I haven’t posted for a while because of things have been a bit hectic and to be honest I think I lost a bit of steam with keeping this blog going. So as a way of kicking myself back into gear I think it might be a bit useful to take a look at the some of the things that I’ve found useful in developing this blog, and highlight some of the things which might be usful for others trying to grow a fledgling blog.
1. The most important thing I’ve found out is that you need to post regularly. Not necessarily every day, but on a regular basis so that your readers can know when to expect having something to read. Readers will also check back more regularly if they can expect to find something new. It’s something I’ve been guilty of not observing recently and my blog traffic has suffered because of it. A good way of keeping blog ideas coming and being able to post regularly is to make lists of possible ideas of blog posts that you can work on at a later date, rather than having to come up with an idea every day.
2. Social networking is also a really vital way of bringing new readers in. I think Twitter is probably responsible for about half of my new traffic at the moment and facebook was really useful for letting all my friends know about the blog at first, most of whom are now regular readers and have sent links on to their friends. The thing with social networks though is that there’s so many of them and they’re constantly changing so it can be hard to keep up with them and really get to grips with more than a couple of them. However they are well worth using especially if you can use them to join up with other bloggers in a similar vein. I think the trick is to just try all of them and work out which networks are most effective for you. My project for this week is to really get to grips with Digg and work out how to use it to my advantage.
3. Commenting on other blogs is an essential part of blogging. It’s along similar lines to my point about social networking, but no-one is going to to just randomly visit your blog if you don’t tell anyone about it or interact with anyone else. I quite often try to seek out other similar blogs and comment on interesting posts they may have, partly to add something to the conversation, partly in the hope that people will then follow my comment back to my blog (there’s a setting on wordpress that turns your name into a link to your blog). I struggled at first finding similar blogs to mine, because I cover such a range of topics but WordPress’s tag surfer is quite a useful way to do this.