Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Search your way to social readership

As I continue my daily blogging, I am getting insights to how world of blogging works by trying it myself.  By setting up a blog site and posting daily I get interesting stats from blog owner perspective.  Now I see why newspaper owners can be obsessed with getting the rating up.  Not only it's easiest number to track, but in their case it's directly tied to their bottom line.

Thinking about this for a while and looking at my monthly stats got me started on this question.  What would be the next logical thing for a guy like me, a part-time blogger, can do to increase the readership?  What can I think of to increase the incoming traffic?

Here's what my top 10 referring sites looked like in past 30 days.

If you look at the top 2 referring sites, #1 is Google (search) and #2 is NetworkedBlogs (social).  Like most of other blog sites, I have set up syndication with NetworkedBlogs so that each blog entry gets automatically posted to Facebook Page, Twitter and LinkedIn.  So most of traffic from NetworkedBlogs are coming from a small readership base.

Interestingly, however, that's not always the case.  For people with established readership community (such as Fred Wilson's AVC.com and John Battelle's BattelleMedia.com), this can be reversed where social is #1 and search is #2 referring site.  Fred Wilson talked about this dynamics on one of his posts in January.  This makes sense because with well-known sites people have RSS feed and shortcuts set up to come directly to the site.  For a regular guy like me, it comes down to getting the message out to small readership base and making your post available for Google search engine.

Then the question becomes how one can increase the size of actively engaged users?  How do you build a community?  Another way to ask this question is to say "how do you get your content to people who might be interested?"

Provided that you offer value to readers (that's a big if), what you need is to find people who are ready to consume your value.  If I sum up most of buzz around social media, that's what it comes down to: finding a right set of people who can consume your goods and services.

It should be no wonder why people wants to jump on social advertisement.  Get your content in front of people that you want to target by education, line of work, gender, location and their interests.  That is, if you care that much about increasing the readership to your blog.  For regular guy like me, there is always Google and LinkedIn Groups.

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