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6 Free and Easy Ways to Get People to Read Your Blog

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"6 Free and easy ways to get people to read your blog"A year ago, In February of 2011, I wrote an amazing article titled : “It’s a New Dawn; Protect Your Online Reputation”. It was one of my first blogs. I was filled with great confidence about the vast value it was going to offer my “online community”. After all, I have awesome services to sell, and I knew people would hungrily sign up for them, and most definately hire me to protect their online reputation. I was targeting a strategic market, offering services at a competitive price and providing interesting content on various platforms. All the stuff the big gun Joe Pulizzi talks about.

After it posted I waited patiently for the floods of comments and discussions and was thrilled to see the three comments left by my ex husband, my daughter and after I taught him how to open a blog and get IN there, my brother.

By May, I had approximately 6 more readers who’d signed on. I could tell because I checked my stats every 2 hours. I was still begging my daughter to “like” it and my friend from Iowa to share it on Facebook, but that’s ok. I’d increased my readership by 100%!

Hello???? Knock knock….Anybody out there?

If you are anything like me, and you are, trust me, unless you’ve invested a ton of money into a media blast, a huge PR campaign and some serious SEO right out of the gate, the road to blog readership is for most of us, a long and somewhat painful one. Some of this cannot be helped –it is just the nature of the blog beast. A blog, like any other form of marketing, takes time and recognition and patience to grow its’ traffic. I would love to say there is a magic bullet train right to a HighTraffic Village, but honestly, there is not, unless again you plan to invest in the above techniques, and even then it is a big risk. If the purpose of your blog is, like most of ours, to

  1. build trust and confidence in you as a person and in your services
  2. educate and inform so folks get that you are an “expert” in your field, and
  3. to convert this traffic to your blog to traffic to your website, or your store, or your services in whatever format you use,

then you must take a breath, and begin somewhere. Over time, and only over time, your presence will grow, folks will start seeing and anticipating your blog, and it will become a much more interesting “content laden” place to be. Your bounce rate will decrease, and if you are lucky and have been providing good content you will convert that traffic to a sale. But ya gotta have patience. And friends. And patience. Did I mention patience?

There are some great tips I will share with you that can increase your traffic exponentially however. Here are 6. I’ve got ooddles more and it was hard to narrow it down but this is a good place to start:

  1. Begin with good content. I can’t state this more emphatically. You don’t have to be Hemmingway, or Steve Jobs, but you must add value. There are a lot of bloggers out there and they are all screaming for your audiences attention. Make yours stand out. It doesn’t haveto be a manual, remember you’re wiriting to be read. If you’re not a writer, hire one, and provide the content, or share others, making yours the “resource platform”. That’s just as valuable as your own content…sometimes more. No offense.
  2. Share, share, share. Share it on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, as many social media platforms as you have, and ask that your friends share it as well. I don’t want to overwhelm you, so start slowly if need be. Pick 2 and go from there. Sign up and share it on the social bookmarking sites like Reddit, Stumbled Upon, Digg, Bit.ly, Technorati, Squiddo, Delicious….there are more but these are some of the powerful ones. Take the time to register for these and get it out there. The sites mentioned here all have huge followings and your blog will in turn get huge exposure. Upload it to EZinearticles.com. This is a free article submission site that does PR for you and has really wide reader reach..
  3. Comment on others blogs, especially blogs where your target market might be visiting, and especially blogs that get high traffic. It’s easy to check to see what kind of traffic their blog commands by checking their Alexa rating at Alexa.com-with Alexa, the lower the rating, the higher the traffic. Folks generally welcome this and you are now becoming an expert on someone elses site, in front of their audience. Recipricate. Ask if they’d like to guest blog on your site. You’re now adding value with another expert voice. Two other great things about blog commenting – it’s completely free to do and it results in the backlinks that will help your site get noticed in the long term.
  4. Make your email signature count. Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals or ask that folks share your blog with their friends with the push of the forward button, the Facebook Like button, or the Twitter icon to make it easy for folks to share.
  5. Get in the habit of allowing folks to voluntarily sign up for your blogs. I know this is a tough one and that I am a teeny weeny bit hypocritical where this is concerned. But really I’m not -because I’ve stopped the practice of taking the bulk of your email addresses and throwing them into a distribution list for an instant forced readership. Because that’s what it is- forced. I know that it’s scarey and painful and that initially it may only be your daughter and your mother who are reading your well thought out blogs…because you told them to…..but force yourself to allow the blog to grow organicaly . That means providing an “opt-in” box that they can sign up for. This way your readership will be there because they want to be there, not because you forced them to be there, and the quality of this traffic will be much better than an email list containing your Aunt Tilly and your brother who “DOESN’T BLOG!”….no matter how many times you might try and explain that reading a blog does not constitute blogging. Your well thought out article will also stand a much better chance of not being deemed spam and ……dum dum DUM dum…..deleted.

