So you’re diligently blogging week in and week out, and you’re wondering how to make sure your blog posts get read? Here are three ways to make sure.
It took me what felt like FOREVER to successfully build a habit/practice of blogging every single week. More often than not I would blog once or blog twice, and then fall off the wagon for months at a time. But eventually, with try after try after try, I was able to build a true habit.
And then, once I actually was blogging every week, one day a question occurred to me: was anyone actually reading my blog posts? I went to Google Analytics to find out. (A side note: I highly recommend you set up analytics for your website if you haven’t done so already – once you know how many weekly visitors you have and what pages/posts they’re viewing most, you can set goals and work towards achieving them. Knowledge is power!)
The answer to my question was … not good :-\ In fact, the answer was that almost nobody was reading my blog posts.
You know how they say the hardest step is admitting that you have a problem? Well, it’s true. As painful as it was to see that I had a current blog audience of zero, the great thing was that at that moment, I knew I had to (and certainly would) do something about it.
And that’s exactly what I did.
Fast forward a few years later, and while not exactly thousands of people are browsing my blog every week just yet, I do ok – well enough to know that when I hit that publish button, my heartfelt piece of writing is going to be read and appreciated by a decent number of people, and that feels darn good.
Below are the three main principals I’ve learned to live by in making sure my blog posts reach human eyes.
1) Write from the heart.
My experience has been that people are smart. They know when you’re “phoning it in,” and they also know when you’re giving it your all to craft a blog post that’s authentic, original, and valuable. Try beginning with this question when you sit down and decide what to blog about: What gift do I want to give my target audience today? Because really, that’s what every single one of your blog posts should be: a gift for your audience, neatly packaged up with a bow.
2) Share, share, share (and then share some more).
What platforms do you use to communicate with your growing audience? Email marketing? Facebook? LinkedIn? Instagram? All of the above? When you write a blog post, you should be using every single one of your channels to get it out into the world. Don’t assume that if you share it on all platforms, people will get bored seeing it in multiple places. The truth is, while some people might prefer to get their daily content on LinkedIn – others may be strictly email readers. Every person is different, and by using every platform you have, you’ll guarantee that as many people as possible will see your post.
3) Engage whenever possible.
Anytime someone makes any comment to you about your blog posts, reply to them and engage them. This means the person who replied to your latest email newsletter telling you they enjoyed your blog. This means the person who commented on your social media post about your blog. This means the person who wrote you a direct message on Instagram asking you a question about your blog post. Wherever they reach out, on whatever platform, and whatever they say, make sure and engage with them. This is how you built a community and an audience.
WORDS OF WISDOM: Not everyone who loves and appreciates your blog will “like” or “comment.”
A few weeks ago I met with a young woman I’m collaborating with on the rebrand and website design for a women’s non-profit organization in our community. Because she had never to date replied to an issue of my Short & Sweet, commented on any of my blog posts, or commented on any of my social media posts, I was completely delighted and surprised when she told me how impressed she was with my blog and how much she enjoyed reading my posts. She told me she found each post succinct, compelling, genuine, and best of all – she told me that they made her feel as though things weren’t that hard after all and that she could start and run her own business. This was one of the most meaningful and downright touching compliments I’d received in a long, long time – and it came from a person who had never “documented” her interest in my blog with a “like” or a “comment”.
You never know who might be loving your blog. Write from the heart, share your posts with all the resources you have, and have faith that in time you’ll reach the people you’re meant to reach.