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Since the first business was created, there’s been an argument over what is most important: sales or operations. Without a product, it doesn’t matter how many buyers you have. Without buyers, it doesn’t matter how good your product is.
 
When it comes to blogging, that argument is synonymous with readers and content. Let’s not debate which is more important but for the sake of this post go with the assumption that getting readers is at least one of the most important things you have to accomplish. No matter how much great content you have or cool products you offer, the amount of readers is going to determine your level of blogging success both in terms of popularity and income.
 
So let’s talk about some ways to get more readers:

Use Popular Social Networking

While I am not a fan of jumping on board every new social site and trying to keep up with a dozen different social networks, it’s foolish not to leverage the popularity of sites like Facebook and Twitter. Make sure you are putting up references and notifications on the popular social sites pointing back to the great content on your blog.

Email Subscriber Lists

If you could add a third item to the “most important things concerning your blog” list it would be your email subscriber list (along with growth, i.e. getting the readers, and great content). Your email subscriber list is your virtual gold mine and a direct pipeline to your loyal readers. You should have a goal of creating ways to get every visitor, reader, and buyer onto your voluntary email subscriber list so that you can notify them judiciously of new content or offerings.

Visual Appeal

We live in a visual-image-based world now. Great text content must be accompanied by quality visual variety, including good images and formatting. Short paragraphs, headings and subheadings, call-outs, bullet lists, and graphics are going to make a reader feel at home and give them an impression of quality design. Don’t underestimate how much the overall visual format means to your readers before they ever actually read one word of your content.

Relevant Content

While it goes without saying, the content on your blog should be relevant; which means it should be the type of content your readers have come to expect. This may seem like a no-brainer, but many bloggers are tempted to just throw in whatever they happen to feel like writing, such as personal opinion, reactions to current events, or some soapbox issue. A blog is a perfect place for that type of content if your blog is appropriate for that type of content.
 
If you have built your readership around being an expert on making blueberry muffins, don’t be tempted to throw in a rant about the presidential elections, or weigh in on a controversial social issue. While your points may be valid and passionate, you have to respect why your readers come to your blog and what they have become accustomed to finding there.

Easy Reading

Have you ever known someone who belongs to a group you are in who talks over everyone’s head? It can range from humorous to frustrating; but as soon as they start talking, everyone else in the group gets that little smirk on their face or stares down at the floor but are all thinking the same thing. Your content should be easy to read given the makeup of your readers.
 
You don’t want to dumb down your content or patronize people, but you don’t want your verbiage to be so challenging that the meaning is lost because people are having to work too hard to decipher it. Just like the need to write relevant content, be sure to write at a level that your readers are comfortable with, slightly challenging, but consistent with what readers have come to expect from your blog.  Remember, comfort and familiarity are BIG reasons people are loyal.

Engage Your Audience

Find ways to occasionally and appropriately interact with and engage your audience. Ask them for ideas, present quick surveys, create community projects, or build discussion groups. When people become an actual part of your site and not just a casual reader, they feel more invested in what you are doing.
 
A word of caution: I have seen some blogs who constantly bombard their readers with questions, requests, and try so hard to create engagement that they actually wear out their readers. There is one particular blogger whose emails I’m anxious to get – but at the same time, I hate to see them arrive in my inbox. Sometimes it contains some great content, but more often than not, it’s a request for me to do something for them or interact with them in some way that is going to cost me more time and effort.  I sometimes wonder why they assume I have so much time to invest in THEIR blog instead of mine.  There is a difference between engaging your audience effectively, and making so many requests of them you make them feel like you are using them just to build your own business.
 
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Here’s your opportunity to get a quick mini-guest-post with a byline and link back to your blog in front of the many tens of thousands of the Linky audience (blogs and sites). 
 
Write a short paragraph (or 2 or 3) like the ones above, giving me your idea about how to get more readers for a blog. Include a one-sentence description and byline about you or your blog and a link.
 
I will compile responses into another blog post. We all get some additional great content and ideas, and you get your name and link out to thousands of people. How’s that for audience engagement? Do not submit your mini-blog-post into the comments section… email them to me at Brent@BrentRiggs.com.
 
Yes, you can send multiple entries and link them to the same blog or to different blogs and different bylines. 

PS: WHAT ARE YOUR QUESTIONS FOR ME? Ask here. Want to book me for training, speaking or business consulting? Go here. If you benefitted from this post, would you be so kind to share this post with others by clicking one of the SHARE buttons?

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