Blogging: Attracting More Readers

attractionWithout 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.

30 thoughts on “Blogging: Attracting More Readers

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  3. Love your tips and your “name” Timethief! I’m new at blogging and have so much to learn. I need to figure out how many hits I am getting on Lives Rebooted. I suspect quite a few.

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  6. Great tips for a novice blogger like me – thank you so much.

    I’m trying to embrace these ideas to increase traffic to my blog, since I’m pretty sure that my only current readers are my real-life friends and family.

    I’m going to read your other posts immediately!

  7. I’m one of those social-Luddites I fear, having left Facebook far behind. But, I have been posting updates on Twitter and on the basis of what you say here I guess I’ll add that Twitter button to my blog and see what happens.

    One note re: the “Like” button. After all the uproar over that, it’s been interesting to see that no one within my regular circle of wp readers and writers is using it – or having it clicked on their blogs. On the other hand, I have seen the tweet button used twice. So there’s my very non-scientific survey!

    I do have one traffic question. One of my posts has received around 500 hits in the past two days. The total number of hits matches the number of times “mary travers” has been used as a search engine term. There’s no incoming link, and I don’t think it’s a splogger. I’ve tried searching using the title, URL, an exact phrase from the post, and so on, but can’t surface the source of the page views.

    I’ve never had increased traffic from searches before – is there a way to track it down that I might not know about?

  8. These are valuable information once again, TT. Bravo! Just when I thought I know what there is to know, more ideas come along on how to become a better blogger. I have incorporated twitter into my blog but I still need to get the hang of it. Maybe somewhere down the line, I can add more means of social-networking. I want to do this slowly but surely. :)

  9. Hi–

    I’m new to WP blogging, so have mercy if this is a dumb question. When I check my own blog (logged in as me; or just coming to it like I’m a visitor), I don’t see any “Like” buttons at the bottom of my posts or the comments.

    Is WP smart enough to know it’s me and not let me ‘like’ my own stuff, or am I missing something?

    Thanks!

  10. Hello there!
    These are great points and since I’ve done most of them, following your advice from previous posts, they serve as prompts to make me refocus!

    The one that bothers me is #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 …

    Although I use social bookmarks and often retweet others posts, not much tweeting seems to come in my direction! I don’t have lots of followers or follow a lot people — my attitude is that so many tend to clutter your box with tweets or stumble referrals. So I’m in trouble if #6 is that important! Is there a secret to getting posts promoted? Do I have to beg or what? lol

  11. hiii,
    You have to help me! I want feedjit on my wordpress.com blog.I have been doing some extensive research and even ended up taking up the free 10 day trial for feedjit,which I believe was not needed.I have written to http://whos.amung.us/showcase/ too.I could not understand at all ,and I am going crazy.Could you please just show me some trick,I want something the way you have on your blog.I will really really appreciate this!
    Thanks a lot,
    Anwesha

  12. Habit is really a monster. There are times when you know that a formula must be change but we get stuck in our comfort zones to even make such effort. It is really essential to be reminded about the strong points that make up an important article. Thank you so much. I should ask more questions in the future and not just spoon feed readers thinking they know what I am talking about :)

  13. TiTi

    So many valuable points brought out. I must remember them. I’ve had minimal success with the social bookmarking though I will continue to use it. Attracting new readers has been a struggle, but I see it as part of the growing process. It’s frustrating at times and I guess it’s just a part of learning how to blog. What works and what doesn’t. Blogging is very dynamic concept not static at all and I’m striving to reach some plateau where I can better see a bit of progress.

  14. Oh – you misunderstand. I really don’t care. It was just a curiosity but I have no intention of changing anything I’m doing. I have no desire to add any links or ask any permission. It’s just a matter of conversation. Thanks though!

  15. Of course I have read (and reread) the TOS. In fact, I’d forgotten all about the issue until I read the following on the WordPress site itself:

    “Blogs with the primary purpose of driving traffic to affiliate programs and get-rich-quick schemes (“Make six figures from home!!”, “20 easy steps to top profits!!”, etc). This includes multi-level marketing (MLM) blogs and pyramid schemes. To be clear, people writing their own original book, movie or game reviews and linking them to Amazon, or people linking to their own products on Etsy do NOT fall into this category.

    which is a bit ambiguous…

    My blog is “an actual blog and not just a series of posts driving traffic to affiliate sites” so – I guess I’m still confused. It’s not important enough to question it, but I was very curious when I came across the above-quote language (and now yours!).

  16. A good post on a great site – thank you! I’ve been reading some of your posts and helpful comments found throughout WordPress, and wonder if you can clear something up. I occasionally write my own book reviews and provide links to various outlets for people to get more information on the book reviewed as well as buy it, if they want to.

