How many everyday readers does your blog have? Are they important? Converting the visitors to everyday readers is vital for the blogger.
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 make many moves to grow readership for this site. Performing 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
Every blog has room for growth.
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 provides 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 have cultivated readers 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. Everyday readers matter.
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.
- Does Google notice your site?
- 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. In my humble 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 means content is posted even when you’re personally not available. While you are sleeping, perhaps while you are in a meeting. Must you be on Facebook to post content? No.
You set the timings for each social site (for example my Linkedin postings are timed 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. Be open to both as each reader may have different preferences. You goal to turn casual visitors into everyday readers.
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. Doing this 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 optimisation tools available. The challenge, many are complex to understand. If you need to hire expertise, this is one area worth spending some money can bring significant 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.