Running a blog is a labor of love no matter how passionate you feel about the subject at hand. While no blogger blogs without at least a little hope that someone is reading, there are actually a few ways to slowly-but-surely build an active, faithful readership for your blog over time.
Here are a few tips for cultivating loyal, consistent blog readership that will carry your blog for years to come.
Tip: Start With a Subject You’re Actually Interested In!
Whether you run a business blog or a personal one, it’s crucial to post on things you’re actually interested in. That doesn’t mean every blog post has to be a long-form essay about what you mulled over in the shower, but rather, a piece you’d want to read if you weren’t the webmaster! Readers can tell when you’re engaged and excited about something and that kind of enthusiasm is contagious.
Tip: Get Involved in Your Blog’s Community
No one blogs in a vacuum. You should make a concerted effort to be a part of your blog’s community, depending on what the subject matter is. For example, if you run a personal food blog you should read lots of other food blogs, too, and comment often. The more people within the community get to know your blog’s brand the more authority you’ll have. Readership is often trickle-down and your fellow bloggers can be one of the greatest sources of marketing available.
Tip: Don’t Stop at Blog Posts
It’s important to give your readers somewhere to find you other than within the blog itself. Social media is an ideal platform for the kind of short term communications that aren’t suitable for the blog. Don’t simply use your Facebook page or Twitter account to promote your own posts – reach out to potential readers who are talking about things that you find interesting. Think of social media as another community you can get involved in that may eventually naturally bring you readers.
Tip: Join the Conversation
The best blogs are those that always seem to have their finger on the pulse of what’s going on. If there’s a big news story in your industry, blog about it! Not only are these kinds of posts far more sharable, they’re showing all your readers that you’re listening and have an opinion. After all, people usually come to blogs to read editorial pieces, not hard-hitting news.
Tip: Don’t Get Predictable
One of the biggest traps bloggers fall into is becoming boring over time. It’s critical that you constantly be aware of new plugins, mediums, and website that can help you make your blog content better than before. Embed a video! Add an infographic! Interview an industry professional! If your blog content isn’t scary and time-consuming to create, it’s probably not good enough.
The number one thing to keep in mind when building a loyal blog following is to post more often. Your readers want to hear from you and it’s really difficult to gain any traction if you’re only blogging a few times a month! Aim for several posts a week, if possible. If you don’t make your blog a priority you can be sure no one else will.
Ryan Currie is a product manager at BizShark.com, with 5 years experience in online marketing and product development. In addition to web related businesses, he also enjoys the latest news and information on emerging technologies and open source projects.