When I started blogging in 2008 my readers came from two sources: friends who knew about my blog (that is, I told them about it) and people who discovered it online. I had more readers who I didn’t know than people I did. The power of blogging became apparent when, after two weeks of blogging, someone in Africa commented on one of my posts.
While that still happens today, it’s far less common; there are so many blogs out there that few people will accidently stumble upon our particular blog.
Assuming we want people to read what we write, we need to promote it. Here are some ideas:
- Let our social media friends, followers, and circles know about our posts. The greater our reach on the various platforms and our degree of activity, the more people we will drive to our blog and posts.
- Include a link to our blog in our email signatures.
- Put our blog on our business cards and promotional materials.
- If our blog is part of our website, make the posts easy to find.
- If our blog is separate from our website, link from one to the other and add supporting info on the blog, such as an about section, a bio, contact info, photos, and other interesting content.
- Go old school and actually tell people about our blog.
- Start an email list and promote our posts to our list.
- Guest blog on other like-minded sites, and some of their readers will become our readers.
- Follow best SEO (search engine optimization) practices.
When we get people to our blog, we want them to keep coming back. Here are some tips to do that:
- Let them subscribe via email and be notified of each new post.
- Provide a link to an RSS feed so they can easily access posts from their blog reader.
- Post according to a schedule. That way they can form a habit of reading our posts on a regular basis. (I post here every Saturday morning.)
- Ask for comments and interact with those who comment. While some comments don’t warrant a response, most do.
- Make it easy for people to comment; don’t require them to log in, sign-up, or be approved. If you must moderate comments (which I do not advise), approve them quickly.
- Post great content!
When we take these steps more people will read our posts – and isn’t that what we want?
What is the purpose of your blog? What tips do you have to increase readership?
Peter DeHaan is an author, publisher, and editor. He gives back to the writing community through this blog. Get insider info from his monthly newsletter. Sign up today!