Although youve heard about bloggers attracting thousands of readers overnight, those cases are few and far between. It takes time to build a successful blog but the more you focus on quality content, genuine networking and success over the long-term the sooner you'll see results.
Here are ten time-proven ways to help grow your readership.
1. Read Other Blogs
Your blog can be successful in its own right but when youre connected with other blogs its easier to make progress.
Look for blogs that focus their content in the same or similar topic areas as your own.
When you regularly read what others are writing and what their readers are saying youll pick up on what people want to read and whats already been said.
The more you understand your market and its trends the easier it will be for you to add your friendly voice and opinion to the discussion and get noticed.
2. Comment on Other Blogs
Comments are important, they play a very valuable role in keeping a blog community together.
Leaving comments that dont add any real value to the conversation wont help you all that much.
On the other hand, if you share your insights, thoughts or even ask questions to further the conversation then others will eventually hop on over to your blog to learn more about you.
When you encourage other bloggers to talk theyre likely to add comments on your blog when they visit.
3. Add Your Blog to a Directory
MyBlogLog and BlogCatalog, to name but two, offer a social environment of their own.
After listing your own website, look for other sites similar to yours.
Involving you and your blog in related blog networks can increase your sites exposure and connect you with other interesting bloggers. There are groups for book bloggers, funny bloggers, recipe bloggers and plenty of others.
4. Publish Regularly
If you visited a site regularly in hope of some fresh new content only to find that the author doesnt seem interested in updating their site, eventually youll stop bothering to follow that blog.
Try to stick to a regular posting schedule so your readers know they can rely on you to offer up great content often.
5. Interact with Your Readers
People like to be heard and acknowledged so dont ignore your readers.
Always follow up: answer questions, add to the discussion yourself, make the effort to pop over to some of your visitors sites to see what theyre blogging about.
Its courteous and also means you grow the number of sites your blog is connected to in some way, and that will lead to more exposure eventually.
6. Host a Giveaway or Contest
Giveaways get attention because everybody likes free stuff!
Make it easy on yourself by choosing a prize thats affordable for you and reasonably lightweight so its easy to ship.
There are blogs solely dedicated to cataloguing various giveaways - let these sites know about your promotion so you can be added to the latest list.
Always make sure you announce the winner on time and deliver the gift you promised promptly. Its also important that you follow any local rules and regulations for running competitions and giveaways.
7. Lets Be Friends
On Blogger, its common to see the Google Friend Connect boxes on people's pages. This is a great tool because you can see exactly who is following you, what other blogs theyre following and it also provides you with a link to their blog. If someone follows you, why not go and check out what theyre blogging about and if you find it interesting then follow them back. The more sites you follow the more visible your blog will be.
8. Make Your Bloggroll Visible
Keep your blogroll visible to show your readers who you recommend.
This also demonstrates to your blogging friends that youre happy to openly promote their sites.
You might not always get those same people linking back to your site but the point is to help your readers and your blog community " the giving part of the social equation.
Genuine recommendations are appreciated and as your readers grow to trust you more and more theyll turn to your blog for advice.
The more your readers gain value from you the more theyll recommend you to others by word-of-mouth, links, tweets and so on.
9. Use Social Networks Wisely
No one likes a spammer and those people who spam social networks are never really going to gain any solid ground.
When used wisely, social networks can be a place to promote your blog as well as network, build friendships and simply be sociable!
10. Guest Post
Guest posting is a very effective way to gain exposure for your blog. As you increase the number of connections you have online the more opportunities youll have.
To ensure your guest post is a success you should write first and foremost for the existing blog audience. If the blog youre writing for attracts seasoned entrepreneurs, its no use writing an article on Five Basic Steps to Starting a Small Business. The more relevant and helpful your article is to the existing audience, the higher the chance of them visiting your blog to read more from you.
and always rememer
Blogging is a social activity; as with all social activities, it's about giving as much as you get. You dont have to be everybodys best friend but being a friendly blogger will strengthen your online relationships and help build a loyal following for your blog.