Ralph was adding new content to his blog regularly and attracting new readers from search engines but return readers were stagnant so he worked on making his writing more interesting.
My inciting incident
I’m a by the numbers kind of guy. I like lists. I love checking off action items and following guidelines. It has always worked for me in whatever jobs I took on and so I anticipated that blogging would be no different. It has been a two year journey so far that has taken me from a personal blog on Blogger to providing regular contributions to three self-hosted WordPress blogs. I have reigned in my eclectic interests to focus on specific niches and held my nose and developed a list of keywords to write to. Technically, my blogging is competent, perhaps better than many but I am a long way from success.
My vision of blogging success
My vision for the blogs is aa a focal point for a community of people with the same interest who come together to exchange ideas about retirement and second incomes. I have a history of regular posting which covers the range of topics in my niche and have a modest number of readers who return on a regular basis. As I worked my way through my check list, I always believed that when I finally took on SEO that I would begin to break out of stagnation because some of the new readers would become return visitors and my stats would grow. That is not what is happening. It is time to move along on the list.
What follows SEO?
While much of the blogging advice suggests that SEO is the answer to all blogging problems, when you follow the more successful bloggers, you find that they all talk about writing and telling a story or grabbing your audience’s attention. My style is more like tipping a dump truck in the readers lap than making them interested in learning what I think. I haven’t done creative writing since my first year at college and even then I wasn’t good at it. So the next check off on my list is to improve my writing skills so that readers will want to return.
What makes good writing?
With the guidance of David Doolin at Website in a Weekend, I have been struggling with narrative arcs and inciting incidents to make my writing better. Recently the good Doctor in an attempt to get my writing head on straight asked me to send him ten inciting incidents. Pedestrian writer that I am, I had no idea what he was talking about but after a Google search I learned that an inciting incident is;
Also called the catalyst, this is the point in the story when the Protagonist encounters the problem that will change their life. This is when the detective is assigned the case, where Boy meets Girl, and where the Comic Hero gets fired from his cushy job, forcing him into comic circumstances. …
Armed with that definition, I completed the assignment for Doctor D who turned my assignment into a lesson about writing.
Will improving my writing, make my blog a success? I can’t say for sure. What I do know is that SEO isn’t everything. Making the search engine happy is all to the good but in the end, it is those human readers that will make me a success or a failure. So far those humans have been disappointed. If I can learn to make them happy, it certainly won’t hurt.