This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration

April 4, 2014

Why you want views, not followers, on the web

It's the number of views that is important to your blog, or your Google+ page, not followers. And that's because the whole point of posting onto the web is to attract the attention of the world. If you've got the whole thing wrong, I can understand. And you're probably a really nice person.

If your followers are friends who have clicked *follow*, chances are they are nice people who want to give encouragement. But they probably never view your page. And if you're a nice person, who in turn wants to encourage your friends, you have probably clicked *follow* on pages that you have never returned to. Yes, this is niceness. I am not discouraging being nice. And if you are confusing being nice with getting your message out, I can understand.

Please don't misunderstand me. I'm not discouraging being nice and clicking *follow*. Or asking friends to be nice and clicking *follow*. But if you want to get the attention of the world (which is what the World Wide Web is all about), you have to do more.

What interests me, and what I want for my clients, is a presence on the web. That means that complete strangers can find them, usually through a Google search. And if that's what you want, and you're ready to reach a bigger audience, here's what you need to do:

• Get on Google+. Yeah, if you're still convinced that it's all about *followers* and friends then by all means stick to Facebook. Facebook actually does a much better job of keeping friends and family communicating. But Google+ gives you a real opportunity to step onto the world stage. Of course, you can use Google+ like Facebook, and throw away most of its benefits, and people do, but once you understand, hopefully you won't.

• Say something. Find a subject you care about. You're an expert on something, talk about it. It might be gardening, or raising dachshunds. The point that I am trying to make here is to say something that a complete stranger may be interested in. If you're only telling boring stories to polite friends who *have to* listen to you, then you're missing the point.

• Take photos. No, don't just repost photos that you found on the web. Please. Get a simple camera, or learn to use the one on your phone. Take a photo of a sunset where you live. Don't bother with photos of your family, or friends. You don't need to be terribly artistic, just be general. The leaves changing in New Hampshire may seem ordinary to you, to someone in another part of the world, it's pure magic.

Overall, the idea is to get away from what I call *preaching to the choir*. If you have something to say, organize your thoughts and say it. You may be surprised by the audience that you attract.

As of this writing, my Google+ page has just gone over one million views, with, uh, 128 followers.

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