Are you working to build your blog?
Do you want more traffic? More community? Faithful followers?
I think that we all do, or else why are you putting yourself out there? Building a blog takes blood, sweat & tears. A lot of them.
For the first several years that I blogged I wrote in a vacuum. I didn’t ignore other bloggers, it just never crossed my mind to search them out. I would come across one here and there, enjoy reading their posts, but never really connecting with the blogger.
Now I am looking to build my blog, take it to a new level & monetize. But after years of blogging solitary, (I should have called it an on-line diary instead, I was writing mainly for myself) I am having to learn new habits. Pull out all the tricks in order to build my blog.
Perhaps you are in the same predicament, so I thought I would share a few things that have been working for me. And we can work on it together.
Before we get into the tips for building your blog…
Are you utilizing your comments? Seriously! Comments are like receiving flowers & candy. Kinda like a retweet on Twitter. Remember this article; Twitter; Things I Love & Things That IRK Me…?
If you haven’t read that post, go ahead…right now…we’ll grab a cup of coffee & wait for you.
Okay, that post was born of frustration. Twitter is a great place to build your blog following, find some really cool people, make connections, or waste away the afternoon. But used incorrectly, it IRKs me! I am sure that there are many things that I could do better on Twitter, I try not to commit these faux pas.
This post is also coming from an area of frustration. Just a bit. A little bit.
In order to form connections & to make others aware of my blog I have been joining linkups, facebook blog groups & commenting on as many blogs as I can. I have found a lot of really cool people and bookmarked, subscribed, & friended soooo many people. It has been a lot of fun.
But, I am noticing that there are a lot of people that do not reply to their comments. At least not in a timely manner. Comments are like flowers & candy. Left alone flowers will die & candy will get eaten by someone else!
Comments are the biggest tool in your “Build Your Blog’ arsenal!
Read that again! And again!
I work at reading & commenting on a lot of blogs, over the last week I have commented on 200+ blog posts. Yes, Two Hundred. Plus. And I was really surprised by the outcome. Only about 30% of bloggers had a reply to my comment.
(Disclaimer…this has been an ongoing experiment, just highlighting the last weeks numbers.)
These were not big blogs. They weren’t blogs that had 50 comments ahead mine that all needed to be tended to. In fact, the bigger blogs replied. And as I scrolled through their comment sections, the BIGGER bloggers, they took a moment to reply to almost every comment. As they were admiring their flowers & eating their bonbons.
Kind of like having their cake & eating it too! That’s why they’re the BIG Bloggers.
I received emails informing me that my comment was liked-from approximately 5% of the 30% who replied. Seriously! When did it become acceptable to “like” a comment & not answer it? When did the Facebook thumbs up become a reply? If you don’t have time to immediately answer a comment make time later. Schedule it in.
It is that important.
It’s more important than Facebook or Twitter, or even Pinterest. If you aren’t answering your comments people won’t keep coming back. They won’t begin to trust you. They won’t share your articles on social media & they won’t buy from you.
Remember all that blood, sweat & tears that we talked about above? Why work so hard if you aren’t building a community? You want people to have you on a list, the list of blogs that they check in on several times a week. Even better, you want them on your list….your email list.
If I don’t answer your comments, if I don’t work at forming a relationship with you…why would you subscribe to my blog?
Now, do you get it? Comments build your blog!
One by one. Brick by brick.
Now that we got that out of the way…here are a few tips to help you build your blog following.
To give a little credence to my madness here are some statistics to bear in mind. Numbers for the last 45 days:
Email subscribers: 411% increase
RSS subscribers: 300% increase
Pageviews: 123% increase
Unique Visitors: 210% increase
Alexa Ranking: World 46.5% decrease USA 43% decrease (You want a lower number.)
Obviously it’s working! Yeah!
Huge tip, that’s why it’s first!
Comment Luv makes my life so much easier. Go here: Commentluv get it now! It’s a free WordPress Plugin & it’s comment gold. When someone leaves a comment on my blog & they have commentluv they have the ability to leave a link to one of their last 10 blog posts. How cool is that?
You leave me a comment, like flowers & candy, you get to leave a link to your blog post-in my comments! How cool.
So, when I open your lovely comment, I answer it, reach for a chocolate, and then I mayclick on the link that you left behind, traveling to your blog. Now, why would I that? To give you some flowers & candy too. It’s too good to eat alone! I want to share.
And because you leave behind a thoughtful comment & a link, my SEO gets a piece of candy too. Links from good reputable sites are good for your SEO.
Just think, one day you log onto your blog, see a comment & hit the “thumbs up like button” instead of replying…or you don’t bother to reply at all…what if that comment was left from Elke Govertson? Would that matter? Or Regina Anaejionu?
Now do you get the connection? Do you know what a link in from either one of those sites would do for your clout? The bump it would give your SEO? Can you imagine if they left you a comment? SQUEE!!! On your little ol’ blog!!!!
But you didn’t reply, or you hit “*Like”. What a bummer.
Another really cool way CommentLuv can help you build your blog…
Find the luv, is a page for CommentLuv blog users, you can add your blog within your category and as you post it is syndicated to the page. You can find other bloggers in your niche, read to your hearts content. And comment!!
Then add your blog so that others can find you & leave you a bouquet & a bonbon.
SEO is very smart. If you are jumping from blog to blog with your big, bad CommentLuv, leaving spam type comments it will reflect badly on your SEO score. There are no shortcuts. And you wouldn’t want them anyway, real comments make real connections, having them come back for more.
We all want to build our blog following…
I have learned that you can’t do this alone. We need each other. There is enough to go around. Share the love & it will be returned to you!
So come on over, grab a cup of coffee & stay awhile. Leave me a thoughtful comment & I will bring you flowers and bonbons.