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Finding Readers for Your Blog (Part A)

Also read Parts BC and D of this series.

A number of new bloggers have recently asked me how to get people to visit their blog. Let me say up front that ‘getting hits’ isn’t everything – there are other reasons to blog than simply to have your thoughts read – for some its more about the process of writing and what is learned along the way, for others its about writing for their family and friends. I guess it comes down to priorities.

Having said that – most bloggers deep down must have some desire to have people read what they write – if not why not just keep a private diary on your computer?

So, hits are not everything, but having people read your blog is part of the deal – so how do you get them there?

There are no hard and fast rules that will guarantee you hoards of readers. However, the following are some ideas that spring to mind that might help you connect with potential readers. (this the first of three parts on this topic).

1. It takes time – It may not be what you want to hear, but it unless you’re a genius, extremely lucky or have an amazing new idea, it takes time to build a readership. So settle in for the long haul and muscle up some patience.

2. Quality Content and Good Design – There are millions of blogs out there for your readers to choose from – give them something a little unique and worthwhile to come and read. Original material tends to get more attention than links to news or other blogs (unless you’re one of the few metablogs that get attention).

Also try to keep your content up to date and topical. Think ahead so that you are blogging about upcoming events a week or so in advance – this gives search engines a chance to find your page before the day when everyone is searching for info on it. For example I posted a post on Matrix Revolutions almost two weeks ago – today (release day for the movie) over half of my search engine referals are going to that post. If I’d posted it yesterday it wouldn’t be found by Google til after the initial buzz about the movie had subsided.

3. Link to others – Having said that original material is best – linking to others is a good way to get another bloggers attention. They might notice your link on a tool like Technorati, or in their statistics package referrals or in their trackbacks (if they have it). Don’t link randomly to everyone and anyone – be selective and link to quality content.

If you have a collection of blogs that you regularly read put them in a blogroll in a side bar and surf to them through your page. If they check their referrers they’ll know you or someone from your site has stopped by.

4. Comment on others blogs – I suspect that a number of my regular readers first came to my blog because I left a comment on theirs. It was not a strategy I thought about – I just found myself quite addicted to reading others blogs and giving feedback. When you leave a comment leave your own blog address. Often people like to know who is reading their blog and will come visiting you. Don’t comment just for the sake of it. If someone leaves me a ‘hi’ comment or is obviously trolling my blog I won’t visit them – its just frustrating. Make genuine comments on posts that connect with you. You might make a good friend in the process.

Also read Parts BC and D of this series. Feel free to leave your thoughts and tips in comments.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Gordon says:

    Darren,

    I’m new to the blogosphere, but I was lucky enough to have a major event to launch my blog on (anti-Japanese riots in China) and it just so happens that I was in the right place at the right time with a camera and I was able to show the rest of the world what the MSM couldn’t.

    Anyway, here are a couple of links that I’ve found to be rather useful in syndicating your site blog (if you have RSS features).

    http://www.pingmyblog.com/

    http://pingomatic.com/

    I have shortcuts to these sites on my desktop and every time I publish a new blog entry, I use these sites to ping the blogosphere.

    Sorry if someone else has already listed these before.

    Cheers!

    Gordon

  2. csull says:

    First off let me quickly say that I recently found this site and I haven’t been able to get enough. That being said, I think you’re definitely on the right track. Content is so important, and if you write information/articles worth reading word will spread and traffic will increase. And of course it takes more than just something well said. That’s where your comments on linking and commenting pick up.

    I really think you have to look at your blog like a TV show. There are a ton of them on, and they change constantly. You’ve got to decide what to watch and then watch it, but if you can’t find it or don’t know about it you miss it. In the case of a blog, you’ve got to let people know about it. You’ve also got to make sure that once people do know about it, they find it interesting enough to come back regularly (or even add the site feed to a reader like Thunderbird – much like Tivo for the net).

    I’m off to go read the other sections of the article. By the way, love the site. Nice work.

  3. Alex Marlin says:

    Hi Darren,

    I came to your blog actually looking for info, pertainign to maintaning and organizing my blog.

    Well, what can I say, I learned more aboout SEO from you for FREE than I did reading manuals I had paid big money for.

    Thanks for the free info, and you have a very informative blog going.

    Keep up the stride, I like what your doing.

  4. Matt says:

    Thanks for the great advice. I just stumbled on your site via google and I’m finding some helpful things. Thanks.

  5. Dr J says:

    Thanks for the good advice. I too am looking for new ways to make my blog more well known. It is difficult sometimes to get conversations going. Many of the articles I write, while I find them interesting, don’t receive any comments. I do get quite a few hits from blog communities though.

