In this post JEMI from InMyHeels.com explores the age old challenge of bloggers – finding readers for your blog.
I’ve been trying to ‘hack’ the secret that the big bloggers clearly utilize to charm new readers in by the hundreds on a daily basis.
- Great content? Got it.
- Social Media, yup – I already know this.
- User friendly blog, great About page, plugins that you plug in – check check check.
The tips are out there and I scarf them up and wash them down with Entrecard drops.
Taking a good look at my site, InMyHeels.com, there are certain differences between my site and the other self improvement sites out there. For instance, I partially keep my URL out of a grand stubbornness as I am tickled pink by it and therefore make no apologies. My writing style isn’t leaving either because it is greatly infused with my personality; just thinking about deserting it in favor of “The Big Blog Picture” sends me back into life offline.
:: shudders ::
Can you imagine? (I’m kidding.)
What I CAN imagine are the bloggers out there who are just like me. You love your blog as is.
But what do you do when you can’t help but worry that:
- You haven’t a clue where to find your readers let alone get them to find a new home on your blog?
- You’re different and maybe that’s why people aren’t reading your blog
Well I may be a newbie but here are a couple of tips based on what I’ve discovered so far;
Reader Hunting: Where to Find Them
It’s Ok to Steal Borrow:
You go and you hang out on other sites in your niche and you read comments. Some people are clear about what they are all about with their names, the length and depth of their comment, and the frequency of their visits. You know what THAT means? They just might like your blog – if they ever hear about it. Hey – if, for instance, he/she is hanging out on those bigger blogs to find Tips for Life, Love, You ( ), he/she just may like my site too!
So what do you do?
You head on over to their site. Maybe they’re in your niche. Maybe not. Leave real comments that elicit the urge to click and see who left it. Sometimes that’s all it takes. If you can’t leave a comment, perhaps shooting an email would work too. Don’t think “Oh but that’s for the Little Leagues”. Everyone counts. People talk. People share great sites with their friends. People rave about great finds. So BE that great find. Social media is excellent because the very basics – being social – work like a charm every single time. Who doesn’t like a little attention?
And of course, you do all this while you whip up the best proposal you can think of to ask Big Blogger if you may whip up a guest post. “No” isn’t the end of your blogging world. And besides. Some of their readers may have started to love you too anyway. Big Blogger just might change his/her mind later on!
Lay on the Link Love:
One thing I do on my blog is link to highly relevant blog posts and articles that other bloggers create. I do this for several reasons.
- Since I’m in the business of helping and informing my readers, I generally won’t send them to something only mildly useful for the sake of linkage within the main body of a post.
- When your readers can count on the quality of your links, they will be good for happily clicking away in the future.
- Some of those trackbacks include a few words that precede or follow said link. The strategically written sentence that sent your readers over to the other blogger’s page may be the same one that attracts the commentators on the other blog to come over to your side. This is, of course, granted that the blogger’s trackbacks are set up that way.
- What blogger wouldn’t notice the incoming traffic of great readers? Where are they coming from? Not only can it lead to the discovery of your site (Big Bloggers check the incoming linkage too!), they may reciprocate in the future. It’s a beautiful thing.
All that being said, I love other bloggers. I do. It really feels great when other bloggers come around and say “Hey – JEMi is it? Awesome blog!”. However, I am greedy and want Non-Bloggers to come too. Yes, the people who haven’t heard about RSS yet. I welcome them! So I head over to the forums and I mingle. People really click your link on those signatures – my stats told me so. I try to make my blog Non-Blogger friendly by keeping things simple because, believe it or not, many people don’t know what a blog is. The blogosphere is huge, yes, but then there is the rest of the world. Non-Blogger finds your site, loves the information, and emails it to someone and/or bookmarks it (before he/she learns about RSS). It’s a beautiful thing watching your readership grow with all types of readers.
Keeping Them Interested
Painfully Obvious Does the Trick:
As clever as we know you are, web surfers are quick to sail right past your page if it isn’t clear what your blog is about. So I say we club them with the obvious and enjoy their company as we drag pull them in with our brilliance. Make it clear what the mission of your blog is. Right up there in the header, your slogan, your artwork – anything that you can plug purpose into.
- Your first impression with your design
- Your bold print “THIS BLOG IS ABOUT LOVE” … (or ok…work on that)
- Your consistent writing style
- Your suggested reading, Amazon carousel, reviews, and the other ads on your site
The point here is make it plain and simple to see what you are all about:
These things let someone know he’s found something worth reading and bravo – a delighted new reader.
Different is Good…As Long as it’s Relevant:
Your Make Money Online Blog doesn’t need to look like everyone else’s. Most likely everyone else is trying to copy THE Make Money Online Blog anyway. If this doesn’t suit your taste, then why force it? Dare to be different. You style or perspective may be unique. The key here is drawn from Tip #1: Painfully Obvious Does the Trick. Do your headlines inform your readers what you’re trying to say at a glance? If not, what’s your way of drawing them in? How have you managed to tie your Red Dancing Monkey to the wicked world of finance? Or ok – you’re all about controversy. Can you hold your own and make some food for thought that irk people just the right way and get them to comment? The unique nature of your blog may be the very thing that brings its popularity. Don’t allow the Analysis Paralysis (Oh you know – when you get a crick in your virtual neck because you stare at the other great blogs for so long, you’ve lost sight of yours) to set in and take you off course. Focus on your point, stick with it – then being as different as you wanna be is A OK.
The Readers Tell You What They Want:
Of course you know you can’t please everyone BUT (!) you read those comments and you see what sends ’em into a frenzy. Which topics get those Digg buttons going? If you pay attention, you can soon realize what type of posts are golden – or CAN be with just little tweaking. Lack of traffic isn’t a reflection of you. SOMETHING needs to tell these readers “Hey! I’m worth reading”. It’s the goods that you offer. You’ll soon notice them trickle (or surge!) in and do trust – there are plenty more where they came from.
So pay attention- the comments say more than a piece of their mind!
You Want Rich Connections:
When you’ve found your groove and are comfortable cranking out the content that lull those readers to your side of the blogosphere, remember to connect with your readers by staying on course, acknowledging them through comments and/or emails, and reflecting your dedication to them by sticking around for the long run. When a new reader comes to your blog, a strong sense of community may just be the breaking bough that sends them falling in love with your blog. People like to feel included. With such high quality content being provided AND a connection with the author – the word will spread that your site’s the place to be. Those words count whether they come in the form of link love or kudos.
You Want to Leave a Mark:
Since the internet is so condensed with information, something about you is going to have to shine in order to be desirable to the reader. With choosing your niche comes the responsibility of doing it justice. Since I am inquisitive by nature, I try to think “What would I ask if I knew NOTHING about this topic?” It’s a great starting point because the answers to those questions would automatically give you less fluff and a lot more of that QUALITY CONTENT you hear so much about. And you know – people like that.
The mark that you leave with that quality content would be your personal style – your writing voice so to speak. You want it to show in this post, the next, and the next. Readers start to expect more of that great stuff they sensed LAST time they read something from you.
<quote>Wait – what happened? Who is this boring person?! – Displeased New Reader</quote>
You don’t want that. So speak with confidence and speak in your own voice on a consistent basis. When they want more, guess who they come back to?
If you want the world to read your words and I daresay – long for more, put your best out there each and every time. You grow as a writer with such consistent conscious attention to detail and your readership will grow right along with you. I can attest to this truth – as a new blogger, I am experiencing this growth right now and boy does it feel good!
So go ahead you. Reel them in! :-)