Calling all bloggers! If you, like me, are on the journey of growing your blog like a precious seedling to become a successful site, there is one thing we all need without fail.
Without those elusive readers, we blog away into the ether to our heart’s content -all well and good if that’s your schtick – but for the business minded, growth savvy blogger the long game of growing readership is a slow burn process.
Growing a readership is the holy grail. We write, we promote the posts on Facebook, Twitter, G+, klaxon, ESP….whatever you need to do to get the eyes on the page – whichever way you slice it, the growth of stats is a slow burn thing and takes time, effort, graft, and a lot of patience (and coffee). Fear not – there are some tips and tricks that will help you.
There are SO many posts about the best ways to do this. A quick “how to get more readers for your blog” Google search will show up hundreds. This is just my take, my experience, and my viewpoint. Take it or leave it, but I hope you find my two penn’orth useful.
1. Find your voice
One of the biggest lures for readership is that your audience will know what to expect from you. This can be tough to define at first, and may evolve over time, but eventually you need to decide what your voice is, and stick to it to a certain extent. Take a look at which posts have the best engagement level and visits, (make Google Analytics your new bff), which posts are re-tweeted the most and you have an idea of the things your readers love to hear about. The very fabulous Cate Sevilla once described this ideal content in Venn diagram format in one of her wonderful Oh My Blog workshops; if you imagine the blog content for your success being the overlap between content your readers love to read and content you are passionate about, you have the winning formula.High fives to Cate for the Venn use, always love those here in Diva world
2. Tweet your new and archived content
Once you have written something, tell people about it! Twitter is of course brilliant for this, but be wary of being just a broadcaster without interaction. Using apps like Hootsuite or BufferApp makes it easy to schedule tweets to alert different timezones to your content, and to keep your timeline topped up with references to your blog content. Opening up the archives from time to make makes sure that older content can get seen by fresh eyes, so include a few archived posts peppered in your tweets.
3. Guest posts
Ok, this is as old as the hills in the blogging world, but taking the time to guest post on other blogs can reap rewards in readership. Mixing up an audience can expose you to new readers who may really love and champion your content, so offer to guest on other blogs you love and admire when time allows – most bloggers would welcome some fresh content from an admiring blogger. You don’t ask, you don’t get, as they say…
4. Make it easy for them to come back!
So many blogs make it hard to see how to sign up by email, RSS or newsletter. If you can’t see immediately how to come back for more you make it easy for readers to lose you. Whether it’s a sign up incentive, or just having the relevant links available and easy to see when reading a post, don’t lose numbers over smeting so simple…
5. Paid for Stumble Upon
Stumble Upon has long been a blogger’s friend for gaining new traffic. The newly available Paid Stumbles can expose your site to readers who would have a genuine interest. My experience of this has been a really positive bounce rate percentage and engagement, converting some new traffic to loyal readers; I wouldn’t recommend investing at all until your blog is well established and you are happy with your tone and content, but as an occasional tool to your kit it’s well worth knowing about.
6. Loving your top 5
There may be a handful of readers who always champion you- they may always re-tweet, comment, share and generally show you love. Make sure you take time to talk to them, email them and thank them for their time and comments. These people are your PR’s are are on the ground doing legwork for you, leading to another exponential growth. Don’t forget who helps you and take the time to thank them.
7. Being part of a community
Being an active part of the blogosphere is so ioirant in growing an audience. You cannot simply exists in your own bubble without engaging with other bloggers, taking time to read and comment, and being an active part in the community. Give some love to get some back, it’s old school but it’s the truth.
Of course there are SO many ways to gain an audience but these are my top tips to get your blog a lovely batch of readers.
Let me know how you get on, feel free to tweet me ith questions @dexdiva, and, most of all go forth, blog and multiply.