SEO can certainly take you a long way but it can’t buy you loyalty. And if there’s one thing that makes a blog profitable in the long term, it’s loyal readers. Unfortunately however, they can take quite a bit of time to find.
If you’ve recently started a new blog and you’re lucky to get a few hundred visitors a month, the idea of attracting a large following can seem like quite a long way off. Here are eight simple tips for finding a following and fast.
Being different is always something that you should aim for but if you’re blogging in a relatively competitive niche, it’s even more important. Take a look at your primary competitors, what are they writing about?
The answer is what you shouldn’t be writing about. Always assume that your readers have read your competitors blogs. Don’t regurgitate the same information. And when you must cover the same topics, strive to do a better job.
Punctuality is another important trait if you want to attract a loyal following.
- Post when you say you’re going to post. Reward loyalty with a regular posting schedule that you stick to.
- Post when something happens in your niche, not the following week.
Make it Personal
You don’t have to cover your blog in photos of yourself but a single, tasteful photo on your homepage is always a good idea. A lot of bloggers are needlessly faceless and it’s a shame because faces tend to be far more memorable than names.
The odd video post is also an excellent idea. Video posts are not only an easy way to connect with your readers, the fact that they are so rare also makes them an excellent tool for standing out.
Facts are good but opinions are great. And controversial opinions, well, they’re excellent. Every one of your competitors is offering the facts regarding your niche, but your opinions can only be found on your blog.
If your opinions are interesting, you will find a following. Do use controversy with care however. Controversial opinions can make a blog but they can just as easily break one.
Know Your Audience
When you try to write for everybody, you are essentially writing for nobody. You should define your target audience and write exclusively for them. Are you writing for experts on your niche or those who are new to it? What do your readers like? And more importantly, what don’t they like?
One of the easiest ways to attract repeat readers is to offer real value.
- Make complicated topics easy to understand with detailed tutorials.
- Instead of writing top tens, write top fifties. Constantly update your lists until they are exhaustive.
- The occasional free gift certainly doesn’t hurt.
When you publish these types of posts, you are not just attracting loyalty, you are attracting natural backlinks. Don’t underestimate the effects of link bait content.
Always Request Comments
Every time you spark a conversation on your blog, you are growing it’s readership. Blogging isn’t supposed to be one way. It’s supposed to be a discussion.
- Every one of your posts should end with a question. The easiest way to get more comments is to simply ask for them.
- Respond to quality comments with quality responses.
- Install Commentluv and make your backlinks dofollow.
Don’t Let it Go to Your Head
Finally, if you do manage to establish a loyal readership, don’t let it go to your head. Regardless of whether you have a few hundred or a few thousand repeat readers, don’t become arrogant.
Continue to write posts in the same modest fashion that won you a following in the first place. There’s nothing quite like arrogance for sending a popular blogger careening towards blogosphere anonymity.
John Smith is a London based online marketer currently working for a search engine optimisation agency named www.seo.org.uk