Today I want to explore a ‘secret’ of growing the readership of a blog.
A few weeks ago I explored how to increase the number of subscribers on your blog through creating anticipation. The more people anticipate that they’ll get something of value from your blog in the future the more likely they are to want to come back and subscribe.
The problem is that you can create anticipation on your blog as much as you like without increasing your readership one iota if you don’t also do what I’m going to share with you today.
I touched on this ‘secret’ last November in a post titled Blog Promotion: Are You Preaching to the Converted? but let me summarize the mistake that I see many bloggers (big and small) running into when they’re promoting their blogs.
The Problem of Preaching to the Converted
The mistake that I think many of us make in our blog promotion is that we continue to promote our subscription methods to the same people – those who have already subscribed to it – our regular readers.
We’re preaching to the converted – or to use another analogy we’re mining the same patch of dirt over and over again.
Some Promotion to the Loyal is OK
Now I’m not arguing with this post that you shouldn’t talk about your subscription methods to regular readers or that they should never see your invitations to subscribe (promoting your methods of subscription prominently is an important technique in building RSS subscriber numbers) – however doing it to your regular readers will have a diminishing conversion rate the more you do it.
Perhaps the most public example of this was in the post that I linked to above where I observed that John Chow and Shoemoney’s competition to increase subscriber numbers seemed to largely pitched to their current readers – however I see daily examples of how many bloggers do this (and have done it myself).
Example One - I once followed a blogger who writes a post each week which promotes their subscription methods.
Example Two - I follow another blog that has an invitation to subscribe to it’s RSS feed actually in the footer of every post on that same RSS feed.
While I do encourage you to post about subscription methods (see point #2 here) – the more you do this the less impact it will have over time. In fact the more you do it the more you run the risk of annoying your regular readers (illustrated by the point that I no longer read the blog in example 1 above).
I guess what I’m saying is that it’s ok to preach to the converted a little (it does work) but your main efforts when it comes to promoting your blog should be happening OFF your blog.
If you really want to grow your blog’s subscriber count you need to find new potential readers to draw in.
Another Obvious Secret
Yes this is another obvious piece of knowledge – yet it’s something that many of us fail to understand and live out. We continue to dig in the same patch of dirt expecting our blogs to grow.
So How Do You Expose Your Blog to NEW Readers?
Ok – so the ‘secret’ is to keep your blog promotion efforts more OFF your blog on readers that you’re yet to connect with rather than those that area already loyal – but how do you do it?
I will say up front that as easy as the principle is in practice it’s a lot harder. Getting word out about your blog to new groups of readers is not easy – however unless you make a concerted effort to get yourself out there your subscriber count will remain slow (at best).
How I’d Promote My Blog If I Were Starting Out Again
I’m regularly asked how I’d promote my blog if I was starting out again today and didn’t have the profile that I currently have. This week I want to answer that question with a series of posts – all of which are focused upon this topic of finding NEW readers.
I’m going to cover five areas that I’d focus upon as a new blogger attempting to give my blog a start. I hope you find them useful.