My blog has officially been in existence for six months. Yay! It hasn’t always been easy, but I’ve managed to slightly exceed my goal of ten new followers a month. Here’s what I’ve learned about blogging.
Make It Easy…
…for your readers. Sorry, blogging isn’t easy. Well, it’s not super hard either, but it’s not easy.
Your blog should be designed to make everything you want your readers to do as easy as possible. Basically, you want your readers to get to know you, read your material, and then share your material. The easier it is for people to do these things, the more likely they are to actually do them. So…
Tell your readers who you are and what kind of blog you’re running. Right away. Your readers should be able to tell what niche your blog falls into the instant they land on your blog. Your About Me page should be easy to get to, one click max. And you can also have a mini About Me section on your home page with a text widget.
And regarding home pages, unless you’re trying to convert your blog into a website that happens to have a blog, I don’t think you should have a static home page. Which leads me to the next point.
You should make it as easy as possible for someone landing on your blog to start reading your content. I like blogs I can start reading without having to click on something first. No static home page, no read more thingee.
Depending on what kind of blog you have, though, a “read more” tag may be right for you. But I don’t think you should present your readers with something other than a blog post upon reaching your site.
“Read More” things are good for one reason, however, they allow readers to access your content library, and makes it easy for your readers to tell what you write about. I use a “top posts” list for the same purpose.
After someone has read your material, you want to make it easy for them to like, comment, and share with as little clicking as possible. Everything should just be out in the open and available. I would also suggest you not make it necessary for readers to input their email etc before they comment. This will scare off some people, just for the nuisance factor. Or they may not want to give you their information. Then you lose the chance to connect with your readers. That’s bad.
Community is your friend
The other bloggers are not your competition. For now, they will be your primary audience. Further down the road, partnering with other bloggers will allow you to increase your reach. Guest posts and whatnot.
Reblogs are similar to guest posts, but they are a bit more one-sided. From what I can tell, a reblog has limited capacity to lure the audience of the blogger you are reblogging onto your site. However, you will earn huge brownie points with said blogger, which are also valuable. They will definitely notice you, and may be more likely to return the favor.
Surprisingly enough, the best way I’ve found to generate interest in my blog is to behave like a rational human being. Be social.
Read other people’s blogs, “like” posts, and comment. Improving someone else’s stats won’t hurt you. A great way to generate interest in your blog is by showing interest in someone else’s blog. When someone goes through my blog and “likes” every post they come across, I think: “wow, this person obviously has great taste. I wonder what their blog is like?”
I’ll definitely visit them. If I like their stuff, I’ll “like” and perhaps comment. I may even follow them. Plus it’s really interesting to read what other people write.
I cannot say it enough. Proofread a million times. Especially if you have a writing blog, you must prove you can write before anyone will take your work seriously. You want to be taken seriously.
What tips would you give to new bloggers for growing their blog?