How to: Increase an established blog’s readership

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Posted 03 Jul 2007 in Technology

J. David Macor has a problem. His website traffic is increasing on his well established blog, but he is just not seeing the numbers of readers, subscribers and commenters that he’d like.

I empathize. I’ve had this blog in various formats and names since 1998 (before “blogging” was blogging 😆 ) and I have only started seeing major traffic and more than 0 comments on my posts!

I have tried the tips below to increase my readership. Hopefully, they will help anyone out there who is trying to increase their impact on the blogosphere and get a return on the investment of blood, sweat, tears and money to blog about the topics you love.

  1. Utilize SEO techniques to put the post title first in the browser’s toolbar, instead of the blog name. If you are using WordPress, there’s a great plugin called SEO Title Tag that will do the job for you, with just a few steps. By doing this, you improve your blog’s chances of coming up first in online searches.
  2. Use sites like Technorati to get the word out about your blog. As you can see in this post, I have tags which will show up on Technorati. if someone is searching for any of my tag terms, my posts will show up. Technorati is a very popular site, so you might notice some slowdowns at peak usage times. WordPress users can install and use SimpleTags to add tags to your posts easily.
  3. As an extension to Tip #2, minimize your categories. By giving readers too many options, you often end up losing their interest more quickly than you’d like, and they’ll move on to a site that is less overwhelming. It took several hours of work, but I was able to whittle my list down to 8 categories. Now, posts that would have been stuck in Never-Never land are being read because they are categorized a bit better!
  4. Visit other blogs and online forums and comment. You don’t have to become a major poster, but just take a few minutes a week to visit some of your favorite blogs and comment. Be sure to have your URL in your signature. For sites that don’t provide an automatic signature option, consider downloading and using Firefox Extension Signature. You can make literally dozens of signatures to use any and every where. (Random tip: This extension is also handy for frequently typed text, such as order confirmations or thank you messages.)
  5. Visit blogs that are very popular and see what they are doing to get lots of readers. Sometimes it is a weekly feature or a very responsive site owner. On this blog, I am working to get more weekly features, because they do keep readers coming back for more every week!
  6. BONUS: Build it, and they will come! Continue to publish content that is consistently unique and fresh. Try to get a good rhythm going and maintain that level of quality as you continue to blog. Readers appreciate blogs with good archives. I’ve read the entire archives of quite a few blogs simply because I liked the quality of their posts.

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  1. Thanks so much for mentioning me! I actually have never heard of that Firefox extension (I will pick it up right now). And I also like that category tip! My categories may be a bit overwhelming (I have 17). In a month or so, I will be writing a follow up post to give details about my improvement, if any. I will also be changing my theme soon too, in the hopes of improving my overall content presentation. I mean, right now, my ads are kind of optimized, but I would rather have my content featured. Anyhow, keep an eye out for it!

  2. I have added you to my Google Reader, so I will be reading and commenting. Your design is great. These tips have helped me some, and hopefully, they can help you, too!

    Regardless of what you do to attract visitors, make sure your website is what YOU like. I have learned the hard way that if I *hate* the way my site looks or try too hard to please my readers, I end up feeling like blogging is a job, instead of something to enjoy!

    Best wishes!

  3. hey there great tips.. i esp like visiting other well establish blogs that has traffic and make a connection with them :) very very good info.. 😀

  4. Thanks! If you have any more tips, feel free to add them here!

  5. you said
    make sure your website is what YOU like.

    YES! And you need to add the meta name keyword tag to your html. I checked two of your entries and you do not have it. I am working on a plugin (long time before able to share it though) that optimizes your keyword list to 100% compared to the content of your entry. It would boost your rank and your SERP. I wrote two articles about it.

    Keyword Density is key to SEO
    and revisted:

    I am about to make contact with the author of autometa, and maybe together with the author of simple tagging we can all make a plugin to do this for all wordpress bloggers.


  6. well.. hmm.. i think if you manage to build a blog community such as what you have in a forum.. your hits will be constant and visitors will continuously come back to your site. for example, this fellow doesn’t really update his site frequently.. so as but the amount of visitors and readership per day is enormous!