This morning I was doing what good bloggers should, reading RSS feeds in my feedreader Bloglines. I haven’t always kept up that practice, but since Blog Business Summit I commited to reviewing updated feeds each morning. Like I said, it’s a good practice.
I came across a post by a blogger who writes about board games. This particular post has nothing to do with board games and everything to do with increasing readership, Ten Lesser Known Secrets of Blogging.
We all know, or should anyways, the more popular strategies for increasing readership, things like write great content, use RSS feeds, comment on other blogs, etc. But, this blogger, Yehuda Berlinger, directs our thinking to others. Here’s a short-list:
Keep tabs on your statistics
I know when I first started blogging, using Typepad, I would watch stats like a hawk, particularly those having to do with referring links. I wanted to see where people were coming from, how they were finding me. It was interesting to see the shift from a few friends blogs, to being picked up by search engines, to be found in manifold places across the blogosphere, from inclusion in both blogrolls and links from posts.
Yehuda pays particular attention to what posts of his are being read. For brevity’s sake, I won’t comment on that, but really encourage you to read his post.
Capture a subject
He says, “A simply-titled, thorough post about a particular subject, such as a movie or game review or some other topic in your field, can become a definitive post on the topic.”
Become “king of the hill” on a particular subject. Blogs are great for exploiting niches, and if you drill down deep enough into a topic, theres a good likelihood it will generate readership from those who share your passion. Of course, if you choose a topic already coverd by popular blogs, Engadget for example, you may not achieve overwhelming success. Best to find a niche that’s not been thoroughly covered and optimize your posts around that. (Assuming there are still such niches available.)
Make the hook prominent
According to Yehuda, “However your reader gets to your site for the first time, there is something else you want to tell them: why they should come again, or why you are blogging, or both.” For example, he places a link to a significant, defining post on the upper-left hand sidebar of the blog, sitting by itself, so it has prominence. That posts gives readers the information they need to know to make a determination of what the blog is about and why they should return.
Something similar that one of my blogging friends, Debbie Weil, says every blog should have is an “about” page. It lets the reader get to know the person behind the words. That’s as important, in my opinion, as the information being shared. Nearly so, anyway.
My thanks to Yehuda for giving us some more strategic tips to chew on. Suddenly, I have a strange desire to play Monopoly. Hmmm…