Do You Want Me To Keep Blogging? And Blog More? Here’s How You Can Help!

Hi!  This is just for faithful readers who feel like they want my blog to do well.  If you just click over here every once in a while and don’t really care about the blog in general, that’s okay, go about your day and don’t worry about this post.

Hello nice people who feel invested in me doing well!  I need your help keeping this blog going and making people aware of it because I have a crippling inability to promote myself.  Like, at a recent family event I discovered that half my family had no idea that a) I went to grad school for film and b) I had actually finished and gotten my Masters 2 years ago.  It’s just, talking about myself is so boring, you know?  Because I already know all about myself, I would much rather learn about you!

But, see, the problem with this is that I am spending an average of 6 hours a day working on this blog, and I looooooooooooooooooooove this blog, and I want people to read it.  And the more people who read it, the more likely I am to keep going.

Okay, that sounded kind of hostage-taker threatening.  I’m not going to stop blogging!  Don’t worry about that.  But seeing my little viewer numbers tick up encourages me to post more often, and on a variety of topics, and to try to write as well as I possibly can (“well” not meaning grammar and spelling, that’s always going to be a disaster.  Unless I get so fabulously successful I can hire a proofreader).

Image result for shahrukh reading

(Shahrukh has good English skills, right?  I should hire him to be my proofreader/assistant/intern!)

So, if you want to help with getting those numbers to crawl upwards, here are 5 simple things that you, my readers, can do:

  • If you participate in any real life Indian/Indian film community (meet-up group, friendly movie night, a Hindi class, a dance class, just being alive and in India), please mention my blog.

 

  • If you participate in any other online Indian film community, message boards, or other blogs, or podcasts, or youtube channels, please mention and link back to me in your comments.  You know, as appropriate, if it is about a movie I have reviewed or anything like that.  Heck, if it is appropriate in any online community, if an Indian star or movie comes up in a discussion of video games, and I have something about it in my archives, please link back to me in a comment. (in case you think this doesn’t make a difference, one mention of my Dear Zindagi review on a German language message board got me 120 views in one day)

 

  • Re-blog me!  Or re-tweet me or re-post me on Facebook.  Or re-snapchat me or whatever else it is that the kids are into these days.  Two of my all time best viewing days came from when I was re-posted in a Malayalam group on Facebook, and in a Sridevi fan group.

 

  • Message anything you think is particularly good directly to the people involved.  I’ve seen some of you already doing this, re-tweeting something I wrote directly to a director or a star or their fanclub.  And I appreciate it and that is a great idea!

 

  • COMMENT!!!  My view count goes up per post with every comment.  You guys are so smart and wonderful, that I know a lot of readers check the comment feed and will go back to a post any time they see a new comment posted.  And, by the way, if you want me to write more posts of a certain kind (Malayalam, Tamil, shot by shot film summaries, etc.), commenting on them is the best way to make that happen.

 

Gah, I really really hate this!  I hate this so much that I just accidentally typed “hat this”.  I wish I could just keep quietly sitting in my corner doing good work and waiting to be noticed.  But that’s not the way the world works.

I could do some of these things myself, but then I would have to cut down on my blogging time, and there would be fewer posts for you.  Plus, it would make me miserable.  So I am asking for help.  Please don’t feel obligated to do anything, but I will really really appreciate it if you do.

 

 

And as a reward for reading this, I will give you some “behind the scenes” info.  Currently, I average around a thousand views a day, from 300-400 individual visitors.  However, most of those are “drive-bys”.  People searching for Spoilers for a certain film, or looking for an image of a movie star.  They find the one post they want and never come back again, or look at any other posts.

Maybe 2% of the drive-bys actually like what they find and start exploring the archives.  Every day I’ve got at least one person digging around reading obscure posts from over a year ago.  And sometimes those people turn into regular readers, I get a new subscriber about every other day.

Right now, I would guess I have about 100 people who read the blog every single day.  Which is, like, nothing!!!  If I had all of you in a room listening to me give a speech, it would be super impressive.  But this is the internet, 100 people is a drop in the bucket.  Even expanding it out to the people who just read certain posts or check in once a week, we are still talking about maybe 200 tops.

