Here’s an infographic to answer that age-old question of how to find readers for your blog posts, with more explanation below it:
And here’s some code you could paste into your own posts (via the text mode) if you want to share this infographic with your readers.
Is your post complete?
It’s important to make sure you’ve filled in everything you need to do to your post before publishing it, in order to be able to find readers for it. For beginners it’s allocating the post to a suitable category and filling in the tags, and for advanced bloggers it’s making sure your primary keyword has enough exposure and is distributed appropriately throughout the text. It’s worth taking the time to check everything is present and correct before clicking on that publish button.
I’ve highlighted the permalink (or post slug) as an area of concern because since this is editable, it’s worth making sure it is the same as the headline (particularly if this has been edited whilst writing the post, which many bloggers may do, since the headline is one of the most important elements in helping to find readers) or at least contains the primary keyword.
And also before you hit publish, is there a call to action at the bottom of your post? This could be adapted to help you find readers by guiding your present visitors to do something for you, such as comment or share on social media, but make sure it is worth their while by providing excellent content containing extra value.
How easy is it for others to share?
RSS is vital to enable you to find readers for your post. It stands for Really Simple Syndication, which is the ability to publish a post simultaneously in other media to present it in front of different audiences. This syndication will happen if you have a suitable RSS feed URL for your blog. I got mine from Feedburner many years ago, and it still appears to work OK (which is very good news!), and I have allowed syndicating websites to use it to expose my posts to a much wider readership than before.
RSS is also part of the social sharing buttons which can be found at the bottom of posts or floating next to them. These are part of your call to action to help you to find readers, and they should be placed in an obvious and enticing position to encourage visitors to use them. Whether they will or not be used will depend on the quality of your post, of course!
Who could you tell about your new post?
I don’t just mean your Mum or your best friend (though actually this isn’t a bad idea to start with!), but what about all those friends and followers you’ve worked hard to gather in social media? Sometimes it’s just a matter of updating your social status to tell them you’ve written a new post and would they like to read it. If your followers don’t know about it, they won’t get the chance read it and therefore they won’t comment or pass it on.
You could make it more interesting by contributing to the various groups and communities you belong to online and telling them about your post. This is an excellent way to find readers, but beware appearing to be too spammy. Deliver the news in the form of a discussion rather than an announcement; it will be appreciated much more, especially if there is an opportunity for them to express their views (once they’ve read your post). Also just depositing your news and then disappearing will not be tolerated, so be prepared to respond to any comments to keep the conversation going.
You need to make an effort too!
Social bookmarking websites are a great place to promote your post to find readers. However this is also not somewhere to dump and leave. You will gain a better response if you take the time to participate and engage before expecting any returns. These sites contain a lot of content from a variety of bloggers, so it’s worth sifting through them to find ones that resonate with your niche, and make the effort to read and comment on them. This doesn’t need to be many, just the best ones, as forming new blog-relationships which will encourage visits and comments. Having regular readers is sometimes more important than lots of new visitors who might never respond anyway.
Commenting on other blogs shows a respect for other bloggers that is easily reciprocated. It’s like a party, sitting on your own in a corner won’t result in anybody coming to talk to you, whereas making the effort to find out about others will make them interested in you. It gets easier with time, but having an infectious enthusiasm helps, so leaving helpful and forthcoming comments rather than just a ‘Nice post’, which might be seen as spam, will result in a better and more worthwhile response.
Where else can you expose your post?
Do you send emails? Do they contain a signature? This is a superb place to put your new blog’s URL to find readers. You never know who might see it and be interested in clicking on it to see what you have to say.
Do you send out a newsletter? Do you include a link to your latest post in it? Your newsletter subscribers may not be the same as your social media followers (and if they are, they won’t mind being reminded about your blog posts) so this is a prime location to find readers for your post. If you’re particularly clever you could integrate your newsletter’s subject around your blog posts (or vice versa) to create an over-all theme.
Don’t automate everything!
I’m sure there are many of you use automated systems to update your posts. This may be a time-saver, especially for the busy entrepreneur, but beware that over-zealous automation can be seen as spamming, especially if the same message is delivered in multiple locations. If you have a follower that also subscribes to the same groups as you, and doesn’t relish seeing your repeated publicity in such large quantities, they may reach for the spam button.
But in Twitter is is a different story, because of its fast and furious real-time nature. It is important to repeat your post’s promotion several times a day in order to find readers. Therefore automation can become very useful, as long as each delivery is varied and contains additional value to stimulate interest and response (which you need to be aware of to engage accordingly). Research into the optimum times your potential reader will more likely to be online, and set up your delivery to coincide for the best impact.
Now let me know if there are any tips I have missed out, that helps you find readers for your blog posts, and let me know below, and check out my related post list further down:
- Tips for optimising photos for online shops for search engines - 26 May 2022
- What makes an ideal workstation for the WFH blogger? - 1 May 2022
- 5 ways to begin building an online brand community - 25 April 2022