Everyone told you that your company needed a blog, so you tossed one together and put up a few posts, only to discover that no one seems to care. Or maybe you went to the extra trouble of hiring someone to do it professionally. You feel like the content is worthwhile, but for some reason, the people just aren’t coming. What to do?
A successful blog is not an exact science, but there are a number of things you should look at to make sure you’re doing all that you can.
Keep Posting. It often takes time for a blog to build an audience. Don’t give up or start posting less frequently because you don’t feel like you’re getting enough people. Put up at least two to three quality posts a week – and keep it up! If it seems like you’re giving up by posting less, your readers will give up, too.
Interact. But there’s no one to interact with because no one’s reading your blog? Then start reading similar blogs and commenting on them. One of the best ways to grow your audience is to engage with the larger community of blogs like yours. If it works with the kind of blog you’re doing, you can even offer to feature other blogs, or ask people to guest blog at your site. Most of the time they’ll be thrilled to get the extra exposure, and you’ll hopefully get some of their fans to come back. And of course, when you finally do start getting comments and emails, make sure to answer them in a timely fashion, and do your best to continue a comment thread if people seem to be engaged by it.
Be media friendly. Whether you’re writing your own content or hiring someone to do it, make sure that the posts and design of the blog can easily be transferred to computer screen, iPad, smartphone, or whatever your potential reader might be using. You don’t want to lose readers because the formatting is off. It’s also quite useful to write engaging, catchy headlines. This may seem obvious, but besides simply making more people want to read, clear headlines are easier to read in RSS feeds.
Make it easy for your readers. People want to share their opinions and engage with others online, but you’ve got to make it really simple for them. Want comments? Try adding an actual link for comments in the body of your post. Services like Google Reader make readers do the rather inconvenient thing of having to scroll all the way to the top of the post to comment – unless there’s a handy-dandy little link you put in yourself. And while we’re talking comments, get rid of word verification. All it’s really doing is making potential commenters go through an extra step, and if you’re truly worried about getting spam comments, you can turn moderation on so that no comments will go up on the site until you approve them.