This question came up from two different audiences recently. First while I was speaking to a class of business students at Georgian College about entrepreneurship and blogging, and next it was among the questions that attendees submitted when they registered for the Wellness Blogging Seminar.
Blogging has many benefits, but one of its challenges is that it requires your audience to come to you. However groundbreaking, creative, helpful, consistent or timely your blog posts are, readers have to bring themselves to your blog in order to read them.
So how do you keep people coming back to your blog? You need to keep inviting them! That was one of the housekeeping tips for living online that I shared on the Blogging Mindset webinar last week.
Here are five ways to invite people back to your blog:
- Announce and promote your blog posts via social media – Not just once, but several times – your friends, fans and followers check in at various times in the day and week. Write a compelling “teaser” such as a question or headline that entices people to read more. There are many tools that allow you to update your social media accounts automatically when you publish a new post. You can also preschedule several messages at once to batch your tasks (just be sure you don’t automate your entire social media presence!).
- Display your latest blog posts in your email signature – You can do this manually by updating your signature each time you publish a new blog post (be sure to use the permalink) or use WiseStamp to do it automatically.
- Send regular email broadcasts with links to your latest informative articles – If your focus is on sending valuable, helpful content, these emails will always be a gift, not an intrusion.
- Send blog post links as responses to questions – One of the benefits of building a mountain of content is that when people ask common questions about your area of specialty, you’ll likely have one or several blog posts that answer the question. Whether you’re replying to an email or popping into social media or an online forum, a well-placed article link can boost your credibility and build new relationships.
- Provide an RSS subscription – RSS (really simple syndication) is a way to automatically send your latest blog posts to people who’ve specifically requested to see them. If someone has an RSS reader, they can either search for your blog and add it to their account, or when they’re visiting your site they can look for this icon:
You don’t need to jump through SEO hoops to get people back to your blog, but you do need to make an effort to keep inviting them. That’s just good housekeeping.