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How do you find Readers for Your Blog? – Open Mike

Posted By Darren Rowse 28th of January 2007 Blog Promotion 0 Comments

I’m heading away for one night as part of our long weekend here in Australia for Australia Day and so thought it might be time for a reader discussion on the topic that everyone seems to be asking me about these days – ‘how do I find readers for my blog?’

Share you own experiences and tips on how you’ve drawn readers to your blog.

What’s worked for you?
What hasn’t worked for you?
What would you recommend for someone just starting out in blogging who has no readers?

Looking forward to reading your responses when I get home tomorrow.

Have a good weekend!

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
Comments
  1. Commenting on related blogs is probably the most effective strategy early on in the process. And responding to comments when people leave them on your blog (this encourages them to keep coming back).

  2. Easy to read posts with really funky titles – that seems to work pretty well. But, I make sure my posts are detailed, original and full of entertaining humor.

  3. Read other’s blogs. Comment on other’s blogs. Be a hit whore hehe.

  4. I’ve found that one very quick way to infuse readers to a new blog is to be active in discussion forums related to your blog topic. Locate posts that ask for help with something you are familiar with and share your experience.

  5. I heard if you post yourself with a big check people will repost it all over the internet. Also I heard you want to make sure you watermark the image really well incase people dont link to you. Thats from a friend of course

  6. I agree with brem. I visit other blogs in my niche, add them to my feed and participate in the discussion on their blogs via the comments. Writing interesting comments often gets people to click through to see your site. Also, adding other blogs in your niche to your blogroll will get the attention of the owners of the sites you’re linking to and often get a link back to your site.

    MySpace has been a huge part of my blog as well. It allows me to find artists to write about, highlight, recommend, and interview for my blog. The artists usually post a link on their site, or MySpace page, that has sent quite a bit of traffic to my blog.

  7. As said above… Simple and to the point… The title should create an instant urge to read the entire post… But of course it should be related to the topic of your blog

  8. I commented on other related sites/forums, sent the occasional email and have tried to build relationships with people. I’ll trackback another site in one of my posts if it is relevant, and slowly but surely people came to me. Writing good original content is a must, also.

    Being honest and transparent also helps people to come back once they’ve found you.

    Now that I have a few loyal readers, I have recently tried doing stuff that I never thought I would do. One example being to interview fellow bloggers who are in the same niche as me. This has gone down well, and has been great for both myself and the interviewee as traffic flows between us. And I tend to post the interviews on slow-news days, so it also helps me to keep the posting schedule nice and regular, and the routine element is great for those who come just for the interviews – they know when a new one will be up.

    Enjoy your weekend as well, Darren.

  9. I have found the most readers for my blog by writing content that has been picked up by other websites (not blogs) and email newsletters in my niche (sailing).

  10. Persistence is key. After starting up a new blog last month and letting go of another this month, I notice that traffic (quality traffic) doesn’t happen over night. On my last site, I think it took 6 months before ASK.com found me.

    Another thing that was really cool. I got my blog listed on washingtonpost.com. If you blog about one of their articles, they will list some of the blogs that have commented on the article.

  11. As others have said, I read blogs that interest me and leave comments. Then I make sure that I write interesting material on my blog so that when I get a return visit people will want to keep coming back.

    My blog isn’t about a particular subject and doesn’t fit into any niche so it’s never going to be the world’s most read blog, but I manage to gain a few readers here and there.

    I’m also a part of a number of online forums so I make sure that my signature in those forums links back to my blog.

  12. I use a combination of what I have learned here at problogger:

    -comment on other peoples blogs

    -take part in forum discussions on your topic(s)

    -tag your posts for technorati

    -get on digg and stumbleupon

  13. I dunno if it’s so much of a traffic builder, but I always try to include lots of links to support a key point I’m making in my blog posts. Often, these are links to other blogs or personal websites.

    The other thing I’ve been doing just recently is connecting up with other bloggers in my city and the neighboring towns. We’ve got something of a link exchange going and a nice side-effect to this is that I/we have discovered that there are quite a few more bloggers and/or website authors in the area than ever expected.

