You are an individual with unique thoughts, opinions, and experiences. And you feel that people all around the world could benefit from what you have to say. With that in mind, you decide to start a blog so you can voice your beliefs and/or chronicle your life events for everyone to see.
But if a blog is posted on the Web but no one actually reads it, does it even make a sound in the vast depths of cyberspace?
Here’s the bottom line: Content creation is only half the battle when it comes to blogging. You need to also work hard to draw eyeballs to your blog entries. More specifically, you must seek out readers who will return to your blog again and again. In short, if you want to be a leader in the blogosphere, you need to have followers.
There are a number of ways to attract followers to your blog. One smart way is to leverage the power of the world’s top social media site: Facebook. Since practically everyone who surfs the Internet on a regular basis has some sort of Facebook presence, the site’s users represent a colossal cache of potential blog followers. So if you can figure out a way to bring Facebook users to your blog, then you can create an army of followers who eagerly await your next entry.
Of course, the easiest way to get blog followers from the site is to promote your blog among your circle of current Facebook friends. In addition to posting information about your blog on your news feed, you can also provide links to blog entries that you think they will enjoy. The idea is to create some word-of-mouth buzz among your social network that may eventually bring additional blog followers. However, it is important to not go overboard with this technique, or else you may alienate some Facebook friends who get tired of hearing about your blog instead of your life.
Another method to divert Facebook users to your blog is to create a separate Facebook profile for your blog and/or a Facebook Fan Page. Setting up a new profile solves the above mentioned problem of distancing yourself from your personal Facebook friends by talking about your blog all the time. This way, friends can just check out your blog profile page to hear about your latest contributions to the blogosphere. A Facebook Fan Page goes a step further, although it does cost you a flat monthly fee to set one up. It gives you access to various Facebook modules that can enhance your blog’s performance, and can also track the number of people who view both your fan page and your blog.
You can also be proactive in seeking out blog followers from Facebook users who are not currently in your social network. Start by finding blogs written by people who have similar interests or viewpoints. Then “friend” them, “like” their fan pages, and read and comment on their blogs. It is in these comment sections that you can sprinkle in some links and references to your own blog. Finally, you should install the Facebook plug-in on your blog so readers can respond to your presence on the site itself. You can also look into joining up with Facebook’s Networked Blogs, which may enable you to attract followers from other like-minded blogs.
If you’re on Twitter, consider retweeting some of their best entries to your Tweeple (and be sure to tell the bloggers you did so). At some point, send a personal message to these bloggers (either through Facebook’s Send Message feature or using the @ symbol in a comment) telling them about your blog and asking them to be followers. If you’re already following their blog, there’s a good chance that they will return the favor.
Once you get some followers, the key is to build a sense of community among them. That may entail writing more content about topics which receive more comments, responding to commenters’ posts and questions, and perhaps even contacting followers directly. Once you establish a strong bond with a large number of followers, then you can attempt to take your blog to the next level.
This post was written by Chris Martin, who is a freelance writer and blogger who writes about the hottest topics on the Web. Speaking of hot, you don’t want the Midwestern heat and humidity to invade your home.