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How To Take Your Blog to the Next Level… Once You’ve Got a Start

Help! People are reading my blog, what do I do next?

I get a lot of emails from people asking for advice how to get people to read their blog and have written a number of series of posts with tips on how to find readers – but lately I’ve had conversations with a few bloggers who are at the next level – they have readers but are unsure what to do next.

While it is a problem that many bloggers would love to have – when you actually DO get readers other challenges face a blogger including:

  • keeping momentum going in terms of writing content
  • converting one off visitors into ongoing readers
  • monetization of the traffic
  • building community

Over the next two weeks I want to write a series of 9 tips for bloggers facing some of these problems – those who have had some success in attracting traffic (whether it be from search engines or loyal readers) and who are looking to take their blogging to the next level.

Note for Beginners: The topics I cover are relevant to bloggers of all sizes – but I’ve found them to be particularly relevant for those adolescent blogs who have moved beyond their launch stage and are finding their feet.

Here are the topics we’ll be covering over the next couple of weeks:

  1. Building Upon Your Strengths
  2. Converting First Time Readers to Loyal Readers
  3. Keeping Fresh Content Flowing
  4. Growing Traffic to the Next Level With Search Engine Optimization
  5. Building Community a sense of Community on Your Blog
  6. Shaping Your Brand
  7. Expanding Connecting Points With Readers
  8. Extending Your Blog Audience Beyond Your Current Network
  9. Making Money – Moving Beyond AdSense

To follow along with this series make sure you subscribe to our RSS feed or bookmark and come back to this page where I’ll be linking to each new post as it is published on the blog.

Stay tuned later today for the next post in this series.

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. This should be really useful, looking forward to it.

  2. Can not wait to read those articles. “Easy to Start, Hard to maintain”. Let’s see how Darren can take a blog to “next level”.

  3. Mike says:

    Oh dear, more of the same, yawn. I’ve subscribed for around 4 months and, IIRC, have found about 3 posts of mild interest.

    How many times can you say the same thing different ways?

    5 tips this, 7 tips that – quite frankly, it’s bordering on becoming an insult to intelligence – hardly anything is new that wasn’t written 3 years ago already; and 95% of that is common sense.

    Most people here just want you to touch them with your God-like hand in the hope of transferring some mystical midas power: ‘Awesome post’; ‘Thanks for sharing these great tips’… LOLs, great comments, yeah.

    Sorry, I gave it a shot – I’m out of here.

  4. Lara Kulpa says:

    Mike – I’m sorry you see things that way. I know that for myself, and for many out there, Darren makes us think of things sometimes that we’ve either forgotten or purposely let slip by the wayside.

    Sure, a lot of stuff here is geared toward beginners, and those who have been at this for quite some time don’t “need” a lot of this info – but that’s not really why ProBlogger.net exists. It’s here to teach, it’s here to refresh, it’s here to remind us.

    Here’s my question: Do you feel better now that you’ve gotten all that out? I mean, personally, when I find that I’m not or no longer interested in a site, I simply unsub from the RSS and am on my way. I don’t feel the need to berate and condemn in a comment at random…

    Anyway, best of luck with all you do – I’m sure Darren would be wishing you the same.

  5. Writer Dad says:

    This sounds terrific. I’m excited for the series. My original blog is officially an adolescent, and my others all babies. Can’t wait!

  6. escalaweb says:

    Good! I’ll be reading. Still need lots of advice.

  7. looking forward to reading thest 9 posts in detail as I am a sorta beginner blogger myself.

  8. p@r@noid says:

    The most important thing here is that now you ave set a expectation level for your readers ..So this is time to fulfill all the promises you have made in your old posts.
    People always tends to forget about the old posts where they have made the promises like : I will come up with this post and I will come up with that post.. Specially when they become famous….
    @ That stage it does not matter how many new readers have joined u, if you have lost even a single member at this stage its bad for u ….

  9. Excellent theme for a high-quality series. I myself have found the ‘next step’ is to focus on my own personal branding and from there, the community/knowledge/business grows.

