15 Tips for Attracting and Connecting With Non-blogging Readers

by Tracy López on May 17, 2010 · 22 comments

in Blogging, guest-posts

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Guest post: Tracy López is a writer of multi-cultural fiction living just outside the DC Metro area. She blogs in Spanglish about the joys and challenges unique to bi-cultural families at Latina-ish.

Blogging without readers is about as much fun as throwing a party and having no one show up. Whether you’re blogging professionally or casually, it’s nice to get a comment and know that you’ve connected with others.

When building a loyal readership, it’s important to keep in mind that not all your readers are bloggers. In fact, readers who aren’t bloggers themselves are very valuable. Non-blogging readers aren’t busy tending to their own blogs and thus will have more time to visit and comment on yours. But how do you attract non-blogging readers? Where do you find them and how do you keep them? Here are 15 tips for building your non-blogging readership.

15 Tips for Attracting Non-blogging Readers to Your Blog

  1. Make sure your blog is non-blogger friendly. Some non-bloggers are not technically inclined. Is the layout easy to follow for them? To test this, ask your grandmother or another older relative to visit your blog and give her opinion. You might be surprised by some very good suggestions for making your blog or website easier to navigate.
  2. Don’t make commenting a challenge. Make sure that when people leave a comment, the only information they need to fill out is their name and possibly E-mail address. (URL should be optional not mandatory.) Also re-consider using captchas. A lot of people find them very frustrating.
  3. Make it easy for them to return. Can they subscribe by E-mail and RSS? Do you have a distinct favicon so you’re easy to identify?
  4. Don’t underestimate word of mouth. Do you include your blog link in the signature of your E-mails? Is it on your business card? How about in your yearly Christmas letter? Don’t forget to share your blog URL with your parents, siblings, relatives, friends, co-workers, and neighbors so that they can pass it on to their friends. Some of my most loyal readers were friends of my sister, and I didn’t even know it until I met them and they told me they loved my blog.
  5. You gotta give some to get some. Leave meaningful comments on blogs that are similar in content to yours. You’ll attract the blog owner and their readers. (It isn’t stealing – it’s widening the community.) Guest blogging is another great option. Invite someone to guest post on your blog, and consider accepting the offer if someone asks you to guest post on their blog.
  6. Leave a trail. Do you have a Facebook page? Twitter profile? Photos on Flickr? YouTube videos? Sell stuff on Etsy or Ebay? Review books on Amazon.com?… Make sure your URL is somewhere on all of your user pages around the internet.
  7. Ride the buzz. Once in awhile, write about something that is a “hot topic” in the headlines or in the blogosphere. Of course, don’t do it unless it’s something of interest to you and your readers. If it doesn’t fit your regular content, then the readers you attract won’t stick around.
  8. Write about something obscure. Is there something you’re an expert on that few people are informed about? Is there something you really love but you’ve noticed it’s hard to find information about it? When you search online for it, are there almost no results? Write about that and then when others go searching, you’ll be at the top of the results. (Again make sure it fits your content.)
  9. Go find them. Non-bloggers hang out in forums, message boards, social networks and chat rooms. Join a conversation on a message board that is relevant to your blog, and make sure your URL is in your signature.
  10. Study SEO and apply the knowledge. Knowing a little about search engine optimization will help you blog effectively so that you’re easy to find through internet searches. There are a lot of free tutorials online. You don’t have to get into anything complicated. Even applying a few basic SEO principles will help you.
  11. Make yourself approachable. Your E-mail address should be easy to find on your blog in case someone wants to contact you privately. Also, try your best to respond to each and every comment left on your blog, whether they’ve asked you a question, shared something about themselves, given you a compliment or even disagreed with you.
  12. Be compatible with social news websites. Consider adding buttons to your blog posts so they can easily be submitted to social news and sharing websites like Stumbleupon, Digg, Reddit, etc. (But make sure you don’t add so many buttons that it looks cluttered.)
  13. Have a Giveaway. Honestly, most of the people that are attracted by giveaways are coming for the free stuff and they won’t be back, but you might grab a reader here and there. Besides, giveaways are fun. Everyone likes to play Santa Claus once in awhile, don’t they?
  14. Watch your statistics. Some blog platforms come with built in “stats” that you can check, or you can use a third party stat counting website to track how people are finding you, where they’re coming from, and where they hang out on your blog. Keep an eye on this information so you know what’s working and what’s not. This will determine what you spend more time doing, and what you stop wasting your time on.
  15. “Content is King”. It’s been said again and again, but maybe it can’t be said too often. The biggest rule to remember is that you need to make consistently good content and be dependable with how frequently you update your blog.

