This Business of Writing

Posts Tagged ‘blog readership’

More Tips on How to Increase Blog Readership

In blogging, General Information, Marketing Your Book on January 4, 2010 at 8:23 am

My last post, (click here), offered basic secrets on how to increase the readership of your blog. In this post, I’ll add to those ideas. More ideas to consider include:

1. Blog regularly. We live in a world dominated by information and if your information comes in slow or infrequent drabs, readers will gravitate toward someone who offers them more.

2. Submit your blog to search engines. Not only should you submit to Google and Yahoo and the like, keep an eye out for niche search engines which are developing. I heard about a search engine that specializes in Arts and Crafts, for example.

3. Make it easy for readers to subscribe to your blog via an RSS feed. This is a tool that allows those who have registered on your site to receive any updates to your blog. Though this sounds like something for the more technically proficient among us, it’s easier than you might think as most blogging sites have a fill-in-the-blank format for the rest of us.

4. Create a blogroll. A blogroll is simply a list of links to other sites. Many of those on your blogroll will reciprocate and link to your site, thus sending their readers to you. Of course, these links should be relevant to your topic. As you might suspect, it will do you little good to link to a sports site if your blog is about knitting.

5. Post on other blogs and list your blog as your web page if they ask for it. This helps with “searchability” of various search engines.

6. Allow comments on your blog and let them post whatever they like. Regardless their comments, respond to each one. Everyone likes to be acknowledged. This is so powerful I’ve actually had people comment on my commenting to their comment.

7. Allow readers to “Digg” or “Stumbleupon” or “Del.icio.us” your blog. And don’t forget sites such as Twitter and Facebook. These social networking bookmarks allow your readers to tag what they like which helps your post to infiltrate cyberspace.

8. Insure your blog is automatically posted at such sites as Facebook, Twitter and the like. If you can’t figure how to do this on your own, physically embed a link with each post. Again, any worthy word processor can do this by filling in the blanks.

9. Don’t get into too many advertisements. It’s called monetizing your site and it irritates people. Blogging is about information, not sales. If you are blogging to sell something, create a link from your blog to your sales site.

10. Promote your blog at every opportunity. Your business card, your email signature, your comments to other blogs, etc., are all opportunities to let others know about your site.

11. Give something away. Possibly the number one method of promoting your blog is to give away an eBook. Write an eBook on whatever topic your blog covers and offer it to readers for free. Insure it’s something useful to your readers and capture their email when you give it away. Of course, in your eBook, you’ll link to your blog, right?

12. Interact with your readers. Ask for their advice or input. You might have them name your new puppy or advise you as to which seminar is the most useful. (Here’s a chance to give away your eBook to the winner, right?) A great way to get people involved is to publish on current and controversial subject matter that relates to your blog’s subject matter. For example, if your blog topic is sports, you might ask if Tiger Woods really deserves what he’s experiencing. Find a way to insure they get involved. It takes creativity, but the payoff will be worth the effort.

13. Link to other blog posts. Within the body of your post, promote other bloggers by linking to their articles. They will appreciate your promotion of their work and may just do the same for you, thus sending more readers your way.

I do encourage further reading and study. As an example, on Twitter I follow @problogger to help me with my blog.

Best of luck with your blog and let me know if you have any questions.

Until I hear from you, I wish you only best-sellers.

C. Patrick Schulze

Tips on How to Build Blog Readership

In General Information, Marketing Your Book on December 17, 2009 at 9:34 am

A couple of readers asked if I might post an article about how to increase readership of a blog and today’s the day. There are a thousand things you might do to increase readership, but let’s focus on some basic ideas even those new to blogging can initiate.

Determine why you’re doing this. You’ll spend time, energy, forethought and effort. And it helps to know what is it you wish to gain for this endeavor? If you have no goal in mind, why even spend the time? In my case, I want people to recognize my name so when my book is published, I’ll have a market already established.

Determine your target audience. Once you’ve determined your goal, determine your target audience and make that target a restively small group – a niche. Don’t even try to have the world read your blog. They won’t do it. Instead, aim for a realistic number – a niche. A niche market is one interesting in a single subject. More than six billion readers are available to you and even the guy who focuses on the chemical makeup of the pecan shell can find a million followers. There will be plenty of people interested in what you have to say. Identify your market and shoot for it, ignoring everyone else. In my case, I want aspiring authors to read my articles so to gain a bit of notoriety within my industry.

A blog is not about you, it’s about them. After you’ve established your goal and audience, then you must determine what it is they wish to know. Focus your blog on what THEY want to know. A potential reader must immediately understand what is in it for them. Your articles must have some sort of value to the reader or they won’t take their time. Consider this, I write to writers. If my articles were about cooking, how many writers do you think I would attract? (Here’s a secret – they don’t want to know about you.)

Next, consider the design of your blog. When you look at my blog, it’s quite minimalistic, on purpose. In fact, the one of the most common compliments I receive is the easy to read design. You should design yours based on your audience. If your market is young, say in their teens, it should be flashy, with color and motion. An older crowd would prefer something more staid.

Make people aware of your site. Joining communities is one way to do this. In my case, writers use social networking. So, I followed my audience. I set up accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Scribd and Ning then mention my articles. If they find a title interesting to them, they’ll click through to my site and, with a bit of luck, tell others about it. Learn the social networking end of it first and you’ll be well on your way. Though there are a thousand ways to make people aware of your site, but they are outside the scope of this article.

Write well. If your writing looks amateurish, you’ll not be able to develop credibility with readers and they’ll move on.  You don’t have to master the skills of Tolstoy, but you should learn how to write with skill. The occasional typo won’t kill your blog, but too many will.

Allow your personality to show through in your blog. Some say you must have something unique to say. Not so. I’ll bet there aren’t a dozen blog with truly exclusive concepts. In lieu of being one-of-a-kind, be you. Your audience numbers in the billions so you’ll find plenty who appreciate how you say what you say. However, you should keep profanity and vulgarity to a minimum. It ain’t as cool as you think.

Okay, my friends, this is your primer on building blog readership. In later postings, I’ll get into some more detailed methodologies.

Until then, I wish you only best-sellers.

C. Patrick Schulze