No matter how brilliant your posts are, if no one knows they exist, readers won’t come. Here are ten simple ways to build your business blog’s readership.
Tell you current network
The best thing to do first is to let those you’re already connected with know about your blog. You already have a relationship with them, and they hopefully like and trust you. There’s also nothing wrong with directly asking them to comment on and share the posts they like. All companies will already have a network to reach out to, which can include:
- current (and previous) clients
- mailing list recipients
- industry groups
Add to your established marketing
Your company will already have other relevant places to promote your blog. Decide which are the most appropriate for driving traffic to your blog in order to encourage an audience presently outside your network. They might include:
- your company website
- business cards
- email signatures
- marketing materials such as brochures, stationery and signs
- marketing documents such as white papers, case studies and press releases as well as quotations and fees
- advertisements including print, broadcast and direct mail
- email newsletters
- training materials such as presentation slides and handouts
- social media pages
Content must address a need
The content of your blog posts is key to get readers not only to stay and read your current post, but to return again and again to read more in the future. To do this, the content of your posts must meet the needs of your readers.
Working out what your clients and potential clients needs are enables you to write content that solves their problems and helps them. Their needs could be many and varied but might include how to use your products, how others use your products or services, industry news and updates to stay ahead, and product developments. Also consider your company’s frequently asked questions and write answers to them. Be useful and fresh, and make sure you write in a clear and easily understood way while also being compelling.
Proactively search for readers
While in an ideal world all well-written blog posts would attract readers without you having to do anything else, in the real world you need to be proactive and help readers find your blog.
Decide on your ideal audience (be as specific as you can in picturing them) and identify where they are. They could be on a specific social media platform, an online forum, a more traditional networking group or read the same publication. Then you need to build your presence in the places you’ve identified, such as becoming an active and helpful member, giving a relevant workshop or contributing content to an online or offline group.
Read and comment on other blogs in your niche
Find blogs and posts that interest you in your niche and leave a genuine comment that adds value to the topic. Whenever you leave a comment, include a link to your blog or to one of your posts which is relevant to the discussion.
Within your trusted current network, ask those who blog to a relevant audience if you can write a blog post for them and then ask them to return the favour. To make your request as easy to accept as possible, do some research on their blog posts which have the most comments and prepare an outline or draft of an engaging post for their target audience ready for when you pitch your idea to guest post. Also when asking them to write a post for you, requesting a specific topic for them to write about will often get a more positive response than them having to come up with something from scratch.
Respond to readers
When a reader leaves a comment, reply as soon as you can. Interacting and engaging with your audience will show you care about their feedback and will increase the chances they’ll return. They may even promote your blog for you.
Have a prominent subscription button
Make sure your readers can easily subscribe to your blog posts with one click by having visible buttons on the sidebar, top or bottom of your blog posts encouraging those readers who engaged with your content to easily sign up.
Try, learn from your mistakes and improve
Whether you’ve just started your blog or have been blogging for a while, it’s important to try new things. Experiment with different content and try different mediums such as video, infographics and podcasts. Track what works and what doesn’t; repeat your successes and use this knowledge to grow.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and building your blog’s readership won’t happen in a day either. It takes time, so hang in there, keep posting, keep promoting your posts and keep tracking which ones engage your readers the most.
What are your tips for getting more traffic to your business blog?