So the goal of those five things above is to have more of those posts that attract a lot of “drive-bys”, so that some of those drive-bys can be siphoned off and become real readers.  And then eventually, maybe 5-10 years from now, I could actually qualify for advertising money and stop running out of money at the end of the month because I spent it all on movie tickets and blog registration fees and soundcloud accounts and so on.  And maybe cut down an hour at work, because 8 hours of work and 6 hours of blogging is not easy.

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38 thoughts on “Do You Want Me To Keep Blogging? And Blog More? Here’s How You Can Help!

  1. Hi Margaret, thanks for explaining some of the nitty gritty of blogging. Of the five things you suggest, I can only do one (comment) because I’m not that active online. But keep up the good work, as I am actually trying to learn from you about blogging (I’m thinking of starting a blog myself, on something else, but I’ve been a little spooked by all the current “conventional wisdom” that blogging is dead). It may hearten you to know that I came to your blog because of it was mentioned by Moviemavengal in several posts at Bollywhat.com. So I can attest that mentioning it in other places really does work to bring new readers. Good luck!

    One suggestion I can make, which I might be totally wrong about, is to add keywords to your posts, so that they show up on general internet searches by others on that topic. Another blogger I used to follow regularly used to tweet her posts directly to the people involved — i.e., if she reviewed a film, she would tweet the link of that review to the producer, director, and star of that film. Maybe you could try those two approaches.

    (I am horrible at self promotion myself, so I not only hear you, but feel bad that I can’t offer any useful suggestions, because, you know, I’m so bad at it!)

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    • Since you are interested in the nitty-gritty, I can tell you that I do have keywords in my posts already. But if there are a lot of equally “keyword” pages out there on the internet for a particular topic, they tend to be ranked by how popular the website they come from is. That’s one of the really technical ways that those “drive-by” readers help me. If I get a huge burst of people looking for Bahubali 2 spoilers (which I did on Friday), they probably won’t turn into regular readers, but they will make the site pop up a little higher in search engine algorithms for a bit. And of course, for that post the keyword thing really did work. Because 6 hours after the movie came out, there just weren’t that many places online that had the keywords “Bahubali 2” and “Spoilers” in them.

      On Sun, Apr 30, 2017 at 8:31 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. You might want to also consider Patreon — another blog I follow SmartBitchesTrashyBooks.com did that for their affiliated podcast. The site had advertisers, but they used https://www.patreon.com/ to raise money to get some new equipment for the weekly podcast. And are also using it to do a live podcast at the convention I’m attending this week — RT 2017 in Atlanta.

    When I just did that Bollyfools video they tweeted about it like every hour for a day. There must be an automated way to schedule this kind of tweet. Since Indian readers are awake when we are asleep in Chicago — scheduling tweets for the middle of the night, but daytime in India might be effective.

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    • These are all wonderful ideas! After I finish moving and we hire a new person at work, I’ll see if I have time to figure it out. Also, I always feel guilty about over-tweeting. I don’t want the people who actually follow me to get tired of me.

      On Sun, Apr 30, 2017 at 9:42 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. We will retweet everything! Just saw the TED talk on Patreon and it looks like a great idea. Went to see TED in the cinema hoping to see Shah Rukh’s full speech. Not only was it NOT the full thing, but all the humor and grace was edited out of it. So disappointing. But I did learn about Patreon. We LOVE your work and will not get tired. SELF PROMOTE!!

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  4. Look into hootsuite.com. I used it to schedule Facebook posts for my synagogue but I bet it does tweet scheduling.

    Also, for people like me that follow hundreds of people on twitter it won’t be tiresome to see the same tweet a few times a day. Someone explained twitter as like a river that flows by. Occasionally you look at what goes by, but you don’t see everything. For people that just glance at the river occasionally, if you don’t send your tweet when they’re looking they’ll miss it going by.

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  5. I think I have recommended your blog at least,to 5 of my mates since dear Zindagi released last time. Some of these guys are usual movie reviewer columnist for regional newspapers and magazines. Also I got to know that before writing stuffs about movies they read a bit online.(mind you they are not professional like big reviewers). As you are ‘super fast’ in reviewing after a movie watch and with great details, it’s a help for them from different perspective. And one of the guy whom I meet constantly literally talks about your posts and links to Facebook.
    I also love how you keep variety in your posts, covering not just movies. BTW, how to qualify for advertising money?

