Blog Growth — Can you Find New Readers?

Do you put the WELCOME mat out? The biggest chal­lenge for any blog is growth. It is as true for the per­son cre­at­ing their first blog post as it is for the sea­soned vet­er­an of the art. The big ques­tion is how to find new readers?

 

Find New Readers

Read on the beach by makunin CC0 Public Domain from PixabayAccord­ing to ProBlog­ger: “the ‘secret’ is to keep your blog pro­mo­tion efforts more OFF your blog on read­ers that you’re yet to con­nect with rather than those that area already loy­al” That sounds sim­ple to say, but hard­er to prac­tice. Con­sid­er, the peo­ple who gen­er­al­ly respond to your Face­book posts are those that already read your blog. They already share your social posts and read your sto­ries. Yet, unless you make con­cert­ed efforts to get your­self out there your sub­scriber count will remain low and grow only slowly.

From per­son­al expe­ri­ence there are six prin­ci­pal ways to appeal to new people:

  • It takes time, per­se­ver­ance, and patience.
  • Com­ment­ing on oth­er people’s material.
  • Writ­ing guest posts for others.
  • Net­work­ing, when you are out and about, tell peo­ple about your blog.
  • Social Media — telling peo­ple on-line about your blog.
  • Work­ing with your reg­u­lar readers.
  • Adver­tis­ing — If you have the bud­get that can jump-start readership.

 

Time, Perseverance, and Patience

Few writ­ers, if any, are able to cre­ate a viral post and have it read by mil­lions. To have a post read by tens of thou­sands of peo­ple, is more often by luck than plan­ning. The trou­ble with viral posts is that read­ers for­get you as quick­ly as they find you.

Seri­ous blog­gers, need  to spend time ded­i­cat­ed to grow­ing their read­er­ship. When you have a sin­gle blog post on your site you are only going to appeal to a lim­it­ed num­ber of peo­ple. The first cou­ple of posts on this site were more exper­i­men­tal than seri­ous, although I still like the one on colour­ful writ­ing. I was for­tu­nate to have a ready audi­ence when I start­ed this blog, which was not the case for ear­li­er writ­ing projects.

It is pos­si­ble to cre­ate a ‘per­fect post’, yet have nobody read it. Qual­i­ty does not decide the num­ber of read­ers. Read­er­ship is more like­ly to demon­strate the reach, and engage­ment, of your net­work. For the first blog that I cre­at­ed, get­ting ten read­ers in a week was a major achieve­ment, and took a lot of effort. Build­ing read­er­ship takes patience and a lot for effort. The biggest chal­lenge is always how to find new read­ers.

 

Regular Readership

Great things France

Once you have pub­lished a few arti­cles then hav­ing a reg­u­lar read­er­ship is essen­tial. The desire: to have the peo­ple who have already read your last arti­cle read the next one you pub­lish. You need them to sub­scribe to your posts.

Reg­u­lar read­ers are those who come back time and again to see what you have to say. To have reg­u­lar read­ers it is clear that you must pub­lish reg­u­lar­ly. It is my goal to pub­lish a min­i­mum of one post per week. Doing so means peo­ple come back each week to look at the lat­est arti­cle. I write every day, but not only for this blog, for anoth­er blog and for clients (along with some edit­ing work). There are also ideas I start, then leave for anoth­er day to complete.

If you write a month­ly con­tri­bu­tion then your repeat read­ers will come once a month. Write once a day, they will read each day. Ulti­mate­ly reg­u­lar read­ers are the back­bone of your blog. The words of Ana­tole France above say a lot.

 

Growing your Blog

Growing your blog - appreciate your readersEvery time you have reached a spe­cif­ic lev­el of read­ers you need to tar­get improve­ment. Can your blog reach out and give your read­ers a per­son­al hug? You need to make read­ers feel com­fort­able, a place they can call home in some small way. You always have to ask your­self what is the next step to take?  Per­haps it is:

  • Some­one read­ing my arti­cle the day I pub­lish it.
  • One read­er per day.
  • Ten read­ers a day.
  • One NEW read­er per day.
  • 15 reads per week.
  • 30 reads per week.
  • 100 reads per week.
  • 100 read­ers per month.
  • 500 read­ers per month.
  • 1,000 read­ers per month.

All are valid goals It is impor­tant that you have a goal. If you have a goal you can focus on how you will get read­ers. The first aim for any blog­ger must be to become vis­i­ble on search results. Google rarely takes any notice of you till you have 50 posts pub­lished. Social media chan­nels are always a good place to start show­cas­ing your work.

 

Commenting on Other Sites

Write a com­ment on anoth­er person’s blog and it can aid your own read­er­ship, provided:

  • You are logged in using Word­Press, Dis­qus, or Gravatar.
  • Your set­ting includes a link to your own blog.
  • The com­ment you make adds val­ue to the arti­cle (please don’t com­ment for the sake of it).

