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.

  • Forget Bloomin' Rouge, your blog design is bloomin' gorgeous!!

  • I'm quite new to the blogging world (my blog is a baby) but I've read a lot of these sort of posts. I really liked yours because, apart from being honest and straightforward, it's not written with any sense of superiority. I think it's quite easy for some of the "big bloggers" to get a little detached from what starting out and feeling a bit lost is like so they can come off as patronising when doing these lists.

    In short, thanks for being cool! x Julia (if you want to check out my blog it's here: http://www.wingmeadream.com and yes, I'm in the process of installing a new theme!!)

  • Thank you. I appreciate that because I worry a lot about coming off as a know it all. I not trying to do that at all. I just want to be helpful.

  • Ha, I think building readership is the hardest part about blogging! Thanks for your tips Holly x

  • I love all of these tips and agree on all of them. It's a bit overwhelming at first, but once you get the hang of it it just gets better! 😉 xx
    Gyudy's Notes Of Beauty

  • Your design posts are so helpful I always forget that you are relatively new ish to the blogging world! I'm always unhappy with my blog design and, like you said, if I don't like someones blog design, its enough to make me click off a page which does not bode well if I'm not in love with my own design! But I'm also one of those people who wants to do it all myself, it just takes time
    Allison from http://www.mercuteify.com

  • Blog design is really so important, I was scraping away with a free template and even tried to DIY (it didn't go well…) but once I bought a cheap, lovely Etsy template my stats rocketed! I'm not saying I have a huge readership because I don't lol but basically I think content and comments/feedback (aka do people actually enjoy your shizz) are 10x more of a sign of a good blog than 10,000 followers. Ya get me?

    ellabooxo • beauty & lifestyle

  • As much as I do love your beauty posts, these are also really helpful as well. Some good tips here, for sure. Particularly "creating content you would want to read" = key.

  • I know exactly what you mean about wanting to do it all. I'm totally that way too. I was really lucky to have someone to teach me some coding stuff when I started (and even now sometimes still).

  • Absolutely. I noticed that you get a lot of comments on your posts. People obviously really like your content. And your simple Etsy template has a lot of charm. It does the job without being too overwhelming.

  • Haha thanks. Sassy and delightful all at once.

  • Yeah I have a never ending stream of how to do X in Blogger on google

  • my pet peeve is really generic comments on my posts. It can definitely make you feel used and like people aren't actually interested. I prefer to leave comments that are a bit more personable even if it takes a little more time 🙂 I grappled with trying to edit a free template but ended up buying a basic template off Etsy. SO glad I did – I was able to get started with writing posts and not give up before I started because I couldn't get the layout right!

    I'm still new to this blogging world and really appreciate your posts sharing the knowledge you have learned. Thanks!

    http://gemandblueskies.blogspot.com

  • A Lot Of Comments was literally just my last two haha, but it is the way I work out whether people enjoyed the post xx

  • I loved this post! Always really helpful for newbies like me! In fact these kind of posts continue to drive me to launch my blog.So thank you! Wishing you well x

  • useful post 🙂

    I'm running a "Naked pallet" giveaway, if you're interested, check this link:

    little taste of heaven

  • I get baffled when someone writes a product review with no swatches and links, it's no different then reading the back of the bottle yourself! Small things like that shows you think about your readers, as well as small chunks of text. I have a short attention span and want the words to just flow! (I also dislike centred text I dont know why.)

    Hanh x | hanhabelle

  • Very helpful, I'm just starting out on my blog again, after a few years off and it's quite tough I must admit. Really love the effect on your photos btw, it makes it unique to your blog and easily recognisable.

    daisychurchward.co.uk

  • These tips are all really helpful, thank you so much for sharing them! The photography tutorial links are awesome, it's great to see bloggers who take such stunning photos share their tips. I also totally get what you mean by the spammy comments – I get so bummed out when I receive some generic 2 word + link comment on a post I've put a lot of time into. Like come on, at least try and read what I'm writing, you know?

    Bramble & Thorn

  • When I first got my SLR camera I really had no understanding of what to do with it (I've still only scratched the surface). Those links from Kate made such a difference for me.

  • It's funny the way minds works. I can read a huge post – I have no problem with that – if it's broken up into small sections. I'm less likely to do it if it's one chunk. Somehow I feel like it's easier.

  • Awesome. Good luck! I have not regretted it.

  • Agreed. It's a huge challenge and it's hard not to get caught up in it.

  • People seem very responsive to your FOTDs. I certainly was blown away. Use that face gurl!

  • Haha I know the feeling. The mornings where I would get really into designing things and suddenly it was 4am… I still do that every once in a while.

  • I'll be honest and say I followed your blog originally because your highlighter and was on point (see dat profile pic) and your skin looked perfect – luckily once I'd started reading it was more than just that that made me stay! x

  • Highlighter was on point. Lol. Thanks. Well your humor is on point. So yeah… deal with that.

  • I think this comment chain is too long and also yeah so um imma stop now k

  • What a great post! As a new blogger myself this is really helpful – thank you!
    http://www.allaboutbelle.com

  • I am always eager to read such posts since starting my blog almost 3 years ago and I have to admit I run into repetitions too many times. It's nice to see fresh perspectives, honesty (like the one about blog design or post flow) and tips that work (you're so right about Bloglovin – also petty helpful for smaller blogs).
    Thanks for the great insights!

  • Thank you for following me xx

  • This is good advice and was lovely to read. Thank you for all the links as I will be sure to check them out! It is always good to make sure your blogging game is an point and your post certainly helps! Thank you! Ambermarie

  • Really enjoyed this blog and agree with you that the layout of a blog is very important as well as the photos 🙂 I've recently discovered your blog and I'm very happy I did !
    http://www.willowjolie.com