Growing Blog Readership

By: Eden Hensley; Photos by: Justin Hackworth for Alt Summit

Growing one's readership or following is an art form. It is not as simple as producing and publishing great content. Growth results from a mix of content, public relations, promotion, advertising, timing, and luck. 

At some point or another a blogger will find themselves staring at their analytics and wondering why their readership is not growing or not growing as fast as they would like. Maybe you have alerts set up that track your progress. Those alerts notifying you of record daily visits leave you elated. Those that warn you of lower than expected traffic and higher than normal bounce rates have the opposite effect. However you measure success resist the urge to analyze daily or even weekly until you have some content under your belt. 

Now that we have stepped away from our charts, let us look at what works.

Content

We talk about content a lot, especially publishing quality content consistently. But how do you find your sweet spot, professionalism with an original voice? Kelly of Design Crush suggests embracing simplicity and rounds up six Tips and Tricks resources that include action plans and schedules. Victoria of A Subtle Revelry believes it is a combination of why you want to blog and being "buzz worthy" so that other bloggers will want to share it. (Read more about what she means by "buzz worthy.") Why is important to find your sweet spot? Monica of Smart Creative Women interviews Melanie of You are My Fave about the impact content can have on your readership.

Promotion

You want to let people know about what you are doing without feeling like a salesperson. Erin of Apartment34 explains in an interview with Monica why you should think of social media as communication tools. Ciera of Ciera Design shares how you can use social media to let people know you have a blog. The key not sounding salesy? Diversify your content and actually be social. Here are a few posting guidelines for Twitter and Instagram that can help.

  • On Twitter, follow an 7:2:1 rule. For every 2 personal updates or mentions of your content, share 7 pieces of content others have produced, and interact with 1 person. Be selective with your curated third-party content. It needs to support your branding. Basically if someone was to meet you online for the first time and review your stream, they should not see a page of updates only about your blog or the appearance of a clique (interactions only with a handful of people). If you are a business, follow a 5:3:2 rule. For every 2 product updates, retweet and respond to 3 mentions by fans, and retweet or share 5 pieces of content others have produced that supports your brand.
  • On Instagram, practice 3:2:1. For every 1 post, like 3 photos, and comment on 1. If you are a business, for every 1 product post, share/repost 1 photo a fan took, and comment on 3.
Comment

Eden Hensley

Marketing creative, community engagement specialist, technophile, photographer, food and wine enthusiast, and the founder and editor-in-chief of The Road to The Good Life, a lifestyle blog about appreciating and enhancing your life by being grateful for the "haves" instead of lingering on the "wants." There you will find personal stories about my life and family weaved in with real-life, achievable entertaining tips, recipes for hearty home cooked meals, and DIY projects for capturing and sharing memories. I believe the best place to swap stories is over a shared meal, preferably a Thai-meal served family style, and teach an online introduction class to Thai Flavors and host the Family Dinners at The Station supper club in San Francisco.