10 Ways Authors Can Find More Blog Readers

by Joel Friedlander on January 26, 2010 · 19 comments

writingDo you participate in any of the writer’s forums on the internet? Forums have been around for a long time, and haven’t changed that much over the years. They provide a way for lots of people to have conversations, all at the same time on a variety of topics in discrete streams of posts.

Forums are very popular, often attracting hundreds or thousands of regular readers, and provide help and support for almost any area in which you’re interested. A great and very early social-media type of experience.

Yesterday one of the authors on a writing forum described how he had built a blog for his book, as so many marketing types recommend, but he was at a loss about how to attract readers to the blog. And what use is writing if there’s no one there to read?

There’s probably an e-course around somewhere that teaches “Blogging for Authors” but lacking that, I thought I’d jump in and help with some suggestions about getting blog readers. Although some of the suggestions that follow take some time and effort, given a chance they will pay off.

As with your writing, get known as someone who expresses themselves well, and who has something worthwhile to say, and can say it in an interesting way. Readers will follow.

10 Ways Authors Can Get Readers to Their Blog

  1. By asking the question in the forum, people in the discussion know you have a blog. Finding places to interact with people who have similar interests is a really good way to get the word out. Make sure you let people know about your blog by putting it in your signature line that you set up when you joined the forum. If you’ve forgotten how to do that, look for a link to User CP or My Account and you’ll find it.
  2. Have a regular schedule for yourself that you can stick to. If you only think you can blog once a week, do that regularly. If you start out writing three or four blog posts a day, you will soon burn out. Think of your blog as a long term project, one where you can talk about your work and maybe publish parts of your new projects to get feedback. Plan to blog on a schedule that suits you and people will know what to expect.
  3. Try to stay on one topic. This will help people identify your blog more clearly than if you wander from topic to topic. We’re all creatures of habit, and come to rely on trusted sources for reliable information or entertainment in some particular subject.
  4. Find other blogs that address the audience you would like to attract and make (hopefully intelligent) comments on those blogs. Make sure you put a link to your blog in your signature. The people reading the blogs you enjoy will probably enjoy your blog too, but they have to know about it first.
  5. Write for other blogs. If you write easily, once you have some content on your blog, ask another blog owner who has more traffic if you can contribute a guest post with a link in it. Look at other authors in your genre. Authors don’t compete with each other, we complement each other. After all, buyers of your book may well like mine if it’s in the same genre.
  6. Find other bloggers who are trying to get started (your peers) and trade posts and links with them. At any particular time it seems like there are always new blogs starting up on almost any subject. While it can be difficult to get the attention of so-called “A-List” bloggers, you can have fun trading tips and ideas with your peers.
  7. Ask someone with a big following if you can interview them for your blog. Let’s face it, people like to be asked their opinion, treated like stars. Authors you admire, or other people in your field may be only too willing to do an interview and bring some of their readers to your blog.
  8. Get interviewed by another blogger. Being asked your opinion on your chosen field for 30 or 60 minutes is a great opportunity to bring your work and your personality to a new network of readers. This is a great opportunity to introduce people to your work.
  9. Write articles about your topic and submit them to content sites in your field, with a link in your “resource box” at the bottom of the article. This is perfect if you are a non-fiction author, because you have expertise in your area. Keep in mind that these articles will also help to establish your authority in your field.
  10. Submit to blog carnivals in your field. You can find them at http://www.blogcarnival.com and submit blog articles to them. When the carnival post goes out, many readers on different blogs will have a chance to see a sample of your work. This is another great way to find readers who don’t yet know about you.

There are many other ways to market your blog, but you might not need anything else. Spend a couple of months working with any or all of these ideas, and you will start to build your very own audience, people who are reading your blog because you are writing it. That’s the ultimate compliment to a writer.

And what’s the very best advice of all? Write really great blog posts, then let people know about them!

Please share any other tips for authors to get readers to their blogs in the comments, I’d love to expand my list.

Image: Stock.xchng / Mattox

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    { 18 comments… read them below or add one }

    Julia January 26, 2010 at 2:22 am

    Great suggestions. I think getting readers is a common problem for all of us. I do most of those suggestions listed but I never thought of going to a forum to post. What a great way to find new readers.

    Reply

    Fiona Ingram January 26, 2010 at 2:25 am

    Blog tours can give you instant coverage as well as an instant potential following. As an author, going on a blog tour immediately introduces you to a number of bloggers where you’ll be supplying a guest post pertinent to their site, as well as all their readers. Plus, as Google finds your posts, more people will be alerted to your writing. Of course, one should always have brilliant and interesting posts!

    Reply

    Joel January 26, 2010 at 7:09 am

    @Julia, forums have been known to send a lot of traffic (readers) to blogs, especially if you build up a profile and contribute regularly. Try it!

