Article by Guest Poster
This article was written by a guest contributor. The author's views below are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of WHSR.
Image credit: JustOnlySteven
When you’re new to the world of blogging, the possibilities seem both endless and exciting. You eagerly put hours into crafting fresh and entertaining articles. You spend a good chunk of each day thinking about your blog and carefully putting your thoughts into words. When you re-read your work after hitting “publish”, you’re proud of what you’ve written.
Unfortunately, you’re the only one reading it.
It can be discouraging and frustrating as a new blogger to see little or no growth in readership. It’s important to remember that building a loyal audience doesn’t happen overnight! Try some of these simple and effective ways to increase traffic to your blog.
This is probably the simplest blogging truth: if you don’t write, then people won’t read. Choose a blogging schedule – whether you plan on writing daily or weekly – and stick to it. Once readers see that they can trust you to keep adding interesting and original content on a regular basis, they will be more open to investing their time in your blog.
Blogging is about more than finding a niche; it’s also about building community. When you read and comment on blogs written by people with similar interests, you’re also sharing your own blog with all of their readers. Blog owners love receiving comments, and there’s a good chance that they might click on your link and visit your blog. Even more importantly, everyone who reads through the comments will be exposed to you and your blog.
Remember that commenting is, first and foremost, an opportunity to engage in discussion. If all you’re trying to do is bring readers to your blog with generic comments like “Great post!” people will see through that and ignore you. The best comments – both for engaging in discussion and for convincing new readers to click on your link – are the ones that are thoughtful, original and meaningful. Take the time to really read a blog post and think about how you can contribute before leaving a comment.
Many blog platforms offer the possibility of backtracks or linkbacks. What this means is that you can write a post on your own blog and link directly to someone else’s related blog post. Your link will show up under the comments, which could bring new readers to your site.
Even if you’re not using backtracks or linkbacks, linking to another person’s blog can bring that blog’s author to your site. Most blog authors like to keep an eye on their traffic sources to see where their readers are coming from. Once someone clicks on the link in your post – or even if you click on it yourself – it will pop up on the other blog owner’s statistics page.
Link parties or blog carnivals are special blog posts that aim to bring together bloggers with similar interests. The host blogger provides a space in their post where other bloggers can add their URLs. Readers can then visit some or all of the posts in the party to read and comment on other people’s work. Link parties are a great way to build your blogging community and to get to know other blogs and bloggers.
To find a link party, think about your blog’s focus and then do a quick search online. “DIY link party”, “recipe link party” or “book review link party” will all bring up links to parties that might be the perfect match for your blog.
This tip is particularly useful if you already participate actively in message boards, groups and other online communities dedicated to the same topic as your blog. By adding a link to your blog in your signature, you’re exposing your writing to people with similar interests. Hopefully, some of them will visit your blog. The more established you are as a contributor, the more likely people are to click on your link. Don’t stop at message boards; include a link to your blog on your twitter and facebook accounts, as well as any other social media that you use.
Once you’ve been blogging regularly for a few months, there’s a lot to be gained from writing a post for someone else’s blog. While your first reaction might be to wonder why you’d spend precious time writing for someone else, the fact is that posting your work on other people’s blogs exposes your writing to many new readers. If you make an effort to write an engaging and entertaining guest post, some of your host blog’s readers are very likely to visit your blog. Hopefully, this will lead to new loyal readers.
Make sure that your guest post ideas are focused and original. For instance, if you want to guest post on a running blog, a post called “How Interval Training Helped Me Shave Minutes Off my Mile” will probably be better received than something more generic like “How to Run”. Blog owners are also more likely to accept your offer to guest post if you’ve already engaged with them by reading and commenting on past posts.
While there are stories out there of overnight blog success, the truth is that most blogs build slowly over time. Be patient and take time to enjoy the act of blogging. Keep reading and writing about topics that you’re passionate about, and eventually you will see your readership grow.