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How Do I Get More Relevant Readers for My Blog?

Speed-Posting

@happygirl08 asks about how to – “get more relevant readers to your blog/ mailing list??”

Good question – some bloggers tend to focus on getting more readers of any kind – they don’t really care about who they are, they just want their numbers to increase. So I think it’s good that you’re asking about ‘relevant’ readers because some readers will come to your blog and then leave, never to return, whereas others will come back again and again because they click with something on your blog (I presume this is what you mean by ‘relevant readers’. OK – now that I’ve said that – an answer:

Here’s the question that I encourage you to ask – “where are the readers that I want already gathering in numbers?”

The key is to identify where these ‘relevant’ readers are already gathering. On almost every topic you can think of there are people already gathering online – so it’s a matter of identifying these ‘hot spots’ and working out how to participate in them in a way that can draw readers to your blog. This doesn’t mean spamming their comments sections or forums – but adding value, submitting guest posts, helping that community grow etc. Out of this you’ll find opportunities come to grow your blog. I’ve written more on this at Grow Your Blog’s Readership by Targeting Readers.

What would you add to my answer on how to get more relevant readers for your blog?

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. I guess in other words, your saying tracking down and finding your target market, and letting yourself be known to that market. If you think about it, we couldn’t be living in a better time for that sort of thing with all of the different groups in places like Facebook, Sphinn etc. Thanx Darren.. a great post!

  2. Linda Abbit says:

    Hi,

    I would look off-line for readers as well as on line.

    My very-soon-to-be launched blog will be about eldercare/caring for aging parents and I plan on telling the administration at my Mom’s nursing home about it, my support group co-members, my friends, my family, my neighbors, and just about shout if from the rooftops.

    I think my demographic, baby boomers and/or sandwich generation members, are everywhere to be found and I’m hoping to help them through my blog.

    If you analyze who you are writing for, I think you can find some groups, clubs, or associations in the real world to tell about your blog, as well as this wonderful online community that we’re all apart of.

    Love the 3-minute posting idea, Darren! Did you get it from speed dating? Happy happy birthday!!! Thanks for all you do.

    Cheers,
    Linda

  3. Mary Corbet says:

    Ask Quality Questions on other popular sites in your niche! Need help now and then. And be humble – don’t try to “shove” your blog down other people’s reader lists!

  4. Fabien says:

    I certainly agree with this answer, the easiest example is the make money online niche, because it is growing out of control. There are now literally hundreds of blogs about ‘making money online’, therefore there is a lot of opportunity to get your brand out there and be better than quite a few of them.

    Climbing up the 45n5 ladder is also a good way of establishing authority by having very good statistics that prove your blog is an authority blog. You can grow your readership from there too, and get very relevant readers, because people tend to frequent this list as they can find blogs similar to their own.

    I think all in all, the key factor here is found in your content after you have attracted these ‘relevant’ or ‘contextual’ readers (hehehe). When they come to your site, they may like your design, but the tipping point is whether or not they subscribe, and if they do, it’s because they enjoyed your content and saw that what you were providing to them was very valuable.

    One point that Darren mentioned is the one about commenting; and I am extremely fond of this myself. Post comments that ADD VALUE to the post, I don’t know how many times I’ve told people that one-liners are spam-like and won’t get them any attention. An excellent answer Darren, answered in short amounts of time as well.

  5. Mike says:

    That’s how I gain traffic to my blogs. Find others who cover the same topic and participate. Even if it means commenting on other posts. I’m not say spam them, but if you are interesting and on topic, people will occasionally click back to see what other information you have to share on your own blog.

  6. John Hesston says:

    It’s all about good content and providing a service, either to help or entertain someone.

  7. Eli says:

    It’s easier if the niche you’re in isn’t bloated therefore easier to rank well in the SERPs, which will bring relevant readers.

  8. Also think about WHO already has a list of your target market. That person may have their own blog, an eZine, a monthly teleclass, a snail-mail newsletter, live events, or a bunch of other ways they communicate with their audience.

    Then you can offer something OF VALUE to their audience — a guest post, guest article, free (non-sales page) eBook, teleclass — in exchange for just giving them a break on content, exposure to your list, or a % share of what you are selling.

    Sometimes bloggers just think about other blogs & forums, but you should also look for other groups of your target market.

  9. Steve J says:

    Participate. Participate. Participate.

    You nailed it quite well. Find where people gather and then become involved.

    If you want to buy dinner, you go to a supermarket because that’s where all the food is. If you want to get readers, go to the forums and sites because that’s where they’re already hanging out! :)

  10. Frugal Dad says:

    One technique I have used is go outside your niche one level and look at some peripheral topics. Once identified, comment on top blogs in that niche, join forums, etc.

    I write primarily about frugality, but I also touch on parenting, careers, debt, etc. Attracting readers from closely-related niches brings diversity to your audience, and as long as your material occasionally touches on these broader niches you’ll retain them and your long-time subscribers as well.

  11. Jenny says:

    thanks. this helped me a lot. :)

  12. Josh Anstey says:

    I think it also depends on the way you are trying to brand yourself and your blog.

    Thanks for the post Darren.

  13. Louis Liem says:

    Join social medias, look for people with similar interest with your most recent post and befriend them. So they get updates on your latest articles (or similar features like that) and hopefully they’ll visit your blog to digg up more.

  14. Josh Anstey says:

    Following from my last comment, I thought I would elaborate on it a bit.

