Increasing the readership of your blog is not as simple as it sounds, it takes time, patience and hard work (and sometimes a bit of luck) Having said that there are many things you can do to get your blog in front of a wider audience and there exposing the adsense messages on your site to more potential ‘clickers’. Here are a few tips…
Quality, Interesting, Useful and Original Content - What are the blogs that you read the most? If you’re anything like me they are blogs that have quality content that ’scratches me where I itch’. This is essential to increasing your readership unless you have a pretty amazing ‘gimmick’ to bring readers in.
Good Blog Design is really important if you want your blog to create a good first impression. With millions of other blogs and sites out there its worth some effort to make yours stand out. Also worth a read is Good Weblog Design and Layout.
Link to others - be generous with your links to other bloggers big and small. You’ll be surprised how many links come back your way. This not only brings traffic from their sites but doesn’t hurt your ranking in Google.
Comment on others blogs - Some of my most loyal readers came to my blog because I genuinely interacted with them on their blogs through comments. Hear me now, I say genuinely because its easy to spam in comments, but this will have the opposite effect of generating readers to your blog.
Update Frequently - There is nothing that turns me off a blog faster than seeing that it hasn’t been updated for a month or more. Keep it rolling over with interesting content.
Interact with Readers - Having an interactive blog that invites the involvement of readers is one way of generating repeat visitors. I’ve written a tip on Interactive Blogging including a number of interactive tools that you can use on your blog. Also check out this tip on using comments effectively to increase interactivity on your blog.
Optimise for Search Engines - I can’t stress enough how important Search Engines are to increasing traffic, especially traffic that will click on your ads. I find that 95% of my traffic comes from Google and have found that anecdotal evidence suggests this traffic clicks through on Adsense ads at a higher rate than traffic from links on other blogs and sites. So work hard at getting listed and highly ranked on Search Engines.
Add a signature to your outgoing email - Learn a lesson from Hotmail who have used signatures on the bottom of their users emails for years to promote their home page and generate interest in their product. Be careful though if you don’t want your worlds to collide!
Web Rings - There are literally thousands of webrings that you can sign up for. I’m not sure how effective they are these days, but some people still swear by them.
Add an RSS feed to your blog - more and more people are reading blogs without ever visiting them through News Aggregators that pick up information using RSS. Whilst this does not guarantee those reading through aggregators will visit your blog (and therefore see your Adsense Ads) it certainly increases the chances of them dropping by, especially if you invite comments and have internal links on your posts.
List your site on Portals - There are a growing number of sites which exclusively list blogs. If you want people to find you its worth submitting your blog to be listed on them. Some focus on specific topics while others list blogs on a wide variety of topics (like Eaton Web and Globe of Blogs). Other portals like BlogShares and Blog Street also list a lot of blogs in different ways which might increase your blogs profile.
Blog Search Engines and Indexes - Get yourself registered on sites like Blogdex, Technorati, Popdex and Daypop (they require RSS I think). These sites have features that allow people to search for blog entries via topic and keywords. They also list the most popular recent topics and each have other interesting features which can enhance your blogging experience.
Start a Newsletter - Offer your readers a newsletter service to keep them up to date with your latest posts. I’ve found since adding a free weekly newsletter to my digicam blog that hundreds of readers have signed up for regular updates of my latest posts. Think about this - hundreds of people have given me permission to invite them to come back to my blog - every week!
Get Involved in Blog Projects and Memes - From time to time other bloggers will invite your participation in a blog project of theirs. Get involved, support their project and you might find it pays off. On the flip side start your own blogging project or meme. Do something that is of service to other bloggers. I tried something like this with Underblogs and Blogger Idol.
Get involved in other web forums - Genuinely participate in web forums and discussion pages on topics related to your blog. Many of these allow you to add a signature to your posts which raise your blogs profile.
Promote your Posts - If you think you’ve written something worthwhile spend a few minutes letting others know about it. I regularly shoot other bloggers to notify them of what I’ve written if I think it will interest them. Think about it before you send the email and don’t bombard the same people constantly with every topic you write on - be selective, concise, polite and helpful with your emails but don’t be afraid to promote yourself.
Add a ‘Email a Friend’ Option to your posts - make it easy for your readers to tell others about what you’ve written. I know this function gets used regularly on my blog and brings in new readers that I would never otherwise have been able to reach.