Read Part 1 if you missed it.
6. Host giveaways.
Readers love giveaways. It’s a way to generate buzz for your site, give something back to your readers and get additional traffic by linking up to giveaway link-ups (ours goes up every Monday afternoon).
If you are a new blogger and wondering how on earth you get started hosting giveaways, it’s really very simple. Read my other post for some tips and suggestions for getting started offering giveaways.
If there’s one thing I want to encourage with giveaways, it’s this: don’t overdo and don’t make people jump through a bunch of hoops to enter. Okay, that was two things, but I think they are both vital for giveaway success.
Giveaways are great — in moderation. Unless your blog is primarily a product review blog, any more than 10 to 20% of a ratio of giveaways to regular posts is probably too much. And make it simple for people to enter. I promise your readers will appreciate it.
As a side note: be honest in your reviews if you’re including them with a product. If you didn’t love something, there’s no need to gush up and down about it.
Your readers appreciate honesty and forthrightness. Show pros and cons. But, as I’ve learned the hard way, if you only have critical things to say about a product, it’s probably better to skip the giveaway altogether since most companies aren’t really excited about sponsoring a giveaway where the blogger just posts a very negative review of the product.
7. Interact on Facebook and Twitter.
A year and a half ago, my husband suggested I set up a Facebook Page. I wasn’t too sure if it was worth it, but I went ahead and did it. I was shocked at how much traffic it generated from the start and how many people signed up as fans!
The beautiful thing about a Facebook Page is that when someone interacts on your page, it shows up on their personal page. Many people have told me they originally found my blog through a friend on Facebook.
In addition, my Facebook Page is one of the highest generators of traffic to my blog each month. Needless to say, I’m listening more carefully when my husband suggests I add something to my blog.
A successful Facebook Page doesn’t sit dormant. It should be updated at least once a day, preferably a few times per day. Post links to all your blog posts, share posts from the archives and throw in the occasional picture or real-time funny story, quote or question. The more you interact with your fans, the better.
By the way, I recommend posting your links manually on Facebook, instead of using an auto-post set up. Not only does this cause you to see if people are commenting or leaving questions, but this also shows up more readily in people’s feeds (auto-post tends to bury posts so people never see them).
8. Link liberally to other bloggers.
Want to know one way to have people find your blog? Link to their blog!
Most bloggers track their stats and incoming links and will click over to see if someone has linked to them. They might just end up linking back to you if they like what they see.
Now, I’m not advocating a “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” sort of mentality here, but I know that some bloggers are so scared they might lose traffic if they link to another blog. I’ve found the exact opposite to be true.
If you find a great blog or blog post that you think your readers would love, share it on your blog or Facebook Page! Don’t keep a good thing to yourself.
I got a little long-winded with these three, so I’ll save the final two ways to build and increase your readership for next week.