Finding new readers is the bane of my blogging existence, and I don’t think I’m alone. Without blog traffic, you might as well write in a private journal, because you certainly won’t make money or spread your ideas online. I’m constantly on the lookout for new traffic-building techniques, and today I wanted to share with you one of my favorite traffic-building techniques when your blog is new (and really, this technique can work for established bloggers as well).
Best of all, it only takes ten new readers. You can find ten readers, right?
Finding Ten New Readers
The first step in this process is to find ten new readers. This doesn’t mean convincing people in your current circles to stop by your blog more often. It doesn’t even mean reaching out to friends of friends. These people are already in your extended circle of potential readers. You want to find ten readers who are completely new to your blog.
My favorite way to do this is to find new bloggers in my niche and leave comments. Comments are not going to bring you a wave of traffic, but that doesn’t mean they’re worthless. You don’t need millions of new readers. You just need a handful.
Another way to find brand new readers is to participate in link parties or blog hops. These are especially popular in niches like parenting, DIY, and food. Again, you are likely not going to get thousands or even hundreds of new readers this way, but for this specific technique, you only need ten or so.
The Key to Traffic Explosion
Once you find the new readers—and this is important—you have to treat them like VIPs. Go the extra mile to make them feel welcome on your blog. You want to treat these relationships like they are the most important ones you’ll ever have.
Don’t be inauthentic during this step. Yes, you want to leverage your relationships for traffic, but if that’s all you care about, you’re doing it wrong. Never use people and then ignore them once you’ve reaped the benefits. I’ve seen people do this and I’ve had it done to me, and it is pretty upsetting. So build real friendships. Traffic is just the benefit.
Here are a few ways to treat your new readers like VIPs:
- Find and follow them on Twitter and other social networks.
- Interact with them on places other than your blog (social networks, their own blogs, etc.)
- Reply to every comment they leave on your blog (you should be doing this anyway).
- Email them thanking them for their comment. You don’t have to do this every time, but with especially good comments, reaching out via email is a nice gesture.
- Continue to read and comment on their blogs.
Basically, build not just a relationship, but an actual friendship. Some people will be receptive to this, and some won’t. That’s okay. Don’t force it because you want traffic benefits. Just see how friendships form naturally. But the point is you can’t just sit around and wait for it to happen. You have to be proactive in finding new online friends outside of your current circle.
How and Why This Works
Once you start treating your readers like VIPs, your traffic will start to snowball. Why does this happen?
- Readers will see how you treat your community and they’ll be more encouraged to participate.
- Treating your newest readers like VIPs increases the chance that they’ll tell their friends about your blog.
- Even if they opt not to spread the word, the special attention makes them more likely to become fans of your blog rather than just one-time readers.
It all starts as a trickle, but if you continue to roll out the red carpet, you’ll see the effects begin to snowball. Like with most things, this takes time and you have to be consistent. Building a community is hard work. But it all starts with ten readers (and actually, if you want to get technical, it all starts with one reader). Even if you’re brand new, you can use the tiny amount of traffic you get today to build momentum.
If you want even more traffic tips, check out the content we have coming up at NMX. We also have sessions on community, monetization, content creation, and more, so you don’t want to miss this event!