How to Grow Your Blog Audience Without Really Trying

10 Ways to Get Readers to Connect With Your Blog

While prospective readers can just stop by your blog by typing in your URL, the reality is that, in today’s time pressed world, while many may have good intentions, it often becomes one more thing on their to do list. As a blogger, to break through the inertia and the message clutter, you must continue to build your blog audience. Before you develop a marketing plan to achieve this goal, make sure that you’re leveraging all of the options where neither you nor your readers don’t really have to do anything.

Here are ten ways to get readers to connect with your blog without having to think about it.

  1. Send blog posts to their email box. This is a great option since readers don’t have to look for it. Even better, email is the number one activity on mobile devices. The real gold in this option is building your own housefile complete with permission to contact readers. Alternatively, you can offer this option using Feedburner at no cost. (Want to see what it’s like? Register for Heidi Cohen’s emailings.)
  2. Create a weekly email option. This is good for prospects who don’t want to receive your content every day because it’s too much information for them. The benefit of a weekly emailing is that you can build your housefile and promote other aspects of your business.
  3. Register for RSS feeds. While RSS isn’t as widely used as email, it’s important to offer to readers this option since RSS fans tend to be high consumers of blog content. In other words, they’re a strong blog reading and interacting segment you want to reach.
  4. Distribute blog posts via social media platforms, including Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. This is how to build your blog with a little help from your friends (aka the Joe Cocker approach to blog marketing.) Use social media networks to expand your blog’s reach. You can automate these feeds or handcraft each entry.
  5. Facilitate sharing with use of social media buttons and counts. Enable readers to share your blog posts effortlessly with their social network contacts. Having the counts gives readers an idea of how popular a particular post is, which subconsciously acts like an incentive to share the post because other people thought it was important. Don’t forget to include email-a-colleague functionality. While readers can easily copy the link into an email, having a button and text, gives readers a nudge. Of course, here’s where having a social media tribe is useful.
  6. Include your link in your social media profile. Don’t forget that to link to your blog in all relevant social media profiles. (I realize that this may sound obvious but lots of bloggers don’t take this easy step to promote their blog effortlessly.) If your blog is business oriented, you may not want to add it to more personal networks like Ravelry.
  7. Give permission for second publishing rights. This means that another blog or website can reprint you material. Having your content published on another platform broadens your prospective audience. You want to make sure that your content gets crawled on your website first to get the search benefits from it. Business-2-Community is a great example of this.
  8. Link to your blog with a call-to-action in you signature file. Many bloggers overlook this easy way to promote their blog and draw attention to their efforts.
  9. Promote your blog on your business cards. Including your blog’s name and URL. In larger companies, where this information must follow internal requirements, this may not be possible. Alternatively, go one step further and create special business cards for your blog.
  10. Highlight blog content in widgets on your website, blog and other locations. Expand your blog post distribution with the use of a sidebar widget. For example, this blog tracks my tweets.

The reality is that you have to promote your blog in order to build your readership. The more options you use to get the word out about your blog, the more likely you’ll get prospects to click through and give your blog a test read.

Do you have any other suggestions for growing your blog audience without really trying? If so, please include them in the comment section below.

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

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Photo credit: Civilian Scrabble via Flickr

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