Friday, December 28, 2012

Christian Authors: Optimize Your Blog With a Directory

UPDATED ON April 28, 2015:
Since publication of this article, I separated my blog writings:
Thank you for your understanding and patience. Tom

From a book marketing perspective, I have come to understand the purpose of blogging: to interest new readers into the marketing funnel. There are other purposes, don't get me wrong, such as found in the advice given or the humor offered or the story told. But from a promotional standpoint, blogs do not create repeat sales but rather have the potential to generate new sales.

I have been blogging for 2½ years, averaging two blog entries per month. Blogging advocates suggest we should attempt to compose very frequent entries, approaching one per day. Well maybe, but I find it is very hard to develop good meaningful content with that frequency which would draw perspective buyers further into the marketing funnel.

One of the discouraging things I find about blogging is how the lesser articles are made much less obvious while promoting only the most popular. I can write a good article about some flower or add some Bible insight about some topic, but unless it is one of the most popular blogs, it will go virtually unnoticed.

In terms of the marketing funnel, an initial article may draw the person in but the hope is that you will retain them so that they visit other articles that you wrote, most of which are buried. What intrigues one will not have an impact on another.

Therefore, I decided to build an indexed directory of blog articles with the hope of retaining my readers. I placed this directory on my website; each item in the directory points to an article that appears either on my blog or somewhere on my website. The directory is indexed into seven categories: Chiasms in the Bible, Christian Walk, etc. Each of the categories is consistent with the labels that I established in Blogger.

The second step was to add a seven-line header to Blogger that points the reader to that directory. The first of the seven lines is identified below as "Index of Articles by Thomas B. Clarke."

To see this in action, try going to the teaching on Contentment. Then click on one of the six directory choices, listed as "Index of All Articles by Thomas B. Clarke." By clicking on "Chiasms in the Bible", you are directed to Hopefully if your interest is in chiasms, one of those article might pique your interest.

I have seen other attempts to add a directory to either Blogger or WorkPress, but I think this is more straight forward. One down side is that every time you create a new entry on your blog, you must now take the additional step of adding that to your indexed directory. However, if you develop this approach, you should have greater retention of your blog readers.

Bon voyage, Tom

For other articles about self-publishing in this series, see:
Index of Self-Publishing Articles by Thomas B. Clarke