How to Get People to Read Your Blog: 5 Savvy Strategies You Can Apply Today

How to Get People to Read Your Blog: 5 Savvy Strategies You Can Apply Today

So you’ve started a blog. Congratulations! You’ve joined roughly 74 million others, and that’s just counting those who use WordPress.

(If you still haven’t started a blog, we highly recommend heading over to Bluehost to set one up right now!)

Many people believe starting a blog is the most challenging part of the process.

And believe me, I know starting a blog is nothing to sneeze at.  

But when you start a blog, you feel excited and motivated. In your early days of blogging, the momentum of trying something new and different keeps you going.

The most difficult part of blogging is what happens (or what doesn’t happen) next: Getting people to actually read your blog.

“If you build it, they will come,” some say.

…Not necessarily.

In order to create a blog that will last for the long haul, build community, perhaps even make money and help you achieve your goals, this is where the hard work begins.

You need to get people to actually read your blog. Here’s how to do it.

1. Write amazing content

First and foremost, your content needs to be amazing. There are way too many blogs out there with mediocre content. Yours needs to be better.

There are several different ways to write blog content — and some may prove more effective than others. Consider these types of posts to provide value to your audience and keep them coming back for more.

  • Content roundups: A content roundup an authoritative post that lists the top 100 or another number of your choice whatevers (people, products, pieces of advice, podcasts, photos, websites, etc.) in your industry or niche — is an excellent tactic to send traffic your way, create authority and build lasting relationships.
  • Weekly or monthly features: Developing a regular feature, whether weekly or monthly, is a great way to let your audience know what consistency they can expect from you.

For example, every Sunday I post a feature on my blog called “Start Your Week Right Sunday” where I highlight five to seven awesome links I found throughout the week and share my goals for the week ahead. It gives me the chance to highlight other awesome bloggers (like the content roundup idea above) and gives me at least one post idea per week to keep the content flowing.

  • Personal posts: When it comes to blogging, don’t be afraid to get personal. When you open up and allow yourself to be vulnerable, you show your audience you’re human. It will be easier to develop true relationships with your audience if you are willing to share it all: The good, the bad and everything in between. 
  • Massively useful guides or how-to posts: Creating a tell-all guide or an epic how-to post is a simple way to gain credibility and help your audience by giving them information they need to know at the same time. These types of posts tend to do well over time because they usually rank high in search.

2. Spend just as much time marketing your content as you do writing it

Once you publish a blog post, the work is far from over. The only way people are going to know you have new content is if you tell them!

Time to put on your marketing hat.

Follow the “rule of three”: When you create a piece of content, promote your new piece of content in at least three different places, at minimum, to make the writing worth your while and to ensure your content is actually being read.

Here are some places you can share your content:

  • Facebook: Share your post on your personal page, on your brand page if you have one, and in relevant Facebook groups where sharing is allowed. 
  • Twitter: Draft several different versions of tweets to promote one post. Use tools like Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule tweets far into the future to ensure your post is being promoted over a longer period of time. 
  • Instagram: Post a relevant photo or blog graphic on Instagram and change the link in your Instagram profile to the link of the blog post you’re currently promoting. 
  • LinkedIn: Create a status update or consider republishing part of the post using LinkedIn’s powerful publishing platform. Include a link back to your site at the beginning and end of the post to let readers know where the content originally appeared. 
  • Pinterest. Include a photo or graphic with each post so that your content is Pinterest-friendly. Pin your posts to a specific blog board or other relevant board within your Pinterest account. 
  • Snapchat: If you’re active on Snapchat, take a photo of your blog post or create a short video talking about your latest post and encouraging viewers to check out your blog.

3. Start building your email list, now

The best thing a new blogger can do is start building your email list from the get-go. Even if you don’t plan to use it right away, starting to collect email addresses is crucial for building a community that trusts and allows you into their precious space: Their email inboxes.

I recommended getting started  started with Mailchimp. It’s relatively user friendly and free for up to 2,000 subscribers.

Begin collecting email address on your website by adding call-to-action boxes with HelloBar, an awesome lead generation tool that appears at the top of your website. Include an invitation to join your list at the end of each of your blog posts.

Want to get even more people to join your list? Offer them a freebie, commonly known as an opt-in or lead magnet. Your lead magnet can be as simple as a one-page PDF checklist or as complex as an ebook, course or video series.

Think about it this way: Your audience likely spends a lot of time in their inboxes already. When they share their email addresses with you, you increase the chances of them reading your content because you’re reaching them in their own personal space, rather than through a social media account or RSS feed.