  10. ITrush says:

    Wow that’s a lot.. can’t wait to take down notes and start implementing it right away..

  11. mama says:

    This will be great learning for me. I am struggling new- blogger;
    Thanks, that will be great help.

  12. Looks like a great series. I can’t wait.

  13. No Debt Plan says:

    Mike sounds bitter.

    For those of us that aren’t blogging gurus, or have forgotten some of the older tips, having consistent reminders is great for us. There are thousands of things you can do to a blog, surely. And sure, you could break them up into basic sections.

    But a reminder to do this or do that every so often is very helpful to bloggers like me. I simply can’t remember to do everything all the time.

    Or perhaps in the past a tip in the past wasn’t relevant at the time. My blog wasn’t big enough or it didn’t fit into my niche. But things change and now the tips are slam dunks for my blog.

    I guess you can’t make everyone happy.

  14. Looking forward to all 9 topics. Thanks Darren!

  15. Muzi Mohale says:

    Mike, I discovered ProBlogger.net less than 12 months ago and am still new to the world of blogging, am learning daily from the tips Darren writes about. Clearly you’ve got all that you wanted from it, why not move right along and allow beginners like myself benefit from the free lessons Darren is willing to share.

  16. Amanda says:

    These will be very resourceful. I have always enjoyed your blog. I look forward to this!

  17. This series is very timely for me. I have been trying to put together my strategy for more than half of your list in the last few weeks.

    I’m looking forward to the upcoming posts.

  18. Jcolier says:

    I too am looking forward to this – and reading more of the posts to get my blog to the “adolescent” level! Thanks!

  19. I am looking forward to this. I started blogging last fall and am moving beyond the newbie stage and feel somewhat lost on what to do next. I have subscribed to the RSS feel to catch all the tips. Thanks.

  20. Ashwin says:

    Looking forward to the series of posts. Thanks for sharing!!

  21. Thank you .. looking forward to learning whether I’ve been able to figure some of it out on my own or whether I do indeed need help after all!!

    We mustn’t forget that that the question must be asked of all of us before we start a blog … “what do we want to get from it?” If you’re only after somewhere to that is your online voice then what you do with the blog is going to eb very different than if you want to earn money from it.

  22. Mike says:

    Just seen the other Mike’s comment above, and have seen similar from him on other sites. Making sure I’m not confused with him. I’m looking forward to the series, and I’m sure there will be many nuggets of useful information contained in them.

  23. Thank you! I’m still a toddler at blogging and soak up series like this as a dry sponge takes water.

    I am an artist, taking a local, newly-formed beginners’ sketching class. The instructor told us over and over again to draw the shapes inside the object — not the object itself. He walked behind me and said, Nice drawing, but let’s get the basics first… no detail. Draw JUST THE SHAPES that make up the object.

    Huh? Thought that’s what I was doing. He used his own pencil and drew two circles and a rectangle. Ahhh! I saw it! The vase I’d made so pretty reduced to basic shapes.

    That’s what you do here. Begin with the shapes — blogging basics — and then help us refine them into works of art. Our blogs.

    I don’t care how often you must repeat — what I’d heard in the drawing class only made sense once I saw it.

    So I’ll keep reading whatever you have to share. Again, Darren, thank you.

  24. Nate says:

    @Mike

    If you feel like you already know everything about blogging, (eg “everything is common-sense) that is great! However, I do not know everything yet, and I plan to continue reading ProBlogger. I learn something new every time!

  25. I am soo looking forward to this. I recently launched my blog in October and seem to be doing okay, but want to do better and I think this will help me.

  26. Agent 001 says:

    Nice tips. So far I have not been able to take my blog to the next level. These tips gonna be helpful.

    For me keeping the momentum is the difficult part. I am a student so I get less time to blog.

  27. Tai says:

    This is perfect timing. I’ve got people reading my blog but would love to make it more interactive.

  28. Robby G says:

    Looking forward to this, Darren. And hey yo Mike, piss off!
    Damn, will Mike now come on my blog and talk shite there too? Whatever, I’ve got a lot of haters on my blog already which I don’t mind talking to back in the same manner.

