I’ve been meaning to write this post for quite awhile now. I receive a lot of questions about the subject, so here’s my take on how to increase your blog readership and keep them coming back.
Frequently updating your blog is the first step to building your blog’s readership. You don’t need to blog three times a day, but you should have a fairly consistent schedule for when you post. For instance, if you set a goal to blog three times per week, stick to it! Your readers are waiting to hear from you!
Focus On Photography
My favorite blogs are the ones that have attractive, vibrant, and interesting photos. I can’t help it. I like to look at pretty things!
A lot of people say that photos don’t matter, but I totally disagree. A picture says a thousand words! How can that not enhance your blog post?! Although, I don’t think you need a ton of photos to make your point. I also don’t think you need a fancy camera to get good shots either. I love my point-and-shoot camera and I’ve taken lots of nice photos using my iPhone. Check out my post about how to improve your photos for some ideas!
Quick tip: Even just adding a little bit of color (i.e. place mat, napkin, piece of fruit, fresh flowers) to your shot can instantly increase the visual appeal of your photo.
Take Advantage of Guest Posts
Guest posts go both ways. If you have a blog, accept them from other bloggers. They will likely link your blog and spread the word via Twitter, Facebook, etc. If you’re a blogger, offer to write a guest post for another blog or even a company or brand website. (I recently wrote a post for the Eggland’s Best blog.) It’s a great way to spread the word about your blog and get traffic to your site. (FYI: I’m looking for guest posts on Trading Up Downtown!)
Think Outside of Your Community
To find difference audiences, think outside of your usual blog community. A lot of my traffic comes from the “healthy living” community with some overlap from the foodie and fitness worlds. But, imagine if I could gain new readers from the lifestyle, décor, and pet communities?! As soon as I have a good DIY project, I’m sending it to Young House Love as a guest post!
Mix It Up
I’m definitely guilty of blogging about the same things over and over again: cookies, oatmeal, Body Pump, pug, cookies. Some readers don’t mind the routine, but if you want to keep those readers, you need to mix it up with your posts.
On Carrots ‘N’ Cake, I try to keep things interesting by blogging about non-food things in almost every post. I have a lot of interests, so I just share what’s on my mind and what my readers might want to read about. Anything goes! It’s your blog!
If you have a Facebook account, use it to promote your blog! There are 500 million active users on Facebook!! Add your blog URL to your profile info and link your favorite blog posts on your wall. Just think of how many of your friends (and their friends) are on Facebook!
Network In Person
Get out there and meet people! You can’t hide behind your blog forever! I’m actually very shy in person, but I force myself to network (and public speak). It’s a wonderful opportunity to tell people about your blog, meet other bloggers, and find ways to work together.
I attend a lot of events—many of which are open to just about anyone to attend. Some of the bigger blog get-togethers are BlogHer, BlogHer Food, Foodbuzz Festival, and Blissdom. Twitter is also a great way to find out about events in your area. Twitter is all about who you follow!
There are tons of blogs out there, so you want to make sure that yours stands out from the rest, which means be yourself! I’ve met a number of CNC readers, who told me that I am exactly how I portray myself on my blog. As you can imagine, this is a really nice compliment. So, have fun with your blog and give your readers a peak inside your life to show them what makes you special. I guarantee your authenticity will come through in your posts.
Tag Your Posts
It only takes a few extra seconds to add tags to your blog post, but it’s worth the time and effort in terms of the additional traffic that will come to your blog. Tags are easily noticed by search engines, so they help potential readers find your blog. For example, I used the tag ‘Harvard‘, so readers can find all of my posts about my time there. (Just click on Harvard to see all of those posts.)