The log­ic behind com­ment­ing on oth­er people’s site is to show that you have an inter­est in what they have to say. Often they will rec­i­p­ro­cate, per­haps not by leav­ing a com­ment, but by read­ing your work.

Pro­vide reg­u­lar com­ments and the own­ers will look upon you as an ally in their efforts, espe­cial­ly if you also pro­mote their work on social media.

 

Writing Guest Posts

Guesr Writing

If you like a par­tic­u­lar site and you think you could make an occa­sion­al con­tri­bu­tion through a spe­cial­ly craft­ed arti­cle then you should approach the site own­er and ask whether they accept sub­mis­sions or guest posts. Most sites do, but some pre­fer not to. Write some­thing that is per­ti­nent to their read­ers, per­haps offer­ing a new view­point on a pop­u­lar subject.

When you write for anoth­er site the aim is to expose your writ­ing to a new audi­ence, extend you reach a lit­tle. Agree with the site own­er a way that you can pro­mote your own site as well as offer­ing their read­er­ship val­ue. If you do write a guest post it is prefer­ably for a site that has more read­ers than you do. Write about one of your spe­cial­i­ty areas, but what you write is intend­ed to help gain access to a new audi­ence. Ask to write again if the post is pop­u­lar.

 

Telling Others about your Site

Don’t over­es­ti­mate the pow­er of the spo­ken word in telling oth­ers about your blog. Is it on your busi­ness card? Should it be? Most blog­gers are very entre­pre­neur­ial, even if they work a full-time job. Men­tion your site when it is appro­pri­ate to do so, but don’t make it the only thing you talk about. 

Remem­ber that social media is also a great way to tell oth­ers about what you are work­ing on. Tell your pro­fes­sion­al net­work about your sto­ries and how they help. Talk to peo­ple about the prob­lems they are fac­ing, it will give both oppor­tu­ni­ties to learn and to teach.

 

Working with Regular Readers

 

Many of my reg­u­lar read­ers are writ­ers that I know and we do stay in con­tact with each oth­ers. I admit that I do need to do more to reach out to my reg­u­lar read­ers and find out where I can help them further.

The oth­er aspect of this is that read­ers leave com­ments, do you read and respond to those com­ments? Some­times a com­ment is the start­ing point for a new piece, as it opens up a new avenue of thought. When this is so, you should recog­nise the con­tri­bu­tion that read­er has made, per­haps even con­tact them for their view before you pub­lish the material.

 

Advertising?

I am nev­er con­vinced of the val­ue of adver­tis­ing web sites. Per­son­al­ly I have nev­er adver­tised any web­site that I have owned. Clients have asked me to adver­tise their site and it is nec­es­sary to say the results have been very mixed. The cam­paigns you expect to do well flop and the cam­paigns you have lit­tle hope for do well. It is all about spend­ing mon­ey wisely.

 

Related posts Include:

 

 

 

Buy Peter B. Giblett a cof­fee as a “Thank You” for con­sid­er­ing the sub­ject of grow­ing your blog. The images includ­ed here are from roy­al­ty free pub­lic domain sites, like Pixabay.

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8 Replies to “Blog Growth — Can you Find New Readers?”

  1. Peter, I appre­ci­ate this post. You brought to my atten­tion points I have not con­sid­ered. You 7 point bul­let items made sense to me. I did not know google only takes notice after reach­ing a fifty plus mile­stone. Thank you for the time and ener­gy you placed in this article. 

    1. Peter B. Giblett says: Reply

      John, thanks for your com­ment. The fifty page mile­stone is some­thing I have noticed by expe­ri­ence on a num­ber of web sites I have worked on over the years.

      Google used to say a site should have 20 pages to be list­ed on search results. This may be true, even today, but in my obser­va­tion you get very lit­tle (if any) traf­fic from search engines till the site reach­es 50 pages. But I am sure there will be some­one who will state that they can get Google to take notice of a sin­gle page.

  2. None the less, a valid point you made. An obser­va­tion I have made about your writ­ing, very clear expla­na­tions. I enjoy how you artic­u­late your ideas. Thanks!

    1. Peter B. Giblett says: Reply

      Thank you sir.

  3. Hel­lo Peter, 

    Fel­low mem­ber of 2 Drops of Ink and one of your twit­ter fol­low­ers here.

    Enjoyed the post and appre­ci­at­ed the point­ers, espe­cial­ly set­ting tar­gets for your desired growth. I find there are some peo­ple who will lap up all the com­ments you are pre­pared to give but nev­er return the favour. As you say blog growth requires patience. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Peter B. Giblett says: Reply

      Ladycee, I have found that any­thing worth doing takes effort. You may have days where your effort amounts to noth­ing but in the long run it builds up.

      1. Thanks for respond­ing Peter. You are right. I appre­ci­ate the encouragement. 😃

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