It’s one thing to have a blog, it’s quite another to get readers. If you have a blog and have been blogging for a while, you know what I mean. I was thrilled the first time someone commented on a blog post I made. A la Sally Field, I wanted to jump off my chair and yell: “Yes, you like me, you really like me.”
It can be a lonely journey to start a blog, but once you do, you’ll find that blogging can bring great value to whatever you’re promoting. Your book, message or product can be greatly enhanced by the platform you create online. Now, it’s just a question of finding readers and (of course) keeping them. Here are a few tips to get you started.
1.) Write good blog headings: stay away from mysterious, nebulous blog titles. No one will read them and search engines can’t spider them effectively. Be specific, tell what your blog is about in the title. Surprises aren’t a good thing when it comes to blog titles.
2.) Keep blogging – even if you don’t think people are reading, keep writing – eventually if you blog well and regularly, readers will beat a path to your door.
3.) Give away stuff: yes, it’s ok to promote free stuff on your blog. Don’t do it all the time, but every now and again free stuff is a good thing!
4.) Add your blog url to your email signature line: this is a pretty simple way to gain exposure. Every time an email goes out you’re promoting your blog, what could be easier!
5.) Comment on other blogs: a great way to network with other bloggers is to comment on what they’re doing/saying on their own blogs. Make cyber-friends, lots of them.
6.) Invite people to guest blog or interview them: they’ll promote the interview on their blog, and this will help you get readers and expand your network. These interviews also make for great content.
7.) Don’t be afraid to state your opinion: your blog is your opportunity to get center stage with something that’s important to you. State your opinion, you may be surprised at how many people agree with you.
8.) Make sure your RSS (really simple syndication) feed is working; otherwise, chances are people will forget you even have a blog.
With all that we have to sift through daily, having an RSS feed that doesn’t work could cost you blog readership. Do you subscribe to your own feed? You don’t?! Then how do you know if it’s working or not? Yep, just like the book marketing gurus will tell you to re-read your own book on a regular basis so you don’t forget what’s in it, you should also subscribe to your own feeds. Whether you have a podcast, blog or both – subscribing to your own feeds is the only way you know if folks are reading your blog.
There are, of course, dozens more ways to get readers to your blog and keep them there. These seven will get you started and keep the momentum going. Remember that while blogging may seem like a lonely way to promote yourself, blogs get picked up by search engines, and sometimes even media sites (like the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times) so the benefits to starting and keeping a blog are enormous.
If you feel like no one’s reading, you might be surprised. One day you’ll get a notice that someone liked a post enough to comment on it. When that happens, you have my permission to be thrilled. Yes, they really like you.
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