In a recent survey ProBlogger analysed what readers want to learn most about blogging.
Surprise surpriseâ€¦Top of the list was a desire to increase readership and subscriptions.
A question I give a lot of thought to is how do blog publishers expand their base of readers?
I notice loads of blogs that have good quality content but low Alexa rankings which indicates that they are not very popular.
I have come to the conclusion that if you want to grow your readership you need to focus on the following areas:
- Chose your niche
- Create relevant quality content
- Produce easy to consume content
- Optimise your subscription process
- Promote your blog consistently through the right communication channels
Choosing Your Niche
Firstly you need to decide who you are writing the blog for
If you check out the top 10 worldwide SEO blogs, you will find that:
- SEO Chat Has tons of tutorialsÂ resources, forums and chat. Caters mainly for web professionals.
- Search Engine Guide is an educational web site aimed at translating the search marketing world into something that small business owners can understand.
Creating Quality Content Relevant For Your Readers
Quality content is the one and only reason why readers will visit your blog repeatedly and eventually want to subscribe.
What is quality content â€“ it is material that readers like and want more of.
For example if your blog is aimed at giving tips or educating readers you better have good advice that may not be that widely known and lots of it.
Be sure never to publish duplicate content. Search engines only want original content that has not been published elsewhere. The search engines only index a particular piece of content once so duplicate content is at best a wast of time and possible will get you penalised.
If you have a blog topic that runs to say 800 words and you also want to publish it in say ezinearticles.com. Make sure you re-edit the test to shorten the article to around 300 words and re-edit the sentences to use plenty of different verbs an adjectives.
Unlike print media, a blog content can be composed from a combination of text, graphics, animated graphics, video and sound.
Therefore quality blog content can be defined broadly as the ease of reading and interpreting the information being communicated. This includes a number of factors including the words and images used, formatting, placement, font size and color.
Making Content Easy to Consume:
Think about using a few tricks from journalism:
- Develop Good Headlines
- Lead with an attractive photographic or graphic
- Use sub headers to separate different sections of your post
- Use quotes to verify your opinions or act as the basis for a new section
- Donâ€™t be afraid of using links to other sources of information which you may summarise or expand on
Breaking the post up will make it easier on the human eye
Use a font type and size that is easy to read. Among those available, the most used fonts on the Internet are Times New Roman, Arial and Courier
I recommend a minimum size of 10 for Arial and 12 for Times New Roman. Use larger sizes for Headers to suit your preference.
Optimising The Subscription Process
Copyblogger conducted an experiment that increased the blog subscription rate by 254%.
The secret was to replace the more traditional call to action format.
Subscribe by emailâ€ť or â€śSubscribe by RSSâ€ť
By using a different approach with a more descriptive call to action:
Donâ€™t forget video – If you have videos you should consider giving people an option to subscribe to your videos?
As regards audio – there are programs that will automate the process of stripping video down to audio.
This will give you another channel â€“ podcast subscriptions. Remember no one can subscribe to a podcast you arenâ€™t creating audio content.
PromotingYour Blog Consistently
In addition to subscription requests in each post, you should consider
Adding a link toÂ it to your email signature and your business cards.
Be sure your blog link is inserted in your profile on every social media network that you use. I recommend Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, etc.
Do the same with article sites such as:
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