Without doubt content is the key to bringing traffic to your site. The more fresh, useful and interesting content your site has the more successful it will be. Content that sparks lively discussion is key to creating regular readers who become subscribers. Social networking is a means to reach a larger audience and let them know you would welcome their discussion on your new content.
Aside from asking them [readers] to contribute their own ideas, you can spark a conversation by asking a general question about the topic. This will bring opinions into the comment section (which are hopefully positive and/or productive) but even negative opinions can find a place here and make for an interested and light-hearted debate. — Blogging- the Art of Attraction (and Retention)
1. Aside from creating and refreshing an archive full of high quality content, the best way to attract more readers is to comment, comment, comment on similar blogs in the same niche as your own blog and create blog centered relationships with other bloggers. Backlinks are a reflection of other bloggers ascribing value to your content. So create quality content and accept the fact that you must give, give, give backlinks before expecting to receive.
2. Well written and engaging writing sparks discussion.
- Check your spelling, punctuation and grammar.
- Kick start conversations by writing compelling blog posts that invite conversation.
- Ask questions. For example: Ask your readers if they have anything they would like to add; if they have any experiences they would care to share; or if they gave any differences of opinion they would like to express.
3. Share valuable information, solve problems, publish tutorials and how to posts prompt questions from readers.
4. Be creative. Conduct polls and surveys, sponsor blog carnivals, encourage readers to become guest authors. Invent a meme, create team blogging project, give away prizes and awards, hold competitions.
5. Controversy sparks discussion too but if you go this direction then:
- Be well informed about your subject and conversant with all points of view on your subject;
- Be honest and do not give into the temptation to distort truth for your own purposes. Do not falsify facts, do not present a few facts as the whole story, do not present tentative findings as firm conclusions.
- Use sound evidence to explain and support your ideas. When using evidence, be sure not to take quotations out of context, not to juggle numbers or statistics, and not to present unusual cases as representative examples. Use sources of information that are objective and qualified and link to them appropriately.
- Employ valid reasoning and avoid such fallacies as making hasty generalizations, asserting causal connections where none exist, using invalid analogies, and pandering to passion or prejudice.
6. At the end of the day, if you do not use social media and social networks to promote your blog posts and blog, then you will find building a growing readership is more difficult as the audience you reach will be limited. Social networking tremendously expands the audience you can connect with, so providing social bookmarking and rating tools for your readers use is important.
- WordPress.com Like buttons
- WordPress.com tweet buttons
- Publicize- Facebook, Twitter, yahoo updates
- Social bookmarks for WordPress.com blogs
- More about the Ant Mentality: Every Reader is a Scout (blogworldexpo.com)
- Making a Successful Blog – Tips and Expectations (searchenginepeople.com)