  6. Justin says:

    Along with commenting on other blogs, you should also post comments in related forums. Most forum systems allow you to have a signature with a link in each post. Not only will you get relevant readers, but it will help index your site since the forums and message boards are usually well-crawled.

  7. Linda says:

    I have learned so much from your site. It’s very informative. Thanks so much.

  8. Thanks for a great site.
    i learn a lot from you.

    have a nice day

    http://www.whoinventedmoney.com/

  9. Thanks man, I was hoping you would discuss the traffic issue again. Yes it does take time!

  10. Thanks for great tips.

  11. Stuart says:

    4. Comment on others blogs

    I find that I get a serious case of add when reading blogs. There’s so much information out there I tend to read as much of it as I can & never really stop to think to comment on people posts! How rude of me….. :p

    As of today I’m kicking my ADD demons to the curb & hope to comment on as many posts as possible.

    Cheers
    Stuart
    http://www.earnersblog.com/

  12. Ricky says:

    Darren,
    Thanks Darren for your advice, it’s preety well hear from your side about SEO tactis for blogs. It is good idea for attract readers for blogs. In spite of these by submit your blog in to directories, may also give some traffic and inbound links for your blogs. For all bloggers above commenting on this page , you may also aware of linking with each other blogs. coz once you give link to someone he/she may also link back and if you check the backlinks of any well running blog By typing link:www.something.com in Google you will find that, backlinks for their blog comes from many other useful blogs. So try to make community for your blog promotion by giving links to relevant blog. It will improve your ranking and you may find traffic on your blog.

    Ricky
    http://simfreephones.blogspot.com

  13. wapsi says:

    thanks for all the great advice. your site is a great servce to everyone entering the blogosphere.

  14. Dave says:

    Hey Darren,

    I just started my blog up last week to help college students become better writers and to help them with the overall college experience. I haven’t really gotten any visitors yet, but you’re giving me hope. I have a ton of things to talk about and (I think) I have a unique brand. All of this is very helpful. Thanks!

  15. Chong Choon says:

    This is one great site… It’s really motivate me to pursue a professional blogging route…

  16. I like to comment on peoples blogs, but always felt it was poor etiquette to advertise my blog when doing so. Thanks to your great post now I know its not poor etiquette if its done in good taste. I will be reading your blog now and thank you for the great tips!

    Cheers,
    Chris
    http://www.SolarCoupons.com

  17. Krissy Knox says:

    I like how you stated the strategy of commenting on others blogs, and as a result they commented back on yours. I did the same thing when I first began bloging, having no idea that this would lead to my blog becoming a little successful.

    I did not, in any shape or form, go to these blogs and make comments to get comments back. But new readers and comments began flowing in!

    Whenever a new blogger asks me for advice on how to get readers/commenters, I tell him/her to begin visiting and commenting in blogs himself/herself. And I tell him/her to make sure his/her comments are sincere and relate to the post. No “Have a nice weekend, Krissy” comments. But rather, serious contributions to conversations in the blogosphere. I tell him/her not to leave comments because they want them back, but rather because everyone appreciates and deserves comments.

    Then I tell a new blogger that after he/she has paid his dues, so to speak, in the blogosphere (by commenting and by helping out the community in other ways), that he will begin to see readers and commenters. He need only write and wait. Commenters WILL come. So, while he did not comment to get comments, he WILL be rewarded by getting comments. It’s just the law of the blogosphere! And it is a WIN- WIN situation for everyone! Bloggers all give to each other. What I am trying to say, but am complicating it, is that if you give, without the intention of getting back, you WILL get back anyway! Help others and it will come back to you… Try it, you will be amazed.

    Pay your dues as a beginning blogger… Help other bloggers. And remember, building a readership who trusts you and loves you takes time.

    Keep on blogging, Krissy :)

  18. Im a Daily Reader of Your Blog now. Every tip is really helpful to me. Im really learning because of you. Hope you have time to visit my page. One more I’ve enter the keyword “blogging” on google and I see that you’re on top 3 or 4. 1st place is wikipedia 2nd is blogger.com — how cool is that.

  19. Darren,
    I’ve been slowly working my way through your (massive) archives trying to learn as much as I can from you. It’s been an interesting journey and I have already picked up lots of info. However, I particularly liked the comment about linking to other people’s blogs, and then navigating to them from your own blogroll. I never thought about that but I think it’s a brilliant idea. I’ll start using it and see how it goes. Thanks for another great tip!

    Mark,
    http://www.poundbangwhack.com

Trackbacks

  1. Blog Tip 11 – Finding Readers (Part A)
    I suspect I could cop some flack for this post – but a number of new bloggers have recently asked me how to get hits on their blog. Let me say up front that ‘getting hits’ isn’t everything. I guess…