What does it take to make a successful blog? One very significant answer to this question is “having readers that come back every day”. If you have everyday readers who come to your site everyday, hopefully — this is indicative of gaining your reader’s trust (a good thing).
During the past 6 months I have mane many moves to ensure this site is seen by a growing readership, and doing all the actions recommended to cultivate a faithful readership, I have more room for further growth, but have achieved the milestone of having people read my work every day. Where do my readers come from?
- Social sites
- Search engines
- Repeat readers
Looking at the statistics over the past few days it is clear that approximately sixty percent of views come from social media sites, like Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, and LinkedIn, this is not surprising as I post on each of these social sites most days. I am also very aware that Google Plus has an excellent conversion rate — I have tested the impact of posting links to that site alone and have found that within 30 minutes I get about 5 to 10 readers and sometimes more as a direct result.
Search engine readership (approximately thirty percent of views) and almost exclusively provided by Google, during the past week comes from the following countries:
- South Africa
The first three are not really a surprise, but it is good to know that I am being read in Turkey and Pakistan. I am sad there are not many fellow Canadians following my blog at this time, something to work on.
Repeat readers are those that come of their own accord, visiting without using search engines or social media, so people who have already bookmarked the site or know your site name by heart. This figure is currently running at about 10 percent of my daily readership and should naturally grow over time.
Keys to Ongoing Readership
The key to ongoing daily readership, in my view, is a combination of many things, including:
- Provide excellent content which is visual in nature.
- Publicise your work on Social Media.
- Comment on other people’s blogs.
- Provide a way for people to subscribe to, or follow, your blog. Give options for readers to follow or like your work through their favourite site.
- Find people who love to share content; follow and engage with them.
- Link to your own and other people’s work.
- Participate in communities.
- Be on the lookout for new connections.
- Make sure you are being seen by Google.
- Tell people about your blog (here is where having a memorable name helps).
- Use Sharing communities, like Reddit or StumbleUpon.
- Write guest posts on other people’s blogs.
Excellent content is vital and Lydia Oyetunji sums it up in telling writers to “use words that precisely express your thoughts” nothing more and nothing less is required, in my view your content should always be accompanied by pictures and images to make it more appealing to the reader.
I spend a minimum of 30 minutes each day buffering social media posts, using BufferApp which allows me to add posts to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Pinterest and Instagram (the last two available as paid options). The advantage of buffering posts allows content to be posted even when you’re personally not available to make a contribution to these sites. You set the timings for each social site (for example my Linkedin postings will be made at 06:55 am and 18:08 pm EST), these timings have been set after experimentation and finding when connections respond to my posts, if you use buffer a little experimentation will determine the best response times for your social posts and you should bear in mind that you have a worldwide audience, which may require certain social posts to be made at 2am.
Subscribe or follow facilities are an important method to build readership. There are two methods generally used firstly subscribing via a feed and secondly by email notification, you need to be open to both as each reader may have different preferences.
In addition there are many other choices you can use to publicise your website, indeed you should understand the places your readers will gather on-line and seek out opportunities to demonstrate your knowledge, and showcase your site, commenting and being involved in discussions is always worthwhile.
You should also be seeking to improve your SEO profile which will ensure your blog is seen by the search engines. If you have the basic set-up provided by WordPress or Blogger then the chances are your site has not been optimised to take most advantage of search engines. There are many tools available for this, but it can also be complex to understand, if you need to hire expertise then this is one area worth spending some money to bring about significant readership improvements.
Gaining an everyday readership is about repeating those very things that generated your first reader and repeating them again and again. For example some bloggers use email marketing marketing, I have not found it providing any value, but much depends on your approach and your audience.