You know why blogging became popular? Because it let the geniuses like you and I publish their
rants thoughts about random stuff online. Blogs were supposed to be personal diaries.
Then, the cult of business-minded came along and turned blogs into online profit-turning machines, and set down a completely different definition of blogging. Of course, money feels and smells good, so everyone liked the renewed definition of blogging, leaving personal blogs behind.
The state of personal blogging is very bad nowadays. Personal bloggers have very few readers who hardly participate in discussions. Unless you have been blogging for five or so years, chances are you find blogging a very discouraging experience.
The fault, probably, lies within you. It’s time to reconsider your agendas and re-examine the way you blog.
One problem with personal blogs is that they don’t follow anything resembling a topic. If today, you – the publisher of personal blog – are talking about politics, the very next day you’ll be found reviewing the iPhone. Not very consistent, are you?
Choose a few topics you are passionate about from the broader array of your interests, and post consistently about those topics. It doesn’t rob your blog of that personal touch. It helps you find your audience, the group of like-minded people that is interested in your opinions.
This is the area where most of the personal blogs struggle. It’s understandable that you, being a casual blogger, don’t have enough time to dedicate to blogging, or else how would you be any different from the probloggers? But posting daily or even every other day is not a prerequisite. Every blogger should find his own tempo and then stick to it.
You may want to publish something everyday, but it’s not possible because of the studies or your job and family responsibilities. So you post in spurts. Sometimes you publish 5 posts every single day for weeks, and sometimes you stay quiet for a whole month. What you got to do is, utilize the times when you are full of ideas and have nothing else to get in your way, and write as many posts as you can. Later on, when you get bogged down in the work and find it hard to spend time on blogging, publish the posts you wrote earlier. Publishing something even once a week is not bad if you are consistent with this routine.
Your friends are not your only audience. Get out in the blogosphere and make new contacts with fellow bloggers. One problem with having only your friends and relatives as your readers is that they don’t come online as often as other internet addicts such as bloggers. And even if they come online daily, they can talk to you on the IMs. They won’t take the trouble to go to your blog, read your posts, find the comment form, and say something.
On the other hand, bloggers are generous in commenting. They trawl the blogosphere to find new bloggers and make comments wherever they can. It’s also the blogger that become your loyal readers most of the time.
Networking with the bloggers, whom you previously didn’t know, will increase your readership immensely. So make it a habit to discover new blogs and participate in their discussions (that take place in comments section of posts) and see how they come back to your blog, link back to you, and talk about you in return. There is nothing more rewarding than having complete strangers talk about you and your blog.
Likewise, social media is another place to promote yourself and your blog. Social media sites like StumbleUpon and Digg can send you whole rafts of new visitors. There is no specific topic you have to cover to attract the attention of social media users, nor you have to be an authority in any particular subject to be featured on social media sites. It just takes one well thought out post to get noticed, and then domino effect of social media traffic starts.
Unlike what you may be thinking, it doesn’t take a lot of time to build social media influence. It’s just a part of discovering new bloggers and making new contacts in the blogosphere. If you have joined a few social media sites, make sure you promote those bloggers wherever you can to build feelings of mutual goodwill. Rest assured that the bloggers you favored will give you the same treatment.
I highly recommend joining StumbleUpon to generate quick traffic to any of your posts, and Digging once in a while to keep updated with what’s hot in the social sphere. Don’t ever join social networks like Twitter and Facebook. They do more harm than they do good. Absolute waste of time.
I usually don’t take the bogs hosted on blog hosting services seriously. And I am afraid nobody else does. It just shows you are not serious enough about your blog, and, of course, I am not going to spend time exploring and commenting on such a blog.
Domains are easy to get and hosting is cheap. If you are looking to build an audience and make some money along the way, paying 5 or 6 bucks per month is not a waste of money at all, now is it?
Did you start off as a casual blogger and evolve into a problogger, or do you still own a personal blog and find it hard to increase your readership?