My Take on This Whole Blogging Thing

I write this blog for many reasons. I’m sure everyone has their reasons, and not everyone is the same. But I think most people would like to have other people read their blogs and interact with them. How can we attract readers? Here are some ideas I have and what I’ve done.

Focus

Your blog should have a focus. Try not to be too broad in terms of topics. People looking for a certain topic will be more likely to stay and read more of your posts if you stay on topic.

What I’m doing is focusing on writing, books, and anything related to the genres I read and write in. I focus on science fiction and fantasy, so I will often post about writing in those genres, book reviews, worldbuilding, and so on. I write about science, as well. But this relates to science fiction and using science to make it more believable. I will also be writing a lot on geography, which goes hand-in-hand with worldbuilding. I want to understand the world I’ve created, so I’ll study our world and make mine more realistic. Consider it a big research project.

Reply to Comments

If you want to have people return to your blog regularly, make sure that you reply to their comments. They’ll see that you care about what they have to say, and they’ll want to engage with you on your blog more often.

I do this. I reply to every comment that I can. I’ve built a good group of regular commenters, and I thank them every month with Commentition. This month, I’ve had a slow month. My views are down, the comments are down. I’ve been slow at replying. I think there is a direct correlation. However, consider the fact that my sister was here for half of the month, and I was writing mostly shorter posts and haven’t had much time to reply regularly. My sister has gone back home, so things should return to normal now.

Post at Regular Times

It’s best to understand when your readers are online. Consider where they live, and what times they’ll most likely be online. Post at those times if possible. If not, then set your blog to post at those times for you. Use the scheduling feature. Your posts will be more visible, and they’ll come.

Most of my readers are in North America, so I tend to post around the evening and morning. Interestingly, the most popular time on my blog is in the morning, so I try post at those times. This post will be visible to everyone in the evening, though. But that’s fine, because that’s also a busy time.

Reply to Comments Part 2

Reply to your comments after you post. That way, those who come to read your comment will check and see if you’ve posted anything else.

Exactly what I try to do. In fact, after I post this, I’ll be replying to comments!

Comment Elsewhere

Don’t just comment on your blog, comment on other blogs. Comment on blogs that are popular. You’ll get greater exposure that way. And if the owner of that blog happens to like what you say, they will probably visit your blog, and who knows, maybe they’ll reblog something you post.

I try doing this, but it seems that I often don’t have time. I need to work on this myself.

So, does all of this work for me? It has worked quite well. That is, it works well when I stick with it. I don’t always do a good job at taking my own advice. Looking at my blog stats, I notice that this month is likely to be my worst month this year. But that’s because of my sister’s visit. Two years ago, I crossed the 1,000 view per month barrier. Why? Perhaps because of a post a day challenge I set for myself. I then decided to continue doing a post a day for 2014, and my numbers kept going up, eventually passing 2,000 views per month. Then for this year, I increased that to two posts a day, and I topped 3,000 views in January. I’ve repeated that a few times this year, and not one month has been below 2,000 views. I must be doing something right.

But there’s a problem. This year, I’ve stagnated. The views haven’t increased.  The comments have, though. I have far greater interaction on this blog than I ever have, which is wonderful. I’d like to get more readers, though. So what’s wrong? I think this goes back to commenting on other blogs. I’m not attracting those other bloggers. I don’t comment elsewhere regularly enough. This is something I must focus on, and it will be my big focus over the next few months.

Other things that definitely help are the following:

  • Use social media to plug your posts.
  • Provide a link to your blog in your signature on discussion forums.
  • Tag your posts with appropriate tags, but keep it under thirteen.
  • Invite comments on your posts by asking questions.
  • Do a weekly series that keeps readers coming back, and post them every week on the same day.
  • Provide links to websites you reference. This can help your search rankings.
  • Link to blogs, don’t reblog. If you like another person’s blog post, say something meaningful in a blog post about it, and link to the post. People often don’t like reading reblogs very much.
  • Use pictures in your posts. They’ll be more visible in your blog reader, as well as social media.
  • And finally, be yourself. I think if the post sounds more personable, then people will like it more and want to interact.

So, my question to you is this: What else would you recommend to help increase readership and interaction? Leave your suggestions in the comments below. And please share this post. Let’s get some great advice.

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19 thoughts on “My Take on This Whole Blogging Thing”

  1. “Tag your posts with appropriate tags, but keep it under thirteen.”
    What I read around the time I started my blog said fifteen, and that the combined number of categories and tags is what matters. (Having more than fifteen is supposed to prevent the post from appearing in the Reader under those tags.)

  2. I think that all of those reads that come from the phone apps influence the stats negatively… Have you ever seen more likes than views?
    For example I am using my phone to read and comment so you will not get a view counted for my view…
    For the tags I don’t go over 12.
    Rummaging through the archives of blogs you like is great, leaving comments on those early posts. It might not increase your views but those of others.
    Staying away from a blog or blogging does have a negative impact, I was off blog land for a while due to various reasons (as being sick and having my mother in law over) and it impacted my views. But I neither posted nor visited.
    I am with you on the reblogs I don’t like my reader being cluttered with them.

    1. I never see more likes than views on this blog. On my daily weather photo blog, I often see likes with no views. They’re likely using the wordpress reader.

  3. Hi,
    It was my experience also that people don’t like to read reblogs. It makes no sense to me if it’s quality content, but for reasons I don’t understand it’s true. Jay Dee’s advice is good. Promote their links by embedding them in content. Don’t reblog if you want page views.
    JayCee–all great advice.
    Janice

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