    Darren mate all the best!

  29. Tiggy says:

    Great! There’s a million articles on starting your blog, but a class for ‘advanced’ bloggers is very welcome!

  30. Tressa says:

    Hi Darren

    I’m not as successful as you and other people, but I’ll be happy to read the tips and advice that you post. Thanks for such an informative blog.

    All the best.
    T

  31. Chase says:

    Sounds great! I look forward to each post!

  32. textstyles says:

    Darren—i find so much great advice and tips on this blog. I’m having a problem generating traffic with mine. I feel that I’ve hit a wall and just can’t figure it out.

    but thank you for all the time and effort and nuggets that you impart here.

    cheers.

  33. IMC Team says:

    Love that you left monetization to the end — the last step, far after creating quality content and community.

    Too many people are looking at blogging as a revenue stream long before they’ve figured out to build something truly valuable and helpful for their readership, and before they’ve taken the time to build a connection with their audience.

    Thanks for your work with your community, Darren!

  34. Adam Singer says:

    I greatly look forward to this series Darren, I feel like you’re reading my mind.

  35. Paul Morales says:

    Theres always more to do. I’m still wondering how you come up with these lengthy posts.

    Excellent work keep it up.

  36. I think these days any free advice is good advice. Owning a blog is not rocket science. Write and write well, don’t let it be messy and make sure you can track how many people come to your blog.

  37. I am really looking forward to the SEO and the branding posts. CAn’t wait. :)

    –Chubbs

  38. Su Prieta says:

    This post is very timely for me too. I am new and still learning.

    @ Mike – when you took your freshman math course in college (assuming you are college-educated), did you expect that math course to stay with you throughout college, becoming more advanced as you became more advanced? Or, did you expect to move along once you completed the course and expect that others who had yet to learn would move in to your place? Maybe you have graduated from the basics of blogging and its time for you to seek out more advanced instruction.

  39. I would just love my blog to survive the economic recession .. I am working hard on it.

    The biggest challenge seems to be keeping your readers with you and make them repeat visitors.

    How do you do that?

  40. Kayla says:

    I just read the building upon your strengths article…I guess I’m going this a bit out of order! You’ve described exactly where I feel I’m at for my blog, and I really look forward to reading the other 9 posts of this series.

    Thank you. :)

  41. How exactly do you identify a blog that is “finding it’s feet” and are at the next level? Some examples (or better yet, some cases studies to follow) would be a great introduction to this series!

  42. Brad says:

    This should be a great series. I have been doing this for a little over a year and a half and still cannot seem to take my blog to the next level.

    As for Mike, don’t mean to be rude, but there really is no need to be a douche. If you don’t like it, don’t read it.

  43. Gennaro says:

    Building a community is a great way to keep readers returning to a site. It’s easy enough to communicate after all with the blog itself and other features such as RSS. It’s also important to know the difference between a reader who want to remain that way and a person who wants to be contacted.

  44. I wanted to thank you for all your tips. I have been reading the blog for a while and have just recently started my first real blog using a lot of the tips I picked up here on Problogger. Thanks again for your help!!!

  45. Thanks fr the great info. I am just getting the hang of blogging and all of your great advice is so wonderful. I have really learned a lot from your website/blog. I promise to come back often.

  46. I have had my blog for a year now, not having more readers. I was not sure whether my blog was boring so today I came across an automatic blog word press( http://automaticblog.net/?=lotn7 ) that gets fresh new articles each day to add and post them automatically to your blog. Do you think this will improve readership or not?
    Thanks for offering the FREE teaching series on this hot topic.

  47. Sunny Jamiel says:

    Great. Will be looking forward for the next articles as my blog is just at the same stage exactly.

  48. One really good way to improve your traffic is to open it up to other bloggers. Make your blog more Web 2.0 by allowing others to publish articles.

  49. Adsense only works for certain blogs.

  50. Darren,

    This series is coming at the right time when I needed it desperately. My blog has come out of infancy and now getting a bit of attention. Looking forward to read all entries of this series.