I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been asked how to generate more readers, comments and followers.
Make no mistake about it, with limited amounts of time, millions of other blogs to read, readers have a vast choice of not only which blogs to follow, but which posts to read and/or comment on.
Here are seven tips I have implemented as a blogger which have got me more readers, followers, and comments left on my posts.
Eyecatching Post Titles
I don’t know about you, but I always look at the title of a blog post first before deciding whether to read it or not. The title of the post has to really grab my attention and make me want to click the link to open it. If the title has no appeal, then I move on. Take, for example, these two titles –
My Blogging Tips.
Why My Blogging Tips Will Bring You More Readers.
Given you only had the choice to click one of those titles, which one would you choose?
Think about it this way. What makes you click on a title of a blog post? What is it that makes you want to find out more? Make a list of the blog post titles you click on, and analyse the results. Look for keywords in the titles that are repeated continuously and which attract you to click on the link. Start creating blog post titles that you would want to click on.
And, heavens forbid, always ensure your blog posts have a title before publishing them. Nobody wants to see a blog post title that is just a line of numbers (that is what happens when no title has been added, and a post is then published), as it gives them no idea what the post is about.
Once you’ve got yourself some followers, you need to do all you can to keep them and ensure they keep coming back. You may have blog post titles that will have readers clicking on them, but overload your followers with too many blog posts in a short space of time, and you’ll probably have some of them running for the hills.
Scheduling blog posts, to ensure you have a large enough gap between every post, is something every blogger should consider. Did you know that WordPress condenses blog posts on the WordPress Reader? Publish too many blog posts within a short period of time, and your posts are condensed to allow content from other bloggers to show up. It isn’t a nice look, and many readers see this as ‘blog spamming.’
How much time should you leave between each newly published blog posts?
My advice is at least six hours. This is a broad enough gap to stop your readers seeing your posts as spammy. Plus, your posts are less likely to get condensed by WordPress. However, if you’re somebody that does lots of reblogging (and don’t forget to tell your readers why you’re reblogging a post), then a three-hour gap between reblogging posts is a good approach.
Not sure how to schedule a blog post? Click here to see how to do it.
It’s all ‘About Me,’ isn’t it?
Yes, it is, and one of the first places a new visitor to your blog will want to visit is your ‘about me’ page. Most new readers like to know a little about the blogger before they decide whether to follow or not. Ensure you have an ‘about me’ page which is not only easy to find but also tells your readers a little about yourself, what you blog about, and why they should consider following your blog.
Don’t forget to update your ‘about me’ page at least once every six months. A reader doesn’t want to read that you’re publishing your next book or going on your next adventure in October 2016, when it’s already 2018! This just shows your readers that you’re not bothered by the details contained in your blog.
Did you know that one of the easiest ways to get some free promotion for you and your blog is by commenting on other blogs? It makes sense, doesn’t it? Leave comments that are interesting and helpful, and readers will probably want to find out a little more about you.
Don’t have time to read and leave comments on other blogs? Make some time, even if it’s setting yourself a target of reading and commenting on at least one blog post a day. It’s better than leaving nothing at all.
Always ensure your comments are helpful and interesting and clearly show you’ve read the post. As a general rule, I won’t leave a comment on a post unless my comment is at least two sentences long.
Try not to become a ‘comment spammer’ by leaving comments such as ‘great post’ or ‘nice photos’ or ‘I love this.’ Tell the blogger what it was that made the post great, or what it was that you liked about the photos, or what it was that made you love the post.
You’ll reap the rewards when leaving interesting and helpful comments. The blogger whose blog you’ve left the comment on will not only be delighted that you left a comment but will probably come and visit your blog, too.
Try and not have long conversations in the comments section that have nothing to do with the post. Take those conversations offline, rather than inflict them on your other readers. They’re probably not interested anyway.
And, never, never, leave any links in a comment (not even to your own blog) unless you’ve been invited to do so.
Let’s Be Friends
Always ensure you respond to and/or acknowledge comments left on your blog, especially comments left on your ‘about me’ page. Readers who take the time to read and comment do not like to be ignored. Some may decide it’s not worth leaving any more comments on your posts but, at worse, some may even choose to unfollow you.
If you don’t have the time to respond to comments, then consider switching off the ability for readers to leave any further comments. Click here to find out how to switch off comments.
If it’s taken you a while to reply to a comment, then do consider apologising for responding late. You don’t need to tell your readers why it’s taken you time to get back to them. More often than not, they’re probably not interested in your reasons anyway. The fact that you’ve responded at all will show them that you do care about your readers.
Even if somebody doesn’t agree with what you’ve said in your post or in a comment, always respond in a kind, friendly and professional manner. Don’t get yourself into any arguments with readers who have left comments. It’s a sure way to attract internet trolls; a visitor nobody wants to welcome.
How Do I Look?
Finding the right theme for your blog can be very time-consuming. However, once you have found your ideal theme, ensure you dress up your blog so that it’s easy to navigate around, posts are easy to read, and there is no broken links on your homepage, ‘about me’ page, or in any widget bars.
Don’t be afraid to ask your readers if there is anything on your blog that they don’t like. For example, some of my readers told me that the WordPress Ads that appeared at the bottom of each of my posts were distracting. I have exactly the same problem with blog posts that contain gifs. They divert my eyes and, more often than not, I end up closing the post down and moving on to the next one.
If you spot a problem on a blog, let the blogger know. Most will be grateful that you’ve highlighted a problem that they probably knew nothing about.
Keeping It Fun
Why did you decide to blog?
For me, it was because I wanted to write, share my work, and get to know other like-minded people. However, I also saw blogging as fun and a great place to be. When I started to get stressed out by blogging, and it started to make me feel guilty, I knew I wasn’t blogging correctly.
I was faced with the choice of either discontinuing blogging or changing how I blogged. First of all, I had to work out what it was that was making me feel stressed and/or feel guilty. Once I identified the problems, I set myself a plan and have stuck to it. It wasn’t long before I found the fun in blogging again.
Readers can often pick up how you feel when they read one of your posts. Try and not write and publish posts if you’re under a lot of pressure or are feeling stressed.
During my recent blogging break, I came across this post from Ari Meghlen. It talks about the right times to take a break from blogging, especially when feeling under pressure. Click here to read Ari’s post.
If you’re thinking of taking a break from blogging, don’t forget to inform your readers and give them an idea of when you expect to return.
You may also be interested in a post I wrote, in March 2017, about blogging guilt and stress. Entitled ‘Let’s Keep Blogging Fun‘ it can be read by clicking here.
What do you do to generate more readers to your blog, and keep them coming back? Please share your tips by leaving me a comment.
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