There’s one thing every blogger wants to do – build readership.
Building your readership not only helps you build your profile as an artist and connect with your following, it also helps increase the chance you have at selling your work and further advance your creative career.
So what’s the best way to build your readership?
Inspire Your Readers to Share Your Content
When you first start your blog, you have very little traction in terms of getting the ball rolling. Publishing content that impresses your fiends is a good place to start though.
That’s still not enough.
Your friends and friends of friends will need an easy way to share your content, because the harder it is, the less likely they’ll share it. That’s where social icons come in.
A social chicklet is a small button often found near the top or bottom of any content online.
The idea is simple: Give your reader something to do once they’ve finished reading or viewing your content. By placing a Facebook chicklet or Twitter chicklet at the foot of your content, you’re enabling people to share your content with their entire network of friends.
You can find social icons for just about every network online, including social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and social bookmarking sites, such as Reddit, Digg, and StumbleUpon.
The really cool thing about icons is that developers from all different backgrounds and experience are producing them, so there’s a wide selection of styles to choose from. At the time of this writing, I’m using ShareThis and HandyCons, which you can see at the foot of this post.
The handycons are cool because they’re hand drawn … a style that clashes with the clean looking designs.
That brings us to the next topic of interest.
Picking The Best Social Icons For Your Blog
The performance of your icons will depend very much on the type of blog you publish, the type of readers, and type of content, so it’s crucial to evaluate and test a variety of icons.
While news oriented content might find great results from social bookmarking icons, a blog about art might find better success from social networking icons … it all varies from blog to blog.
Furthermore, you may find that you see a better response from your Twitter chicklet your LinkedIn chicklet … in this case, consider consolidating the icons so you can focus efforts to spreading the word about your content on Twitter. As an artist, you should know better than anyone else that forcing something to work simply doesn’t work at all.
Give Your Readership Something Cool To Share
Regardless of what icons you use or what networks you focus on, it all comes down to whether or not your existing readership wants to share what you’re publishing.
Give your readers something cool and exciting to share.
If you don’t inspire them to share your work, your icons will sit, untouched, on the page. One of the best ways to avoid publishing content your readers don’t care about is to throw self-promotion out the window. Give your attention to your readers and think about ever piece of content you’re about to publish. Ask yourself what your readership will get from it.