If you have just started getting into this blogging thing that everyone was crazy about a little under a decade ago, congratulations! You have just added one more site to the over hundreds of millions of publicly accessible weblogs on the internet.
For some, it’s all well and dandy that you happily putter about and keep posting blog entries that are mostly for journaling and reminding yourself and your close friends of your thoughts and experiences.
Still, you might have the objective of sharing your blog with the rest of the world. Passively providing blog content may actually work for some, particularly those that are sought out due to their celebrity status, or expertise in a certain topic, but what if you’re just one of the “regular” Joes/Janes in the ocean of the blogosphere?
Below are a few things you can immediately start doing at no additional monetary cost, but you will definitely have to spend a little more time beyond blog posting…
Avoid Making a “General” Blog
Differentiating your own blog from the others, even in your topic category, is going to be one very challenging task. To be fair, you shouldn’t really vie for ultimate global supremacy (or you could just be very quiet about your overarching ambition), but the key to getting a lot of people to visit your blog often is actually not to create a generic weblog. Decide on your blog’s focus, and this will increase interest in certain people with mutual interests (while alienating uninterested parties).
As I mentioned before, creating an unpromoted, personal blog works if you are already of some renown (or if you turn out to be someone important within your lifetime), but it’s not going to drag people by default. Even if your blog will have posts of various categories, always have a focus point to your blog, like your favorite hobby, or an aspect of your career or livelihood.
Reach Out Via Social Media
Make the effort of signing up in a few of the social media networks that people “like you” frequent. Stereotypes aren’t always accurate, but they exist because for a reason. Everybody and their dog (a bit less of the teens, nowadays) have a Facebook, the more cerebral and technology-savvy are also on Google Plus, and everybody who is famous, wants to be famous, or is following someone famous has a Twitter. Other niche networks exist, and you had better do your research and find out which of those to have a presence in.
It wouldn’t be of any use to you to sign up for all those sites if you don’t pass your posts along to them. There are apps for WordPress and other blogging platforms that can make this a painless, automated experience. Also, be sure to add social media sharing buttons for your blog so people can easily share the particular post that they Like or +1 to their chosen social media hub.
Interact Through (Moderated) Comments.
It’s always a good policy to let people make comments on your posts, but with all the spammers and trolls lurking about, there should be safeguards for this. Having them log in via their Facebook or Google account to make comments is a start, as nowadays, it’s really not that easy (but still very possible) to create a bunch of fake accounts with those two networks. At the least, there will be some assurance that real people are commenting, and if they are spammers, they can easily be blocked or reported.
This will also allow you to get to know and exchange ideas with your subscribers or casual readers, and learn to learn from criticism (that wasn’t a typo), take it in stride, and become a better person for it. You might even make some new friends in the process.
Have a Raffles or Contests
Most people would love a freebie or prize, so having some online contest or raffles could provide that much-needed boost in getting the word about your blog, and hopefully acquiring some dedicated readers. While this is a fun and attention-spiking activity, take care not to overdo it, lest you spoil your readers or attract people who aren’t really reading your blog and are just mooching off for the free stuff.
Your prizes need not be the pricey kind, either. Nifty and inexpensive little gadgets, souvenirs, decorative desk ornaments, and other doodads will usually pique the interest of most folk. Little items like keychains and pens (customized with your blog’s branding, if possible) would be a no-brainer, and various sites like National Pen offer them for reasonable prices.