4. Figure out simple SEO

I’m no SEO expert, but knowing basic principles can help you think differently when crafting blog post headlines and content to help your post rise in search rankings.

There are easy things you can do to help your SEO, like choosing a keyword, crafting straightforward headlines, adding images to your post, and using numbers, subheads or bullets for easy reading.

If you’re using WordPress, add a plugin like Yoast SEO to help your post perform better in Google’s eyes. Yoast allows you to preview what your post will look like on Google and allows you to select a keyword and change a post’s meta title and description to help boost your post on search.

Yoast uses a handy traffic-light image (green=awesome, yellow=getting there, and red=room for improvement) to show how well your post is prepped in terms of SEO before you publish.

5. Consider guest blogging on sites you admire

Guest blogging is perhaps one of the top ways to get people to actually read your blog.

When you write a guest post for another blog, you’re opening yourself up to a whole new audience of people who don’t yet know who you are, but will likely head over to check out your website if they like your guest content.

Be smart about where you pitch a guest post. Naturally, you want the blog you’re pitching to have a larger and more established audience than your own. When your pitch is accepted, make sure you write an awesomely useful post and if allowed, link back to your website or relevant posts you’ve written.

Once the post is published, be sure to share it as diligently as you’d share your own content and get to know that community by participating in the discussion in the comments section.

Similar to guest posting, consider pitching your already-written blog posts to other blogs and websites that are open to republishing or syndicating content. If you write a post you’re proud of, seek another home for that post on a blog that may introduce your work to people who are good candidates for your own community.

Have other ideas to get people to read your blog? Let’s hear them in the comments!

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Filed Under: Blogging, Marketing

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53 comments

  • Jenn Gurley says:

    Great read! I started my blog 9 months ago and am currently expanding! I have two other ideas: Look to see if there are any writers groups within Facebook that you could join (IE KidLit College). They are usually filled with agents and editors and other authors/illustrators. Also, I leave my business card in random places like on the counter in a public restroom, or on top of my tip at a restaurant or in a fitting room. With 74 million bloggers out there…we gotta get creative!!

    • Hi Jenn! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. Thank you! Congrats on your blog!

      Love the idea to join Facebook groups- I find so much value in the groups I am a part of.

      Also, how fun that you leave your business card in random places! I may try that!

  • Tal Valante says:

    Great roundup of the basics, Jessica. Thanks!

    For the more advanced, I would advise looking into doing interviews with key people in the industry, producing podcasts or videos, and even producing a free webinar. It’s not as scary as it may sound.

    Thanks again for the great read!

  • Thanks for the tips.

  • Hi Jessica! I think you did a great job! Nowadays there are many people who just started their blogs, but they still are not well-readable! So I am sure that your article will help all the beginner bloggers to make their posts popular among the people! But I think if you already got many people to read your content, you should keep improving it! Also, I would like to add if a blogger wants to make many people to be fond of its blog, he or she shouldn’t forget to take care of the grammar, because it is really very important!
    Thanks for sharing this such an informative post!

    • Thank you, Linda!

      Grammar is super important, you are correct! Making a blog easy to read, whether that’s making sure spelling/grammar are on point or making sure your site is visually pleasing, is critical.

  • Thanks for your tips for blogging.

  • Thanks for your tips, I always assume my mom and her old lady friends she plays cards with are the only ones who actually read my blog….

  • Gina Horkey says:

    Great post Jess – spot on!

  • You created a great list of content ideas at the top. I got hooked on trying to JUST write content that was uber-useful (i.e. list posts and how-tos) that my traffic and sharing dwindled. One day, I completely abandoned that track and wrote something really personal with all the feels and no bullet points. Traffic zoomed and lots of people shared it. It ebbs and flows like that. Turns out, a good blend is key for my audience. Thanks for the great info!

    • YES! So glad to hear that, Laura! My blog is the same way- when I share personal, vulnerable posts, they do SO much better than my useful, how-to posts. Not saying there’s not a place for both in the blog world, but I’m glad you got great results from this, too! 🙂

  • Teresa Shaw says:

    Thank you! Inspiring post!!!!

  • Jessica: I have a question. I was away from the cyber-world for three months. During that time my networked blog feature or Facebook disappeared. I don’t know what happened. How can I find out?

