How to attract new readers to your blog

When I asked members of my Facebook group recently about their biggest barrier to achieving more with their blog, the answer that came up most often was “increasing readership.” I’m guessing that many of you struggle with the same thing.

You need to proactively work on continually driving traffic to your blog. Many experts say you should be spending more time promoting your content than you do creating it!

In this post, I’m going to share a few ways that you can get your blog posts in front of new readers.

Share your blog posts on every social media channel you use

Be sure to post them on your personal profile and business page, if you have both, but don’t limit yourself to merely posting your title along with your link! If you really want to catch your followers’ attention, you need to say something to draw them in.

Natalie Gallagher of Refined Rooms does this really well. On New Year’s Day, she posted this tweet:

Not only did she make it timely by referring to the new year, but she included several hashtags to increase the likelihood of someone interested in this topic finding her tweet, even if they aren’t following her on Twitter.

Once is not enough

You work hard on your blog, so don’t limit your potential by only promoting your post on the day or week it’s published. Social media is a very busy space, and the chance of your post catching someone’s eye is very slim, especially if they’re not online when you post it.

Continue promoting it as long as it’s relevant. In the world of digital marketing, this is called evergreen content.

Don’t be afraid that your followers will get bored. They won’t, as long as you don’t overdo it. Newer followers won’t have seen your older posts, while others will have missed them, won’t remember them, or will benefit from reading them again.

Look at your blog analytics to see which of your posts have generated the most traffic and backlinks. These are good ones to promote.

Those that haven’t done as well might just need to be promoted some more. Before you do that, consider bringing them up to date, sprucing them up with new images, and republishing them. Bonus: This also cuts down on the time you spend creating new content from scratch!

Take advantage of technology

There are all kinds of tools available to help you continue promoting your posts on an ongoing basis, and I’ve listed some below.

Find one that works for you, but make sure you’re not sending out posts that are no longer relevant. Promoting an event that’s already taken place, or talking about Christmas in the middle of May, isn’t likely to attract new readers.

Participate in blog sharing groups

There are many groups on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ that allow or encourage posting of blog links. Some even have a regular day where members cross-promote one another’s blogs.

Maximize Marketing Club does Content Sharing every Friday. This group is now open to all of my clients and subscribers, so I hope you’ll join us!

Although blog shares can be effective, it does take time to participate fully, so try to find groups that are a good fit for you. And never post your blog links on groups without first checking the rules.

Despite the popularity of social media, email is far from dead! In fact, studies have shown that email marketing is still the most effective way to reach your target audience.Click To Tweet

Share your blog posts via email

Create a mailing list so people can sign up to receive your new posts in their inbox. You only have to set this up once, and it will go out automatically whenever you publish a new post, or every week, or every month. There are a number of services where you can set this up, including my personal favorite, MailChimp.

In addition to your list, consider sending a link to your post to specific people who may find it interesting. Don’t send every post to every contact, but if you blog about something you had talked about with a client or someone you met at a networking event, sending them the link is a great way to follow up, and most people will read a post when you email them personally.

Occasionally you might wish to email your most engaged contacts about certain posts to ask them to comment or share. Most people will be happy to do what you ask, especially if you offer to return the favor – as long as you don’t overdo it.

If you mention someone in your post, be sure send them a link. Once I included a shout-out to my financial planner in one of my posts. I sent him the link, and he sent it out to all of his clients. I’m not saying I got business out of it, but the more people who know about you and your blog, the better.

You can also add a link to your latest blog post to your email signature. If you use web-based email such as Gmail or Outlook.com, you can use WiseStamp to automatically insert a link to your most recent blog post in your email signature.

Participate in blog carnivals and link parties

Another way to generate traffic to your blog is to submit your posts to a link party or blog carnival related to your topic.

I’ve been hosting the Professional Organizers Blog Carnival since June 2009. Every month I invite readers of Your Organizing Business to submit blog posts on a specific topic, then publish and share the list. Most of the participants read each others’ posts and share them across their social networks, which puts them in front of a whole new audience. If you’re a productivity consultant or professional organizer, you should definitely give it a try.

Search for other blog carnivals or link parties that may be a good fit for you.

