This post has been submitted by Yaro Starak from two of my daily reads – Entrepreneur’s Journey and Small Business Branding. He’s also working on a new site at Blog Traffic King. I’ve asked Yaro to write an introduction to finding readers for a blog – something which I’ll write more on also in the days ahead.
In every bloggers life comes a special day – the day they first launch a new blog. Now unless you went out and purchased someone else’s blog chances are your blog launched with only one very loyal reader – you. Maybe a few days later you received a few hits when you told your sister, father, girlfriend and best mate about your new blog but that’s about as far you went when it comes to finding readers.
Here are the top 10 techniques new bloggers can use to find readers. These are tips specifically for new bloggers, those people who have next-to-no audience at the moment and want to get the ball rolling.
It helps if you work on this list from top to bottom as each technique builds on the previous step to help you create momentum. Eventually once you establish enough momentum you gain what is called “traction”, which is a large enough audience base (about 500 readers a day is good) that you no longer have to work too hard on finding new readers. Instead your current loyal readers do the work for you through word of mouth.
Top 10 Tips
10. Write at least five major “pillar” articles. A pillar article is usually a tutorial style article aimed to teach your audience something. Generally they are longer than 500 words and have lots of very practical tips or advice. This article you are currently reading could be considered a pillar article since it is very practical and a good “how-to” lesson. This style of article has long term appeal, stays current (it isn’t news or time dependent) and offers real value and insight. The more pillars you have on your blog the better.
9. 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 your blog fresh with a daily news or short article style post. The important thing here is to demonstrate to first time visitors that your blog is updated all the time so they feel that if they come back tomorrow they will likely find something new. This causes 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 is 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 first few months are critical so the more content you can produce at this time the better.
8. Use a proper domain name. If you are serious about blogging be series about what you call your blog. In order for people to easily spread the word about your blog you need a easily rememberable domain name. People often talk about blogs they like when they are speaking to friends in the real world (that’s the offline world, you remember that place right?) so you need to make it easy for them to spread the word and pass on your URL. Try and get a .com if you can and focus on small easy to remember domains rather than worry about having the correct keywords (of course if you can get great keywords and easy to remember then you’ve done a good job!).
7. Start commenting on other blogs. Once you have your pillar articles and your daily fresh smaller articles your blog is ready to be exposed to the world. One of the best ways to find the right type of reader for your blog is to comment on other people’s blogs. You should aim to comment on blogs focused on a similar niche topic to yours since the readers there will be more likely to be interested in your blog.
Most blog commenting systems allow you to have your name/title linked to your blog when you leave a comment. This is how people find your blog. If you are a prolific commentor and always have something valuable to say then people will be interested to read more of your work and hence click through to visit your blog.
6. Trackback and link to other blogs in your blog posts. A trackback is sort of like a blog conversation. When you write a new article to your blog and it links or references another blogger’s article you can do a trackback to their entry. What this does is leave a truncated 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 because like leaving comments a trackback leaves a link from another blog back to yours for readers to follow, but it also does something very important – it gets the attention of another blogger. The other blogger will likely 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 some time down the road they may do a post linking to your blog bringing in more new readers.
5. Encourage comments on your own blog. One of the most powerful ways to convince someone to become a loyal reader is to show there are other loyal readers already following your work. If they see people commenting on your blog then they infer that your content must be good since you have readers so they should stick around and see what all the fuss is about. To encourage comments you can simply pose a question in a blog post. Be sure to always respond to comments as well so you can keep the conversation going.
4. 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. Often many other blogs link back to a carnival host and as such the people that have articles featured in the carnival often enjoy a spike in new readers.
This concept can be confusing so I suggest you take a look at the Carnival of the Cats for an example. You can also find a list of all the carnivals and submit your articles at the Carnival Submit Form.
3. Submit your blog to blogtopsites.com. To be honest this tip is not going to bring in a flood of new readers but it’s so easy to do and only takes five minutes so it’s worth the effort. Go to Blog Top Sites, find the appropriate 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 and then sit back and watch the traffic come in. You will probably 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!
2. Submit your articles to EzineArticles.com. This is another tip that doesn’t bring in hundreds of new visitors immediately (although it can if you keep doing it) but it’s worthwhile because you simply leverage what you already have – your pillar articles. Once a week or so take one of your pillar articles and submit it to Ezine Articles. Your article then becomes available to other people who can republish your article on their website or in their newsletter.
How you benefit is through what is called your “Resource Box”. You create your own resource box which is like a signature file where you include one to two sentences and link back to your website (or blog in this case). 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 once.
