I wrote yesterday on how to be a better writer.
From that post, someone found their way around my website to a post titled, The most dangerous thing you can do.
He knew the creator of the the quote that sparked the post, Casey Neistat. And then asked something. It wasn’t a question, but it might as well have been.
The question was, if you’re new, how do you gain readers?
Seeing as he inspired this post, it’s only fitting I give him a shout-out!
(Here’s a link to his blog, check it out.)
There are primarily three things I do to grow traffic to my blog. Note that phrasing, traffic. Not followers. To consistently gain followers you have to consistently work on your writing so it becomes worthy of your readers. That’s why I’m perfectly happy I’m around ninety followers – right now, I’m a ninety follower writer. But I’m hungry to grow, and I know that when my writing reaches the level worthy of a thousand followers, I’ll have somewhere in the region of a thousand followers.
Not that you shouldn’t do any marketing, but if you’ve just started blogging and your fixation is how to spread your message and not improve your content, something is wrong.
So, the first, and the most important in my eyes for improving your content and gaining followers.
1. Blog every day.
If you don’t have content going up consistently on your blog, content that brings value to readers, why in heavens would they return to your blog to see if you’ve posted anything? If you post once a week, not only is your beginner curve going to be hellishly long, but it’ll probably flame out when you get discouraged no one reads your once a week posts.
2. Use your tags, son.
Okay, disclaimer here. In my experience, tags aren’t that effective. But I still highly encourage using them. But you said they’re not effective! I know, Daddy’s a hypocrite.
You should use them because in the beginning, any growth in traffic is encouraging. My first post that got any likes whatsoever, I wrote a post the next day about how grateful I was. The post had gotten three likes.
The other reason you should use tags, is because it helps to clarify what crowd you write to. I used to go all ape-shit with ten to twenty tags per post. I don’t anymore. I’ve narrowed my posts down to seven or eight categories, and now I just tag those each time.
But by having to think of what tags to write to for each post, I came to learn that I’m the life, write, writer, writing, blog, blogger, blogging, and advice post guy. And when you consistently post those same tags, you become the premier blogger in those realms. You can of course tag other posts, but it’s great to have a home base.
3. For when you write consistently, and know what you’re writing about.
There’re community posts each week. There’re the First Friday’s for new bloggers, the Community Pool’s on Monday’s too, and then every day there’s a new daily prompt that writer’s can write a piece in response to and then link.
Go to these posts on your smartphone. And like each comment. What, you don’t read the posts and then like things, get involved in the community, what have you?
No. I just like each comment to let people know, Hey, I’m here. Check out my website if you want.
No matter how good the content, if you don’t do some form of networking you won’t grow your readership. Yes, you should primarily be focused on improving your writing like I said. But I also said that while marketing shouldn’t be your primary focus, you at least need to lend it some attention if you want more readers.
That’s all I do – like comments on the daily and weekly discussion threads so people have a link to my blog.
And from there, it comes down to how good your writing is. It doesn’t matter how many peoples’ comments you like if your posts are grammatically incorrect, incoherent, and not valuable. So, definitely, work on your writing. Work on your writing above all else.
But remember; you also have to get your name out there somehow.