A guest post by Melissa Tamura
Sites such as Blogger and WordPress are making it increasingly easy for anyone and everyone to start a blog. There are blogs on every topic imaginable, from food to pets to finances to shopping, all of which are easily lost in a sea of similar sites. Do you have a blog that you’d like to make standout in the endless onslaught of sites available online? The list below details twelve simple steps you can take to build readership and increase the number of subscribers to your blog.
- Content – The most important thing you can do is to offer relevant, authoritative content on your blog. Write about something you know and are passionate about to avoid sounding stilted or naive. If your blog features information people want or need, they will visit it.
- Update Often – Even if you’re providing useful, pertinent information, no one’s going to return to your blog if you only post once a month. In the meantime a newer, more current blog is likely to steal their attention, so be sure and post as often as possible to keep your site fresh.
- Guest Blog – Do you know other people with blogs? Have you ever considered using guest blogger services? The more content out there on the web that links or refers to your own blog, the better, so look into becoming a regular guest blogger on someone else’s site. Any exposure you can get is helpful for your numbers.
- Comment – If you have your own blog, odds are you read other blogs, so leave comments whenever appropriate. This helps you build rapport with other bloggers, but also provides you an opportunity to post a link to your blog, where appropriate. Be sure only to make useful, well thought out comments in order to seem like you’re attempting to SPAM a site.
- Forum Posts – Much like commenting on other blogs, posting in forums dedicated to subjects that relate to the topic of your blog can help drive subscribers to your blog. Always be polite and knowledgeable when you post to avoid garnering a negative online image.
- Contact Other Blogs – Are there a number of blogs you read religiously? Consider writing a post on your own blog about the value these sites provide to you, then contact the other blogger and send them a link to your post. Ask if they would mind returning the favor, as a link on their site could drive traffic to your own.
- Have a Subscriber Page – Build a page or at least a widget into your blog that is dedicated specially to subscribers. A special page can feature information you’d like your followers to know, while a widget featuring pictures and profiles of your subscribers can encourage more to join.
- Offer an RSS Feed – An RSS feed is an option you should offer all your visitors. This feed updates as you update your content, and users will find it an easy way to not only cross-promote your blog but to access the information they’re looking for as well.
- Link Yourself – It seems simple, but make sure to include your blog URL anywhere you can: at the bottom of your email signature, on business cards, and even on your Facebook or MySpace accounts.
- Network – Be sure and tell everyone you meet about your blog. In meetings, casual conversation, or even at retail stores, if you find an opportunity to promote yourself, do it.
- Make it Easy – Don’t hide your subscriber page or RSS feed option at the bottom of the page. Make it a prominent part of your site to encourage easy-click sign up.
- Offer Benefits – Let your subscribers in on special deals, new information, or hot topics that regular visitors can’t access. This builds loyalty and buzz around your blog – which is the ultimate goal!