Today, out of the blue, I got a nice call from a young woman at Wines & Vines who is doing a column about winery blogging (if you're reading this, please add a comment with your name - I was driving and couldn't write anything down).
Her main question was How do you get people to read your blog? My answers probably rambled around a bit (I was driving), but I think the secrets are as follows:
- Let everyone you already know that you're writing a winery blog. Let me know, so I can add you to The List (which recently passed the 50-winery-blog mark). Provide obvious links from your winery's Web site to your blog (and vice-versa).
- Read lots of related blogs (Fermentation and REthink are two good ones to start with). The best way to do this is with a blog reader like Bloglines.com. That way, you are automatically notified when someone makes a new post (instead of checking every day to see if something's new).
- Write good comments to other people's posts. This will get people to follow your signature (a link) back to your blog to see if you are worth reading.
- Write good posts. Strive to be informative, entertaining, and useful (not necessarily in that order). You need to give people a reason to read your blog. Good posts involve storytelling.
- Invite interaction. Ask questions of your readers. Take a stand (invite controversy). Make it obvious how to subscribe to your blog.
- Be authentic. People can smell marketing-speak a mile away. Talk about successes *and* failures.
- Be passionate. Your blogging efforts are doomed to fail if you aren't fundamentally interested in your subject.
The article she is writing should appear in the August issue. In the meantime, what have you done to make your blog popular?