Friday, 1 February 2013

5 More Ways To Get People Reading Your Blog

I once posted 5 ways to increase your blog readership, and now I have 5 more to share with you. I hope they are useful,or at least inspire you to approach increasing your readership in a new way.

1. Join a relevant forum or community.

 I joined Hellocotton and am getting quite a few hits from my profile there. I would say it's a niche community because it's focus is female bloggers, which in the great scheme of things are a relatively niche group. But since it fits extremely well with my target audience, I figured it was a good option. The community are really friendly and I've also found some amazing blogs that I now read daily. Add me there if you decide to join!

If you are not a female blogger, it's quite easy to find a community that fits your brand, a quick google search or a browse of popular blogs in your sector should bring up some results. Of course, joining any community involves putting in some effort, and it's not enough just to join and then never go back. Interact and engage with other members and you will see the rewards quick enough.

2. Promote your blog on Instagram.

I was quite a late adopter of Instagram (clinging onto my Blackberry until the actual keys fell out probably didn't help) and I'm really just getting the hang of it. I have noticed which hashtags draw the most instant attention though. It helps that I'm able to use the hashtag #dj, which I think get's me lots of hits and likes from fellow radio people. This also encourages me to take more Instagram photos in the studio - giving your audience what they want (but staying true to yourself) is a big part of getting blogging right. I try to promote my blog every few pictures or so, see in the screenshot below where I have popped my blog link in between the hashtags? (You might need to click to make this bigger!)

3. Tell actual real people about your blog

This is hard. The thing with blogging is, you tend to put forward a slightly modified version of yourself. It's still you, but it's preened, clipped and controlled for a wider audience. (If it's not, maybe you should work on that. Noone likes to read sentences littered with swearwords, or about how you want to kill your neighbours.) Therefore, you may worry about telling people in Actual Real Life about your blog. Well don't be. Because I guarantee they will be interested and want to have a look. And they might tweet about it. They might even tell a few people. Word of mouth is an excellent way to promote your business. I would recommend this course of action for lifestyle bloggers, jobseekers and anyone who doesn't have an especially out there opinion. I probably wouldn't suggest telling your boss about your strongly right-wing blog, or your Dad about your erotic fiction website. Discretion, as always, is key.

4. Promote your blog to different markets.

I have a lot of recruitment consultants and other social media people on LinkedIn and Google+. They might not be the exact demographic that I am aiming for, but I know that I have something to offer them with my SEO and blogging articles. So I promote only relevant blog posts on those sites. For example, I wouldn't post pictures of my son and I playing in the snow on LinkedIn, but this article about increasing blog readership will go up on there. I use the three-hours-after rule when promoting posts in this way. There is a lot of crossover between people that I have on Google+ and people that I have on twitter and LinkedIn. So in order not to turn people off by having them see the same post three times on three networks, I'll wait it out a bit to promote this article on LinkedIn. (Google+  automatically shares my new content immediately, as does twitter within around an hour)

5. Tell people publicly when you blog about them.

A little while ago I posted an article rounding up my favourite Valentine DIY's. I loved the crafts, and it also gave me the opportunity to post my link in places where people who haven't come across me before might see it. (Click to make this larger)

I would even go so far as to suggest that including people slightly higher up in the blogging chain might potentially be of benefit. Reaching out to readers is hard, and there's nothing wrong with making yourself known among the right circles. I posted on all three of the blogs that I included in my round up. The person gets a boost because they are featured by you, and you get the added bonus of a a potential new reader.

I also leave my link when I post a comment on someone's blog. It's a bit cheeky, but most self promotion is. For some reason Google hasn't worked out that it would be more beneficial when you click on the name of a blog commentator to go to their blog rather than the rather pointless Blogger bio page, so linking your blog in this way reduces the complexity of the person visiting you. The less clicks it takes to get somewhere, the higher up it appears on Google search. Fact.

Note: Don't overuse this! You don't want to look like you are stealing people's readership. Only feature people once each, there are millions of worthwhile blogs out there, and don't link yourself on one person feed (even if it's on different social networks) more than once!!

I hope you like these ideas! I love it when people get in contact, leave a comment or tweet me.

I'm off home now to work on a few Valentines DIY's that I want to post next week, I hope you have a lovely Friday!

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