Advice and How-To's Especially for ACTORS!

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Friday, July 29, 2011

8 Ways Get More Blog Readers

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Recommended Reading:
Blogging All-In-One for Dummies
The It's Girl's Guide to Blogging with Moxie
Essays in the Art of Writing

If a blogger falls in a forest, and there’s no one around to see it - will Google Reader still pick up the feed?

Ha! I crack myself up.

For those of us who spend time blogging, one of the more critical questions is: “How do I get people to read my blog?” After all, if we’re out there hustling to write content for the blogosphere, how valuable is it if no one reads it?

An actor friend of mine from Los Angeles writes:
“Hey Erin - love your blog! Do you have any suggestions on how to bring more traffic to my blog? I'm posting on FB when I have a new post but no one seems to be reading it. How else can I get people to visit?”

Here are 8 good ways to get (and keep) blog readers:

Identify your audience
What are you blogging about, and what are the kinds of people who’d benefit from reading it? Build your blog around that audience, and use formatting, style and verbiage to let your audience know exactly what your blog is all about, and why they should stay. This is called creating (and promoting) your identity.

Write relevant material to suit that audience
Now that you have identified your audience and know what kind of stuff you want to write, make sure that it remains relevant to your audience. If you veer off course (start talking about your dating life when your audience was specifically attracted to your acting career) you’ll run the risk of losing those hard won followers. That said, there’s nothing wrong with diversifying your blog material - just make sure you work that into the overall identity of your blog. This will let people know, in advance, what they can expect from you.

Keep your blog updated regularly
The good news: you can decide what “regularly” means to you -- is it once a day, once a week, once a month? It’s a good idea to note how often you plan to blog, and make that general schedule available to your readers. Then, keep to that schedule. If I tell my readers that I post several times per week, I want to make sure that I deliver on that promise.

Use common key words/phrases that match your identity
The blog you’re reading gets 3 times as many hits as most acting blogs, because this blog is loaded with common phrases that actors search for every day. A glance into my web stats shows that the last 5 people reached my blog after searching for: “reputable nyc casting directors”, “non-union buyout”, “What is deferred pay”, “special skills for actors”, and “why do actors need agents”. You want to be sure to write about topics that your audience is searching for -- this will help your blog rise in Google’s rankings.

I’ll also mention... I get a lot of web hits when I use household/popular phrases in the blog title. One of my top blog posts (according to “hits” is called ”It’s Gonna Be a Sunshine Day" -- can you imagine why? :)

Make your blog available via an RSS Feed
Use a company like Feedburner to create RSS feeds for your blog, which will allow your readers to view the blog via an RSS reader. Feedburner also offers an option for email subscriptions.

Merge your blog with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, IMDB, etc
Most social networks allow you to integrate your blog into your account - you’ll need an RSS Feed (like the one mentioned above) or a website that uses API (like Facebook, which grants access to outside websites) in order to make this work. I use Networked Blogs to feed my blog into my Facebook Pages.

Track your success
It’s a good idea to use a web tracker (like Google Analytics) to track how readers are reaching your blog, and what pages are the most popular. Most blog hosts (like Blogger and Wordpress) also have a built-in stats page that can offer insights.

Practice what you preach
Probably the best way to drive traffic is to read other blogs religiously and leave comments. In your comment, be sure to leave your blog address in the contact/URL section (which is usually asked for when you leave the comment.) The more blogs you interact with, the more likely you’ll see the favor returned. This goes for reading blogs on Facebook & Twitter too -- comment on and forward/share those that you love, and be sure to let them know where they can read your work too.

I hope you enjoyed this detailed info about finding and keeping readers. Happy Blogging!


Have a comment or question? Leave it by clicking below!

Erin Cronican's career as a professional actor and career coach has spanned the last 25 years in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego. She has appeared in major feature films and on television, and has done national tours of plays and musicals. She has worked in the advertising & marketing departments of major corporations, film production companies, theater magazines, and non-profit acting organizations. To learn more, check out http://www.theactorsenterprise.org.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

8 Ways to Promote Your Facebook Page

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Recommended Reading:
Facebook Marketing
Idiot's Guide to Facebook
Facebook for Business

One of my most popular and widely read blog posts has been on Why Actors Should Have a Professional Facebook Page. As a follow up, I thought I would give you a little bit of information about how to promote your page, so that your friends and family will know how to find it.

