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Growing your blog readership

Starting a blog may have sounded like a great idea (and it often is!) but is maintaining it harder than you expected? What do you find particularly hard about it?

I think a key to having a useful business blog (personal blogs have different measures of success so it may be very different) is frequent posts. From personal experience, I know the number of people viewing my blog are higher when I post every few days than when I miss a week or so – even when the popular posts at any given time are not the most recent ones.

So here are a few tips from me on building a good business blog that people will keep reading:

  • post regularly – if it suits your style, choose particular days to post so it becomes habit which also helps your readers know when to look at your blog
  • remember that posts don’t all have to be long – the occasional short one can be effective for variety and to maintain the frequency
  • link to other information from your blog – previous posts of your own, your own website, blog posts by other people, relevant websites. This gives people further information, shows your commitment to sharing information (rather than just chasing a sale) and also has search engine advantages. Note this doesn’t mean having a big blog roll
  • encourage a community within your blog – ask questions, answer comments and share other input (for example comments from people you met in real life)
  • how much do you promote your blog? Just having a blog and writing in it won’t get you hundreds of readers – you need to let people know it exists which you can do in many ways, including joining blog carnivals, commenting in related blogs, using keywords effectively, getting listed in directories, adding your blog URL to signatures and business materials, and being a guest blogger.

If time is a big hurdle in your blog development, consider delegating some of the tasks so it builds momentum without relying on you as much.

If finding things to blog about is causing you worry, set aside an hour or so and brainstorm potential topics. That list can then be used any time you need inspiration.

If you have been blogging for a little while and are worrying about its popularity, think about these points:

  • a niche or tips blog will have fewer readers than a blog associated with a major newspaper or movie star so don’t judge your success against blogs that are totally different to yous
  • depending on your topic and style, people may read your blog but not comment – either your audience is not the type of people who want to comment or perhaps your topic just doesn’t inspire comments (for example, a controversial news story will generate discussion but if you are giving 5 tips on how to care for your lawn, not as many people will have anything to add)
  • in a business sense, a successful blog could have a number of purposes – building credibility, developing trust, sharing expertise, bringing in more website traffic – so look at more than the number of comments as a marker. Other factors such as number of new leads, visits to your main website and number of time-wasting emails may show you the effectiveness of your blog

Back to my original question though – what do you find hard about maintaining your blog? Let us know and you may just get some solutions to rocket your blog success!

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