06 September 2011

How to Attract Readers to your Blog and Keep Them

Whether you know it or not, your readers can feel the pulse of your blog. Such is the human nature that we can subconsciously sense whether the writer has put all his/her heart in their work and although it takes a lot of hard work to attract a faithful readership, it is a hundred times easier to loose it.

Most of us, creative people, start our blogging careers with the sole purpose of promoting our brand and no wonder, as blogging is seen as one of the least expensive methods for establishing a professional presence on the Internet. Through developing your blog you also have the chance to connect not only to customers from around the world but to fellow crafters and bloggers which undoubtedly will enrich you and help you learn a lot.

Here are 6 basic steps to attract regular readers to your blog and to keep their attention.

Write often
Very soon, already after the first posts on your blog you will know how often you can post. It is not obligatory to write every day but make sure you post at least 3 times a week. Internet readers are prone to follow predictive patterns of posting, and if you fail to deliver you will be seen as unreliable and will loose readers.

When I started blogging I didn't have any idea about what to write, let alone how often. It was more of a burden than a blessing. Soon after I found my own rhythm I decided to post 5 – 6 times a week and still keep to that decision.

Write consistently
Once you refine your writing style, stick to it and work on it. The readers you have attracted are there because they liked something they saw on your blog and if you tend to jump from style to style they will soon grow tired and disoriented. Take care to avoid spelling and grammatical errors and make sure your posts are relevant to your market.

Be organized
Make a schedule. It doesn't need to be officially announced but for your own sake – organize your posts. Decide on which days and what time you are going to write on specific topics and go ahead. Follow your schedule week after week and you will see that not only will your writing creativity benefit but also your readers will learn to respect you for your perseverance.

I have a strict but flexible schedule, which has evolved from its first version. As long as I stick to it, sometimes quite loosely indeed, I feel like I have control and stick to the values I have outlined for my blog.

Format well
Formatting is just as important as creating your posts. If you don't believe me imagine getting a wonderful present in crumpled slightly stained paper. You are very much likely to underestimate the present itself.

Using illustrations, subheadings, bulleted and numbered lists will make your text more appealing to your readers, who like all Internet users, including yourself have no time and at least a dozen more sites to visit.

Provide original content
Don't feel tempted to copy someone else's work and claim it is yours. It shows really bad manners, you will be sooner or later caught, plus Google will crawl your blog and you will be treated as a spammer.

I often stumble upon great content on the web, which I would give anything to be my creation but I use it as inspiration. I read some more, I let the information ripen in my head and on a beautiful morning I wake up with an idea of my own. Since I like reading blogs that offer personal views and experiences, I try to give back the same. And if there is a really awesome thing somewhere outside my blog, I share the link, so that all my readers can benefit.

Be social
Treat your readers as your guests. Be cooperative and friendly. Answer questions and emails promptly, use your comment form to encourage discussion and soon enough you will have built quite a few friendships.

Make friends with bloggers in your niche. Comment, give suggestions, be friendly and consistent. Take your time to write meaningful comments and soon enough not only will they show interest in what you are writing about but if your interests coincide you will be able to collaborate and help each other grow.

Blogging is a journey, not a destination. Unless you are willing and ready to learn you will not achieve any development. Think of your blog as a living creature – it evolves, changes its purpose and appearance, grows older and wiser; and just like a child of yours it requires tender care and a lot of hard work.

Want to know more? Read all articles in the How to Blog Like a Pro series.

How do you keep your readers? Do you have a secret to share?