Step 1) Visit your own Page and click “Like.”
Believe it or not, when you create a professional page, you’re personal account does not automatically “Like” it. So, you need to do this manually. When you click “Like,” this activity will show up on your news feed, and all of your Facebook friends will see it. It will look something like this:

“Erin Cronican likes Erin Cronican - Actor.”

Step 2) Send a FB message to all of your artist friends and supporters, as well as patrons of the arts in your area, inviting them to “Like” the Page.
By using the Facebook messaging system, you are reaching out to a large group of people en masse, which achieves a lot in a short amount of time. Each of the recipients will receive a message in their inbox, and if you include a link to your Facebook page, your page’s profile picture and the main description will be visible in the body of the message.

Recommendation: when doing so, please instruct your friends not to “reply all” if they want to reply. It can get frustrating for the other recipients to be caught in a reply chain. Instead, mention that it is a mass message and ask people to send comments or questions individually.

Note: Clicking “Invite Friends” via the Page is not enough -- this simply puts the Page into a queue deep within the notifications section of Facebook, which is really hard to find. You must send a mass email to them via the Message feature in order for your friends to take notice.

Step 3) Post the link to the Page via your Facebook wall via the “Status” feature.
This is another way to get your Page into your friends’ news feeds. Say something like, “Check out the brand new Facebook Page for my acting career. If you want to get updates & invitations, please click “Like!”

Step 4) Announce the Page via Twitter, LinkedIn, your blog and other social networks.
Be sure to include the full link to the Page when mentioning it -- you’d be surprised how many people post “Check out my page on Facebook!” on Twitter but then neglect to include a link.

Step 5) Add the link to your new Facebook Page to your email’s signature line
One of the best ways to let people know about pages you want them to visit is to include links at the bottom of your emails. As an example, here’s one of the signature lines I use for an acting newsletter:

Erin Cronican, SAG / AEA / AFTRA
Home: http://www.erincronican.com
IMDb: http://www.imdb.me/erincronican
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ErinTheActor
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ErinCronican

Step 6) Email your friends & family and let them know about the Facebook Page.
Once you’ve created your signature line, you’re ready to send out your Facebook link via email! Emailing your friends is a good way to get in touch with people that you have not yet “friended” on Facebook, or those who are on Facebook only rarely.

Recommendation: If you have friends who are not on Facebook but would like to receive updates, I’d suggest creating a mailing list especially for them, and send them periodic updates via email. Consider using a newsletter program like iContact or Mailchimp.

Step 7) Be sure to “Like” other people’s pages, and be active in communicating.
One of the best ways to develop relationships online is to abide by the “golden rule” - do unto others as you would have done unto you. If you want someone to “Like” your page, go like their page first. Then, leave a link on their wall (or in a FB message) and ask them to do the same. But “liking” a page is not enough -- make sure you comment on their posts, or click “like” when you see something you enjoy. A little support goes a long way in building a network.

And, most importantly...

8) Be active on your page!

Make sure that you are posting interesting information about your career, and give people a glimpse at what your life is all about. Create show invitations, post video, share production photos, link to blog posts -- the more active you are on your page with relevant information, the more you’ll be able to attract and keep followers.

A few last words of advice:

• As much as you can, try to do your social media promotions during daytime hours (8am-8pm is a good rule of thumb.) These are the hours that most people are online, so you’ll have the greatest chance of having your message read.

• Don’t do all of these tips in one sitting. You want to spread out these 8 tips over a few days, so that you don’t overwhelm your friends with requests.

There are lots of other ways to promote your page, but I thought these 8 would be a good number to start with. I hope it’s useful -- if you have any stories about successfully promoting your page, please leave a comment!


Have a comment or question? Leave it by clicking below!

Erin Cronican's career as a professional actor and career coach has spanned the last 25 years in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego. She has appeared in major feature films and on television, and has done national tours of plays and musicals. She has worked in the advertising & marketing departments of major corporations, film production companies, theater magazines, and non-profit acting organizations. To learn more, check out http://www.theactorsenterprise.org.


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