For various reasons, most of us like it when we get brand new blog viewers. It may be because it’s great to have a new voice added to the conversation, or it may be for more business-oriented reasons, or it could be a confidence-booster.
While numbers are not where the true value of blogging lies (at least for most of us), generally speaking, having new people make their way to your blog is a positive thing that offers the potential for more interactions.
Where might those new blog viewers come from, and how might they find you? A couple of possibilities are from social media and from within WordPress itself.
Twitter comment threads
I got thinking about this when Sophie from Girl vs World mentioned in a post a little while back that she gets a lot of views on her blog from Twitter comment threads.
I’m on Twitter, but I don’t spend a lot of time on it, so I wasn’t immediately sure what she meant. When I had a look through my Twitter feed, I noticed posts like the one below, which I’d always just scrolled on by before.
There are a variety of different Twitter accounts that run these kinds of things, but the basic idea is the same. You’re supposed to leave a comment with a link to your latest blog post, retweet the comment thread, and have a look at (and comment on) the posts that other people leave links to in the thread.
I’m not sure how I managed to never notice this, especially since I somehow managed to end up following several of these types of accounts, but now that I’m aware of it, I’m rather fascinated and have multiple questions.
I can see how this would generate views, but I wonder if it would actually translate to more followers. At least some of the other people leaving their own links on the thread are going to play fair and check out other people’s blogs. However, I’m guessing that for a certain segment of people participating the primary motivator is to be discovered rather than to discover other blogs, and I wonder how many of those people would choose to actually hang out and stay awhile.
I would also wonder if there are diminishing returns the more often one participates in these comment threads. And is there much new blood getting injected into these threads, or is mostly the same people over and over?
Another question I have is if it makes a difference to be one of the first to drop a link on one of these threads. I’ve noticed a few bloggers who are really on top of that. I would never be able to be that on the ball, but I’m curious how much difference it actually makes.
It’s completely possible that I’m totally missing the boat on something that’s a really useful strategy. I certainly hope that it’s something effective for bloggers that are participating; I’m just really curious to know if it actually does work. If you participate in these kinds of threads, please let me know in the comments what your experience has been.
Personally, I’m very WordPress-minded. I feel comfortable here; I like the platform, I like the community, and I feel like I know what I’m doing. I’m actually less likely to follow another person’s blog if it’s not a WordPress blog, because (at least in my head) it feels like we’re on different islands rather than the same continent.
On a somewhat regular basis, I like to search through the WordPress Reader for new mental health blogs. Yesterday I happened to be browsing through the Reader under the tag “depression”, and came across something very interesting. There were quite a few posts with a handful of likes all from the same few people. And those same few people all had quite large followings.
I have no idea if those likers are reading those posts or not, although with the most frequent I have some doubts as to whether they would actually have time to read and like that many posts. I suspect that going along and liking a bunch of new bloggers’ posts probably gets a very high rate of return engagement.
Does it even matter?
For people who are hoping to make some income off blogging, increasing numbers will need to be a major part of that. For everyone else, it’s nice to be able to meet some new people with new ideas who have made their way to our blogs.
There probably is no single “best” way to get new eyeballs on your blog. What works best for your blog will depend a lot on what it is you’re trying to accomplish. When it comes to numbers, organic community-building is probably not the quickest way to grow, but I suspect it’s the best way to gain consistent, meaningful followers.
Are there any strategies you use to try to find new blog viewers? How well have they worked for you?