Last year I wrote up my best tips for getting more traffic to your blog, and those tips will get you to a certain level of readership. The rest of the way is going to be more about your own street cred (and web buzz), promotional efforts, and personal popularity from other sources like speaking gigs, published books, conferences, newspaper and radio interviews, webinars, etc.
That doesn’t mean you should stop blogging if you don’t reach a certain audience size. Brian Bailey, author of The Blogging Church, exhorts that blogging has to be done well and intentionally: “Blogging isn’t worth doing poorly or for the wrong reasons. It’s too demanding and too distracting. In God’s economy, we don’t have the luxury of pouring ourselves into good things when he has so many great things for us. There is simply too much at stake.”
Well, audience size mostly means that there’s a lot of people who want to keep on reading what you’re blogging. But what the public deems popular and interesting changes quickly: 80% of the top 100 Technorati blogs changed from last year’s rankings. You don’t have to blog for them. You can blog for yourself or for an audience of One.
Guy Kawasaki is one of those consummate marketing genius, adding blogging to his repertoire in December 2005 and skyrocketed to the Technorati top 100 in less than 4 months, noted Observations after 100 days of blogging + A Review of My First Year of Blogging, and shares great tips like How to Evangelize a Blog and How I write my blog entries.
The co-founder of Netscape has finally started blogging — see what he’s learned already — Marc Andersson’s blogging lessons learned in 5 weeks [ht: plaid blog]:
- First, it’s hard to believe it’s only been five weeks. “Internet time” lives, I can tell you that.
- Second, I’d like to truly thank everyone who has read this blog, linked to this blog, sent this blog to your friends, or come up to me at various parties and events to say that you’ve been reading it …
- Third, I should have started doing this years and years ago.
- Fourth, one of the best things about blogs is how they enable a conversation among people with shared interests.
- Fifth, writing a blog is way easier than writing a magazine article, a published paper, or a book — but provides many of the same benefits.
- Sixth, blogging tolerates and even encourages stylistic idiosyncracies that traditional publishing would not accommodate.
- Seventh, it is totally clear that original content is what generates readership, at least for most bloggers.
- Eighth, I am convinced there is a whole world of optimization to be done based on detailed stats and studying what works and what doesn’t on one’s blog.
- Ninth, we are definitely entering a world in which bloggers are taken super-seriously by political candidates, company PR departments, government officials, and book editors, among many others.
- Tenth, it’s been fun to see the traffic to my blog generated by services such as Digg, Reddit, Techmeme, and the like, but the big surprise to me has been the amount of traffic that I get from StumbleUpon.
- Eleventh and last, the most common reaction that I got from starting my blog that I didn’t expect was, “finally he’s blogging”.
I grabbed the bullet points for a quicker read. Click over to read the full context with Marc’s commentary about his lessons learned.
Then again, there’s other good reasons for blogging. Tara Hunt went to BlogHer for the first time this year, and noted these difference in the rules for blogging, perhaps suggesting a gender difference — excerpted bullet points from Getting back to what matters:
… here is a snapshot of the rules I was getting well versed in [referring to the male world]:
1. Numbers matter.
2. It’s about the rockstars.
3. Link link link link link link link
4. Coalitions, coopetition, collaboration… we gather to win.
5. Meritocracy is the way to go.
… But to put it all into context… to weigh in with the overall paradigm of this group, I would say the new rules I was getting versed in were [referring to BlogHer, a female world]:
1. Stories matter.
2. It’s about kindness.
3. Share share share share share share share …
4. Community, cooperation, collaboration… we gather to make things happen.
5. Mentorship is the way to go.
Again, click thru to read the full context with Tara’s commentary on BlogHer.