    Oddly enough, I pimp my site to the folks at work fairly often – but I’m careful not to do so in an overt or obnoxious manner – yet some of my closest friends and co-workers are some of the least frequent visitors to my site. In the month that’s passed since I did a major site overhaul, nary a single co-worker has mentioned anything of the site redesign…

  14. I’ve had some success with giving away free stuff, like free templates for WordPress. It doesn’t give me lot of new readers, because my blog is written in Norwegian, but the templates give lots and lots of new links to the blog, giving it a much better pagerank in Google, which in turn should mean more readers from search-engines.

    I’m sure that if you guys with english blogs started to give away free stuff, you should see a increase in readership. Maybe just more links to the blog at first, but you’ll never know. Suddenly you have lots of new readers.

    This may be a more successful approach for blogs focusing on things like blogdesign and blog development, but I think it may work for all blogs.

    Just a tip.

  15. As with Brem and Kris, I find that using a combination of reading/commenting others blogs, technorati tagging, and submitting some of your posts on digg, reddit, etc is what works best for me.

    That and writing interesting and engaging articles – once you’ve got them reading your blog, you’ve got to make sure they come back.

  16. I do the basic stuff, comment on blogs, forums, etc. Also, I’ve tried to develop relationships with other bloggers.
    Recently, I’ve been running a contest to give away a $25 gift certificate to one of my feed readers, and another $25 gift certificate to the person who referred them. That way, it rewards both the people who subscribe to the feed and those people who tell their friends or blog about my site.
    details at:
    http://www.nathanrice.org/2007/01/26/announcing-a-contest/

    So far, it’s worked pretty well. We’ll see how it goes next week :-)

    Nathan
    http://www.nathanrice.org/

  17. Hi, I am new to blogging (started last week). So far I have commented on other blogs in my niche and even made the newsletter from isixsigma.com which was cool! I have had around 400 unique visitors from all over the world which has been really awesome and inspiring.

    One question since I am a newbie. How does one “tag their posts for Technorati?”

    Thanks all!

  18. Here’s what I’ve found, in order of importance:

    1. Write compelling content that others actually want to read, above all else.
    2. Comment on other blogs that cover similar topics to your own.
    3. Participate in forums that are close to your topic.
    4. Be opinionated, but encourage opposing viewpoints in the comments. Opinionated makes you interesting – encouraging other perspectives makes you essential.
    5. Participate in social bookmarking sites (I think many people overrate their importance – for me, success here has been an outgrowth of the other parts of this list).
    6. Ask questions of other moderately successful bloggers and try to network. If you shoot too high, you’ll often get blown off because these people have so much stuff to read and deal with.

  19. Two main methods work for me …

    1) Making educated and insightful comments on high profile blogs, like Problogger. ( Flock to me, loyal Problogger readers!)

    2) Sending highly creative and penetrating trackbacks about a blogger’s original post.

    Everything else is passive for me. I don’t really bother going out of my way to create linkbait.

  20. As mentioned above, I create clever titles for blog posts, use digg, write quality content that usually takes no more then 60 seconds to read.

    Use MySpace to post bulletins about recently published articles.

    Use clever sigs on forums that I am active on.

    Buy advertising space on related websites.

    Comment on blogs.

    Use sigs in all my emails for the sites I run.

    With the most recent blog I launched I created a page in WordPress called Feeds which not only has the RSS icon on it but a description of what a “feed” is and what are some of the most common ways to subscribe and use feeds, mostly pulled from a CC article.

    Placed RSS feed icons in places on the site where readers will most likely look.

    Talk to friends, family and coworkers about them… you’d be surprised how much the traditional way of “networking” really does work.

    Business cards, depending which blog I’ll post on a community board at a grocery store.

  21. here’s what I’ve done..

    Comment on other blogs, that sometimes will bring in a small stream of traffic.

    Guest post on blogs.

    Offer prizes, currently I’m offering a draw for a book for readers who comment on my on my articles until Feb 22.

  22. Properly optimizing my blog has been a big boost to my readership. Once I figured out how to play around with SEO I started getting a regular 25-35% of my hits from Google. I posted on this a couple weeks ago I swear by it.

    http://scribbit.blogspot.com/2007/01/blogging-101-ten-seo-tips.html

    I picked up nearly all of it at Problogger.

  23. I think the best way is to comment on similar blogs and reciprocate when bloggers comment on your site.

  24. Posting naked pictures of myself *really* didn’t work.

  25. It really is a gradual thing.

    1. Involving myself in the community has been the main way. Commenting on other people’s sites. But, commenting meaningfully. Being heartfelt, perhaps a little bit witty (cautiously, because it can be misinterpreted as “cheek”), but always honest.

