Saturday, October 8, 2011

6 tips for finding readers for your new teacher blog

Recently I was asked by a teacher new to blogging  "How do I attract readers to my blog?"

Once I'd stopped laughing over the image of me giving blogging advice, I realised that there are a few simple strategies that I've picked up along that can help readers find their way to your blog.    

So if you have a blog in search of followers, then these tips are for you:

1.  Engage, Engage, Engage

Who are the teachers with blogs?  Where do they hang out?  The simplest way to get your blog noticed is to find your blogging community and engage with the other bloggers in it.

Have a look at the blog roll of your favorite blogs.  What blogs do they visit?  You can check out mine here.
Do your favorite bloggers have a Facebook page?  Do they tweet?  Join in the conversation and share your experience, thoughts and ideas.  Don't be shy - we love it when people engage with us.
Join online teaching networks or groups.  You can find a list of the ones I frequent here.

2.  Comment, Comment, Comment

When you comment on blogs, you usually have the option of including your own blog address and your comment links back to your blog.  This makes it easy for others to find you.

So add your 2 cents worth - share your thoughts, tips or experiences or just let the blogger know that you have found their post useful.  We love this.  Comments make us happy.

As Darren Rouse aka ProBlogger says:
Reach out to growing bloggers and to those bloggers who are in the same stage as you in their blogging journey. Every comment you make on your favorite A-lister’s blog will indeed help you make friends, attract new visitors, and sometimes even attract subscribers. This is conventional wisdom.
However be wary of commenting just for the sake of it.  Comments along the lines of "Hi, I like your blog.  Like mine back." have my finger immediately heading for the delete button.

3.  Create a social media presence.

Twitter and Facebook are are great ways to network with the people in your niche. 

If you are time poor like most of us, choose one to focus on.  Facebook seems to be where most of my readership hang out, so that is where I spend my time. 

However I can't restrain myself from popping into Twitter every now and then, and when I do these are the conversations I follow:


If you are not quite sure about how to set yourself on Twitter or Facebook, here are some folk more savvy than I am who can help you:

Twitter Guide Book at Mashable
How to Set up a Facebook Page at Mashable
How to create a facebook page for your blog at Fat Mum Slim
10 Twitter Tips for Teachers
Make your Facebook Page a Fan Party at Problogger

Or for inspiration, take a look at these fellow teacher bloggers who use social networks to great effect:

Sherry and Donna's Irresistible Ideas for Play Based Learning
Deborah Stewart at Teach Preschool

4. Guest write for blogs.

Once you start developing relationships with other bloggers, you can approach your new blogging buddies for guest posting opportunities.

By guest blogging on another blog your blog will be exposed to the other blogger's readership, and many of their readers will visit your blog to see what you have to say.

For more on guest posting:

Finding new readers for your blog by guest posting @ Problogger

(I'm always looking for guest posters - drop me a line.)

5.  Give readers a way to interact with you.

When I first land on a new blog I look for ways to interact with you.  Are you making it easy for readers like me to connect?

Do you have an "About Page" that tells me a bit about yourself and what your blog can do for me?  This is often my first port of call on a new blog, and deserves some time and consideration.
Are your RSS and Email subscription buttons are in a prominent position on your blog - preferably right at the top of your sidebar?
Can I share your posts easily on Twitter and Facebook?  Us social media junkies like nothing better than passing on blog posts and information to our social networking buddies.
Can I connect with you on Facebook or Twitter?  If it is easy for me to click on a button to take me to your pages then I will.
The easier you make it for readers to connect to you, the more your readership will grow.

Kick your RSS: Jumping on the Syndication Bandwagon at ProBlogger
Tools of the Trade at Blog Coaching Boost
Just Starting out?  A guide to feedburner at Mummy Bloggers Blog
Why About Pages really matter. at Heidi Cohen
How to install the facebook 'Like" button to your blog

6.  Submit a post on blog link-ups

Blog link ups are another way of putting your blog smack bang in the middle of your blogging niche.

The blog owner posts a topic, you then write a post on your blog, add a button that links back to the host blog, and then add a link to your post on the host blogs post.

To find a link up to take part in, look at some of your favourite blogs and join in some of the link ups they do. The It's Playtime link up is good place to start, even if I do say so myself.

Growing the readership of your blog will take time, so settle in for the long haul and have fun blogging and building connections while you wait.  

Do you have a tip you'd like to share on how you helped readers find your blog?

You might also enjoy:

10 Good Reasons Why Teachers Should Blog
14 Top Australian Teacher Blogs
10 Tips for Teachers Starting a Blog

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