Se7en + 1 Things Learnt at the Probloggers Webinar: Finding Readers for Your Blog…

The Problogger runs a fantastic series of webinars, all you have to do is sign up and join in… so far I have attended his Monitization Webinar and my personal favourite his Webinar Interview with Simple Mom.

The topic today was Finding Readers for Your Blog and as he says – there is no one way for a blog to find new readers and every blog has a unique way of growing. His blog, Problogger had very slow beginnings and then one great day it exploded and never lost those new readers. Generally the growth is slow and steady. And at some stage many blogs taper off… this is when bloggers give up or stop caring too much!!! One of his other blogs, Digital Photography School just keeps on growing enormously month by month in an unprecedented way, the graph he showed was off the charts. The point of the demonstration confirmed that all blogs are indeed different and have their own reader growth spectrums.

I think for our blog, I was simply amazed that other folk ever read our blog!!! I didn’t even know how to have comments at first and for the longest time didn’t have comments. Once I figured that out it was a lot easier to write for specific readers as readers became more connected. There are definite seasons to growing a blog and I didn’t realise that it was something I had any control over before I had blogged for quite a while and I could see that some posts generated a whole lot more traffic than others. Our blog only began to grow significantly when I began spending a lot of time off our blog, and loved strategic commenting and seeing the number of readers grow as a result of that. The next significant blog grower for us was a shift from doing all the promotion myself to loyal readers sharing what they liked particularly on Pinterest… I have little control over what folk pin but I do know when folk visit as a result of seeing a pin they like that they do stay and read a couple of other pages at the same time… Our blog continues to grow and I love that thousands of folk visit our blog. I think my takeaway from this webinar is to get to know my readers a whole lot better… I have to say when I do write I usually write for a particular person that has asked a question or suggested a topic. So the more readers that suggest what they would like to hear the more I can write for our particular readers.

The Problogger’s Nine Principles for Finding Readers:

  1. Identify WHO You Want to Reach:
  2. The tip is to create reader profiles and then write to those readers. Who is your reader? What do they want to know, what are their needs, what are their challenges? He has a fabulous post where he creates reader profiles for Gareth, Grace and Keith. I love the detail he provides… Definitely something I can learn from.
    Knowing your reader will help you to find new readers. You can use surveys to discover more about your readers, is a great resource for that. Polls help you identify specifics about your reader profiles, which is so useful as they enable potential advertisers to see what products would appeal to that particular blog’s market. The Problogger has used polls to develop Pinterest boards, now that is a great idea!!!

  3. Create the Content that Meets Your Reader’s Needs:
  4. Now that you know who your reader is you can build a useful blog, full of great content specifically for them. Any other strategy, such as guest posting or commenting, counts for nothing if new readers have nothing fabulous to read when they arrive at your site. You need a foundation of good useful content to keep your readers interested. The reality is, creating good content is not enough, you have to get off your blog and seek your readers out.

  5. Identify Where Your Readers Gather:
  6. Which social networks are your readers on: flickr, Twitter, Pinterest,… You can use a poll to determine this. 72% of Problogger readers are on Facebook. Honestly it never occurred to me to think about this, though I do get a lot of traffic from Pinterest that doesn’t mean that that is where my readers are hanging out online.

  7. Build a Presence Where Your Readers Gather:
  8. Develop a presence and be useful on the relevant social media. This is such a useful tip – you don’t have to spread yourself thin and try and be everywhere… just go and find your readers where they are!!! Leave useful comments and answer questions, that help to build relationships and authority. If that is where your readers are then that is the place to be generous and sharing links to others… not just links about your wonderful self… but useful links within your niche. The more generous you are the more folk trust and that gives you credibility and builds your traffic as folk turn to you as an authority. The Problogger has worked on developing a Pinterest presence in the last week. I have to smile it has taken me since the beginning of Pinterest to feel that I have a smidgen of a presence there!!!