1. Write more pillar articles. Everything you do above will help you to find blog readers however all of the techniques I’ve listed only work when you have strong pillars in place. Without them if you do everything above you may bring in readers but they won’t stay or bother to come back. 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 hard for you to bring in more and more readers.
I hope you enjoyed my list of traffic tips. Everything listed above are techniques I’ve put into place myself for my blogs and have worked for me, however it’s certainly not a comprehensive list. There are many more things you can do. Finding readers is all about testing to see what works best for you and your audience and I have no doubt if you put your mind to it you will find a balance that works for you.
Blog Traffic King
Tip 7. Commenting on other blogs: “Great post ! like the tip 1”
Tip 1. Write pillar articles: “In the future I see a videotutorial in my blog”
Thanks a lot
[…] It helps if you work on this list from top to bottom as each technique builds on the previous step to help you create momentum. Eventually once you establish enough momentum you gain what is called “traction”, which is a large enough audience base (about 500 readers a day is good) that you no longer have to work too hard on finding new readers. Instead your current loyal readers do the work for you through word of mouth.” Read More.. […]
[…] This is my first pillar article, as lovingly explained by Yaro Starak. A pillar article is extremely useful and gives practical advice on a certain topic. A lot to live up to! […]
[…] I’ve seen the professional bloggers make their posts giving us the top 10 lists like 10 blogging mistakes to avoid, 10 techniques for finding blog readers, Blog Rules, Dave’s 9 rules for blogging. This is all good info for your blog, however; you need to keep yourself in your blog. Once you start blogging about something you can’t really back, is the moment your blog begins to fail. If you want a successful blog, there are two rules that always hold true: […]
First, Thank you for your truly valuable and remarkably well done articles on blogging. You are to be commended for your your thoroughness and depth in your writing. You mentioned that you have several other blogs. I would really like to visit them, too. Van you provide those URL’s.
Thank you for the great advice!! More ‘pillars’ then! I’ll get to work!
YOU, my friend, are a blogging GOD! Thanks for your great advice!
[…] 10. Write at least five major “pillar” articles. […]
Great suggestions. Loved it so much I had to write about it – hope you don’t mind.
Look forward to gaining more wisdom from your site.
Nice written article, I learnt quite a deal from here. Thanks
[…] 10 techniques for finding blog readers by Darren Rowse […]
[…] 10 Techniques for Finding Blog Readers […]
[…] 10 techniques for finding blog readers by Darren Rowse […]
Question about these pillar articles… I’m hosting a new food blog and was planning on just posting recipes with some dialogue. Do recipes count as pillars since they don’t change and they’re “how to” articles, sorta? Or should I be writing something about a good alternative for mayo in a recipe is strained plain yogurt or likewise? Thanks for any advice!
its so cool….n much useful for me….pillar articles idea is great…i was unaware out of it…..let me implement this in my blogs….thanx dude…..
Its all about the content. Content, more content and then site look and feel! We have been experimenting for some time now and it seems it is a equation of 3 to 1 content to design but they should both be above par.
Give your readers something to come back for! After you start building a fan base start hitting the social networks and add social networking buttons to your posts. Let you readers promote you!
Karl L. Gechlik
Come stop by and leave a comment or two ;)
For most of blogs in their own niches, it seems they have 20-30 regulars to come to their sites, not many new. At least, the names on the comment lists are always the same. A site like problogger is an exception. For a casual blogger, do we actually get anyone whom we do not know and whom we did not tell our sites personally to?
Thank you for this. Very concise and well constructed, it gave me some good tips to follow through on. It did make me wonder if indeed a blog is suitable for my goal. I’ve only a few posts thus far and I would like to ask for feedback on my start. They are sequential by way of introductory posts, but they aren’t too long. What do people think of vinylart.blogspot.com?
Very useful tip. Thanks a lot for sharing. I’ll get to work on gaining for readers.
The thing I struggle with is that I get impatient. Sometimes you look at guys like John Chow and how fast they he was able to rise up and you want the same thing.
Unfortunately it does not always work out that way, but you have to stay the course.
I have been applying the SEO techniques and best practices I have been learning off the top sites and slowly more and more people are finding their way to my site…
Thank you for that advice. It’s good to know other bloggers are out there with experience. Sometimes all this information is overwhelming.
Quite an interesting article and helpful. I only starting blogging a few day ago. I’ll need the stuff like these
Yeah, awesome! I totally agree with Pillar articles bringing in 90% of the traffic, what’s funny is that it’s so obvious! Yes so hard to realize!
In your #8, you have “series” instead of “serious”.
thanks for the tips
very helpful for a beginner like me
Excellent post! This covers some great information for people who are just starting out as an online entrepreneur! These things will help you get traffic to your blog or website.
