A few days ago, I posted in my Page to Stage blog about Erica Herd’s show Alzheimer’s Blues. Within a few minutes of publishing the post in WordPress, and sharing it on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Stumbleupon, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest, I had new followers, including people on Twitter who are involved in caring for people with Alzheimer’s. This is a very positive development, as Erica and I are trying hard to grow her audience for this amazing show.
We have been told that it will be hard to find an audience for a show that is about such a sad topic – that people don’t want to contemplate their eventual decline, or the decline of members of their family. We haven’t bought into that idea. Erica’s life, not to mention the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, is being radically changed by Alzheimer’s disease. It’s a topic of great interest. And, as we have demonstrated, in her deeply humorous approach to the subject, it need not be all sad. It’s also amazing, funny, profound, poignant and deeply meaningful.
So we persist, and I post in my blog, and Erica posts in her blog, and we end up with all these new followers.
How does this happen?
I started writing a blog, a few months ago, about my great love, creating theatre. I started posting once a week. Then I started writing every time I was excited about something.
That particular day I was excited about working with Erica to polish her show. So I wrote a blog post about that. I remembered to tag the post with the words Alzheimer’s and caregiver. I used the word Alzheimer’s in the title. And people who are looking for posts about Alzheimer’s found it – because they search for that term.
But you’d be surprised how many of the performing artists I work with are not using a blog to promote their work. Maybe it’s Facebook fatigue – too many people saying too many things. But the fact is that a blog is an effective tool. People look for posts and tweets with tags about topics that they are interested in. And each time someone follows you, you get informed about it – and you can go to their Facebook pages, their sites and blogs to find out more about them, and their companies. It’s about using the network to get more connections. And those connections lead to more connections.
I know it seems like a slow process, but that’s what growing an audience is – slow. Like a stalagmite. One drop of supersaturated solution after another – and in this case your solution is your blog.