As they say in dieting, these should be lifestyle changes; not just short-term quick-fixes.
If you’re like the average blogger then you live in a bubble. You are content to just write posts on a consistent basis and you feel as if the world is watching your every move. Think again. Chances are that you’re being ignored. So how can you change this state of affairs?
Below I list five surefire steps that will get you noticed, get you traffic, and ultimately make you some money. These aren’t easy to implement, and if you’re lazy like me, they probably seem daunting. But just like there’s no easy way to lose weight, there’s just no easy way to get and keep readers for your blog. Make a lifestyle change now, and the benefits will start compounding like a snowball rolling down a hill.
- Interview Other Bloggers:
You should start off by spending some time participating in their comment section first. Then introduce yourself in an email message, and say something like “I just wanted to tell you that I read your blog every day and think you are doing a great job.” When the blogger responds by saying “Thanks dude. It’s kind words like yours that keep me ticking,” you should send a second message that says “Hey, I’m going to be talking about your blog with my readers and was wondering if you’d be interested in doing an interview.” Snap. Bang. You’ve hit gold. Now just do the interview (note to self!)
Example Interview: Blogger Talks Interviews Darren Rowse
- Offer To Guest Blog:
If you think Ryan Caldwell wants to keep tight reigns on who posts at Performancing, then you’re grossly mistaken. I suffer from Blogger burnout just like the rest of you. I could use a week off. Now, this is where you send me a PM and tell me that you’d be glad to write for Performancing for a week, while you secretly plan to Pimp-out your own blog(s).
Example Guest Blog: David Krug takes over College Startup
- Run A Carnival:
Bloggers spend way to much time (much of it wasted) trying to promote their own blog. As I’ve said before, most bloggers are one man shows trying to multi-task between content creation, blog promotion, site design and site maintenance (backups, etc.). Carnivals are win-win situations because not only do they get blogger’s targeted promotion but they turn the Carnival host into an instant authority. I’d recommend starting your own monthly carnival. But if you don’t want the administrative burden, then commit to submitting your blog posts to at least 1-3 carnivals per month. Oh, and by the way, when Raj wakes up from under his heavy writing schedule, Performancing will soon be launching its own Carnival of Internet Pros.
Example Carnival: The Doing It Differently Carnival
- Encourage Reader Participation:
Whether you want to get your groove on with a weekly Open Comment Night like Liz Strauss, visibly ask your readers for topic suggestions, encourage your readers to ask questions, or even go the extra mile and setup a brand new reader driven discussion forum, the key is to build a community of people who enjoy their time at your site and keep coming back. Since crowds usually follow crowds, you may need to “engineer” a community of friends to get things moving.
- Become a Listener:
As bloggers, we often get paralyzed by our own voices. Dedicate 1-2 hours each day to visiting other blogs and forums in your niche. Look for discussions that interest you, listen and then participate…not on your terms, but on theirs. Don’t start pimping your own blogs from the start. Engage in genuine conversations, offer the other members of your community something worthwhile, and soon enough, they’ll start following you back to your own site.
So there you have it. These are not easy things to do. Certainly not as easy as submitting your articles to Reddit, but then again, submitting your articles to Reddit is like taking steroids…the effects can be deceiving;-) Well, maybe that’s not the best analogy, but most of the visitors you get from a Reddit submission are one-off visitors. Very unsticky. Most of the readers you get following my 5 steps above will be very, very sticky indeed.
I am going to try to implement all of these suggestions for my own blog Toastboy’s Tips. I especially think I need to incorporate the listening part. I, like you stated, are more of a talker than a listener ( my bad ). Keep up the great work you are doing. I really enjoyed this read.
Take Care and all the best in your future.
Performancing is a fantastic resource. Thank you for everything you do here, you have really aided in the success of my blog.
Great stuff here Ryan, I’ve bookmarked it to come back and read some of the articles in depth at a later stage.
There’s a blog post in there somewhere – “Encouraging users to subscribe via RSS instead of bookmarking” – that said, I’m already signed up to performancing in G reader so I’ve got that base covered.
Some good ideas to help increase traffic, and I love the idea of interviewing someone for my blog as long as they are female, extremely good looking, fantastic body and will provide some good bikini pics.
Thank you for your feedback regarding a blog. That is some good food for thought.
Justin (a.k.a. SureFire Guy)
Justin: I don’t understand the reference to your friend’s blog. It’s completely irrelevant, having only one post and default navigation. There’s no effort put into it.
If you similarly have a company blog with as little effort put into it as on your friend’s, then it’s a bad idea. But if you have a blog that provides some value to readers and is somehow topically connected to your product, then it can help – regardless of whether there are comments or not.
But what should the blog be about? Flashlights? Probably not. Things to do with flashlights? That’s a bit better. What about things people with flashlights do? Hmmm.
So who would be using your flashlights? Who would buy them? What do they do? Rescue workers? Night golfers? Explorers? Campers? Hikers? Can you write blog articles that would help any or all of these people? And can you do so by labelling your blog under one category?
These are some questions you need to ask yourself, and answer, before you decide whether or not to blog.
First of all, thanks for your advice.
In looking at a friend’s blog NickOnkenBlog.com, I’m discouraged from adding a blog to our site, LumensFlashlights.com, because I’m concerned that a blog with very few comments/visitors would reflect poorly on our image; however, if it is going to increase sales, I’ll do whatever it takes to make it successful. Do you think that a well-written blog that employs some of the techniques in your article will potentially help our sales and create more customer loyalty?
Thank you to Ryan or anyone else who helps me out by responding!
Justin (a.k.a. SureFire Guy)
Thanks for the tips Ryan – I shall soon be putting them into practice. I have my first victim lined up already !
Sorry, Ryan. I’ve been under a haze for the past week, healthwise. I want to have a post about the value of carnivals, to go with the announcement, and I’m hoping that this will be soon.
Hey Liz, could I do an Open Comment Night next month on Harry Potter;-)
Oh, and it helps to spell the last name of the bloggers you are interacting with correctly;-)
Fabulous article! The one that has worked most for me, contrary to what people might think, is the last one . . . listening. People like to know they are heard in a world that more and more tunes them out.
I’d appreciate a Digg and a Reddit on this story. A Netscape would be nice too.
nah man, I totally agree with your approach to it. I still think though that a) one should consolidate and b) there should be stronger editorial control on blogs.
In other words, have a blog champion for each blog, otherwise the blog will suffer.
Just to elaborate. College Startup was starting to go down the toilet because I’ve neglected it in favor of Performancing. David Krug wanted a platform to promote his new business, and College Startup was a perfect fit because the Krugmeister is trying out some very interest business models, which are of natural interest to the College Startup / entrepreneur crowd. So Krug gets some linklove, and my site gets a nice injection of fresh ideas. Certainly not a zero sum game. Everyone wins.
But Ahmed, you’ve gotta admit that that’s how this game is played. Everyone is using everyone else. That’s how life works. And it’s not always a zero sum game.
while you secretly plan to Pimp-out your own blog(s) – oh, the irony of it