You have your blog all set up, you know you’re in it for the long-haul with a purpose, you have a topic, and now you’re thinking to yourself, “How do I get people to read my blog?” This is quite literally the million dollar question. I think if there was a definitive answer, and you had it all figured out, you could make quite a bit of money. Lucky for you, I can share what has worked for me.
When I started blogging I was writing for IGN and moderating their forums. I knew a lot of people, and a lot of people knew about me, so I had a slight edge. I could put my blog in my forum signature, and maybe a dozen people per day would click on it and hopefully not bounce off the page in 3 seconds. This was back in 2007, though, when blogging about games was still somewhat uncommon. Today, people know what gaming blogs are all about. That can be an advantage if you’re able to stand out from the crowd, or a disadvantage if you’re just another face.
No matter your circumstances, here’s my advice.
Write Every Day
People need to know your site will have something new each day if they are going to bookmark and make your site one of their daily stops when they get home from work. If you’re passionate, knowledgable, and truly interested in what you’re writing about then you’ll be able to write something once per day. I would like to emphasize ONCE a day. I see a lot of gaming blogs trying to post 2, 3, sometimes 4 or 5 times a day. That’s too much. You don’t have the readership to support that much content, and you’re going to burn out. This is my opinion, but if you’re going to be posting 5 times a day you might be slipping into the realm of a Rock Paper Shotgun type site that begins to cover 80% news and 20% personalized content — I’d say stick with the blogging for now.
Join the Community
Another great way to find readers is to become apart of the gaming blog community. Do you read other blogs and comment? Put your blog’s URL in the section of the comment that asks for your website, or place it in your forum signature. You’d be surprised how often people will click on your name if you write something insightful. Do not ever spam a blog comment just to get traffic. You should keep in mind that 99% of the time comments are no-follow links. You can also email other bloggers and ask them to if they wouldn’t mind checking out your site and, if they like what they see, adding you to their blogroll. You’re not doing this for traffic, you want people to find out who you are and naturally decide for themselves that your site is worth visiting.
Stick with It!
You’re probably not going to be an overnight success unless you already spent time building up clout in another area; Even then you likely invested time already. It took us about a year before we started to see our readers grow at a huge rate. You might see 10 people visit your blog the first month, but hopefully — as long as you’re publishing amazing content — people will slowly share what they read with others and you will start to see your readership grow. Other people sharing your content is the single most powerful way of growing your blog. Google loves when content is shared naturally, and you should too because it means you’re doing something right. We’ll talk more on this in a later tip.