One of the most challenging aspects of writing a blog is getting people to actually read what you post. Of course, a high level of quality is essential for a blog to acquire a following, but even if someone appreciates what you’re posting, it can be difficult to be sure that you’re letting them know when you’ve posted something new.
The problem is that, quite often, bloggers will continue to generate content for those few who keep up with the blog without actively pursuing new readership. For a business blog especially, this is a huge missed opportunity. If you’re generating quality content, especially if it involves valuable instructions or advice, chances are someone will want to share that advice with someone else… and suddenly you have a large thriving readership!
But it all starts with getting people to read what you post.
As an avid follower of several blogs myself, here are a few of the ways I appreciate blogs keeping in touch (and yes, some of these are going to be pretty basic, please bear with me):
- Include links to any and all social media your blog is associated with. This means that, if you haven’t already, you’re going to have to join a few of those social media outlets (facebook and twitter at least). It’s a simply a necessity now-a-days to crafting your online presence.
- Post about your new posts (how redundant, I know) on those social media sites. This allows your followers to see a link to your new post where they already go regularly. This makes for effortless reading on their part, which makes for more readership on your part. (Just try to post a few things besides blog post announcements; you don’t want to seem too inactive.) Also, if people comment on your post posts, their friends (who may not even know your awesome blog exists) can see those links and perhaps they’ll check it out, too! Yay for expanding audiences!
- Find a way to enable a subscription option on your blog. I’m sure there’s something out there for every blog tool which will at least allow users to subscribe via email. Most of these simply send out your post in the email. How easy is that? However, you will probably encounter some readers who, for whatever reason, don’t like getting their blog updates in emails. Perhaps they subscribe to too many blogs, or maybe you post on your blog too often for it to be convenient. Chances are, these people have found a way to subscribe to your blog via some collective program such as:
- Google Reader (my personal favorite). While you can add any website or blog to this feed by typing in the URL in the right spot, there’s no reason you can’t make it a bit easier on them by adding a handy little button that can do it for them. Google even supplies it themselves: http://www.google.com/webmasters/add.html.
The trick to gathering a large readership is to make following your blog as effortless as possible. Let’s face it, most people are too busy, forgetful, or just plain lazy to keep up with your blog unless you let them know there’s something new. By proclaiming the existence of a new post far and wide and doing everything but clicking the link for them, you’re bound to increase your readership and generate more interest surrounding your blog. (Just don’t forget about the whole quality posts thing)