I just started a blog two nights ago so I have a long way to go. Your site was exactly what I was hoping to find and I found it very quickly…so you are doing a lot of things right.
Thank you for the tips. I didn’t realize the importance of pillar articles until I read your post. I will remind myself on a daily basis to write pillar articles.
I am new to blogging and find it very exciting. I read through the 10 points and will be taking them as gospel from the blogging world. These articles are nothing less than fantastic. Loking forward to more very interesting reading.
I’ve just created this blog of mine and I know traffic is really needed. Thanks for these tips :D
I need help. I’ve set up my web site for selling a self-published book – OpenWindowPublishingCo.com. Associated with this web site (and linked to from the web site) is my blog – OpenWindowPublishingCo.com/cgi/wp/. My web site is submitted to search engines monthly. So far, after about six months, traffic to my blog is about as close to zero as it can be. This doesn’t seem right to me, as my book and blog deal with hot, controversial topics – population, immigration, trade. Am I doing something wrong? Does the blog need to be submitted to search engines independently of the web site? I have keywords set up on the web site pages, but not on the blog page. Is this my mistake? Does the blog page need keywords too? Any advice would be much appreciated.
An update to my previous question: I’ve discovered that my blog isn’t publishing an RSS feed. How do I get it to do that?
Great article! Could you write more about how to write a pillar article? And is it true that when submitting your pillar article to to ezine sites, you should vary the wording a little bit?
your guidance has built some confidence. now i can try for more readers.thanks
I just wanted to say that this is a really outstanding article. I’ve taken a lot of notes and hope to improve my site from it. Kudos!
tihs is a good info for me..
i just start to blogging 1 week ago and now i just want to get more traffic for my blog..
i will try your tips bro..
I really enjoyed reading this post and found it very useful. I think have to focus more on the ‘Pillar’ articles, because my blog doesn’t have a lot of them.
Thanks for the tips!
Hey – this was really useful; thanks! I set up a blog yesterday with Google’s eblogger and have discovered that it returns me at number one on page one on Google when I put in “DPA Joinery”. With your tips I am confident that I’ll find readers in time. Am def gonna focus on the pillar articles – am thinking about my first one as I write this.
Thiswas really inspirational – keep it coming!
Thank you so much for this article. As a newbie, this is sooo helpful. Don’t know any bloggers, should I meet any will surely pass this on.
May Your Glass Always Be Half Full
Thanks for the nice article. Keep writing good articles.
Great advice, thanks so much. I have spent hours searching for tips on generating traffic and this one is by far the most user friendly, easy to follow blog tip I have come across. For someone who is only moderately tech savvy, it was a breath of fresh air to actually understand all the jargon. Thanks again : )
I would definitely follow these advice. It is very helpful. Actually, it is only now that I have read I fully understood what trackback is. Very good explanation in there.
Great blog posts. I read this post a couple of months ago and cam back to it today, just shows how a pillar post really isnt time defendant.
I am another one who has returned several times to re-read this article. It contains valuable information that is worth repeating.
This is very helpful. I want to have my own blog and I’m currently researching on how to make/build a good one. This blog post is very informative. It learned a lot from your tips. I hope I can imply those tips/techniques so that I can make a good blog. Thanks again.
Oustanding techniques for keeping a blog Alive!!. Moreover, the pillar topics concept was Awesome. I Really Loved it and will do it for my blog.
I Appreciate your great work.
Thanks so much dude.
An encouraging attempt to help understand how to win and keep more readers on a blog.
Very well written and thought out. I’m glad to know that most of what I write qualifies as “pillar” articles.
Have you written an article on selecting a blog location? There are tons of different places to create blogs now and I am sure people would enjoy hearing your insights about it.
Great article – very helpful. I am just starting a new blog, but its format isn’t really set up for helpful articles. I think that your advice is relevant, but perhaps not for me. any advice? Am I going about this the wrong way? Thanks,
I absolutely LOVE the idea of writing 5 “pillar” articles. This is great because it takes some of the stress away from thinking you need to produce these pillars all the time. That, of course, doesn’t mean that not all of the posts should be quality — but putting the focus in a select set that really add a ton of value is important and a surefire way to get a blog started right.
Great tips and great post!
Thanks for a great article.
I noticed that you recommended to list the blog on topblogsites.com; does it really give any traffic?? I have listed my blog and websites in various directories, but I haven’t seen any traffic from them. Maybe it gives me a bit higher google rank in the long run though, I don’t know.. Or maybe my content is just too boring for people to visit it..(!)
I’m a big fan of trackbacks because it connects all the blogs out there. That way readers can jump from one blog to the other without changing the subject..