    When I first started writing at WordPress, my “affiliate” links disappeared or did not work. So I gave up. I’m not trying to “get rich quick” through these links – just providing a service (which is probably well worth a $1.00 or less referral to Amazon). Supposedly, the Amazon affiliate links are now allowed at WordPress.com. Is this right? Or would one need to switch to WordPress.org?

    I can’t stand ads and would never clutter my site with them. In fact, I pay extra to keep ads off my site altogether. But I remain unclear on the book review affiliate links.

    Thanks in advance for any concrete answers!

    • Here are concrete answers:
      1. WordPress.com blogs cannot be used to drive traffic to third party sites. See: TOS (section 2 bullet 5) http://en.wordpress.com/tos/
      2. No blogger initiated advertising on WordPress.com free hosted blogs unless they are qualified for and accepted into the AdControl Program. VIP hosted blogs may have advertising.
      http://en.support.wordpress.com/advertising/
      3. Types of blogs allowed and not allowed at WordPress.com:
      http://en.wordpress.com/types-of-blogs/
      Note >

      Affiliate marketing blogs: Blogs with the primary purpose of driving traffic to affiliate programs and get-rich-quick schemes (“Make six figures from home!!”, “20 easy steps to top profits!!”, etc). This includes multi-level marketing (MLM) blogs and pyramid schemes. To be clear, people writing their own original book, movie or game reviews and linking them to Amazon, or people linking to their own products on Etsy do NOT fall into this category. Here is a thread in the support forums that talks more about which affiliate links are OK or not OK.

      In short there must be and actual blog and not just a series of posts driving traffic to affiliate sites. http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/affiliate-link Note also that affiliate links are stripped out by the software when they contain restricted codes. > http://en.support.wordpress.com/code/

      If in doubt contact Staff for clarification http://en.support.wordpress.com/contact/

  17. Hi TiTi,
    I think when I started blogging…i did it backwards ;) I mean..i started twittering and facebooking first. Only after alot of research did i get into blogging…so in that sense, my initial stages were pretty good. But then when the plateau came..thats when only comments, comments and comments helped tremendously. Not to forget, the guest posting on big blogs of the same niche.
    What i find most amazing is that, when I started off, i thought…who shares my vision? Noone in my real life I have ever met…and then with twitter and facebook and blogging..the flood gates of awesome people opened. What fun its been! And thats how I met you too…:) I wouldnt trade the connections I have developed and the friendships that have blossomed for anything in the world.
    Blogging has been my blessing :) And you have been my blogging guardian angel :) Thank you…
    Much Love~
    Z~
    p.s. i recently changed my theme to coraline. Would love your input ..when you get the chance.

    • @Zeenat
      Thanks so mucg for sharing your success when it comes to social networking. Success, of course, will only result if one has is frequently publishing quality, original content and that describes your blog. Thank you also for your kind compliment.

      I like the new Coraline theme on your blog, save for one thing and it’s entriely subjective. I dislike mauve and lavendar background colors on blogs as they are “cold” colors that evoke images of old ladies … lol :D and I’m inclined towards warmer colors. However, as I said that’s entirely subjective.

      Love,
      TiTi

      • HI TiTi,
        Your observation is well noted :) That background was the one thing I wasn’t sure about..and was playing around with. Thank you for being so kind to notice and let me know. I am now back to it being a white background. I was testing lavender for 24 hours :) I love warmer colors too….who knows I will experiment further ;)
        Have sent you an email.
        Much Love,
        Z~

        • Hi Zeeant,
          I like the white background better. Now the many colors in the images pop-out more. To me the mauve background seemd to have a dulling effect on those colors and on the blue links in the sidebar. But I am only one loyal reader and you have many others so maybe more experiemntation is a good idea. :)

          P.S. I won’t get to the other computer and read my email until after supper.

  18. timethief ~ Very well said on all points. I am a novice blogger,but as I gradually progress the truth behind every single one of these points becomes s0 much clearer and more apparent. I was very resistant to engaging in social media, but once I jumped in I’ve met some of the most wonderful bloggers around the world and have been stunned by everyone’s generosity of spirit. It’s great fun too and you don’t have too spend hours of time on it.

    I highly recommend timethief’s article on Social bookmarks for WordPress.com blogs, which shows you how to add the icons to your blog post. This was my first step and it immediately brought new traffic to my site. I recommended it to another newbie recently and she just sent me an email to thank me because her posts are getting tweeted, etc. everyday, bringing her new readers. And of course, she really thanks timethief the most!

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