Jonquils, pancakes and books – an experiment in discoverability

jonquils May 2014I’m conducting an experiment.

On Tuesday at the National Book Bloggers Forum, one of Random House’s tech gurus talked about ways book bloggers could boost interest in their blogs and Facebook pages, especially now that Facebook has been cutting down traffic for people who have “liked” your page – unless you pay.

In a fascinating talk that all made sense at the time, this guru (Eva Bui) talked about Google Analytics and trends. She discussed the importance of adding visual elements to your posts. And lists. And catchy headings. Like, maybe:

5 things all book bloggers should do

  • add a graphic
  • create a list
  • use imperatives (“Share this!”)
  • ask questions which engage your audience
  • talk about food

Food? Yeah, right. On a blog about books and reading?

In the break, I asked Eva how posting recipes was going to help a book blogger. She said the benefit would be indirect. Food, chocolate, cats – we all know the posts – are so popular, using pictures of them might drive traffic to your page. More hits on your page means more people start to see your posts in their Timelines. They might even see links to your blog posts and come visit. While they’re visiting, they might read your discussions about books. Extra blog traffic could even mean Google will take notice, and maybe your posts will appear higher on search results.

Ok-ay… It’s worth a try.

So I’m experimenting. Earlier today I posted this picture of jonquils on the Australian Women Writers Facebook page. It’s not a great photo, just one I took in the garden this morning. I put no commentary. Nothing about the unseasonably warm weather we’re having for May, let alone any suggestion of global warming. Just the photo with a question: “What’s your favourite story that features flowers?” (Could have been snappier.)

Guess what? Comments! Not many. Yet. But more than I’ve been getting with my Twitter feed to the page. Someone even shared the photo!

These Random House tech gurus are on to something. The AWW page is (slightly) more “discoverable”. Now I’m going to go away and find a good pancake recipe…

What about you? Share your favourite book blogging tips here.