As a blogger you have two choices:
1. You can simply post content and wait for your readership to grow (the “if you build it they will come” philosophy). Readers will find your blog by search engines. If you’re lucky, they might share a post within their own social networks which can draw even more viewers to your blog.
– OR –
2. You can network within the blogging community to actively build your readership. This can be done by following other bloggers, commenting on their posts, connecting with people within social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, asking for guest posts and writing guest posts for other blogs, and I could go on and on.
Although option #2 is a bit of a time investment, networking is almost as important as the content itself, and it is sure to increase your viewers at a much faster rate than option #1. Keep in mind, networking doesn’t have to become a full-time job. Here are 10 tips to help you network more effectively with just a few minutes of your time each day:
- Find bloggers to follow – Use a blog search engine such as Technorati to find blogs or blog posts within the subject area you want to target. Subscribe to blogs via email, RSS feed, Google Reader, or whatever is most convenient for you to receive and read the posts on a regular basis.
- Comment on blog posts – Ask questions, post comments or answer questions others have asked when you can. When posting a comment on someone else’s blog, you will enter your name and link to your own blog. Others who see your comment can then click on your name and be directed to your blog.
- Share blog posts – When you read a post you want to share with your own community, discuss it and link to it within a blog post or tweet about it (if the original blogger is on Twitter, be sure to mention them in your tweet so they will see it).
- Conduct interviews – Find people in your subject area or people who your target audience would be interested in and interview them. Start with a few you already know and then branch out. Contact bloggers or people on Twitter you have discovered and ask if you can interview them.
- Connect your Blog with your Twitter Account
- Engage in conversation with bloggers on Twitter – Follow bloggers and other interesting folks on Twitter. Retweet their tweets that you want to share and reply to their tweets when you have something to say.
- Ask other bloggers to write guest posts for your blog – Guest posts, especially from well-known bloggers or people who are very connected in social media, can help draw more viewers to your blog.
- Write guest posts and submit them to other bloggers – Getting your content, along with a brief bio and link to your blog, posted on another blog will help increase your exposure and link their viewers back to your blog.
- Encourage discussion – End your blog posts with a question to encourage readers to post their comments or questions.
- Have fun!
Which blogs do you follow?