If you’re a blogger, then you are a writer and as a writer, you want your words to be read right? Which leads to the most vexing question in the world of blogging: How do I find readers for my blog?
Naturally, there is no short answer to this question but I am going to attempt to make things as simple as possible for you! As long as you are willing to accept one simple truth … that finding readers for your blog takes TIME and EFFORT, then the rest will be dictated by the type of blogger you are.
So what kind of blogger ARE you?
This is of course a loaded question, and I do realise that the type of blogger you are can evolve over time. You will however need a starting point as the type of blogger you are right now will determine who your readers are right now … and you need to know who your readers are in order to find them!
For mine, there are three main types of bloggers:
BLOGGER TYPE 1: Business blogger (blogging to enhance your existing business)
If you are blogging to enhance your existing business then the reason you want readers is so you can demonstrate expertise in your field, showcase your knowledge to existing and potential clients and allow potential clients to get to know you before engaging your services.
Find your readers by:
Telling your clients you have a blog. Well … der, but it is surprising how many people miss this step. In fact, don’t stop at your clients, tell everyone you know that you have a business blog. Even friends and family who don’t need your services might still appreciate reading what you have to say – and if they better understand what it is you do, they become a great referral tool
Having a facebook page for your business. Most businesses can benefit from a facebook page. Apart from the fact that it allows you to easily share useful information with your followers and show them the personality behind your business, it is also a very great place to share your blog posts and canvas topics for future blog posts.
Finding industry forums and being useful. It is likely there are online discussion forums, Linked In groups, and facebook groups galore that are related to your industry. By actively participating in and being useful to the members of these groups, you can build a profile. Most discussion forums allow you to have a ‘signature’ area where you can link to your website and/or blog and this signature is displayed every time you make a post.
Two business bloggers who are doing it well:
Styling You – Yes I realise I am writing this post for Nikki’s blog, but honestly, I have not come across another business who uses blogging as effectively as Nikki to show off her styling capabilites and drive new business her way.
Easy Peasy Kids – Nathalie shares much wisdom about child behaviour and enhances her reputation as an expert in her field.
BLOGGER TYPE 2: Mummy blogger – not looking to make an income directly from their blog
If you are a “Mummy/Daddy blogger” and you have no ambitions to monetise your blog and make an income from it, then most likely you are seeking a connection with other parents/like-minded people. Numbers aren’t important to anyone but your ego – what you really want is an engaged readership that comments on your posts and shares their thoughts.
Find your readers by:
Getting on twitter. My word, there are a lot of mummy bloggers on twitter. Get on twitter, find the other mummy bloggers, join in the conversation and get to know them. And of course, pimp your blog while you’re there. It is expected!
Join in memes/link ups. There are MANY fun memes and link ups (where bloggers link up their favourite or themed posts all in a single spot) – find one you like and join in the fun.
Commenting on other blogs. When you comment on other people’s blogs, usually you have the option of putting in your web address so that when someone clicks on your name they will be taken back to your blog. Make your comments interesting and give people a reason to want to find out more about you. This last one
Two mummy bloggers who are doing it well:
Maxabella Loves – Bron has a very no nonsense style and she also hosts the immensely popular Saturday meme/link up “I’m grateful for”
1000 Homes of Happiness – Honestly just go have a look at this blog. Its base premise is too beautiful to try and describe.
BLOGGER TYPE 3: Blogger who wants to wants to make money directly from their blog
First up, monetise is not a dirty word. Just because you are a brand new blogger, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have ambitions to make money from your blog. When it comes to finding readers, the only difference between yourself and Option 2 above is that numbers do matter. If you want brands to pay for the exposure you can give them, they want to see some numbers. If you want people to buy your products, you need to have a critical mass of readers!
Find your readers by:
Doing everything that Blogger Type 2 does. Sorry – if you want to make money from your blog there’s a fair bit of work involved!
Getting a facebook page for your blog. Facebook allows you to share more things with your readers than you can on your blog. It also allows for easier interaction with your readers and allows you to build a community more easily.
Having a ‘niche’. This is probably the most important thing and there are few exceptions to this rule. They say find a niche that is narrow but goes very deep and then work it baby!
Two bloggers who are working their niche really well:
The Organised Housewife: Kat writes about great ideas to keep you and your household organised
Childhood 101: Christie’s niche is ‘all things childhood’ and her blog is an amazing resource for parents
As you can see, finding readers for your blog is definitely not a case of “if you write it, they will come” – there is a fair amount of hard work involved in building a profile and finding an audience. The rewards for persistence are considerable – a lovely engaged community who appreciates what you share with them (and if you’re selling stuff, might even want to buy it). Priceless!
Kelly Exeter is the owner of a graphic and web design design studio in Perth and is a writer, designer and blogger. She blogs here and here about small business and here about … everything else! You can also find her on twitter most days.
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