Building a readership on your blog can be tough especially when you’re starting out. Sure, you have family and friends to badger into reading your posts and leaving comments (if they’re nice enough). But you’d want people to read your blog because they actually like it and not just because they’re under familial or fraternal obligations to do so.
Here are five ways to make your blog interesting and accessible enough for people to read and follow:
1. Create good, valuable content. “Content is king” is probably the most popular mantra in blogging and for good reason. You may have great web design, a catchy domain name, and all the fireworks to make your site stand out but if you don’t have good content, people will have no reason to stay around.
Make your blog posts informative, entertaining and original. Don’t plagiarize! Pay attention to quality. Make sure that they’re well-written, coherent and free from grammatical errors. Even if you provide good information, readers will get turned off if you can’t get your tenses and subject-verb agreement right.
2. Take advantage of social media. With Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other social media platforms, it’s now a lot easier to find an audience for your site. Join Facebook groups which are relevant to what you’re writing about. Chances are members of an outdoor group would be more interested in your blog posts about trekking and spelunking. Interact with people on Twitter who have similar interests to yours. This is not just for the sake of getting them to read your blog but also to form partnerships which could be mutually beneficial in the long run.
3. Make it easy for readers to follow your blog and share your posts. This technique is simple and easy to do yet effective in building an audience. Install a widget on your blog which allows readers to subscribe to your posts via email. Put “share” buttons below your blog posts which people can click to share your content on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, StumbleUpon, etc. People instinctively like to share things they find funny and interesting. Make it easy for them to do so.
4. Interact with readers. So you finally got a comment that’s not from your mom or your best friend. Hurray! Take the time to respond to feedback. If they care enough to leave a comment on your site, then it’s only polite to reply. Responding to comments can generate further discussions and can help you connect with readers. You may even end up being friends with them in real life.
5. Follow and comment on other blogs. We’re not talking about following random blogs and leaving spam comments for the sake of having backlinks. That’s bad practice and downright annoying. And anyway, people are smart enough to figure out what you’re up to so this isn’t going to work anymore. Read blogs which are similar to yours (and which you actually like) and leave meaningful comments. It shows that you’re sincere, interested in real interaction and you’re a decent human being. This will make other people more likely to visit your site.
Attracting and keeping readers on your blog is a lot of work and it can take time. But if you keep at it, you’d be rewarded not just with great site traffic but with an audience that genuinely cares about what you write.