Now that you've created a blog and you're regularly adding quality content to the blog, what's your next step in maintaining the blog? It's time to increase your visibility, by raising awareness and attracting a substantial and involved reader base. Unfortunately, this task is easier said than done, but there are a number of things that can be done to raise their interest and increase the reader retention rates.
One of the easiest and most efficient ways to increase traffic to your blog is to just increase your personal involvement within the blogging community. Find a list of blogs that discuss the same topic as your blog, and make an effort to always read those blogs. When you have something substantial to add, comment on the blogs, and if something big is mentioned then you should definitely mention it on your personal blog. As you increase awareness of other blogs, they will begin to notice you as well.
Another way to increase awareness of your blog is to utilize company resources and the existing customer base. Use the business to your advantage, and do things like including news about the blog in company publications. Alert everyone in the business and rely on them to help spread the word. Link to the blog in press releases, so that it's shown in search engines, and importantly, read by reporters. Anyone who reads the site has the possibility of becoming a subscriber and lending significant readership to the blog. Don't forget about the little things either, like providing links to the blog on the company's homepage.
Features and widgets on the blog itself can help you to increase readership. Don't neglect to offer easy subscription options via RSS, as readers are more likely to subscribe if it's an easy option. Squarespace has a tracking application that can let you know how many people sign up for the blog's RSS feed. This allows you to track the number of readers and the retention rate. If readers aren't returning, then create exciting posts and polls to get comments and build a participatory community.
Giving the audience reasons to come back is important, but don't forget to remind them how to get there. There are millions of blogs out there, so make sure that your blog link is frequently shown to the audience. This helps interested readers remember to come back to read the blog. Incentives can be given to increase readership in the form of promotions for blog readers only. To reward frequent readers, the promotion could last just a few hours. This gives them a sense of urgency about the importance of reading the blog and gives them reason to keep coming back.
These are all great tips, but the most important part of a successful blog is content. Readers might check out the blog once because of one of these tips, but if the content isn't great they won't keep coming back.