July 11th, 2009


Time Banks

Here is one way for unemployed people to use the time they have while not working at a regular job: join a Time Bank. For each hour you spend doing something for someone else, you get to have another person spend an hour doing something for you. Even if you have no money, you still have your skills and time in which to use them. This is good for fighting off the feeling of uselessness that plagues many unemployed people. It also helps get things done without requiring a cash payment.

How to Boost Your Audience

puffbird pointed out that something I said in a comment really needed a post of its own, so people could find it. Here are my tips for improving the activity and size of your audience, useful for cyberfunded creativity and for blogging in general.

To make an audience more lively:
  • Invite comments by asking questions.

  • Praise people when they comment.

  • Track your most active members using the LJ Comments Stats Wizard.

  • Track your main topics: go to your Profile page, select "Journal" and then "Manage Tags." Look under "Your Tags" and sort by "Usage." Click each tag topic to display its number of posts and other data.

  • Ask your audience if they like the topics you are posting about most frequently and what topics they would like more (or less) of.

  • Post polls.

  • Watch for active people who interest you, and Friend them.

To make an audience bigger:
  • Post on other blogs that have a big, active audience and are related to your topic.

  • Join some Friending communities and watch for people whose interests match yours, and Friend them. add_a_writer and addme_creative are good choices.

  • Join communities related to your topic and post frequently there.

  • Scan the membership lists of communities you frequent, visit other members' journals, and Friend the ones that appeal to you.

  • Encourage your current readers to link to your blog and tell their friends about it.

More and better content will, of course, help with both of these goals:
  • Post frequently. Once a week is the minimum for an effective blog, several times a week is better, and daily is best.

  • If you cannot post frequently, post regularly. Pick a day of the week or several days in the month when your blog always updates, and tell people when.

  • Post good material. If it is dull, ugly, or difficult to decipher then people will probably not pay much attention to it.

  • Posting experiments, failures, and/or works-in-progress can draw attention if you discuss your goals and what is going right or wrong. This attracts other people who are trying to learn similar skills.

  • Post original material. If they can't get it anywhere else, people are more likely to hang around your blog to get the goodies.

  • Relay interesting material. If there is news related to your blog topic(s), post an excerpt and link to the original article, then add some personal comments. When people find a good source for news that interests them, they tend to check it often.