Are you a blogger who has tried everything you can think of to improve readership? Are you tired of being discouraged by falling stats? Be concerned no more. There is a definite answer to getting more readership.
This is a follow-up post to How To Be A Successful Blogger: 19 Experts Share Their Secrets. Even though I just published it a week ago, it is my most successful post. I am still a relatively new blogger, but the post was getting triple-digit page views for many days after it was published. According to my definition in 4 Ways to Make Your Blog Posts Go Viral, my interview of the 19 bloggers went viral since it had unusually high page views.
However, despite the favorable response of the readers, the post did not offer a definitive answer since the nineteen experts disagreed with each other.
In the week that followed, my readers and I embarked on a debate in which we tried to ascertain the definitive answer. What is the secret ingredient to blogging?
The blogging experts’ answers are listed in the infographic. In order to come up with the key ingredient to blogging, we need to address the factors they believed would result in successful blogging.
- Be Yourself
As Glen Long explained in the Experts… post, being themselves can get bloggers in trouble. For many bloggers, this includes only writing about what interests them, the person in the mirror, themselves. If readers feel like the blogger is only throwing a party for one, they could lose interest.
- Ignore Numbers
Human growth is evolution. There is nothing wrong with healthy competition, especially when competing with oneself for higher stats than the month before. If that push to beat your stats makes you a better blogger, than I am all for it. Track runners try to beat their time, bloggers should be able to try to beat their stats.
- Think of the Reader
Giving away free items to get a reader to follow you is gimmicky. What if they follow you to get the free item and then unsubscribe once they have it? We shouldn’t need gimmicks. (Is that idealistic of me? Hey, I’m still new; I’m in the honeymoon period of blogging; I’m not jaded yet.)
- Use Images
I am still trying to explain the value of Pinterest to my husband. Hey, don’t get me wrong. I believe in the value of engaging images both as a blogger and as a teacher. However, not everyone is a visual learner. Apparently, my husband falls into that category.
I know of bloggers who get validation from helping others. They don’t want ads cluttering up their site. They have successful blogs and make no money at all from blogging.
- Great Content
I know a blogger who publishes inspirational quotes others have written several times each day. He did not write them, so the quotes aren’t his content, and he doesn’t respond to the quotes. He just publishes them, and he has one of the most successful blogs I know. It astounds me how many readers he has who click “like” and comment. Since the quotes are others’ writing, the key ingredient can’t be great content.
- They All Matter
What can I say except, no comment. I asked the expert, if you could give bloggers one tip for success, what would it be? He said more than one, so his answer is hereby disqualified from consideration.
After reflecting on the experts’ answers, I have honed in on networking as the definitive answer. I believe based on experience and observation that there is a definite answer. There is a key ingredient to blogging success, and it is networking.
Every time I have had a boost in readership and ultimately page stats, it was because of networking. I networked with the experts and had a post go viral. Bloggers reblogging my writing, guest posts, Blogger Meet and Greets, WordPress classes, Linky parties, and Twitter connections are all additional examples of networking that led Reflections to grow. Whether the goal is to get new eyes on your blog, get a question answered, or get emotional support, networking is the key to help you reach it.
If you think the experts’ information or my response to it could help others with their blogging, please share.
Readers, do you agree with me that networking is key or do you think one of the other experts is correct? Do you think there is another key that none of them mentioned?
I look forward to your views. What is the secret ingredient in your pot?