  • Brooke says:

    Hi Jessica,
    First off, thanks for such a well-rounded article. There’s so many components that go into maintaining content marketing that I would never have considered before I got into it myself, and I feel like you’ve covered the major pointers.
    How do you go about creating amazing content though? And continuing to do so, week in and week out? I find that writer’s fatigue is a very real issue.
    If you were interested, I wrote an article just recently on how to write content that engages and performs well when you’re not sure what to write. The link for it is here: http://www.more-business-online.com.au/blog/how-to-write-engaging-content-when-youre-out-of-ideas
    Please let me know what you think if you’ve got time.

    Regards,
    Brooke

    • Hi Brooke! That’s a great question. Creating amazing content can be exhausting, huh? I think picking a frequency that works for you is key. Maybe it’s one amazing piece of content every other week, rather than every week if you’re finding that your content isn’t up to the standard you had hoped.

      Look forward to checking out your post! Thanks for sharing.

  • Chris says:

    Great job on the post! I started my blog about 2-3months ago and have been doing my best to market it as much as possible. You have some great tips that I have either used or will be putting into practice. As soon as I migrate site over to another host, I’m going to add SEO plugins. Thank you for the tips.

  • sundar says:

    I’m yet to start publishing my first blog and here I’m getting fantastic piece of 2 cents for effective blogging. Blessed me. Thanks a lot

  • Darlene Abegail D Nacional says:

    Cool! Loved it. The tips are accurate and on point 🙂

    I started blogging myself, just random stuff about personal things, rants and stories. But most of what I post are stories ^_^ hehehe.

    Sometimes I wonder where I lack why my blog or stories can’t gather much readers.

    My question was answered by tip #2.

    Mind blown!! I just post it on that certain site and didn’t try to share it elsewhere. So now I know what to do to promote my blogs and stories.

    Thanks so much~

    (Lookin’ forward for more tips~ :D)

  • Thank you for these great tips!!! Working full time and writing a blog on the side leaves limited time for marketing. I am working on developing my Pinterest profile but haven’t yet branched out to other social media sites. Hoping to work on that soon!

    • I hear you! I did the same exact thing for six years as I started my blog and worked a full-time job. However, it’s the only way your blog is going to grow and that will hopefully keep you excited about it and passionate to continue working on it! Good luck!

  • Fiona Trowbridge says:

    Really useful advice and truly inspiring. Thanks for sharing.

  • Thank you Jessica, I was particularly helped by reading that there is a place for writing personal posts on one’s blog. My blog is about my own personal encounters, someone observed that it is more like writing a diary online which was a bit discouraging. Yes I share my personal posts but I have been making people see that life is a mixture of highs and lows. I hope I am learning more about writing as I write these posts I am sure I am developing at a slow rate I want the content of my posts to be good and worth reading.
    Thank you, your post has encouraged me as I was feeling very discouraged by the observation which was made about my posts.

    • I’m sorry to hear you were feeling discouraged, but happy that my words resonated and made you feel better about your approach! I think personal stories are at the core of my blog and writing- I hope that others can draw lessons and insights from my life experiences. Keep doing what you’re doing!

  • This is a great blog for ones who really need to start their blogging journey. In fact, I would say even for the ones who are lagging behind or who don’t have time or confidence to blog regularly.

    Thanks for the post. 🙂

  • Bun Karyudo says:

    Thanks for the tips. I’ve been writing a blog for just over a year now. I think the content is reasonably good (I’d hesitate to say “amazing”), but I’m awful at the whole promotion thing.

    I think part of the problem is that mine is a light-hearted, personal blog, not a business-related one, so I don’t have a few key terms (widgets, ballbearings, alternator brackets) that I can hammer again and again.

    Luckily, several of the tips you mentioned in your post seem like they might work well in my type of blog too. I particularly like the “rule of three” idea, so I’ll give it a try and see what happens. Fingers crossed that the readers come pouring in!

  • SenPerfect says:

    Thank you for your tips, and for sharing your experience!

  • James Sirois says:

    These are awesome tips, but I am a newbie and I am confused about “how” I go about collecting readers email addresses. I have 3 blogs on Weebly and 1 on wordpress.com One of my blogs gets about 400 visitors a week, but I literally have not one persons email address. Please tell me what I’m doing wrong? Thanks in advance for any help you can give me, it would be greatly appreciated! Best Regards, Jim

    • Hi Jim! You need to select an email provider (I recommend Mailchimp) and create an account. From there, you add that to your website (Mailchimp shows you how) and you can start collecting email addresses in that way. You can also write a blog post talking about how you created an email list and ask people to sign up. It’s never too late to get started!