Getting more people to read your blog is essential if you wish to continue to grow your business. And now is just the right time to try and increase your readership. That’s because everyone is back at their desk after the summer hols and it’s the time of year when many people return to work freshly invigorated and ready for a new approach.
Indeed, this is the time of year when national newspapers in the UK dramatically increase their print runs alongside major marketing campaigns to lure in new readers. And they should not be left alone. Bloggers too should engage in a range of marketing activities to drive new readers towards their sites. Indeed, if you have a blog now is a great time to attract more readers. But how?
Well, here are five tips (borrowed from the publishing sector) on attracting more readers to your blog – or to any website that is updated on a regular basis.
1. Increase your content
This is an “old trick” from the magazine and newspaper industry. Simply having “more” makes you seem more interesting. People “weigh things by the pound” – if you are a print magazine with more pages you lure in more readers than the thinner competition. Online that translates into adding more content, more frequently to boost the appearance of a growing and busy site. The more you add to your site, the more people you will attract simply because your blog is bigger. So, if you post once a week, raise it to three times a week. If you publish new material daily, change it to every few hours. Whatever you do in terms of a publishing cycle, simply adding more material will attract new readers and will also entice existing readers to return more often.
2. Shout louder
At this time of year, in a bid to increase circulation and readership, newspapers and magazines are engaged in their traditional ritual of advertising, promoting and letting us all know they still exist. The more you promote your blog on Twitter, for instance, the more you will attract people towards it. Use Ping.fm to alert people in a variety of networks to each new blog post you make. It’s cheaper than advertising as it is free…! But the rewards it brings in terms of letting more people know of your existence are high. But don’t neglect the possibility of advertising – including emails, postcards, posters and any other marketing device you can think of. The more you tell people your blog exists, the more people you will attract. Don’t neglect marketing your blog as a “product” of your business; treat it like any other product. Give it a budget if necessary and get on shouting loudly about your blog.
3. Increase the controversy rate
If your blog only occasionally gets controversial, look for opportunities to make it more “edgy” than before. People will be attracted to your blog if it is not “run of the mill”. If your blog is normal, everyday and without some edge to it, people will trade you in for something that gets them going. In other words, appeal to the emotions of your readers by making them angry, heated, argumentative. It’s what magazines have been doing for yonks and for many of them this has led to a rise in circulation. Your blog readership will rise, just the same, if you are less “straight” and more controversial. Look for ways you can increase your controversy level, without alienating your existing readership.
4. Be first
Simply re-writing stuff that other people have written or adding your voice to a debate doesn’t attract people as much as if your material is completely original. In other words, the less you write about things which people already know about and the more you write about brand new ideas, the more readers you will get. People are attracted to novel things, ideas and information that is brand new. Breaking the news, or creating the news are things which increase newspaper readership. Doing the same in your niche will attract new readers to your blog. So don’t just write about things which are already known about. Instead, be the first to write on a subject and you will lure in new readers straight away.
5. Add a cover mount
Newspapers, magazines – even books – these days come with cover mounts. These are free gifts that you get with the publication and they are a significant enticement to people which help raise circulation and readership. Online, plenty of people give-away free reports. But they ask for email addresses using the “squeeze page” technique. You don’t have to provide your details to get the free DVD on the front of the Sunday Times, or the blow up football on the front of Match magazine. Also, many blogs only have one free download, that doesn’t change. That’s like the Sunday Times giving away the same DVD every week. Using give-aways is a great readership building technique, but you need new ones every week or so. Add new free reports or give-away items regularly and you will see your readership grow.
So there you have it; five readership growth methods for your blog. Even if you only use one of them, you are bound to get more readers. Use all of these techniques and you could have quite a significant impact on the numbers of people who read your blog.
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+