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    • I need to reach a certain threshold of viewers and then WordPress will set up ads for me. After that first threshold, it’s maybe $3-$5 a month. Increasing slowly as my viewers increase.

      From the little research I have done, no one really makes a living blogging any more. The market has bottomed out, or more correctly, it has corrected itself. There was a big advertising bubble, and then people realized that it was being over-estimated. So now it’s a tiny tiny tiny payment per reader, like 0.00000000001 cents.

      I would like to make that $5 a month or so, since I am spending about $80 on movie tickets and gas 🙂 But I also just want to be read, you know? I put in so much work, it would be nice to know it is going out there.

      And thanks for sharing! And letting me know you are sharing, that is nice to hear. Although now I am jealous too, because I would love to be a reviewer for a regional paper, or anything really, any publication at all is a better platform than just a blog.

      On Mon, May 1, 2017 at 9:18 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I chanced on your blog from the Baahubali Scene by Scene analysis (which I LOVE) and stayed on to read all the other posts you’ve put up. You’re a star, Margaret!

        Couldn’t you send some of your work to Rediff/The Hindu/NowRunning? They have a large audience base, and while I’m not sure they pay, it would still be an amazing way to reach a whole lot more people (and some trolls). I would highly recommend reaching out to them.

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        • Thank you for the compliments! Please keep reading and writing.

          I am constantly submitting to all kinds of sources, and I have never had any luck with it. Well, except for a couple academic journals. But you are encouraging me to try again!

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  6. You should really give a thought to reacting on Youtube. I know that you hate the idea.But it’s the best way to get more viewers for the blog. It is not necessary you should react to all the new trailers and songs that are coming out. Anytime you are planning to introduce Bollywood to newbies get them to do a trailer reaction first.Not the movie that you’re planning to watch.Just have them react to one of the all time favorite trailers or songs like Bang Bang or any of the songs from Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani .Of course you have to explain the nitty gritties of Bollywood movies to the newbies.

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    • Oo, really? I have this instinctive reaction of repulsion to those videos. I may not be able to make myself do it.

      On Mon, May 1, 2017 at 10:47 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I’ve noticed that the most popular channels are the ones where they say something super positive about every single thing. I used to watch the Bolly Fools reaction videos and they used to get a lot of hate because they would be honest and sometimes make fun of actors that they don’t like really like.

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  7. I’m guessing that it’s the fakeness (and the bug eyed exaggerated grimaces) that puts you off.Yes,9 out 10 of these reaction videos are just out there to get more subscribers.They can’t even be bothered to look up even the bare minimum details -like who the actors are, or even what the movie’s about.But once in a while you get someone who is fascinated by discovering something new and excited about learning more about it.Personally if I never see any of the songs from Bang Bang or Yeh Jawani hai Deewani, I’ll consider it a blessing.

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    • Well, the real problem if I decide to do one of these, is that everyone I know has already been introduced to the films 🙂 I’d have to bring in a stranger off the street to get a real fresh reaction. Or else actually make a new friend (blech! New friendships are scary!).

      On Mon, May 1, 2017 at 12:41 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  8. You can try Quora. You can try to answer as many questions about movies on Quora and also promote your blog there. Lot of Indians are active on Quora. There is a blogger Sommer Shields who blogs about travel and she answers a lot of questions about some of the places she traveled to. And in every answer she mentions about her blog. Here is a link to her blog http://www.eatstaylive.com. The more questions you answer about Indian movies, the more you will get noticed is what I feel.

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    • I was super active on Quora for a while, there are still some popular answers of mine hanging out there. But I ended up leaving because it was taking up soooooooooo much time for comparatively few referrers back to the blog. Basically, I was helping Quora build up numbers and getting nothing out of it. And also I started to get some slightly nasty feedback that I didn’t want to bother with. If you search “Margaret Redlich” on Quora, you will see what I am talking about.

