You’ve taken the plunge and started a blog. Are you finding that “build it and they will come” — the tagline from 1989’s Field of Dreams — worked well for the magical baseball field, but not so much for your blog traffic?
Attracting visitors doesn’t require sorcery, just some know-how and dedication. Today, we’ve got five tips for growing your audience, whether you’re blogging for fun or profit.
Blog your passion
“To be interesting, be interested.” — Dale Carnegie
Enthusiasm is contagious — you can’t help but be energized by someone who is deeply interested in something. What subjects do you love to talk about? Ashton Ritchie loves gardening and lawn care. A prolific blogger, he’s published over 650 posts since 2011 on everything from growing the perfect lawn to ridding your garden of pests at Tips from Ashton Ritchie. His lively, well-tended blog attracts hundreds of visitors each day.
It’s OK to be vulnerable
Nobody is perfect and humans take comfort in knowing that they’re not alone. We all struggle at various times in our life, though sometimes we’re reluctant to share those tough times with the world. Sometimes, the post that creates the strongest connections with your followers is the one that’s the scariest to write. In this roundtable at The Daily Post, blogger Michelle recounts a harrowing time in her life and the trepidation and fear she faced after she decided to blog about it. She and her post received a deluge of support.
But I felt like the story wanted to be told, so I took a deep breath and clicked the button…
… and then immediately had second thoughts: what kind of judgment was I opening myself up to? As it turned out, none at all. Not only did people appreciate the post for what it was, but I got emails, tweets, text messages, and comments from readers, friends, coworkers, and total strangers thanking me for writing it. It ended up being a cathartic experience that made me more fearless as a writer.
Make it easy to follow your blog
Here’s how to add a widget to your site.
At The Garden Diary, blogger Teresa places the Follow Blog widget at the top of the sidebar on all her site pages. No matter which post or page visitors land on, they’re greeted with a prominent invitation to subscribe to receive posts via email. Nearly 10,000 subscribers can’t be wrong!
Turn comments into a community
Feeling shy? Not sure what to say? Here are some tips on how to keep the conversation going.
As a blogger, you love getting thoughtful comments on your posts, but did you know that your commenters enjoy hearing from you, too? At Gallivance, a travel adventure blog, Terri and James Vance have created a lively comment section by replying to visitors who take the time to share thoughts on their posts. Their site boasts thousands of comments across nearly 600 posts.
Broadcast your posts on social media
Here’s how to connect your blog to your favorite social networks using Publicize. Premium and Business plan subscribers have the option to reshare their posts multiple times via Publicize.
“Post, promote, repeat” is a strong strategy to attract site visitors from other communities on the internet. Our sister site Longreads publishes several posts per day. Each post gets tweeted multiple times post-publication to reach new readers in different timezones and maximize the number of people who see it on Twitter. Salient quotes draw readers in, while relevant hashtags help Twitter users find posts of interest in your blogs.