10 Ways to Build Your Blog Readership

by Scary Mommy
Originally Published: 

1. A Good Blog: Before you worry about taking over the world, you need to get the nuts and bolts of your blog figured out. Design, user friendliness, niche and content are the top things to consider. Your blog should be original and authentic– it’s the one place in the world that is all about YOU!

2. Commenting: When you first start blogging, there is simply no better way to build a readership. You have to put in your time and get out there– sometimes it’s fun and sometimes it’s not, but it’s an absolute must. Start with the blogrolls of blogs you like and then see who’s commenting there. The comments you leave are your calling cards, the more you scatter across blog-land, the more people will come back to visit you. {Read my tips for commenting}

3. Find your Tribe: Every blogger needs some good blogging buddies. These are the people who you can ask to tweet something for you or keep an eye on your blog while you’re away or comment on a post that isn’t getting any attention. Put each other on your blogrolls, subscribe to each other’s feeds and just be an over all support system. They’ll give you readers and you’ll give them readers. Everybody wins.

4. Guest Posting: Writing on someone else’s blog is a great way to expose yourself to a whole new audience. Ask your friends if they need a break or submit a post to a blogger you like. Your post should be one that you’ve never posted before and is representative of your blog. If it’s a good one, people will check your blog out and hopefully become your own readers.

5. Twitter: Twitter is a great tool to get people over to your blog, but nobody wants to follow someone who does nothing but promote themselves. Start a twitter account and build a following by engaging people. Promote yourself in one out of every ten or so tweets. More than that and you’ll turn people off. Title your posts well so that people are intrigued enough to click over. {Read my tips for Twitter}

6. Facebook: I worship Facebook. It consistently delivers me more traffic than any other single site. Why? Because everyone is on it. Your high school BFF. Your former colleagues. Your mother. Your blog friends. There is no other way to easily access to all of those people at once. Incorporate Facebook on to your blog through “like” buttons and widgets. Once someone likes your post, it posts to their wall for all of their contacts to see- the reach is incomparable.

7. Contests: Many people look at contests for the pure traffic they provide, I look at them as a thank you to my readers. I never ask that people take more than one step to be entered, and I secure giveaways that I would want to win myself. Sure, the boost in traffic is nice, but I’m more concerned with getting people to become regular visitors.

8. Conferences/Meet-Ups: The more you get out there, (assuming you aren’t a total asshole,) the better your reputation will become. Pass out business cards, go up to strangers and get out of your comfort zone. This is your chance to make the avatars that live in your computer your friends, and to make strangers your readers. It doesn’t have to be a conference with thousands of people- meeting a few local bloggers for happy hour can be a start.

9. Accessibility: Answer emails, respond to comments with questions and don’t ignore twitter @’s. Be nice and be available. Gone are the days when I respond to every comment– there simply isn’t the time. I do, however, take the time to respond to every e-mail I receive or question that someone poses in my comments. It’s simply common courtesy.

10. Maintain your site: I’m constantly changing things around on my site– whether it’s the plug-ins I’m using or the layout or trying out a new type of post. I know that I get bored looking at the same thing everyday and figure other people do as well. Keep an eye on your comments- are people playing nice? If not, step in. It’s your blog and your job to keep it alive and growing.

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