I started my first blog assuming that people would read it right away. My ideas were original…right? And my content was accessible…?
The problem with growing a blog is that its not nearly enough to just write great posts. Everyone does that, every hour, every minute. But noone by default is just going to visit your blog looking for great writing.
In order to build your readership, you need to have great content, and a way of broadcasting it. Thankfully, the web has evolved to the point where there several ways to get readers to your blog. I’ve outlined 9 of them below.
The best blogs on the web have a whole slew of content channels, but experiment with a couple of these and see what initially works best.
Get on Twitter
Starting a Twitter page for your blog and a Twitter page for yourself are two must-dos. The @yourblogname should be a place to share articles and updates on your blog, like a new logo, or a new project all together. The @yourname should be more personal and give followers insight into your struggles and successes. Building these two Twitter pages alongside eachother is crucial to attracting and keeping blog readers. It’s also quite fun.
Submit your blog to Google
When you submit content to Google, you join the pack persay. It’s not just your own tiny blog anymore. You’ll get a ranking in Google search, and though it may be poor at first its a start. You’ll also build up your pagerank. Pagerank is a measure of a webpage’s strength among other webpages, and it determines how well you rank in Google search.
Publish posts to Facebook
Set up a Facebook page and get yourself an Application ID with Facebook. The page will be a small operation at first, but tell your friends and family to like your blog’s page and post some questions. This will create traction and before long random people will also like your work. The Application ID allows you to add certain Facebook features, like the comments box to your blog.
Add a subscribe widget
Blog subscribers are tough to build but are a key to keeping a loyal following. Think of what you subscribe to. It’s things you thought were cool or wanted to hear more about. If you can add your blog and your writing to this list others hold, you’re doing well. A subscribe widget usual involves a blank box and a button for “Subscribe by Email”.
Be a hustler and network
Know a friend working at magazine or online publication? Ask and urge them to mention your blog. A good friend of mine had authorship at Huffington Post, and he mentioned me in an article he wrote. My blog was tiny then, getting about 50 unique pageviews a day. When his Huffpo article went live, that number jumped to a couple thousand. It leveled off after a couple weeks but the word was out.
Write compelling content
Write things people want to share. Believe me this is easier said than done, but if your writing shows passion and isn’t generic, people will share it. I follow a blog called BetchesLoveThisSite where a pack of girls from my college rant on aspects of society like Diet Coke and Birth Control. It’s sassy, often vulgar writing, but people spread it like wildfire because it rings true with them.
Write content people are searching for in Google
Write a few articles tailored to what people are searching for. To determine this, use the free adwords search tool. Find search phrases with high volume and low competition. Title your posts as things people are searching for. If you search “make homemade macaroni and cheese” you’re going to click on something titled that or very similar. I wrote 100 articles to start, then noticed that a few got way clicks and views on my blog than the rest. I examined the post titles and URLs and found out why.
Keep your topics relatively consistent
Don’t wake up and write about whatever comes to mind. Blog readers like consistency, and though your wild random thoughts are interesting to you, they will probably send readers packing. Focus your topics, find your blog niche, and write things within that window. Some advice to not limit your blogging, but I think that unless you’re Charlie Sheen and can practically create your own words, people won’t appreciate random posts that make little sense.
Get your own domain
A unique .com is necessary to set your blog apart from others. Blogs with domains including.wordpress, .blogspot, or .tumblr, are unfortunately not taken very seriously, or are viewed as blogs that aren’t very far along. Don’t get me wrong, these blogs still have some of the best content, but if it’s building and keeping a readership you’re interested in, spend a bit of money on a unique domain of your own.
When you tell someone to visit your blog, it’s annoying saying “myblog.blogspot.com” as opposed to “myblog.com”.
To start on domains, use a domain search tool and browse available domains. Once you have once, you’re ready for my guide on getting a blog fully setup. Keep in mind, .orgs and .nets are just as good as .coms, though not as common. Your blog will be just as successful, as searchable in Google, and as well followed as a .org or .net as a .com. Just before finishing this post, I actually registered my first .org, you might see that around here soon!
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