10 Basic Tips to Bring Readers to Your Blog

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  1. Pick a topic: The topic of your blog shouldn’t be too broad. For example, don’t just blog about books. Pick a certain type of books. Maybe cookbooks, or horror novels or self-help books. By narrowing down your blog’s focus, you are giving readers a particular reason to come to your spot on the Internet.
  2. Report: Pretend you’re a newspaper reporter. That means you need to report on something. It also means you’ve got some work cut out for you. Whatever the topic of your blog, unless you’re an expert in that topic’s field, you’re going to have to do some research. Don’t be afraid of research. Learning things can be fun. The easiest way to begin your research is on the Web. Check out other Web sites and blogs pertaining to your topic. Don’t steal anyone else’s articles, because that’s plagiarism and it’s illegal. But you can gather information from various articles and pull together a short piece. You can also e-mail experts on a particular subject, and ask them for their opinions. Don’t forget to do work offline. Go to the library to look up information, perhaps even info pertaining to your localized area, if appropriate. Then there are newspapers, magazine articles and books.
  3. Be unique: This one might be easier said than done, but try to offer something that no other blog or Web site has. Maybe you want to write about roses. Check out your competition. Go do a Web search for a bunch of different Web sites and blogs on flowers in general and roses in particular. What do they have to offer? More importantly, what don’t they have to offer? Try to figure out a way to offer it. Make sense? Good.
  4. Comment, comment, comment: Keep the action alive on your blog by commenting on the comments left by others. This will make it feel like you are creating an online community. And don’t just drop simple comments like “Thanks for the comment” or “I totally agree.” Try to bring something to the conversation. If you do, your readers will feel connected to you and your blog, and that means they are more likely to return and maybe bring friends.
  5. Take the criticism:When you open yourself up to a public dialogue as is commonly done on blogs, not everyone is going to agree with or like what you have to say. Don’t let it get to you. Respond professionally to those comments, but don’t delete them (unless the comments are outrageous). If you go around deleting all the comments that don’t agree with yours, or are critical of yours, your readers will catch on quite quickly. And they’ll flee your blog as if running out of a house on fire. Why? Because they’ll know you can’t stand a little heat, and that’s a big turnoff, especially when you’re supposed to be an expert or at least have strong interests in whatever you are blogging about. Sorry, it’s harsh, but no one likes a crybaby.
  6. Don’t get hijacked:On the flip side, don’t let anyone take over the comment sections of your blog. If a particular commenter, or a group of people, are constantly leaving negative remarks that are way out of line, then delete the comments and work at banning those crude folks from using your blog. Most blogging Web sites have some kind of tools to control who has access to the comments. Use them. Because, as an example, you probably don’t want someone cussing up a storm on your blog about religion.
  7. Promote, promote, promote:If you want more people to read your blog, you have to do more than just write on the blog. You’ve got to spread the word. E-mail all your friends and family and co-workers about your blog. Join some Web sites or other blogs related to your blog’s topic. Make comments on those other sites. DO NOT SPAM. Nothing turns off most Internet users and blog readers like being spammed. Be casual about it. Get your information out there, but don’t force it upon anyone. The readers will come to you. And make sure the URL for your blog has been added to all the different search engines. Also, many forums online will allow you to add a little signature at the end of your posts, and this makes a great place to put a link to your blog. So, join some forums and make appropriate comments.
  8. Remember the reader: Always remember the reader. Always. A part of you might be writing and blogging just for yourself, maybe even in hopes of making money, but if the readers don’t find something on your blog that’s worthwhile to them, they’ll pass you by and keep on going. You don’t want that to happen. You want folks on the Web to stop and spend some time on your blog. And you want them to come back again and again and again. You also want them to tell all their other online buddies about your blog.
  9. Link often: In your blog posts, try to add in plenty of links to other Web sites. This will actually drive traffic to your blog. But don’t go crazy linking. Three or four links per article are usually enough, though you might need more depending on the subject matter.
  10. Be yourself: Don’t try to fake it on your blog. Don’t try to promote yourself as some expert or professional in a field if you aren’t. Readers will quickly figure this out. Some of them might be professionals in the field, and they’ll know right off. So, just be yourself. Readers want to get to know you, really.
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