What role does a having a blog play in your company’s web presence? While your website may take a formal, straight-laced mien, having a blog makes your site feel just a bit more casual, maybe even more approachable.
While the garden-variety website provides a one-way communication link, a blog draws the reader into the conversation. People read blogs and make their comments afterward — something they can’t do on a straight-laced corporate site — engaging both the author and the company leadership in ways that were unheard of a generation ago. Even more than the casual feel that a blog gives your company site, blogs create a sense of community. You speak, and users listen, then those users can respond both to you and to other readers alike. However, to have this harmony, you must first have a successful blog.
Blogs (corporate and otherwise) take a lot of planning and even more work to make a hit. You must first decide on your format. This covers everything from a blogging platform to content to frequency of posts. Moreover, in order for your blog to be successful, it has to be clear, concise and compelling. It must also be timely, relevant and written by someone with top-notch skills. Even though it sounds simple, nothing about blogging is easy.
Once you have that template, you need an audience. When it comes to audience building, you only need to remember one word: consistency. Rome was not built in a day, and a successful blog was not made overnight. Find ways to attract and engage readers. You have to be fresh, new, insightful and better than the blog down the block. Think about what your competition is doing that you know you could do better. Then, do that.
All the same, if you have thought of all this and more for your blog but still lack the readership you are after, use these four first-class tips to increase your readership.
No. 1: Send More Emails and Newsletters
You have a hectic life. Your readers do too. Because of the hustle and bustle of everyday life, sometimes a little reminder can go a long way. Add opt-in forms to your blog and encourage your readers to sign up for new updates or even opt-in to receive your blogs and updates via email.
Of course, never underestimate how many more readers your newsletter can infuse into your blogging business. If your company sends out a newsletter (either email or snail mail), pepper it with some of your more popular blog posts — and links to those posts — and increase your readership numbers as a result.
No. 2: RSS Feed
RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication, and these three letters are the most beautiful in all of the blogging alphabet. Having an RSS feed is an excellent way for your readers to subscribe to your blogs, without having to commit to email updates. The reader simply enters the URL of your feed into their favorite reader and they get an update every time you add new content to your site, updated automatically. And because it is so simple to sign up for and use, readers love it. Today, most RSS feeds can even be retrieved on tablets PC’s, expanding your blogging reach that much further.
No. 3: Sharing Tools
For bloggers like you, sharing tools are one of the best things since sliced bread and pockets on jeans. These handy buttons allow both you and your readers to share your posts with a number of social networking sites with push button ease. Simply hit the share button for the applicable social network after each post, and you are on your way to successfully shameless self-promotion.
However, the ultimate goal of adding sharing features to your blog is to compel your readers to share your content in your behalf. How do you get your readers to do this? It’s simple, just ask them. If your message is compelling, relevant and intriguing, your readers will help you promote it until the cows come home. If you are lucky, it might even go viral.
No. 4: Community Updates
Blogging is to marketing like peanut butter is to jelly. If you don’t have time to log in to your blog after each scheduled post to push it across the web like a marketer du jour, consider implementing community update sites into your routine using tools like Ping or Hootsuite. These free services update many social networks for you all at once, help you schedule posts in advance and will do it all while interfacing with the big dogs in the social networking sphere. Promote to Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and more, simultaneously.
Remember, just like a blog, you must remain consistent with your social networking connections in order to build your readership. If you stay on the path, keep your content new and innovative and if you stay committed to your cause with maniacal focus, you will watch your readership climb, and will soon earn the bragging rights to say that you are the proud owner of a wildly successful blog.