Blogging All-In-One for Dummies
The It's Girl's Guide to Blogging with Moxie
Essays in the Art of Writing
If a blogger falls in a forest, and there’s no one around to see it - will Google Reader still pick up the feed?
Ha! I crack myself up.
For those of us who spend time blogging, one of the more critical questions is: “How do I get people to read my blog?” After all, if we’re out there hustling to write content for the blogosphere, how valuable is it if no one reads it?
An actor friend of mine from Los Angeles writes:
“Hey Erin - love your blog! Do you have any suggestions on how to bring more traffic to my blog? I'm posting on FB when I have a new post but no one seems to be reading it. How else can I get people to visit?”
Here are 8 good ways to get (and keep) blog readers:
Identify your audience
What are you blogging about, and what are the kinds of people who’d benefit from reading it? Build your blog around that audience, and use formatting, style and verbiage to let your audience know exactly what your blog is all about, and why they should stay. This is called creating (and promoting) your identity.
Write relevant material to suit that audience
Now that you have identified your audience and know what kind of stuff you want to write, make sure that it remains relevant to your audience. If you veer off course (start talking about your dating life when your audience was specifically attracted to your acting career) you’ll run the risk of losing those hard won followers. That said, there’s nothing wrong with diversifying your blog material - just make sure you work that into the overall identity of your blog. This will let people know, in advance, what they can expect from you.
Keep your blog updated regularly
The good news: you can decide what “regularly” means to you -- is it once a day, once a week, once a month? It’s a good idea to note how often you plan to blog, and make that general schedule available to your readers. Then, keep to that schedule. If I tell my readers that I post several times per week, I want to make sure that I deliver on that promise.
Use common key words/phrases that match your identity
The blog you’re reading gets 3 times as many hits as most acting blogs, because this blog is loaded with common phrases that actors search for every day. A glance into my web stats shows that the last 5 people reached my blog after searching for: “reputable nyc casting directors”, “non-union buyout”, “What is deferred pay”, “special skills for actors”, and “why do actors need agents”. You want to be sure to write about topics that your audience is searching for -- this will help your blog rise in Google’s rankings.
I’ll also mention... I get a lot of web hits when I use household/popular phrases in the blog title. One of my top blog posts (according to “hits” is called ”It’s Gonna Be a Sunshine Day" -- can you imagine why? :)
Make your blog available via an RSS Feed
Use a company like Feedburner to create RSS feeds for your blog, which will allow your readers to view the blog via an RSS reader. Feedburner also offers an option for email subscriptions.
Merge your blog with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, IMDB, etc
Most social networks allow you to integrate your blog into your account - you’ll need an RSS Feed (like the one mentioned above) or a website that uses API (like Facebook, which grants access to outside websites) in order to make this work. I use Networked Blogs to feed my blog into my Facebook Pages.
Track your success
It’s a good idea to use a web tracker (like Google Analytics) to track how readers are reaching your blog, and what pages are the most popular. Most blog hosts (like Blogger and Wordpress) also have a built-in stats page that can offer insights.
Practice what you preach
Probably the best way to drive traffic is to read other blogs religiously and leave comments. In your comment, be sure to leave your blog address in the contact/URL section (which is usually asked for when you leave the comment.) The more blogs you interact with, the more likely you’ll see the favor returned. This goes for reading blogs on Facebook & Twitter too -- comment on and forward/share those that you love, and be sure to let them know where they can read your work too.
I hope you enjoyed this detailed info about finding and keeping readers. Happy Blogging!
Have a comment or question? Leave it by clicking below!
Erin Cronican's career as a professional actor and career coach has spanned the last 25 years in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego. She has appeared in major feature films and on television, and has done national tours of plays and musicals. She has worked in the advertising & marketing departments of major corporations, film production companies, theater magazines, and non-profit acting organizations. To learn more, check out http://www.theactorsenterprise.org.