Thursday, March 11, 2010
DEAR ESB: How do you get readers?
Now that I've started a blog, I'm realizing garnering a readership is not an easy task. I spend a lot of time and energy on the blog, but I don't want to turn out like this dude, if you catch my drift.
I'm not doing this to monetize, but blogging is a two-way conversation and right now I think I'm mostly talking to myself. Which leads to my questions: how long did it take you to get a readership going and how do you get readers? Do you have to go to find readers or is it more of a matter of having good content & readers will find you? If it's the latter, how do you know you're heading in the right/wrong direction if no one's commenting? How do you encourage people to share ideas, engage, and ask questions?
I blogged for several months before I had any readers, and it was almost a year before I saw a significant spike. I dunno if that will make you feel better or worse.
Here's the best piece of advice I can give you: comment on other blogs. And say more than "Oooh! Pretty!" Have an opinion. If your comments are helpful or funny or even snarky, people will click through to your blog. Don't wait around for them to find you -- you need to give em a trail.
Don't try to force reader engagement. Just write good stuff. Write posts that you would like to read. And don't be afraid to have an opinion. (Did I say that already?)
Image via Yimmys Yayo. Where else do I get disco balls?