  9. Engage the Readers You Have:
  10. So true… Be loyal to your loyal readers – don’t be greedy and always off seeking more. Build your community. Sharing information and building loyal readers is far better for long term growth than instantaneous social media shout outs. Get your readers to do something when they are visiting, it means that they are thinking about your site and they are getting more engaged. He has a weekly photography challenge for his readers to join, which means they are thinking about his site even when they are not on his site. It keeps his readers loyal, to see and they keep coming back for new challenges.

  11. Give People Relevant and Easy Ways to Subscribe and Belong to Your Community.
  12. Email, RSS, Twitter, FaceBook and Social Media. Make it easy for your readers to connect with you. His biggest “connector” is his weekly newsletter via email, that he began to help his dad follow him.

  13. Use Those Methods to Drive Traffic to Your Site.
  14. As a reader subscribes he sends a welcome email and then he has a cycle of email updates so that it is always changing: He uses weekly updates, themed updates, seasonal updates and promotions. It isn’t always the same old format, but it cycles through. You can use this to drive readers deeper into your site as well, linking back to fabulous past posts helps new readers to discover great content.

    And the Se7en + 1th Principle:

  15. Create Share-able Content:
  16. As your blog grows ands your readers will naturally start to share the great information on your site, they will do some of the “finding new readers” job for you. By serving your current readers, you give them something that they will like to share. And it doesn’t always have to be brand new fresh content… list link round ups are great. Humour and tutorials are always popular, link them to past tutorials and drive traffic deeper into your blog. Folks love to share inspiration… give your readers something inspiring… let’s say that again… people love to share inspiration!!!

    Research your readers… discover their favourites topics, tools, whatever it is a great way top generate discussion and build some buzz. A good place to see what your readers like is to see what they are pinning on Pinterst. Take a look at url. Then look at what other blogs like yours are have pinned and shared. Find out what folk really like and then make sure your content reflects that. Consider other ways of presenting the material you have. This week Problogger created a ZEEN: “What is the best of DPS?” Most popular posts of the year… a fun way to create ways to meet new readers and provide them with great content at the same time.

    And the se7en + 1th + another 1th Principle:

  17. Keep Repeating All of the Above…

His over riding Principle that he kept repeating: He would prefer one hundred good quality readers than one hundred thousand fly by nights.

He Went on to Talk About a Couple of Strategies for Finding Readers:

  1. Hook your readers: Give your reader something to do at the end of some posts, invite them to subscribe at the end of a post: “Want more posts like this then Invite them to subscribe…”
  2. Create momentum and suspense on your site: Write a series of posts… leave your readers expecting more… more of the same, more of something new. He grew his blog enormously with his 31 Days to a Better Blog Series. I know I loved that series and it set me on the road to blogging and keep on blogging… and then blog a bit more!!!
  3. Guest posts: Guest posts are touted as the great blogger grower but there are certain things you need to think about first: Make it relevant to the blog you are visiting; Get to know the blogger and have a relationship before you suggest a guest post; Post on similar blogs to your own, it gives credibility to your blog and your voice as an authority within your niche.
  4. Linking Back into your Blog: Every page that a reader reads is another chance to deepen their engagement. Also linking back, especially within your first paragraph, means that when someone scrapes your content they will scrape your links as well.
  5. Creating a Presence on Other Blogs: In his earlier days the Problogger spent a lot more time on other blogs… now that his blog is established his readers do a lot of the sharing and he now concentrates on building community on his own blog.
  6. How much Time Should be Spent in Promoting: Is there such a thing as too much time spent promoting? Definitely, you need to find a balance between providing readers with content and engaging them.
  7. Best time to post: Most of his readers are US readers and he posts as the readers wake up. HE also posts at the end of the working day, when folk get home and are sitting the couch reading their iPads – How does he know what we are up to?!!!
  8. And the Se7en + 1th Strategy:

  9. Wide Spectrum vs. Focused Topics: Would you reach a wider audience by concentrating on a small niche topic Small of subjects for a large audience or focus in on a narrow topic. Again there is a balance…

In fact the overall strategy was: Find the Balance… between creating quality material and finding new readers!

You can listen to a recording of the webinar here, Finding Readers for Your Blog as well as look at a pdf of the notes with tons more information!!!