    2. Make sure that my own articles are as well written as they can be, so that if anyone looks in out of curiosity, they might stay longer than they intended.

    3. I have tended to try for the cool “meercats” and not the “elephants”. Tom Vander Well’s Thoughts For Bloglings was a little bit inspirational, over at QAQNA.

    4. I’m trying out MyBlogLog. Let’s see how that turns out.

  26. I’ve seen a recent surge of hits after discovering two separate blogs that I now currently frequent, and commenting on the topics there. I was surprised at just how much traffic they brought, simply by including a link in a response.

    In addition, I’ve created a Myspace page.

  27. Hi guys…some concerns about tagging…can any wordpress users tell me how blog owners tag their post with those beautiful icons like the one shown in http://mymoneychat.com/blog/ ? The site owner has all the beautiful tags on them and i wondering what plugins he used. Seeing that everyone seems to be tagging their post, i tink i should start now too! Hope some1 helps!

  28. Here are some tips and other things a new blog owner should know:

    1. Never leave a comment that doesn’t add any value or insight to a post, I’ve seen people getting hundreds of unqiue visitors just by commenting on high trafficked blogs, and although it brings them traffic – It crashes their authority. Always leave a comment with some value.

    2. Of course everyone are aware that commenting on high profile blogs will get you traffic, but traffic you get from newly started blogs (just like yours!) have a better chance to convert into loyal readership.

    3. Understand that your blog won’t climb up so fast no matter how good your content currently is, you’ve got to do some more marketing and prove yourself in the long run before saying that writing 10 excellent posts wasn’t enough.

    Regards and good luck!,
    Allen.H of AlleNation

  29. I used all the tips above. I also used Myspace Groups. I found groups that were related to my topic and started posting on the forums and promoting my site.

  30. These seem to be work for me:

    1) Posting only quality content.. obviously! Better posts are discussed more, increasing both the number of comments and references in other blogs.

    2) No personal posts. For example, I hardly ever read all the credits at the end of a movie (except for director and the leads). Why should I care as long as I am entertained?

    3) No spam comments. Unless absolutely necessary to prove a point, don’t put links other’s blogs and don’t let it happen to your blog. Wasting time in unrelated sites can be really annoying.

    4) Actively networking on MyBlogLog. It provides you with regular readers minus the unnecessary traffic. Results in higher returning visitors than new visitors.

  31. At the begining I started by making comments on about every blog with a subject I liked, right now I just write and people will get to me by other blogs or by searching for content.

    But I believe the best way to find readers is by visiting and comenting their blogs.

  32. Sites like this are so valuable. Thanks to all of you who give freely of your knowledge.
    http://www.bestlife.com.au

  33. @Fitness Guy, Great titles are indeed eye catching. I think your answer is more appropriate for how to keep your readers.

    @Brem, Hit Whore? Good idea, but I think you should call it something else.. maybe Hit Enthusiast.

    @Ollie, interviews are certainly a good way to attract readers. as long as you market upcoming interviews ahead of time.

    @crazykinux, i think your response is a pretty good wrap up of what everyone should be doing.

    All in all, I think marketing yourself and your blog through commenting, social bookmarking sites, social networking sites, and networking with other bloggers are just the things you should be doing.

    Thank you for your great suggestions guys and gals!

  34. All the ideas suggested so far are awesome but I just developed a curiosity about what non-traditional methods can be used to get readers. What about the offline impact of blogging? Is blogging supposed to be 100% online? Wouldn’t it be good if you were scoping out the best bushel of broccoli when you overhear someone mentioning your latest post on how to find readers for your blog? Engaging people with meaningful conversation in person could lead to an increase in your online audience. Listeners = readers.

  35. @Nicholas : Commenting the other’s comments is indeed an effective way to attract hits.
    Especially if it’s done on such a high profile blog.
    And especially again, if it’s done in a insightful and concise way (this is your case here). ;-)

  36. without repeating all the great suggestions above

    – submitting posts to Blog Carnivals
    – creating an email Signature File that features a blurb and a link to your blog

    – I’ve personally seen the greatest return by running Subscriber Drive Contests – offering a free product or service to the existing subscriber who refers the most new subscribers.