      However, if you are on Quora and answer something using one of my posts as a reference, you can always link back to me! Actually, in that case you should link back to me, my other interaction with Quora was when I had to report someone for plagiarism because they cut and pasted my entire blog post as though it was their own words. So generally, very icky taste in my mouth for Quora. Not the best policed platform.

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  9. Dude, you scared me with the title and the beginning for a bit 🙂

    I already do try to comment on almost everything I read, and I will remember to retweet your tweets.

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    • Yes, I realized after the opening that it sounded kind of threatening, thus the “sorry, don’t worry, not a threat!” comment.

      and I appreciate your commenting! It really does make a difference on view counts.

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  10. Do you consider introducing ratings to your reviews? Your reviews are excellent, but most of them are just looking at the final rating before reading through the article.
    I know you hate the idea, but I think it’ll help getting more people to actually read your blog.

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    • Do you really think so? Besides my kind of moral objections to ratings systems, I honestly don’t know if I would be able to do it. I mean, Bahubali 2 is 4 stars, that’s easy. But how would I rate Noor? Or Bajirao? They had good parts and bad parts and I don’t want to minimize it down to just a rating. I could force myself to try if it makes a huge difference, but I really don’t want to.

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      • If you’re planning to go big, then I think you really should think about it – maybe your non spoiler review can have one… maybe something innovative, something that has not been done… some checklist or something? It’ll work, because you actually know films…

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        • Now that I might be able to do. A simple star system is never going to work for me. But something more specific, a combination of various elements, I’ll have to think about that.

          Thanks for the idea! I’ll credit it to “anonymous”, but you will know who I mean.

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          • Maybe you could have a set of descriptive ratings, like:

            Must See
            Great if you like quirky
            Good and Bad but Worth Watching
            Good and Bad but Not Worth Watching
            So Bad It’s Ironically Good
            etc., . . .

            Maybe you could have a contest for your commentators to come up with a rating system that’s appropriate for your particular taste.

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  11. I mention your blog to those I know/have met. I will try and remember to share your facebook posts. I’m only active on Twitter when we do a movie watch-along so am not of much help there.

    I love your blogs but don’t always get time to read and comment on all topics. I didn’t realise you spend 6 hours or so a day blogging – that’s nearly a full-time job!

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    • You were one of my first readers/commentators! All you have to do is keep showing up. And yeah, 6 hours. Plus an actual full time job. So eating and sleeping kind of go by the wayside.

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  12. I will start retweet you often. I have some Italian girls on twitter who are Ayushman Khurana die-hard fans. They for sure will be interested in Meri Pyari Bindu review.
    And I just can’t believe yuo are only like 100 readers every day. Your blog is so fantastic it deserve much and much more!

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    • I think it deserves more too! Everything I have read, and all the advice I have been given, tells me that posting regularly and on a variety of topics is the best way to add and keep real readers (not just “drive bys”, but people he keep coming back). So I can keep plugging away at that, and it is steady growth, but it is very slooooooooooooooooooow. I need help with the other part of the growing the audience, the tweeting and the viral views and the what all. Because the slow and steady posting and responding to comments and so on takes up all my time.

      Anyway, thank you for re-tweeting!

      On Tue, May 2, 2017 at 8:42 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  13. Start a Facebook page it’s easy to share from there
    I shares your blog page even before you wrote this

    Can you start a ranking blog for EAch indian film industry

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  14. Hi,

    I have watched so many Tamil and Telugu movies but never paid attention to the fact that their formula is a strong woman character and then some romance and comedy. You are correct! Initially I was surprised at your analytical skills. Now I know the secret is that you went to grad school for film……

    I would like to see your analysis of some Indian classic movies such as Roja (Tamil or Hindi dubbed), Sankarabharanam (Telugu).

    I regularly watch Hollywood movies but they don’t give importance to emotions, family bonding and human relationships. But I can humbly say Indian movies have trade mark over these values as proved by Bahubali 2.

    Hence I will be grateful if you throw light on old classic movies in Tamil and Telugu.

    Cheers!
    Siva

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    • Thanks for reading! And commenting. I haven’t reviewed the two films you mention, but please take a look at the “Tuesday Telugu/Tamil” link at the top of the page. There’s a fair number of older films already listed. You might enjoy reading those.

      On Mon, May 8, 2017 at 6:02 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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