Tempting, isn’t it?
You research, write, and promote your post. You are done. The rest of your life awaits.
However, there’s a nagging ache gnawing at you saying have forgotten an important part of blogging, but what is it?
Then, it dawns on you. Your blogging time is not over. You have forgotten a pivotal part of blogging–networking.
Is it necessary? Is there really a right way to blog?
I have heard people volunteer that there is no right way to blog. I would agree with this if and only if your blogging goals do not entail growing your readership.
The Wrong Way to Blog
This screenshot shows results of reader engagement I received on a post I wrote about five weeks ago.
I did not understand why the comments and likes I received on posts were not higher.
Then, I received a comment from a reader criticizing me for not going to her site after she had been to mine half a dozen times.
It stung because it was the truth. That motivated me to change the way I blog.
How to Avoid Making Blogging Mistakes
Write and promote your post. This will get people to your site. They won’t come if they don’t know about you.
What to do when readers comment:
- When you get a comment, write a thoughtful reply to it. Show your reader you read and analyzed their comment. This will tell them your comment mattered to them.
- Reply to the comment or answer the question as soon as you can.
Recently, I wrote a blogger a question. I received an auto-generated reply that they received my comment and would answer it soon. That was two weeks ago. I still never received the reply. It is rude of them when I took my time to express an interest in what they wrote. I ended up not only hurt but frustrated since I am still wondering the answer to my question.
There is a philosophy which states, “Treat others the way you want to be treated.” You should respond to your readers in a timely manner since you’d want them to be courteous to you if the situation was reversed and you were the reader.
What to do when readers click the “like” button:
When a reader clicks the “like” button, you will be notified. The notification, which comes to your Email, will say, “You should go see what they are up to. Maybe you will like their blog as much as they like yours.”
- Go into one of their posts. The bottom bullet is their most recent post. You have two choices. You can choose their most recent or the headline that interests you the most.
I do both but find I am better organized if I choose the bottom one. Often I return to the site and don’t want to forget if I’ve been to that post yet.
2. Read the post. Often you will find you have common interests with your readers. This is bonding time. Take advantage of the time you have to network to explore interests other than what your site is about.
3. Comment on their post. I’ve been able to write analytical comments about my favorite books, movies, and television shows for example. It is fun writing about pop culture and other topics that interest me I don’t normally write about when I blog.
My post How to Increase Traffic By Writing Better Comments gave advice that applies here.
- Repeat the blogger’s main point. It shows them you read, and understood, their post.
- Make a comment that adds a new perspective on the topic.
- Thank the blogger for visiting your site that day.
- Tell them you are glad they “liked” the post.
- Mention the post by name, so they know you didn’t copy-paste your comment to each visitor.
What to do when readers follow your blog:
This might vary depending on your platform. If you are on WordPress.com, I recommend the following:
1. Go into one of their posts and read it.
2. Summarize their main point and write a thoughtful comment.
3. Thank them for following your blog.
If you do not have time to go into their site and welcome them, you can pay MailChimp $10.00 a month to send an automated Welcome Email.
4. If they have signed up to receive an incentive for following your blog, send it to them.
In this manner, I have grown my readership.
Now I get comments like this:
Love the community you have.
And I get results like this:
In conclusion, I have grown my readership by visiting every person who comes to my site.
Because I am in California, I generally don’t see the benefits of my networking until I wake up the next day. I joke with myself that magical things happen while I sleep. Magical things can happen for you too if you follow the advice in this post.
Readers, if you feel others could benefit from these networking tips, please share.
Do you have any tips for growing your readership? Please share in the comments section.