    @Fiona, thanks for that, now we have 11. And certainly being brilliant and interesting is never a bad thing for a writer.

    Reply

    Joanna Penn January 28, 2010 at 2:16 am

    Hey Joel – you forgot
    1) write fantastic content and
    2) Twitter and social networks. I find active usage on these sites gets great traffic – not me, me, me but interspersing links with useful info and interaction.
    (and that’s how I found you!)
    Thanks, Joanna

    Reply

    Joel January 28, 2010 at 7:10 am

    Hey, thanks Joanna, I’ll add them to the list. It just goes to show that, together, we are more effective because no one person can think of everything all by themselves. Thanks for stopping by!

    Reply

    Mia Love (Mia Bakovic) January 29, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    So can anyone introduce me to the world of blog tours?
    :) a link perhaps????
    ~mialove

    poet me @ http://www.myspace.com/mialove333
    twitter me http://www.twitter.com/miabakovic

    Reply

    Joel January 29, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    Hi Mia,

    Are you wanting to promote a book?
    Here’s a good link about blog tours: http://bit.ly/v0TEu
    Thanks for stopping by!

    Reply

    Louise March 16, 2010 at 11:06 am

    Offer something. I offered my body but nobody stepped forward, so instead I offered a competition with the prize being a signed copy of my book. I now offer to edit the first 2000 words of a novel.

    Reply

    Joel March 16, 2010 at 11:22 am

    Louise, that’s a great idea (not the part about offering your body, the other part). Have you had many takers? And how do you get the word out about your very generous editing offer? That would be interesting.

    Reply

    Marjorie March 28, 2014 at 7:30 am

    Thank you for sharing that lovley video with Maurice Sendak. It is special just as our lives and our friends are. I loved the fact that he could cry because he missed his friends and yet look outside and enjoy every aspect of what he saw. Live your life is certainly an important motto to have each day andanother is don’t sweat the small stuff which is so hard to ignore.Happy New Year!! Love, Susan

    Reply

    Louise March 16, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Hi Joel, Twitter mainly. I twittered that I’d offer to edit and ppl started popping over to follow me. I have a fair few takers, and I still edit, but I don’t advertise that so much now because it is time consuming.

    The competition worked better, and I may do that again with my next book when it comes out.

    I must admit I’d not heard of a book carnival before. Sounds interesting.

    Reply

    Joel March 16, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    Louise, you might be surprised at the traffic you can receive from blog carnivals, and it’s easy to do. Go over to blogcarnival.com and you’ll find carnivals that specialize in your field. You just fill out a form and that’s it.

    Reply

    Shelley Hitz February 15, 2011 at 6:31 am

    I have been using the technique of interviewing others in my field to gain traffic as well as backlinks and so far it has proven to be successful. Plus, it has been a lot of fun for me to meet new people and hear their stories. Many times building traffic to your site as well as backlinks can be monotonous…but conducting written interviews has been enjoyable for me!

    By the way, I have a checklist of “50 Ways to Increase Blog Traffic” on my website that can give you even more ideas: http://www.self-publishing-coach.com/increase-blog-traffic.html

    Thanks!
    Shelley

    Reply

    Joel Friedlander February 15, 2011 at 8:10 am

    Shelley, that’s a great list of traffic ideas you have, thanks for the link. I enjoy doing interviews also, and have just moved from email interviews (although I’ll probably continue to do these) to audio interviews and I have to say I shouldn’t have waited so long. I was put off by having to learn more technology but, in the end it was pretty simple, and many people seem to really like their portability and hearing the voices of the participants. Thanks for stopping by.

    Reply

    Shelley Hitz February 15, 2011 at 8:36 am

    Joel,
    Yes, I would say that audio interviews are the best. Once I get my podcast up and rolling, I’ll probably move to audio interviews. That way I can also have them transcribed them into written interviews for my website…2-in-1!

    I’ve been following you on Twitter and love your posts! Thanks for adding value :)

    Shelley

    Reply

    Suzanne Semsch August 9, 2011 at 8:25 am

    Joel, I’ve been following you ever since discovering you on Amazon’s author’s site a few months ago. Just bought a kindle and your A Self-Publisher’s Companion will be my first purchase. Thanks for suggestions to increase my blog readers. My site is new and my first two posts are about the trials of moving through this marketing maze! As I need all the help I can get, I will be reading all your ideas carefully.
    Thanks, Suzanne

    Reply

    Donna Amis Davis September 27, 2011 at 2:25 am

    Thanks Joel, for following me on Twitter, which led me to this great site. I’m trying to get everything going at once – my first novel, and my platform, including blogs. I’ve been working on the blogs but wondered the exact question you are answering in this article. Perfect!

    Reply

    Noel Ashland July 29, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    I am just getting started with my blog and found these tips extremely helpful. It all seems so overwhelming at first. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

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