and came up with the following 5 Free Tips for Eric to help grow the site:
TIP #1: Encourage The Community To Participate In The Site
Photo blogs like this tend to work best when you allow your readers to contribute to the site by submitting their own photos. Even though you’re using this site as a way to ultimately gain new fans of your own comedy creations, it’s still a good idea to allow other fans to contribute to the site. You can (and should) curate any submissions you get from people so that only truly funny stuff goes on the site, but you should be open to including photos of fliers that weren’t necessarily created by you.
Doing this has a couple of big advantages: First, people will become much more connected to a site that they feel a part of as opposed to just a passive reader of. Also, anybody who gets their submission featured on the site will love you for it and will spread the word to all their friends, essentially promoting your site for you. Finally, it will allow you to get a lot more content on the site than you could create by yourself, which will drive more traffic and make for a better experience for everybody.
In addition to encouraging readers to submit their own photos, you also may want to experiment with caption contests and other ways to encourage participation in the comments. You can also take flier requests from people, so they could feel involved in inspiring some of your creations – even if they didn’t make them themselves. Remember, the more involved somebody is in the site, the more likely they are to come back and promote it.
TIP #2: What’s The One Action You Want People To Take When They Find The Site?
It’s great that you’ve got a lot of messaging on the site promoting yourself and your other projects, but I’d also take a moment to think about what the one action is that you want somebody to take when they first find your site. Do you want them to subscribe to it somehow? Do you want them to share it somehow? What do you want them to do?
At the moment, it seems like you’re encouraging them to go to your personal website, which is plugged at the top of the page as well as being the URL that’s watermarked on the pictures. That’s fine, but is that really the best outcome for you? If they go to your personal website, then what?
There’s no right or wrong answer to these questions, but you should think through exactly what action you most want people to take and then promote that the hardest. It may not be sending them to your personal site – if they like what they see on this site, you might want to promote a way for them to subscribe/connect to this one instead.
TIP #3: Get A Real Domain
I know the site is new and maybe you’re still figuring out if you’re going to stick with it or not, but if you are then you should definitely get a “real” dot-com domain name. There’s a couple reasons for this: running a website off a blogspot domain name is fine (and it’s free), but it also conveys to the reader that the site is amateur and/or temporary. It makes it seem like you’re not fully committed to doing it for the long term, so subconsciously it tells a reader that it may not be worth their time to connect to.
Also, Google’s search algorithms downgrade blogs that don’t have their own domain (for the same reasons), so you’ll be less likely to get free search traffic with a blogspot domain than you will with a “real” domain.
TIP #4: Use A Real Phone Number And Post The Messages You Get
I noticed that on one of the fliers it included a phone number for people to call. If you’re going to do that, you might want to use an actual phone number which you can get through Google Voice. That would allow you to set up a voice mail, and then post the voice mail messages you get from anybody that actually calls the number on the flier on the site. It could be a really fun way to expand this idea and probably open up a lot of other creative possibilities.
TIP #5: Categorize Your Entries
It’s a good idea to start categorizing your posts using the labels function that’s built into Blogger’s blog software. You should think about categorizing each post using broad terms like “Pet Fliers” or “For Sale Fliers,” that will ultimately feature various genres of posts you’ll be creating.
The reason for doing this is because when you have a lot more content on the site, it will create an easy menu that you can offer people to browse the content on your site. Also, you can use it to link people to other related posts on your site. And I would definitely start doing this from the beginning, because once you have a lot of content on the site, it will be a pain to go back and try to do it then.
I hope these tips help, and if anybody else would like to get 5 Free Tips, please let me know.