These days anyone can have a blog, from high-school students to grandmothers who gush about their grandchildren. But if you’re using your blog to connect to others in your field, to contribute useful knowledge, share your expertise, and ultimately promote your business and services, you have to do things that high-school students and grandmothers don’t take the time to do. These things could boost your blog’s traffic and give your business more exposure than you ever thought possible.
1. Get a Personal Domain Name
Your business will definitely seem more professional and serious if your blog’s URL doesn’t end with or It is extremely affordable (only $8 a year!) to get your own domain name. It makes even more sense for a business if you compare this expense to traditional marketing costs.
2. Always Include Related Posts
Consider that with one visit, someone may actually end up seeing 2, 3, or 4 more articles. And might even end up finding an article they enjoyed more than the one that brought them to the blog in the first place. You can show related posts in two ways: a) reference previous articles with links included directly within the body of the text, or b) use a plugin to automatically generate them.
3. Hint at Upcoming Content
Post great, valuable contributions, then promise Part 2. Develop a series of in-depth related articles for one really great topic. Or simply give them a taste, a teaser of which fascinating aspect of the industry you’ll cover next. Make the reader feel that if they don’t subscribe, they’ll be missing out on something.
4. Exchange Guest Posts
Contact a blogger from within your industry and offer to contribute valuable insights, with of course, the offer to reciprocate. Think about it. You can have a guest blogger (a writer/author/specialist with a serious, professional rep is always the best, or at least someone with some experience in the industry) and make an appearance in another’s blog to not only share your interesting contributions, but also direct readers back to your own blog.
5. Interact with Your Readers
Read and reply to comments. Try to get to know your audience. After a while you may see the same names keep popping up, so acknowledge them, thank them for their remarks, and tell them you appreciate them. More importantly, answer their questions. You may even dedicate a few posts to frequently asked questions/doubts. Soon you’ll develop a loyal following.
6. Comment on Your Readers’ Blogs
This will give your blog more credit and a more serious standing in the community, as people get the idea that you’re not the superstar of the blogging universe, and you take the time to read and find out what others are saying about the topics you cover.
7. Start a Web 2.0 Marketing Campaign for Your Blog
The main goal of any marketing campaign is to spread the word, create a buzz and get people talking about your blog. There are social networking sites where you can promote your blog. Among the most popular today are Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Twitter, Flickr, just to name a few.
8. Offer a Print Version of Your Posts
Although most people read content directly from their computer screen, it’s always a great idea to give users the option to print your articles. Those that appreciate this will surely keep returning to your blog.
9. Encourage Readers to Subscribe Via E-mail
Naturally, you can have people subscribe to your RSS Feed, but e-mail subscriptions are all the more effective. Your loyal readers will be able to receive word about your latest post, the moment it’s posted, directly sent to their inbox. It’s a great way to remind them about your blog and keep them coming back for more.
10. Do not Restrict Access
Do not, in any way, shape, or form, set obstacles for your readers, like requiring them to log on before leaving comments. This will only discourage them, and they´ll never come back to your blog.
The importance of having a loyal following cannot be overstated. Loyal readers will not only come back for more of what they like, but will also spread the word about what you’re doing and what valuable contributions, guidance, insights, you offer to the community. Can you think of a better way to promote your services?