Posted By: Henry Conrad on 9:00 PM
There are bloggers that seem to have stumbled upon the secrets to getting a massive following and thanks to Geoffrey James of Inc.com, some of those secrets have been revealed. Here are some of his tips on how to increase blog traffic.
1. Actively Solicit Comments
Your readers almost always know more about your subject topic than you, so it's crazy not to ask for their input. The best comments are the ones that really force YOU to think, and maybe back down on your own opinion.
Just because you are the one writing the posts does not mean you have nothing to gain from your readers. You might be surprised to find that some of the people reading your blog have more insight into the topic you are writing about.
2. Always Answer Reader Emails
If somebody takes the time and effort to actually send you an email, the LEAST you can do is get back to them quickly, even if it's just to say how much you appreciate that they bothered to write. When you do, you've probably captured a reader for life!
When a reader makes the effort to shoot you an e-mail, it means that they think you are worth the time it took to write the message. Return the favor and show them your appreciation by replying to their e-mail as soon as you can. This is an easy way to gain a regular reader.
3. Banter With Your Readers
You can't respond to every comment (nor should you) but when a reader spends the time to add a comment that's worth reading, you should call attention to it and, if appropriate add your own perspective.
Some comments are just too good to ignore and when you get one on a blog post, you really should comment back. This is a great way to build rapport with your readers.
4. Be Objective and Never a Shill
The reason why most corporate blog never get popular is that they're forever hyping the products that the corporation has to sell. However, readers can smell self-serving hype a mile away and will only read your blog if it shows some independence.
Merriam Webster defines a shill as “one who makes a sales pitch or serves as a promoter” and that type of blogger is not likely to get a loyal following. Nobody likes blogs that aim to serve just their own interest since the reason a reader might come back is because your blog gave them something of value.
5. Brand Your Blog
If people hear about your blog and want to read more, you want them to be able to find it. For example, whenever I talk or write about my blog, I always call it "Sales Source on Inc.com" rather than just plain "Sales Source."
Giving your blog a good brand is just as important as posting quality content. Your blog posts will be reaching a limited audience if the rest of the world is unable to find it.
6. Content, Content, Content
The only way to gain a loyal readership is by consistently providing high quality content. Focus 90% of your effort on content and 10% on everything else. As marketing guru Seth Godin once told me: "Comment less, contribute more, retweet none. We need you to be generous, not Dan Rather."
Content is the main player in the blogging business and by giving readers something interesting and informative to read, you are establishing yourself as a blog that people will want to check up on regularly.
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