You’ve decided to write a blog and now you want readers. Otherwise, why put in all the time and energy? The techniques and strategies for increasing your readership are going to be very similar, whether you’re writing about your business, personal life, tutorials, news, politics, or posting videos or photos. It’s all about gaining and maintaining your subscriber’s attention. Any strategy that seems spammy or gimmicky probably is. There are no instant results in building a readership, but there are healthy things you can do improve your chances of gaining subscribers.
Here are a few tips that will will help you to start building a steady readership and put your WordPress blog on the map. Of course, these tips assume that you are producing fresh and original content. If you aren’t, then that’s the first place to start.
1. Offer Subscription Options: Categories, Tags, Entire Blog, Comments, etc.
Everyone likes options. Perhaps your reader is only interested in your “design tutorials” category and none of your personal updates. Why not give them the option to subscribe to individual categories?
Simply add the links for the feeds you want to offer:
2. Don’t load your site up with Social Networking Buttons
If people think that you’re a social networking fanatic, they will assume that they will always be hearing from you if they subscribe to your blog. Be sparing and strategic about how many social icons you add to your site. Focus more on tastefully offering networks that your demographic uses, instead of trying to add buttons to every possible social sharing outlet. People will find a way to share if they really want to.
3. Format your blog nicely for RSS readers.
Take the time to check out how your blog appears in RSS readers. You want to be sure that your images and formatting are getting through and are not floating all over the place. If your theme uses post thumbnails, grab a plugin like Feed Thumbnails to make sure they are added to your feed.
4. Find your niche.
Focus on what makes your blog and your experience unique. What can people find here that they can’t find anywhere else? If they can find it somewhere else, how can you personalize and refine your message to make it your own? Personality is key. If you like something, expound upon it, but don’t copy it. Your take will be more valuable to your reader than whomever you might duplicate, simply because they like how you communicate.
5. Be involved on Twitter.
Whether you like Twitter or not, it is one of the fastest growing referrers of website traffic today. The more you use Twitter to network with others of similar interests and build relationships, the more likely you are to have people clicking on links to your articles.
Pro tip: Try to refrain from putting “Please RT” on your link. That only makes you look desperate and it actually turns people off from retweeting your article.
6. Update content regularly.
This is perhaps the most important strategy for increasing the number of subscribers to your blog. Nobody wants to bother with a blog that is infrequently updated. When you update regularly you build a reputation with your readers. If you’re writing quality blogs, then they will start to believe that they must not miss out on what you have to say. That’s the feeling I have before clicking the shiny RSS button. Make sure your readers are convinced that they don’t want to miss the next post.