And finally, make it easy for folks to both read your blog and then hopefully go surf around the page to see all the shiny objects you offer on your website. What? You have nothing else on your blog page? How do you expect traffic to convert to a sale??? This really is fodder for a future blog, but very important tip: make sure there is valuable content on your site that folks will want to click into once they finish reading your blog, and make it easy for them to fill out forms to contact you. Apply these techniques, even half of these techniques, consistently (very important-aim for once per week), and you will see, as I have, a 100% traffic increase to your blog presence. Start slowly, one technique per week. I have officially released my mother and my daughter from blogging bondage. They are very grateful.

Good luck!

About Suzen

Digital Marketing Strategist, speaker and blogger, Suzen Pettit has been in marketing for the past 27 years wearing various hats. Founder of OMAGinarium, (an acronym for Online Marketing and Growth), Suzen’s specialty is getting small companies and doctors FOUND and helping them stay “sticky” with online marketing and website traffic strategies, social media marketing, optimized websites, SEO, blogging, and content marketing. Suzen has helped dozens of small companies, entrepreneurs and medical practices stand out, get their businesses on the map, and attract more website traffic and warm leads.

When not working hard for her clients, Suzen can be found blogging and providing content for the Patch hyper-locals, Mashable, Founders Space, Create Hype, and Steamfeed, as well as speaking on topics geared to online business growth. Suzen was recently voted #3 from Voiceboks.com Top 10 Tech and Interne Savvy Blogs of 2014, and was featured in the August issue of Tribal Woman.

Comments

  1. Thanks Suzen – all great tips and I appreciated that you described blogging as a marketing technique to be looked at as a marathon, not a sprint. I’ll be starting to incorporate your advice in my own blog today!

    • thanks Jenn….yes, looking at it as a journey, or a marathon (good term!) takes the pressure off and allows you to build on different angles of your blog it as time goes on. It’s fun! it’s all a process!

  2. Very good Suzen. Thanks…

  3. Barbara Garelick says:

    Great tips on blogging…and FYI, I do enjoy reading your blogs.

  4. Richard Vittorioso says:

    Great article….geez….here I was paying all my relatives and friends to read my blog and all I had to do was post my link on social networks. Only kidding….I only pay my friends, : ) I started with 2 hits per day in 2009 and now, two years later….4 hits per day… WOW! Only kidding once again. Actually my “MisfitWisdom” blog gets over 200 hits per day thanks to persistence, social networking, passing out cards to everyone I meet and writing stupid humor stuff each and every day. Thanks again for a very informative article, especially listing some new sites to post my blog links. Hmmmm…..time to stop paying people…: )

    • glad it’s helpful, Richard. I remember the day when the first person I didn’t know personally commented on my blog. It’s written on a post it next to my bed!! Great feeling. You are proof that consistency makes all the difference. Slow and steady!

  5. Thank you for such helpful information. I will be back to read and learn more.

    • thanks Lynn! I’m not always so helpful…sometimes i just like to write for the fun of it, but if you liked last weeks post (6 Free and Easy), check out this weeks, with the 1 helpful tip i left out!

  6. Leslie Silverman says:

    Nice post, Suzen. Good advice!

    • Thanks Leslie! We still need to get together to compare notes. Maybe next week. Let me know. Great to hear from you

  7. Ciro Longobardi says:

    Suzen
    Thank you for a well written article that both interests me and scares the begeezus out of me. I am a sales dinosaur working through referals and personal contact. Obviosly it is getting harder to make initial contacts by mail or phone and certainly EMAIL.

    When I look at Linkedin, Facebook,Twitter, etc. I see an additional process, time consuming and (in Financial Services) frought with potential compliance traps.

    I would like to have a presence for when people I meet search for me, but I am not sure I want a world wide broadcast vehicle.

    Any advice on how to accomodate both my fears and desires???

    • Hi Ciro and glad the blog was helpful. I am currently working with a financial advisor and an insurance agent and so I know of the compliance issues and constraints your industry has to endure. The good news is there definately are ways of “working ” within the system and still get your “face” out there, you just need to be a bit more creative doing it. I highly recommend that you start with the book Guerilla Marketing for Financial Advisors by Jay Levinson and Grant Hicks (on Amazon). They have some great strategies of which some will work for you and some might not, but at least it will begin to give you ideas on how you can create your presence and distinguish yourself in this very competitive market I’d be happy to talk to you about how you can have Linked In and other new marketing strategies become a part of your every day marketing. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming. We chunk it down into bite sized pieces! Feel free to give me a call or email me. All the best,
      Suzen

  8. the road to blog readership is for most of us, a long and somewhat painful one. Indeed, it can be long, but not painful, if you decide to enjoy it along, or painful and then short because painful…

    I enjoyed your blogpost and I believe that we, as bloggers, always have to attempt to put ourselves in the shoes or better said, in the eyes of our readers… Sometimes it is very hard to do!

  9. Great Bill, and thanks for reading. Subscribe to my blog. You’ll see that I give away most of my trade secrets!!

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