The Four Step Process is:
1. Great Content
2. Easy to Subscribe
3. Build it and they will come
4. Better to Give than Receive
Step One: Great Content - Content is King
In How to Build your Blog I discuss the importance of content.It's been said before but bloggers will keep reading and interacting with you if you write interesting posts. You need to think about who you are writing for? Your target. What will keep them interested...what's in it for them to keep reading. What do you like from other bloggers? Is it tutorials? Great links? Inspirational design and ideas? Show and tell, Sewing tips? Help with blogging? Maybe it's something different. Often what you like is what your target will like. What do you get your most comments on? Take a moment to write down some new ideas. Some themes, partworks or series to maintain your readership and to get them coming back. Don't forget how important visuals are. If you don't have your own there are a number of sources available including Flickr, Google Images, Getty Images. You can always use one image to illustrate an idea.
Step Two: Easy to Subscribe
Do you make it easy for your readers to subscribe when they are on your site. Do you make it simple for those new to blogging. They may not have a "subscribe with Bloglines bookmarklet" in their favourites folder. Do you have a Bloglines subscription widget, an email subscription widget, a Feed Reader chicklet on your site. Is it in an easy to find place.
Check out Leni and Rose for tips on these and others.
Step Three: Build it and they will come (Socialise and build connections)
....well not necessarily. You need to get yourself on the social circuit and introduce yourself. No one knows you are out there unless you promote yourself. It's no different to walking into a party and not knowing anyone. Where do you start? Remember it takes time to build relationships just as it does offline. Perhaps start with bloggers you already know through other connections. Get involved in memes, swaps, competitions and other activities that promotes your blog and what you have to offer. Start commenting on other blogs that you like and build your own blogroll. Perhaps at first it's a bit like speed dating until you find favourites and like minded bloggers for you. But don't spread yourself too thinly at first or you will run yourself ragged trying to comment everywhere. Focus on blogs you love and build those connections and expand from there.
Step Four: Better to Give than Receive (Referrals)
As a new blogger or even an established one trying to expand readership, its always better to give than receive. The craft blogging community is a very generous one and the philosophy of reaping what you sew bides well here. If you dont expect anything in return you will be more than overjoyed to receive daily comments on your own blog or find someone has linked to you if you have been doing the same.
So think about thoughtful comments, helpful links, advice and tutorials, milestone giveaways and competitions, blogrolls and other blog links and favs you love. And remember to keep doing it as you get greater readership as there will always be new bloggers in the community who need a little help.
One of the best ways to get readership is to have a referral. So how do you get referred? By participating in meme's, by posting on a tutorial blog like Whip Up, Sew Mama Sew,One Pretty Thing, Burda or guest writing and guest hosting and generally contributing to other blogs.
As you drive more visitors to your site hopefully they my like what they see and are more likely to become a regular reader or even a subscriber of your feed.
All this leads back to having great content that bloggers want to read and the cycle begins again.
Copyright 2008 Sharon Carter