When we speak to our clients or prospects, we always discuss the value of blogging. Blogs allow you to present yourself as an expert in your field – whether you are a lawyer, chiropractor, physical therapist, etc – and help you to connect with your audience in a less formal setting. However, a key concern that our clients consistently raise is this: “If I am going to spend time writing a blog, how do I attract more readers?” Our clients’ time is valuable, and writing a reader-less blog is not a desirable endeavor. With time value in mind, here are 5 simple and effective ways to start driving more readers to your blog:
1) Utilize & Expand your Network!
Look at your own network of friends, colleagues, and anyone else that you are connected to in person or via social networks like Facebook or LinkedIn. If you have colleagues or former classmates who are in the same business, they can be an invaluable resource to help you build your blog readership. For example, the Pain Physician Group on LinkedIn can be a quick and easy way to find pain management professionals who are already active in social media. Join these groups and begin participating in the discussions. Also, invite active members to connect with you, and build your relationship.
2) Find and Comment on Related Blogs!
This is one of the most effective strategies early on in your blog development. We just spoke about the value of joining groups on social network sites like LinkedIn – you now have a direct source for colleagues who are already active in building their internet presence. Look at these group members and find the individuals who already have a blog. Add these and other blogs to your feed and participate in the discussion via the comments section. By engaging a relevant community with your own thoughtful comments, you can generate interest in clicking through to your own blog.
3) Join Forums!
In addition to groups on the social network sites, there are also industry groups with sites dedicated to the advancement of a profession. Most of these sites include forums that allow registered members to engage with a community of peers. Like commenting on related blogs, forums can be a quick way to meet a group of people who are talking about issues that are relevant to your business. For example, APTA runs a community forum for Physical Therapists; likewise, ChiroWeb manages a forum dedicated solely to doctors of chiropractic. By communicating in a dedicated community, you can generate “buzz” for your blog that can turn into new readers.
4) Guest Blogging!
Now that you have established and grown your relevant network, it’s time to grow your reputation as a blogger. Guest blogging is a mutual endeavor that can benefit both you and your fellow bloggers. Once you have identified and established rapport with other professionals in your market, offer to guest blog on their site in exchange for a backlink to your site. Likewise, find a couple of guest bloggers to write an entry or two on your own site, with one link back to their own blogs.
Syndication – distribution of your content through third party sites – can help you find a larger audience than your local city or town. This can really be an effective way of competing with larger practices in a cost-effective manner. Once you have regular content posting to your blog, you can find new readers by finding larger sites that address the same market as your practice, and agreeing to allow them to syndicate your blog through their site. Be sure they allow backlinks to your blog, and you will be well on your way to growing your readership!
What other activities have you found particularly effective in attracting more readers to your blog? We’d love to hear your success stories.