  37. I’ve picked up a handful of wonderful friends and readers through initiating the “Thursday Thirteen”. Yeah, a meme. Bloggers want to know about bloggers, not just the business aspect of it but the *person* writing the blog. Reading a quick list of “getting to know me” type tidbits gives me instant inside information on whether or not I will become a regular visitor. Some participants have used it solely to gain business, but frankly I think that turns people away. People are interested in people first, and what they do second. It works.

  38. Posting in forums helped me a lot, but I have to agree with Michelle since on page SEO has done more for me than anything else. 90% of my traffic comes from search engines. And I learned a great deal of that by looking at Darren’s sites. I also read a lot online about SEO and picked up a couple of SEO books. My traffic converts well, but I am very much at the mercy of the search engines.

    One other thing — early on, especially, I think it is important to network, comment, post to message forums, etc. Getting some incoming link credibility will help you parlay your SEO work into good SERP rankings.

  39. Well, I think :-
    1) Getting more RSS subscribers can help you get a circle of loyal readers for your blog.
    2) Social Media Optimization is vital.
    3) Help others and gain good karma which will help you through out your blogging journey.

    Ultimately, I think BLOGGING IS KARMA. You may want to read this post “Blogging is karma” at http://weblogtoolscollection.com/archives/2007/01/14/blogging-is-karma/ .

  40. Commenting on other blogs has been king for me. I’m just very careful that I have something to lend to the conversation. I don’t blindly comment with useless things like “hey, great post” and leave it at that.

    I’ve also gained a few readers by posting bulletins on Myspace with an active link.

    Finally, MyBlogLog has brought me attention. Visiting other sites within that group puts your pic upon their MBL Widget. I think I’ve gotten a few readers that way as well.

  41. What everyone else says…but I also try to post frequently. I find that the more I post, the more readers I have. The less comments, but the more readers.

  42. I’m presently on the wrong end of this conversation i.e. I’m here to get advice and not give it. I’m working very hard but my visits and subscribers are still quite low. Thanks for the tips everyone!

  43. I invite other bloggers to guest blog and allow always one link back to their site. I have 3 active guest authors … and in return they link to my site from time to time. Feel like guest blogging? Drop me an email.

  44. I’m very new and have tried many of the things posted above without too much success.
    Maybe my content just isn’t up to par, but I think I provide good value.
    Any suggestions for finance related sites would be greatly appreciated.

  45. I feel that commenting and linking to others only goes so far. This has gotten me some traffic but by far the best resources have been emailing other either for a link exchange or about content they may be interested in. This gets you long lasting links that continually drive readers. Commenting and posting in forums can be extremely helpful as well.

  46. There are so many facets to getting a readership, but a big point about it that isn’t often mentioned is RETAINING readers.

    How many people who view your blog for the first time will actualy bother returning? That is where compelling content comes into play. You need to give them a reason to come back.

    Assuming you have decent content, getting people there in the first place is the easy part.

    Getting mentioned on other sites and blogs in the same niche, I think, has been the best way to get a readership who keeps returning to a blog. Make contact with other bloggers in yoru niche via comments, email, AIM, skype, homing pigeons – whatever.

    After that, people who find Jamdo and my other blogs via the search engines have probably been the second best in terms of coming to the site more than once. That means you need to do a bit of SEO work like writing good titles, optimising your blog, submitting to directories, getting lots of incoming links with good anchor text.

    Probably equal with search engines in terms of quality of traffic has been forum signatures. It’s pretty easy to find good forums in your niche at big-boards.com

    The strength of blogs is that they make it easy to join or form a community. If you become part of that community, the readership will come naturally.

  47. No question about it for me. Attracting readers relies on:

    Creating regular, engaging content
    Tracking back (or is that backing track?)
    Commenting regularly on related blogs

    Everything else is great if you can get it, but these are the basics. Most visitors to my site these days come from search engines (see the first item) or links from other sites (numbers 2 and 3 – not mentioning direct links within others’ posts). Hope it works out for you, too.

  48. Content! Content! Content!

    My website is filled with resources I have made for teaching reading, maths, thinking skills and software you can use with children. I use the blog to inform people of when new resources are posted.

    The Zookoda newsletter provides nice spikes and people tend to forward the newsletter to their friends.

    NB I have many more newsletter subscribers than RSS.

    Adrian Bruce
    http://teacher-toolbox.blogspot.com

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