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.

7 Comments

  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.

    • 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!

  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.

    • 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.

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