    By branding yourself and your blog – you want to position yourself as an expert in the area, and as Darren said, ‘add value’, so that people want to join your blogs community.

  15. Darren, very true! Relevant comments by you on relevant community blogs will generate relevant commentary by your new reads to your blog.

  16. Dominique says:

    Darren,
    thanks for answering my question. Your answer really opened my mind to the direction that I should be looking at for in my parenting niche.
    I also learned a lot from the other comments on this post

    Regards,
    Dominique (Happygirl08)

  17. mr.eims says:

    Good question and answer..
    because I never think of this before.
    I only target readers from search engines which is (yes they search for contents inside my blog) but mostly will just come, get what they want and maybe come again and maybe not..

  18. Simple Mom says:

    Surprisingly (to me anyway), my traffic builds a lot when I participate in a popular carnival – I manage to gather a number of new subscribers each time I do this. The trick is to present something original and fresh (it’s easy to find stale articles on a lot of carnivals, in my opinion), participate in the comments section of your own blog, and then to pop over to their blog and leave a few comments. Seems to show you truly care about engaging with them.

  19. BW says:

    I have found the following to be very helpful.

    Blog Carnivals
    Forums
    Leaving well crafted comments on blogs in your niche

    And remember, content is the key. Provide great useful content and you will see your traffic increase

  20. partha says:

    Darren,
    thanks for your good answer for a generalized question.

  21. 1. Stop thinking like a blogger. Unless your niche is directly related to blogging, when you stop targeting bloggers and start targeting readers, your numbers will explode.

    Bloggers are battling RSS overwhelm. While bloggers are more likely to click to add your feed, they’re also likely to cut you when they get overwhelmed. Non bloggers don’t have that to such an extreme.

    In Dominique’s case, there are boatloads of mums and caregivers who aren’t already blogging or really into blogs or RSS. Target them through forums and places like iVillage or Workitmom, and make it extremely easy for them to understand email subscription.

    2. In Dominique’s particular example, I would probably remove the Feedburner count. With the explosion of blogging that’s been taking place lately, the social proof factor has really come to the forefront.

    3. Get friendly. This can obviously include relevant comments, social media, and guest posting, but also getting up close and personal with other bloggers. Send emails, really get to know people. Make them Friends with a capital F. The kind you’d go out for a drink with, not just the “friends” that social media created. Bloggers, especially mommy bloggers, are incredibly isolated. We crave true human contact. By making yourself a real person, you can separate yourself from the crowd of people who just leave comments.

    Good luck Dominique!

  22. Ginkgo100 says:

    Make it social! One of my blogs is a puzzle blog. I participate on another puzzle blog, boiledbeans.net, which is awfully addictive in and of itself. I play there for fun, but always leave a link to my own puzzle blog, and today I saw from my analytics that this site is one of the best for referring visitors who stick around. I get more visitors from some other sites, but they leave almost right away.

    Obviously I’m not spamming — my first motivation for participation is that it is a very fun site for me. And I sure do spend a lot of time with Google, trying to figure the puzzles out. And that has turned out more effective so far than some of the other methods I’ve dabbled with, such as posting to social media sites.

  23. Andrew says:

    Tip: Comment on blogs outside your niche, but who have written about something related to your niche

    For the past week or two, I’ve been researching for an article series. Through this research, I’ve discovered many new bloggers. Before I left, I dropped a relevant comment on a post of theirs related to my blog niche.

    I was pleasantly surprised to see that many of them emailed me to say that they are now subscribing to my blog, and several have since referred to my blog in subsequent posts.

    Although this technique is slow (one subscriber at a time), it provides relevant readers. And the best part is that you can accomplish it just through your regular article research.

  24. piyush says:

    it was a very good question and the a very good answer for it ,i m new in blogging and found it very useful for my blog.

  25. Jewel says:

    I guess joining a community where you think your target audience are likely to be.
    Thanks for putting us in perspective.

  26. sami says:

    everyones blog is different and this will mean different types of users and visitors

  27. Planet Berry says:

    This is such a critical topic for bloggers and web based content builders (traditional sites). Numbers are not always the best thing to have. Loyalty is what drives your Rankings from repeat visitors to backlinking strategies with relevant themes to your site or blog.

    We use a methodolgy called CTPM which is all about preselling your theme via content driven development. If you build it with the right thought process and keywords assoiated to a well written topic/page your readers will come and come back. Its the KEY to success in the ever changing fight for the elusive customers.

    Get the passion on the screen. Write for humans not for rankings. Never stuff keywords unjustly. They will come and they will come back.

    Our site is now in it’s 12th month. We went from a PR 0 to PR 4 in 10 months. At a PR 0 we had (on a good day) 10-15 unique visitors. Then we got to 100 pages of content and started to see positive change. Now we have a PR4 and our Adsense and Affiliate revenues have grown nicely. No retirement yet. But if we get to PR5 by end of summer the site will have taken a major shift in the right direction which is Leverage of the Web via Content:

    CTPM : learn all about it…

  28. Evelyn Lim says:

    My answer will be to get on Facebook and find out where these people are. Check up relevant Facebook groups and post useful answers to questions on topic boards.

  29. Surender says:

    I think we need more and more relevant users.But sometime a normal visitor subscribe for without any reason & leave after subscription without check his/her mailbox.But some visitors come from relevant blog/sites they stay longer as subscriber.Today on 21 October 2008 I check my Google analytics.Found the good traffic from relevant sites/blogs and mostly users are from this type of sites and blogs.