Getting Your Name Out There – 8 Helpful Blogging Tips to Increase Readers

I’ve had a few readers ask how I developed a blog readership and for some advice on getting their names out there, so I wrote up this list with some tips and actions to take!

 

1 – Blog about what you know

I think the most important advice I can offer for someone wanting to grow their blog is to focus on what you love and what you are passionate about. Blogging about what you know insures that you will have valuable content.

Tips & Actions:
- determine the purpose of your blog and stick with it
- don’t feel the need to do it all or try to imitate somebody else
- post quality content frequently
- don’t post what you think people want to hear
- teach a webinar or create a blog series focused on your talents

 

2 – Get personal / Be real

People want to know YOU, the person behind the blog. People will read your blog if they like what you have to say, that’s all there is to it.

Tips & Actions:
- enjoy what you’re doing and don’t get wrapped up in the details
- share something personal (this can be as simple as sharing your favorite book)
- write the way you speak
- don’t take yourself too seriously
- be true to yourself and what it is you want to share with the world
- add a photo of yourself to your about page
- be accessible (either list your email address or add a contact form)

 

3 – Create a space worth following

Not only is your content important but your actual blog design is too! Maybe it is just the designer in me, but I am drawn to simple layouts with big pictures.

Tips & Actions:
- have a blog design that you love and that feels like “you”
- use images in your posts (preferably original imagery)
- develop your own style and have a consistency to your design, writing style, content and photography
- only have pertinent information in your sidebars (too much information tends to confuse readers and takes the focus away from your main content)

 

4 – Invest time for Online Networking

This is a huge one! Online networking allows you the opportunity to engage your readers in real-time conversations and let them get to know you a little better.

Tips & Actions:
- get active in online discussion groups and chats (Better Blogger Network is a great community)
- comment on other blogs (but only if you have something to add to the conversation). Those comments make people’s days, I speak from experience on that one!
– respond to comments on your blog
- never leave a mean comment (you would think this goes without saying but I have seen some mean things out there)
- get to know your readers
- blogging is a community – support one another, make blog buddies, have conversations and collaborate
- participate in blog hops (also know as link ups)
- try not to auto post – tailor your introductions for your post for each social network

 

5 – Learn from the best

This is something that I did in the beginning. I spent time researching my favorite blogs and I still make sure to follow other blogs that inspire me.

Tips & Actions:
- don’t be afraid to ask others for help (but be careful asking other bloggers to post something on their site – this can put the person in a tough spot)
- find 5 bloggers similar to you and study how they use networks and learn best practices from them
- reach out to bloggers you admire

 

6 – Guest Post and Sponsor

“Guest posting” means writing and publishing an article on someone else’s blog. There are three main perks to guest posting: it introduces you to new communities, builds relationships with other bloggers and it’s great for search engine optimization. Guest posting gives you the opportunity to give new audiences a little sneak peek into your blogging style and content. Advertising (often called sponsoring in the blogging world) is also a great way to promote your blog to new people. Many blogs offer ad spaces in their sidebar and will introduce your blog to their readers throughout the month. Some bloggers even include guest post opportunities in their sponsorship packages.

Tips & Actions:
- sponsor one of your favorite larger blogs
- sponsor a few blogs with similar readership numbers (I recently switched my sponsoring over to Passionfruit and they have a great marketplace of bloggers using their network)
- trade sponsor spots (this is a great option if you don’t have money to spend on advertising)
- ask a blogger that you are friends with to guest post

 

7 – Give your readers choices

I think this is something that is easily over looked. You may assume that everyone reads blogs the same way you do, but that is not the case! For instance, I have never followed a blog through Google Friend Connect since I’m not on Blogger. I usually subscribe to an RSS feed (and read in Google Reader). Someone else may only follow blogs on Facebook, so you need to have these options available and easily accessible.

Tips & Actions:
- give your readers more than one way to follow you and add easy to find links on your site
- starts an e-mail newsletter
- put links in your email signature and wherever potential visitors are likely to see it

 

8 – Network Offline

A lot of times we get so stuck on networking online, we forget that we can promote our blogs in real life!

Tips & Actions:
- conferences are great for connecting with others who have similar interest
- if you have extra time try to join a non-profit organization. A  lot of  small business owners/professionals are involved in them and you meet a lot of people out in the community
- make sure you have business cards and hand them out when you meet someone new
- find some local groups to join through MeetUp.com or start your own!
- create an elevator pitch (a 30-60 second short summary to quickly and simply define your blog, business, what you do, etc.)

Great blogs are products of a passion for life and a lot of hard work! Don’t let others fool you, blogging takes time. If you write about what you love and grow yourself first, your blog will follow!

If you have any other tips please leave them in the comments!

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