In the year's I've been blogging, I've had many of my fellow bloggers ask me to tackle blog-related posts on Dramatis Personae. I haven't and don't intend to, and there are two reasons why: first, I can reach a much larger, more focused audience sharing those posts here at IFB. Also…
My blog's readers aren't solely other bloggers.
It's staggering to think about, but I won't write about blogging on my site because a majority of my readers aren't bloggers. And their interests aren't in reading about blogging– they're interested in my lifestyle advice, my fashion tips, and my own style.
When we begin to promote our blogs, its easy to promote it to other bloggers thinking that they will make up the bulk of your traffic. It's natural to look to others in the community as a resource for building traffic. Bloggers who ARE also readers play an important role on our blog– they're more often the ones who help build community; they leave comments and help promote your goods. They help you define your social presence, increase your Klout, and help you build relationships with brands.
Your regular reader though, is just as important–they may not know how to comment on a blog or enter in to a giveaway, but they're returning daily for one thing– your voice. When power bloggers like Rumi Neely or Gala Darling reach 500,000 pageviews a month, it's because they've recognized the power of the non-blogger. While they may have a steady flow of blogger devotees reading as well, they've created a relationship with their readers in such a way that brings them back every day–regardless of the reader's relationship with the internet!
These readers are the hardest ones to find; they may remain silent, but they're quite possibly more valuable than your Alexa Ranking. Beautifully Invisible linked me to a great post called the 90:9:1 Principal–which states
- 90% of readers lurk on your blog quietly while consuming your content
- 9% of readers are editors and comment regularly
- 1% of readers are the fanatical people who leave page-long comments after each post.
That 90% of readers might not be interacting with you on Facebook or Twitter; they may not know how to leave comments on your site. But in acting as a professional blogger, you need to keep their needs in mind when you're creating content.
What are you doing for your site that helps build this audience? Is it possible that you've maybe overlooked your non-blogging audience when trying to grow your site? (I know I'm personally really guilty of that!)
- Send an email to your friends and family sharing the link. When I first started out, I was loathe to let anyone in my real life read my blog! But sure enough, the eventually all found it. They all read it. And they share it with other family members. The boyfriend's family reads it–his great aunt reads it. And that's all traffic,
- Following that— make sure your emails have links to your website– and maybe even your twitter page and facebook pages! Set up an automatic signature that provides every person you email instant access to your blog.
- Post your blog posts to Facebook–and not just to your fan page wall! I'm guilty of not doing this as much as I should (see point #1 & loathing people reading my work). But I find that Facebook varies greatly from Twitter– to some degree, people on Twitter are trying to utilize social media for a gain, whereas on Facebook…everyone is using it. But if you post it to your own wall? Your friends might read it. That cute boy you like may read it. Your boss may read it (and find a great way to incorporate this in to your job!).
- SEO is your friend. How does the average gal find information? That's right, Google. Bing. Yahoo. Strong SEO helps regular readers find your blog posts. If you're creating compelling content, it may even keep them coming back, long after you've solved their “How to does Nair work?” problems.
- Promote yourself via business cards or postcards. Leave them in public places (ex: our Buffalo Exchange has a table for flyers and event info). A compelling card could be picked up by a stylish gal or guy and shared with their friends!
- Guest Post, Guest Post, Guest Post. The easiest and best way to gain traffic? Guest posting for other blogs.
- Create posts that engage people— whether you're answering a need or problem they're having or creating a bond between you and them.
- Make sure traditional communication is available! What's that mean? Make sure your readers can EMAIL you! From those who may love reading blogs, but don't understand how to communicate through them or social media, making yourself accessible via email is a great way for someone to email and say, “I loved this post.”
How do you build the bonds between yourself and your non-blogging readers? Can you think of any bloggers who are great at engaging both sides of their audiences (bloggers and non-bloggers)?
Photo by Shandi-lee