Other Thoughts

This post has described a few direct ways to drive traffic to your blog, but I’ve barely scratched the surface. Here are a few other things to keep in mind:

  • Make sure you’re writing about topics that will interest your target audience.
  • While writing your blog posts, be sure to include the keywords and phrases that people are most likely to use when searching online for that type of information.
  • Don’t put all your efforts into promoting individual blog posts – think of ways you can promote your blog as a whole as well.

Let’s talk!

What other ways do you attract new readers to your blog?

Photo © choreograph / DepositPhotos

Janet
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Janet

I'm a web designer and Certified Digital Business Consultant who loves helping others succeed by sharing the knowledge and insight I’ve gained through marketing my own business for over 15 years. When I’m away from my desk, I enjoy reading, photography, watching movies, and cooking.
Janet
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Comments

  1. I do most of these, and am thankful to you and your group for helping me connect! The idea that you need to spend as much time promoting as creating is sort of interesting. You need to be your own PR firm! I find commenting and sharing other people’s comments not only helpful, but fun. I enjoy the community:)

    • I know what you mean, Seana – the interaction helps you feel connected! And even if the same bunch of people are sharing your posts, you just never know who might see them.

      I shared a group member’s post this week, and I just received an email from Buffer telling me that it had been retweeted several times, with a potential reach of almost 150K – not too shabby!

  2. As always, Janet, you’ve shared such valuable suggestions for attracting new readers to our blogs. I think of the blogging process similarly to organizing…that it’s a “full circle thinking.” One of the ways I suggest enhancing organizing is to introduce the mindfulness piece or full circle thinking piece into the process. You open a drawer, then close it. You take out your keys and then put them back in their home. With blogging, you write your post and then promote it. And…you also read, share and comment on others’ posts. It’s definitely not enough to just write if you want to have good engagement.

    I wonder if this is your experience, but for me, it seems that many more people read and share my posts then make comments. I’m happy that people are visiting, but would love to get more comments and interaction. I know it takes time to write something. Do you have any suggestions or thoughts about encouraging more comments?

    • I totally agree with you, Linda. Sometimes I’ve never heard of will tell me they’ve been reading my blog for years.

      Many experts say that if you end your post with a question and invite people to post their answers, you’re more likely to get comments, but many bloggers I’ve spoken to have not found this to be effective. Sometimes they get even fewer comments when they ask for them, so it can get pretty frustrating!

      There are many reasons people may be reluctant to leave a comment: they don’t think anyone will be interested in what they have to say; they don’t want to put their name out where people will see it… I found some other great reasons in this post by Liz Strauss.

      I just might have to think about this some more and blog about it in the future!

  3. Great tips. I reworked and republished posts a lot this past year and it worked wonders. I found that updating images and editing content with Grammarly worked great. And, Google also noticed the changes and shared it more often as well. =)

  4. These are great tips! I realized as I was reading it that I never share my blog on Linked In (which I totally should!) and I should also participate in blog carnivals more. It’s hard because I don’t write and publish as consistently as I know I’m supposed to. Definitely going to make more of an effort moving forward.

    • If you don’t have a lot of time to write and publish new content, maybe you should start by promoting some of your existing content. Make it work for you!

  5. Finding ways to get exposure for my content has definitely been a challenge! I really need to set aside time to check out those programs that will repost your content for you… I’ve not done that for any of mine yet! Would love to see the difference it would make.

    • It’s worth it – but you do need to go back from time to time and check what you’ve put in your queue. I was embarrassed just this week to discover that I tweeted about a post which has been deleted. 🙁

  6. Hi Janet
    I really appreciate what you do and how you help us to be engaged in this community. I have quite a few people reading my blog but very few comments. Most come from the blogging organizers group. I feel that my preferred tribe is quite resistant because there is a lot of embarrassment and shame with this issue. Well that might be the case for a number of us. I don’t know how to remedy this but will keep trying. Thanks for the tips.

    • You are probably right, Kim. I would be surprised if many people from your target audience would talk about their clutter issues on a public blog, so I wouldn’t stress too much about that. Making sure they can find your information is far more important.

  7. Janet, I had to laugh when you wrote, “I’ve barely scratched the surface”, because I was thinking you’d been fairy comprehensive in your suggestions! Now I’m wondering what else there is. (Part 2?) But meanwhile, I need to continue promoting the best of what I’ve already written and not let it just stay buried in my website.

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