In our last post, we talked about attracting an audience when you first begin your blog, and a little about Field of Dreams. (Hey, it was a great movie.) Thanks to all who contributed to the discussion. Now that people are coming through the turnstiles, how do you keep them at the park?
Of course, quality content is important, but so is publishing consistency (even more so than frequency, in my humble opinion). Choose a frequency that you can handle (realistically, not in your dream world), and stick to it. When I first started this blog, that was my biggest issue. I’d publish a post here and there, which didn’t help with drawing visitors. Once I committed to a schedule, business definitely started to pick up. Last year, I decided to up my frequency to twice a week, publishing on Tuesdays and Thursdays (after initially experimenting with Tuesdays and Fridays). It’s a commitment, but I’ve managed to stick with the schedule pretty well with a little planning and guest bloggers.
A Note on Guest Blogging
Note that I only began inviting guest bloggers once the CCC blog had reached a decent readership. Second, guest blogging has come under fire recently because some marketers and social media folks (OK, a lot of them) have abused it as an SEO tactic. Google has been criticized by some circles for warning against this practice, but you shouldn’t be guest blogging or accepting guest bloggers purely for SEO purposes. Will the proposed content interest and benefit your audience? If not, then pass. The same is true if you’re looking to write for other blogs. Only propose content that fits their audiences and don’t stuff it with unnecessary links back to your work.
Walk on the Wild Side
It’s OK to walk a little on the wild side sometimes or have a wide path to begin with. It may take a little time to figure out exactly what topic(s) you want to discuss. This blog is a little different because it covers a myriad of subjects, but they’re all related to four main topics: marketing, writing, social media and personal reflection. It just so happens that Elvis, MacGyver, The American President and leg lamp cookies all relate to these topics while giving the blog a breath of fresh air. I have a plethora of passions and like to try new things, so it’s only appropriate that my blog is wide-ranging as well. Have fun, and don’t be afraid to take a stand on an issue or two. (Just don’t hate; that’s never helpful.)
Open Mic Night
Involve your readers; don’t lecture at them. People like to share their opinions and experiences, which will add another dimension to your blog. Always ask for comments, and feel free to throw some specific questions out there. It’s always fun to hear others’ points of view. We’re fortunate to have people around the world reading this blog, and I love hearing from them. (Full disclosure: I’m a sucker for British accents, so I always read comments from Great Britain out loud complete with accent.) Sometimes a post can take on a whole new meaning because of a question posed or insight provided by a reader.
Don’t worry if your blog’s comment box isn’t blowing up either. You may have loyal readers who love your posts who would never venture past the like button, if that. Some people prefer to remain silent while others don’t want to take the time to leave insightful comments or just don’t have anything else to add. Regardless, if your follower count keeps creeping higher, then people are listening.
That’s the leopard print lady’s take on filling the grandstands with devoted readers. What do you think?
What other suggestions do you have?
Is anyone else in love with animal print? 🙂
As a reminder, we covered how to get folks to visit your blog in our last post. We’d still love to hear your thoughts on that subject as well.
Still walking on the wild side,
3 thoughts on “Walking on the Wild Side to a Devoted Blog Following”
Hi Jaime, Thanks for another informative post! A question about guest blogging – you say “don’t stuff it with unnecessary links back to your work,: Are you suggesting no links back at all?
Your ” It just so happens that Elvis, MacGyver, The American President and leg lamp cookies all relate to these topics while giving the blog a breath of fresh air.” gave me a nice chuckle!
I am definitely struggling with what topics to write about. I know what I like to write about, but not sure that all of them fit our blog. Or perhaps it’s a matter of finding the right audience for what I write? – not sure!
Thanks for reading! I always appreciate your insightful comments. There’s nothing wrong with including back links, either while guest blogging or on your own blog, if they fit. While I included more back links than usual in this post, they fit into the flow of the post (and proved a point that my subject matter varies greatly). People may be interested in the posts referenced to see how these random subjects fit into the categories mentioned.
You can always test subjects out on your audience and see if they fly. You may be able to expand your blog topics if there’s interest, or you could start a new blog for other topics close to your heart. Sometimes I get writer’s block too. Look to your everyday life for inspiration. I keep a note in Evernote to jot down ideas when they come to mind. It also helps me to sometimes hash out a post on paper before moving to the computer. You’ll find what works for you!