From the first day of a new blog, chances are your blog launched with only one very loyal reader - you. Perhaps a few days later you received a few hits when you told your sister, father, girlfriend and best friend about your new blog, but that's almost as far you went when it comes to finding readers.
Following this list sequentially is essential, as each technique builds on the previous step to help you create momentum. After building enough momentum you gain what is called "traction", which is a large enough audience base (about 500 readers a day is good), then finding new readers won't be too hard. Instead your current loyal readers do the work for you through word of mouth.
Here are the top 10 methods new bloggers can use to find readers:
1. Write at least five major "pillar" articles. A pillar article is usually a tutorial style article aimed to teach your audience something. Usually they are longer than 500 words and have lots of very practical tips or advice. For example this article you are reading now could be considered a pillar article since it's very practical and a good "how-to" lesson. This style of articles has long term appeal, and offer real value and insight. The more pillars you have on your blog the better.
2. Write one new blog post per day minimum. Not every post has to be a pillar, but you should work on getting those five pillars done at the same time as you keep updating your blog with fresh daily news or short posts. This is necessary to demonstrate to first time visitors that your blog is always updated, so if they come back tomorrow they'll likely find something new. This takes them to bookmark your site or subscribe to your blog feed.
You don't have to produce one post per day all the time but it's important you do when your blog is brand new. Once you get traction you still need to keep the fresh content coming but your loyal audience will be more forgiving if you slow down to a few per week instead. The more content you can produce at the critical first few months the better.
3. Use a suitable and easily rememberable domain name in order for people to easily spread the word about your blog. Try and get a .com if you can and focus on small easy to remember domains instead of worrying about having the correct keywords (naturally if you can get great keywords and easy to remember then you've done a good job!).
4. Start commenting on other blogs. One of the best ways to find the right type of readers for your blog is to comment on other people's blogs. These blogs should by focused on a similar niche topic to yours since the readers there will be probably interested in your blog.
Most blog commenting systems allow you to have your name/title linked to your blog when you leave a comment. If you always have something valuable to say then people will be interested to read more of your work and therefore click through to visit your blog.
5. Trackback and link to other blogs in your blog posts. A trackback is kind of a blog conversation. When you write a new article and it links or references another blogger's article you can do a trackback to their entry. What this does is leave an abbreviated summary of your blog post on their blog entry - it's sort of like your blog telling someone else's blog that you wrote an article mentioning them. Trackbacks often appear like comments.
This is a good technique since like leaving comments a trackback leaves a link from another blog back to yours for readers to follow, besides it does something very important - it gets the attention of another blogger. The other blogger will come and read your post eager to see what you wrote about them. They may then become a loyal reader of yours or at least monitor you and if you are lucky, they may do a post linking to your blog gaining more new readers.
6. Encourage comments on your own blog. Among the most powerful ways to convince someone to become a loyal reader is to show that there are other loyal readers already following your work. If they see people commenting on your blog then they guess that your content must be good since you have readers so they should stick around and see what all the fuss is about. Make sure to always respond to comments also so you can keep the conversation going.
7. Submit your latest pillar article to a blog carnival. A blog carnival is a post in a blog that summarizes a collection of articles from many different blogs on a specific topic. The idea is to collect some of the best content on a topic in a given week.
To find the right blog carnival for your blog, do a search at http://blogcarnival.com/.
8. Submit your blog to blogtopsites.com. Honestly this tip is not going to bring in a flood of new readers but it's so easy to do.
Go to Blog Top Sites, find the suitable category for your blog and submit it. You have to copy and paste a couple of lines of code on to your blog so you can rank, then sit back and watch the traffic come in. Probably you'll only get 1-10 incoming readers per day with this technique but over time it can build up as you climb the rankings. It all helps!
9. Submit your articles to EzineArticles.com. It doesn't bring in hundreds of new visitors at once (although it can if you keep doing it) but it's worthwhile because you simply leverage what you already have - your pillar articles. About once a week take one of your pillar articles and submit it to Ezine Articles. Then your article becomes available to other people who can republish your article on their website or in their newsletter.
You benefit through what's called your "Resource Box", it's like a signature file where you include one to two sentences and link back to your website (or blog). Anyone who publishes your article has to include your resource box so you get incoming links. If someone with a large newsletter publishes your article you can get a lot of new readers at a time.
10. Write more pillar articles. If you do everything above you may bring in readers, however they won't stay or bother to come back without strong pillars in place. Aim for one solid pillar article per week and by the end of the year you will have a database of over 50 fantastic feature articles that will work firmly for you to bring in more and more readers.
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