So, now that we’ve got a blog, we figured, well let’s offer up some tips to our (non) readers (so far) and so here ya go:
1. Make Your RSS Feed Available to Everyone
Your Blog’s RSS feed is one of the easiest and most effective ways to build repeat traffic. Once people are subscribed to it, they will continue receiving your communication until they decide to remove it. Every blog entry you create is a new chance to get those previous readers back to your site, so it is imperative that you keep your RSS feed in perfect working order.
Every blogging platform comes with a built-in RSS feed, however many of them are not as user-friendly as they could be. Because of this, it is important to reorganize your feed in a way that can be read by virtually every feed reader.
2. Allow Email Subscriptions to Your Blog
Blogs and RSS feeds are “relatively” new technologies, and the majority of internet users are still not totally familiar with them. In order to maximize your reader’s experiences, you need to give visitors a way to subscribe to your content using a technology they’re already used to: Email! Even though feed readers and aggregators are common knowledge for tech savvy webmasters and blog owners, 75% of readers subscribe to blogs via email and not through RSS.
There are many choices out there that allow you to do this. Some of them have the major advantage of automatically sending an email to your subscriber list each time you post something on your blog (this is done by parsing your RSS feed). To accomplish this, you can use a service called aweber. This method is useful because it allows users to stay in touch with readers by broadcasting personal messages to them without having to post the information.
3. Write guest posts for other blogs
Writing valuable content in your blog should be your main priority. However, every once in a while, it is good practice to create content and instead of publishing it yourself, send it to other bloggers for them to post and use. Contributing your posts to other blogs is a fantastic way to put your name and ideas in front of a completely different audience than you usually have.
Other bloggers care for their blogs and their readerships just as much as you do. They will not publish useless content. Therefore, in order to succeed with this strategy, you must submit very valuable content to them (sometimes, it may be content that you would much rather post on your own blog). Otherwise, they will simply not publish it and you’ll have wasted valuable time and effort. Also, before you start sending content to other bloggers, you must contact them first and gain permission for you to send them an exclusive article for them to consider publishing in their blog. Otherwise this could be considered a type of spam or unwanted harassment.
4. Submit content to article directories
Strategy 3 does not work 100% of the time. So don’t get too discouraged! If the post you offered a particular blogger got rejected, re-package it as another article, add a signature file to it with a link back to your blog, and send it over to the article directories. Oother webmasters will gladly take it and publish it in their websites.
Submitting content to article directories is an activity you should attempt to do weekly. Every time one of your articles gets picked up by a webmaster, is a new opportunity to reach countless new readers. Also, every time one of your articles gets published, it means you’re getting links back to your site. This boosts your link popularity and increases your search engine rankings in Google, Yahoo, and AOL! There are thousands of article directories out there, but the major 3 are: GoArticles, ArticleCity and EzineArticles.
5. Join blog carnivals and blogger communities
A blog “carnival” is a post in a blog that summarizes the best content from different resources that was published in a given week. If your blog content is selected to be in a blog carnival, you’ll get a significant spike in traffic. This traffic generation method is easy to use because (assuming you are already publishing good content) all you have to do is submit your content for consideration to be included in the carnival. Informational content will not be turned down many times before you begin to get recognized and posted in Blog Carnivals. To find good blog carnivals that are related to your blog’s niche, visit BlogCarnival.com.
Another great way to improve your reader base is to join a few good blogger communities. Many people use these communities to find high-quality blogs and to read and gather information about a particular topic. Begin by joining MyBlogLog and BlogCatalog. These two are great starting points, and are the ones that will probably send you the most traffic using this particular method.
6. Comment on other blogs
Bloggers really enjoy it when their readers take the time to leave a comment or engage in a meaningful discussion about their articles. Even better, when you leave a comment on someone’s blog, a link back to your blog is automatically posted on their blog leading back to yours. Once again, this is building your link popularity and search engine rankings through inbound and outbound links.
This traffic building strategy works particularly well if you are among the first 3 people to comment a particular post and if the comments you leave are intelligent and relevant to the post. Sometimes it helps to be a bit controversial to spark a good discussion on the subject just don’t overdo it or the strategy will back-fire and you may end up getting flamed or banned for good from that blog. In order to be on the top 3 commenting, stay on top of blog updates, and keep ready to submit your 2 cents.
7. Become an active member of forums
Find a few good forums that are related to your subject and become an active member in them. Answer the questions other members are posting, provide advice, and be helpful and friendly to them. This will very quickly boost you to an “Expert Status” and earn you the trust of other members. Someone like “Ben”, in the Mailchimp Blog is one such example.
Each forum post can have a short signature file with a link back to your blog. Every forum post you make is a new opportunity to gather a few readers. If you keep at it constantly, your efforts will help you to quickly build up a solid and loyal readership.
8. Use trackbacks
Commenting on another person’s post directly on your blog is another great opportunity to build relationships & traffic. When you link to a blog that has trackbacks enabled, you will most likely get that blogger’s attention and many times they will reciprocate with a link back to your blog in one of their posts. Bloggers tend to be friendly like that.
9. Make your posts easy to social bookmark
This is a very simple step, but can be overlooked by many new bloggers. If the content you are producing is really worth reading, there is a good chance that people will want to bookmark it in the social networks. All you need to do is add some social bookmarking and tagging buttons to all your website pages. If you run static HTML or PHP pages, you can use the bookmarking links generator. If you run a WordPress blog, use the “social plugins” to add the buttons automatically to every post. And just in case you’ve been living in a cave for the past year and don’t know, social networking is taking over Google search rankings, and this is a good way to potentially boost your organic search results.
10. Join social networking sites
This is obviously going hand-in-hand with tip 9. The internet offers an almost infinite number of possibilities to network with people, and turn them into your blog readers. Take the time to join social networks like twitter, facebook, digg, squidoo, and myspace. Set up your profile and start interacting with people with similar interests, participate in their groups, forums and events. This will help get your name out as an avid member of your niche’s community, and build trust with potential readers.