Happy blogging, and I wish you many comments! :)

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Heather Solos May 17, 2010 at 6:08 am

Excellent post, I would add a #16 Accept that most non-bloggers are lurkers. Not everyone wants to participate actively. There are a lot of informative sites out there with deceptively low comment counts due to a more passive audience.

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modernmami May 17, 2010 at 6:10 am

That is a great point. Sometimes non-bloggers are just looking for
information and don't interact.

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Sra. López May 17, 2010 at 6:34 am

@ Heather – I agree with your #16 :)

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Denisse - Ahorros para Mamá May 17, 2010 at 8:27 am

With my blog, most of the readers I need to attract are non-bloggers since they are Spanish-speakers. I had some of these tips in my head but very disorganized. This post summarized them all and gave me some great ideas!
@Latinaish-I love the way you write!

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modernmami May 17, 2010 at 2:35 pm

Do you find that many people looking for coupons find you through searching a search engine? Or do they have specific places they go to find coupons? Btw…glad you like Tracy's post. :)

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angelica perez May 17, 2010 at 12:15 pm

Many bloggers aim at targetting only established online users. I think it's really important to keep in mind that you can target very faithful followers who are casual online users. If you have something good to offer, they will log into their computer and visit your website. These tips are excellent and of great use! Thank you!

Angelica @ Modern Familia

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modernmami May 17, 2010 at 2:36 pm

I find I have a lot of visitors from searches. I just wish I knew if they were becoming subscribers or leaving after the one post.

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Maybelline May 18, 2010 at 7:24 am

Excellent Post! and very helpful!

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Marcela May 26, 2010 at 3:56 pm

Very very awesome post! So much information. Thanks

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Debbie Lattuga June 2, 2010 at 5:36 pm

Great post. I think bloggers get so hung up in the blogging culture that we forget what it was like to be a beginner.

Do you know that 90% of my friends and family do not read blogs regularly. There are lots of people that would love a nice, friendly, easy to navigate blog to read.

Go get them!

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modernmami June 2, 2010 at 9:00 pm

I find that the majority of my friends and family don't read blogs – not even mine! I constantly tell them it's the best way to keep up with what we're up to, but they just don't log on for some reason. lol

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Karla Bond June 3, 2010 at 8:53 am

Great tips! Some I am going to do myself.

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modernmami June 3, 2010 at 3:39 pm

Yes, it's a nice little check list, isn't it?

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Young And Fabulous June 3, 2010 at 9:48 pm

Valuable tips you laid out there. It's funny because finding non-blogger readers and followers was what I was set out to do the first time. But I seemed to end up with more blogger followers instead. I like the fact that these are things that are easy to understand and implement.

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modernmami June 4, 2010 at 7:35 am

I find it hard to acquire readers that are not bloggers themselves. Every once in a while I get some via search engines, but not sure if they become subscribers.

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Eren@ Embracing Blogging June 9, 2010 at 11:58 am

Wow! Those are some excellent tips that I sure need to implement. Fantastic post. I totally agree with the number 2 point. I try to make it very easy for people to comment. Now I’m also in the process of going back and encouraging readers to comment in the posts that I’ve written. Thanks for sharing.nBlessings,nEren

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Eren@ Embracing Blogging June 9, 2010 at 6:58 am

Wow! Those are some excellent tips that I sure need to implement. Fantastic post. I totally agree with the number 2 point. I try to make it very easy for people to comment. Now I'm also in the process of going back and encouraging readers to comment in the posts that I've written. Thanks for sharing.
Blessings,
Eren

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modernmami June 9, 2010 at 11:22 am

I too need to go through this check list and implement all the tips. :)

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modernmami June 9, 2010 at 3:22 pm

I too need to go through this check list and implement all the tips. :)

Reply

modernmami June 9, 2010 at 3:22 pm

I too need to go through this check list and implement all the tips. :)

Reply

modernmami June 9, 2010 at 10:22 am

I too need to go through this check list and implement all the tips. :)

Reply

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