Even the greatest writing in the world won’t be of much value if no one gets to read it. If you take into consideration the factors that affect how findable your posts are, you’ll see your readership grow.
There are several techniques that can increase the likelihood that people will find you when they search, as well as choose your writings over others.
Writing Findable Content
When striving for maximum readership, one of the most critical choices you can make is how you decide to title your posts. Search engines weight the subject lines that appear at the top of each entry heavily, and RSS newsreaders typically display titles only, unless a reader double-clicks to read further.
For those reasons, smart bloggers take the time to select words and phrases that will match searches that they expect their target audience to make. They also attempt to write subject lines that will compel subscribers to read further.
The easy way to meet both goals is to avoid cryptic, vague, and/or cute subject lines. Subject lines like “check this out,” “what do you think,” and “wazzzup,” don’t align with searchers’ needs and are likely not compelling enough for many to want to read more. Phrases that combine the best of both worlds might be ones like “My iPod is Haunted,” “How I find cheap airline fares,” or “Getting a job interview at Google.”
For more tips on writing successful content and building a better blog, checkout Ten Successful Blogging Tips at my blog.
Lots of Links
One of the policies I’ve established for my blogs is that all posts must contain at least one outbound link. For some, this notion might seem silly. Why would you give a visitor an easy way to leave your site and go to another?An old friend of mine had what i called a “cul-de-sac” policy: no linking out. His idea was that the sites his company hosted should not promote any method of departure. What’s telling is that one of his former employees is now a blogger whose site has focused almost exclusively on outbound links. This blogger’s site is now far more visible than his previous employer’s online network of cyber “roach motels.”
There are many reasons why linking out from your site makes good sense and is in your best interest. One reason is that evidence suggests that Google likes sites that link judiciously to pages on other sites, especially to sites that Google has deemed to be “authorities.” Another reason is that outbound links can be a way for your site to get noticed. Many bloggers monitor their referrer logs religiously, and when clicks come in from your site, they’ll likely notice it. These bloggers may comment and/or link back to you in response.
There are many more reasons its beneficial to link out, what’s the reason you do/do not link out? And at this point, ill take the opportunity to link out, this time to a fellow BloggingTips author, Deborah’s post, Is link love an endorsement?
If there’s one thing i have learned about blog writing, it’s that my provocative posts get more clicks, links, and comments than my more benign posts. Controversy is a great way to start a vigorous conversation, and to get people thinking. When appropriate, I encourage all bloggers to use thoughtful provocation to drive attention.
Sometimes just asking a question can get the ball rolling, such as “Hey, business blog x has turned off comments, is that the best way to deal with spam?” Simply reporting certain facts can also drive robust discussion. The more people who talk on your blog, the more traffic and links you’ll receive.
Don’t be a wallflower at the party. Bring up topics that get people involved and interested. Get the debate fired up. Your readers will thank you for it, and your presence in the blogosphere will be enhanced.
Just a few simple strategies can yield powerful benefits in terms of readership and prominence. Focusing on how searchers and subscribers make choices, along with careful consideration of what will start the blogging conversation, can ensure that your blog isn’t lost in the crowd.
So what method do you think is best to make an impression on your readers? Leave me a comment and lets start a conversation. 🙂