by Joel Friedlander
Author blogs are an intrinsic part of your author platform. You can get more readers for your blog. You may have read many of these ideas before, but let me ask you: How many have you done in the last 30 days?
Blogging is a marathon, not a sprint. You are building a media asset, and that takes time. Many of these techniques take a little effort and can be done in a few minutes a day. There is never going to be a day when you do them all at once, so look at it more like a menu.
1. Write more often—if you don’t have enough traffic, write more often. This is not necessarily good news, since you may feel you already have enough to do. But when you’re growing a blog, there’s no better way to increase the energy flow to your blog than increasing the amount of energy you put into your blog.
2. Write better articles—look at the last 10 articles you’ve posted to your blog. How many did people really care about? How many did you write for yourself, more than your readers? If you have to, and in contradiction to #1 above, write less frequently but better.
3. Do something different—give readers a reason to come to your blog. If you’re doing what everyone else in your niche is doing, why should they? What is it that no one has done? What angle is uncovered? What insight is lacking in the conversation?
4. Do something big—create a big list, a smashing resource directory, an exhaustive collection of tools, a survey of every viewpoint on a subject. Whatever it is, make it useful, the kind of thing you yourself would link to or bookmark for future reference.
5. Kidnap a celebrity—interview the biggest star in your niche, or the most controversial, or the person with the biggest blog in your field. Aim as high as you can, you will be surprised. Make a regular feature of profiling or interviewing movers and shakers in your industry.
6. Start an argument—disagree loudly with an established authority in your field, an “A-list” blogger, or the institutional overseers of your domain. Demand a response.
7. Rant—find an injustice in your field, something blatantly unfair or a monopolistic company taking advantage of the little guy. Rant about it, invite others to contribute.
8. Guest post—take your show on the road. Create a goal to contribute to someone else’s blog on a related topic once a week, once a month, whatever you can do. Query bloggers and read their archives. Fashion a headline for an article they’ll find irresistible.
9. Comment—leave comments that add to the discussion, that amplify what others have said, that disagree respectfully with the author, that bring something to the table. Pick 5 or 10 blogs and stay in touch with them, commenting when appropriate.
10. Upload articles—put some articles on articles sites like ezinearticles.com and make sure you link back to your blog. Use the same keywords you use in your blog posts.
11. Explore your analytics—dive into your blog’s analytics to find the keywords people are using to arrive at your blog, then. . .
12. Research keywords—use keyword tools to find as many keywords related to your blog as you can. Compare different forms of common terms in your field, since they can have radically different search volumes. Use this information when you write your blog posts.
13. Curate content—serve up links to content elsewhere that you’ve checked out. Use your expertise and the time you spend surfing to collect links that others will find useful. Use social media to spread these links and do link posts on your blog to save others the time of finding great content.
14. Run contests—have a regular contest, giveaway, prize, sweepstakes, awards or some way to create an event. Use your blog to promote it and ask participants to link back.
15. Frequent forums—make a habit of commenting on forum threads that concern your topic. Like commenting, aim to improve, amplify or otherwise contribute to the ongoing conversation. Don’t forget to put a link to your blog in your signature that shows up when you post a comment.
16. Give something away—put together an e-book, a PDF, a template, a checklist, a special report, a worksheet or anything else that others can get real value from. Give it away every day, not just once. Make sure people know they can share it with everyone, and remember to put a live link back to your blog in the giveaway.
17. Write list posts—write the top 7 things, the best 9 widgets, the 5 things people haven’t considered, the 9 top places to get stuff, the 5 best tools for the job, and the 3 reasons list posts beat all others.
18. Take a course—there are several excellent blogging courses that will teach you a huge amount about blogging and gaining traffic. Blog Mastermind is the one I used to grow this blog, and you can find others. Invest in yourself, it pays. (affiliate link)
19. Ask readers—run a survey, ask for comments, ask your readers what they need, what articles they would like to read, where they are stuck, what they need help with.
Blogging is more fun, and more effective, when you have more readers. Every blogger wants more readers, but you have to spend time on more than just your writing to get that blog traffic.
Pick a couple of these ideas and put in 15 minutes today. It takes many little streams to build to a river.
Got something to add to the list?
Article by Joel Friedlander
Joel Friedlander is a self-published author and book designer who blogs about book design, self-publishing and the indie publishing life at TheBookDesigner.com. He's also the proprietor of Marin Bookworks, where he helps publishers and authors who decide to publish get to market on time and on budget with books that are both properly constructed and beautiful to read.