A Feature for Bloggers and Readers
As an ani-blogger, I think it’s important to support the community whenever I can. One of the ways I do that is that every week, I compile a list of the posts that caught my attention and that I think deserve a wider audience. I call that compiled list “Other Posts to Crow About.”
It’s pretty obvious the posts are designed to link readers to posts they may have missed. Did you know, though, that Other Posts to Crow About have been scientifically crafted to give featured bloggers and their blogs the maximum exposure possible? I’d like to introduce you to those features, as well as open the floor to suggestions to make Other Posts to Crow About even more useful.
Even Before the Post
I review the Nest of Sites (my listing of all the anime blogs I check out, and yes, I do think I’m pushing the corvine theme a little bit too hard at times) on Friday night and sometimes into Saturday afternoon. When I find a post I intend to include in Other Posts to Crow About, I’ll use that site’s Tweet share button to write what I hope is an enticement to visit the site.
Marketing isn’t my strong point, but I try to emphasize how interesting the post is. This usually happens Friday night into Saturday.
I used to post to my Facebook page, too, but at the time, the metrics weren’t showing much success. Then I talked to some Facebook experts, and they said that posting too often to a page can confuse Facebook’s mechanism to present the posts, so I stopped posting there.
I might consider using Pinterest in the future. I’m getting solid traction there with my other posts. I’m not sure what form that’ll take, but it’s something I’m actively working on.
When I write the actual post, the craftsmanship (and yes, I know the shtick will wear out its welcome — I’ll stop soon) starts with the two headlines for each article I’m highlighting. Let’s take a look at this example from Other Posts to Crow About 2019 Week 43 Edition:
The process starts by presenting two paths to the highlighted post’s site.
Here, I’m calling attention to a delightful post from Anime ga Suki. The goal is to give the reader maximum opportunity to get to the site, so I start with the site’s title. It’s clickable (though not, of course, in the image above). The first opportunity is the site’s name. Clicking on it will take the reader to the site’s home page. The second opportunity is the article’s title. Clicking on it, of course, takes the reader to the highlighted article. Not only does it maximize the potential for clicks, but it gives the site’s name some clear exposure.
I try to match the tone and tenor of the highlighted post as I describe it. The goal is not to shoot for an airy and light tone to draw attention to a post about a weighty issue, for example.
Beyond that, I find that I try to channel Guy Fieri from Food Network as he hosts Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. If you think about it, it’s the perfect model for Other Posts to Crow About. He tries to find amazing restaurants that may have flown under the viewers’ radars, then entice those viewers to visit. I try to do the same thing for anime blog posts.
I try to relate the posts to Crow’s World of Anime’s vision, or to a post I just wrote, or to a series I’ve enjoyed. Since it’s my post, I still want to connect to my readers and give them something of myself; but the ultimate goal is to get them to click away from my site, so I don’t keep the focus there.
If the post is about a particular series, I’ll try to increase interest in the post by linking to Anime Planet’s page about the series. I used to post to the same page on My Anime List, but they started to annoy me for various reasons.
You may have noticed that generally speaking, I’ll try to mention the post’s author by name, then mention their site again. Sounds simple, right? Well, the site name is simple. I just repeat the main headline! But the author? Not so easy.
Some writers have a Twitter presence. Some have a byline that links back to their blog. Some have both; rarely, they have neither. My goal is to give the site (and author!) maximum coverage, so since I’m already giving the blog coverage in the headline, if the writer has a Twitter handle, I’ll reference it.
If the writer has a Twitter account, I’ll try to link their name to it.
If the writer doesn’t have a Twitter account, I’ll link to the author page in the blog. For some sites that have many writers, like Anime Feminist, that makes the most sense, because the Twitter account is for the site itself, and each author has their own page. I have a sense this part of my process is a bit messy and unscientific, and I’m always looking for ways to improve it.
I end the section with “Check out the Post Here!” It’s the same link as the highlighted post’s title in the headline, and it’s just another opportunity for the reader to click.
This is where I tried to put the most thought, because marketing is important, but I suck at it. However, I think what I’ve come up with is actually reasonable.
On average, I find about five posts to crow about every week. Sometimes more, sometimes less, but it’s usually five. My goal is to to give these posts as much exposure as possible, so I don’t list every site in the Tweets I send out to announce my post. The reason? The blog titles tend to get lost in a long list. So I rotate through them. In the case of Other Posts to Crow About 2019 Week 43 Edition, I highlighted posts from 5 sites:
The first Tweet looked like this:
I didn’t want the blog’s names to get lost, so I limit the number in each Tweet. With one exception…
I also try (where possible) to include the blog or author’s Twitter handle. Some bloggers like to retweet the Tweet as evidence their sites are attracting more attention, and some don’t. I like to give them the option.
For the next three Tweets (about 3 hours apart), I’ll remove the first blog name (and Twitter account) and add the next in line. In this case, here’s what the next Tweet looked like:
I’m trying to increase the blog’s exposure by rotating through the names in successive Tweets.
If I have six or seven posts to highlight, I’ll add more Tweets. I should also mention that I also post to Facebook and Pinterest. I only post once to those two social media networks, because I use the “final” Tweet format (see below). Plus, Facebook seems to better reward a single post per day, while I get really good traffic from Pinterest with only the single post.
After I cycle through all the names, I issue one more Tweet. This one shows the sites in a bulleted list:
This is a the last Tweet in the series supporting the Other Posts to Crow About post.
This last format is what I use also for the first and only Facebook and Pinterest posts.
It’s a Great Community
The ani-blogging community is packed with talented bloggers who take their craft seriously. They deserve to have their work read and enjoyed. I know it’s a thrill when people read and comment on my posts, and I want Other Posts to Crow About to spread the love.
This is one of those situations that I find all too rarely: Other Posts to Crow About helps readers by drawing their attention to posts they might have missed. It helps bloggers by driving at least a little traffic to their site. It’s literally a win-win!
Do you think I have the bases covered in how I’ve approached Other Posts to Crow About? Do you have ideas for improvement? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!