Sign up and follow the Probloggers Webinars he loves sharing useful information… and his webinars are a great way to learn heaps of tips… His next webinar is on Blog Design… trust me I will be there!!!

13 Replies to “Se7en + 1 Things Learnt at the Probloggers Webinar: Finding Readers for Your Blog…”

  1. Hi Se7en,

    I love Darren:) Glad you got inspired and thank you for that Pinterest tip, I’ll try that out. I’ve finally got myself sorted out there (mainly because my Pin it bookmarklet started working) now I have boards I’m proud of and traffic coming in:)

    Guest posting is my fave strategy though.

  2. Hay Annabel Candy,
    Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment!!! No, I definitely couldn’t use Pinterest without that little gadget… and I have noticed that rather than being a place where you pin everything you love and adore it is a place where you serve your readers a little bit more and give them everything they love and adore. Luckily if you are true to your readers these two sets of pins collide on your boards quite comfortably. Though there are areas where I pin strategically giving our readers exactly what they would like to see!!!
    I know you love guest posting and I have started to do a little bit of it… but it is so out of my comfort zone and I confess such hard work to create an awesome post to fit onto someone else’s blog, the ideas don’t leap quite as easily as they do on my own blog!!!
    Thanks again for stopping by… Hope you have a fabulous weekend… Frankly a little bit of sunshine would make a very welcome difference over here!!!

  3. What a fascinating and insightful recap!!!! I have never given sthomas of this much thought at all… But it s so interesting!!!! I have a million thoughts after reading this post now!!! Of course this is why we need to sit down for a long cup of tea. I have been blogging for sooo many years now (even before the one I have now)… And I have two main “blogging philosophies”that I have kept all these years 1. If you build it, they will come ( remember that movie)? and 2. Share your true authentic voice and passion 🙂 And for the record I think you are an incredibly awesome and inspirational blogger!!!!

  4. Great post – thank you! May I ask a question – From what I can tell, you have to add the Pinterest “pin it” button to each post after you have written it. I would love to know if there is a way to add it to my blog, so that it is automatically at the end of each post with my other social network sharing buttons? Does that make sense? Do you know if there is a way to do that? Thank you 🙂 Georgia

  5. Hay Katherine Marie!!! I love learning about blogging, there is so much to learn and little tweaks can make the most amazing difference!!! I don’t think I ever intentionally thought about growing our blog and it was simply the journey that blogging takes you on that grew our blog… but I loved watching it grow and continue to be totally amazed by the amount of folk that read about our life and times!!! It is very fun and I have made the best friends through blogging. Have to say I love your blogging philosophy… So very true, your love does shine through!!! And as for inspiring… your blog is packed with it!!! Hope you your cute kiddos have a great weekend!!!

  6. Hi Love and Lollipops… That is a great question. You probably use a widget or plugin to include the different social media buttons at the bottom of your posts… If you go and have a look where you found it you will probably find a more updated version or another one that includes a pin it button as well as twitter and like and whatever else you have on your posts already… try it out and let me know if you have any trouble… Have a good weekend… another wet, wet weekend!!!

  7. That’s a great summary of Darren’s webinar last week – I was ‘there’ too.

    I liked how he focussed on those philosophies of blogging – as he said, the philosophies are principles that work and direct which techniques to use, and the techniques will change over time (for example, he wouldn’t have used Pinterest 3 years ago!)

    I totally agree that you must have good content on your blog first, otherwise what’s the point of people visiting it? And I liked some of Darren’s ideas for repackaging your content to maximise your efforts.

  8. Hi Tash, Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment. The Problogger’s webinars are incredible, I have learnt so much from them. I love the way he so happily shares the knowledge he has gleaned with all his followers. You are so right, the “re-packaging tip” is an excellent one… I definitely need to give that a lot more thought!!! Hope you have a great week!!!

  9. Hi Tricia O., Thank you so much for stopping by. The Problogger’s Webinars are so packed with great ideas!!! Isn’t a poll a great idea!!!I know I do try and pin things my readers enjoy but that would certainly raise the game!!! Hope you have a great week!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *