10 WAYS TO BUILD BLOG READERSHIP
I know some people might feel like it's a faux pas to talk about building readership, but let's face it, it can be an important part of the whole blogging shebang. A lot of us dream of being able to do this as a career and having people actually reading your work is an essential and, not to mention, hugely rewarding part of that. Of course you should always write about what you love – that's what makes it a dream job – but there are a few things that I think are worth thinking about if you want to build your readership.
1. Take a critical look at your blog design
Really ask yourself if everything ties together and if it looks clean and professional. For example I stuck with a simple grey and pink theme and I tried to maintain a very clean and minimalist feel. Every detail that I have on my blog I assess and think does that really fit with feel of my blog. Not everyone has coding skills, but it's worth trying to learn. If you're really lost when it comes to coding there are loads of great etsy shops that sell blog designs (Pearl & Anchor for example). It might seem like a chunk of money to spend at first, but your blog design is so important, especially considering how many great blogs are out there. I hate to say it, but I've clicked away from people's blogs because their designs were really rough. Sorry.
2. Take time to perfect your photography
You get return readers from good writing and content, but photography (and a good blog design) is how you gain followers. Again, I think it's helpful to be critical of yourself here. If your photos aren't looking as good as the blogs you love to follow, then it's time to up your game. Mine may not be up to that standard yet, but I'm working hard to get myself to that point. Even with blogs like Jennypurr, Jen often uses the same layout for her photos, but they're done beautifully. I always enjoy looking at them. If you're looking for some photography pointers, try these resources from Kate (from gh0stparties and nouvelledaily) and Tamira (from lipstickwithsomesunshine) here, here, here and here. These two have got photography down... like dayyuum child, they got it down.
3. Make your posts easy to read through
Give your posts separation and flow. Give them headings. For the most part, one big block of text, with no division, doesn't do anyone any favours. When I see that I get overwhelmed. It's also good to look at your post overall before you put it up. Are you overusing certain words? Does this naturally flow into that? Think about whether the structure makes sense. Jen wrote a fantastic post on this topic a short while back that I think would be valuable for anyone to read.
4. Inject some personality
When you look at blogs like Life, Set Sail, That Grace Girl or From Roses, they all have very different writing styles, but what they do have in common is personality and a sense of honesty. When you can tell someone is themselves when they write, it's far more enjoyable to read.
5. Create content you would want to read
Everyone says this, but it's undeniably true. Look at the posts you've really enjoyed, or you find yourself liking on bloglovin' and think about if your posts are as interesting as those. I don't mean you should focus on comparing yourself to others, rather that you should be pushing yourself to do work that you're proud of much like those that inspire you. My more unique posts and ones that I've put a lot of effort into creating tend to be the ones that people are most interested in. Product reviews can be fun, but it's also nice to have concept pieces.
6. Don't cut corners
Add links to products/articles/whatever you're talking about. As a reader, I really appreciate having that bit of work done for me. Also, for beauty blogs, I think everyone loves seeing swatches or at least a clear picture of your product(s). Getting a visual of what someone is talking about makes all the difference.
7. You don't have to stick to one topic
This is a beauty blog, but my most popular posts have been about designing blog templates. Broadening your horizons can help bring in more readership. Besides, you never know what you might find yourself enjoying writing about.
8. Use social media
I am so guilty of not doing this properly, but make sure you're posting on twitter, facebook, pinterest, instagram, etc. If you want to be found you have to put yourself out there. Keep in mind too, that social media is for interacting with others. There's got to be give and take. If you're good at photography, Instagram is an especially good resource. I've noticed Tamira has an incredible amount of followers on Instagram (rightly so) and I assume that that accounts for a good portion of her blog following.
9. Careful not to spam other blogs, instead focus on making real connections
It's a bit of a bummer when people leave comments on a blog like “nice picks, (insert name here) from (insert blog here), ENTER MY GIVEAWAY...”. It can make you feel a bit used. Whereas leaving a thoughtful comment with a link to you blog is awesome. I love reading those comments and getting to click through to other people's blogs. You want to be building genuine connections with people. It's both satisfying on your end (for me it's a big part of why I enjoy blogging) and it's what makes people want to root for you.
10. Add a link to your bloglovin' account
I receive almost all of my views from bloglovin' (again, probably a sign I need to do better on social media). It's a great way to get found when you're still not showing up much on search engines. So make sure that your bloglovin' account is easily accessible. Adding one little button can make a world of difference.