While there are no easy answers for finding readers I think it’s a topic well worth coming back to again and again.
“I’ve recently started a blog (August) and I’m trying to figure out the best way to drive quality traffic to my site. I’ve been writing at least a post a day if not every other day. I began commenting on 9rules and a few other sites that I enjoy visiting. I was wondering if you could provide some insight for a beginning blogger on getting that initial readers base. Do I just continue commenting on sites I read or digg articles, what can I do to get this jump started.”
OK – there are many answers to this question and I’ve written many posts on the topic of finding readers for a blog (I’ll share a link with loads of resources at the bottom of this post). However let me put forward a few thoughts that come to mind:
1. You’ve Made a Good Start - you’ve already stumbled on one key factor in promoting your blog – interacting on other people’s turf. Keep leaving those comments, getting to know other bloggers and contributing to what others are doing on their blogs. This does have an impact. It may not bring thousands of readers in – it’s more of a ‘one reader at a time’ type strategy – however you never know when that ‘one reader’ will be someone influential.
2. Take it Up a Notch – so you’ve discovered the principle of interacting on other people’s turf – so how about taking it up a notch and doing something more than leaving comments? How about attempting to get a few guest posting spots on key blogs in the niche that you’re trying to make a mark in? I’ve seen a number of bloggers who’ve really built a name for themselves by doing this. Of course your guest posts need to be of a high standard – but if they are you can really make an impression on a blogger and their readers.
3. Communicate What Your Blog Is About – I hope you don’t mind – but I’ve taken a look at your blog Greg (toonice4TV). A few questions that I asked myself when I first arrived at your blog (questions that most readers of a new blog would ask when they first arrive) ‘what’s it about?’, ‘what’s in it for me on this blog?’ In the same way that you’d be unlikely to pick up and buy a magazine that you didn’t know the topic of – readers are not likely to stick around on a blog for long that doesn’t communicate strongly what it is about and how people will benefit from it. There are lots of techniques for getting people to a blog – but the key is to have something that communicates strongly to them when they get there.
4. What Makes You Different? – Another key question that potential readers will ask is ‘what’s different about this blog?’. What’s your blog’s unique selling proposition to a prospective reader? What sets it apart from the other millions of blogs out there (many of which are writing on a similar topic). You need to communicate this clearly – in the design, branding and content. New blogs need to work hard on this.
5. Make it Easy to Connect – another quick observation having taken a quick look at your blog – perhaps make subscribing to your blog via RSS a little easier. While I can see your feed in the URL field in Firefox using auto discovery – it might be worth promoting your feed a little more prominently on the blog in some way. You might use an RSS button or icon of some kind – or even just an ‘RSS’ Text Link. I find that the more prominently you do this the more people will use it and the more likely you are to convert a one off visitor into a loyal one.
6. Content – ultimately it is the content that you write that will be key in growing your readership – unique content that engages with and enhances the lives of people over the long term.
A lot more could be said on the topic of building readership on a blog let me point you to some links instead of regurgitating it all here.
You can find them on my How to Find Readers for Your Blog page which compiles some of my most popular posts on how to build readership and how to leverage it once you’ve got it.