One thing I like about blogging is the ability we have to help others all over the globe.

We blog and share our knowledge and experience. We write posts that make their readers think and react by commenting. Soon, we build a community of like minded people who willing help each other by extending a helping hand.

Today’s Lesson

Did you read Chase March’s comment on Monday’s blog post, Reflecting On Our Online Presence? He said (in part):

I feel like I’m a tiny pebble at the bottom of the aquarium. Nobody watches the pebbles. They wouldn’t notice if I disappeared. It seems like there are enough pebbles doing the job. Maybe it’s time to pack up and quit.

Since Chase commented, I’ve been in touch with him via email. Because he loves to write, he has decided to “hang in there”, but is still concerned why his blog isn’t growing.

Chase has the same concern many of us have/had. How do we get traffic to our blogs?

As I mentioned in my reply to him, I went for 10 months before I began to see sizable growth with my blog. I equate that to when I began to “get out there” visiting and commenting on other blogs.

That is what worked for me.

What about you? What advice would you give Chase and/or other bloggers who are looking to increase their readership.

Today’s Assignment

How did you grow your blog?

What techniques did you use to get more visitors/commenters?

What methods did you try that didn’t work?


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  1. LindaNo Gravatar says:

    A suggestion to get traffic is to join entrecard. I know a lot of folks do not like it but it WILL get you traffic. The old saying of stop, drop and comment really works. You have to comment to get the visitors to stick around.

    Submitting your blog to the directories also assists in getting recognized.

  2. My current blog hasn’t grown yet…but I’m slowly nurturing it by starting to post regularly, reply to comments I get…and by writing (hopefully) engaging posts. I like to mix dreams with truth and I often get something more real than the two could ever be alone.

    The best way to build a blog, in my opinion, is to attempt to create a friendly community…make friends with other bloggers. More importantly, if you’re a niche blogger…find other bloggers who have the same kind of blog as you do. Not exactly the same, but around the same subject. Parenting blogs stick together, writing blogs stick together, finance…well you know.

    I have to stop myself from saying, “in my opinion, anyways.”

  3. Tammy WarrenNo Gravatar says:

    I think you have to take time to float around the blogosphere. When I have a blog that I like… I always comment. While I am in the comment section I usually click on another comment that I can relate to. I have found many readers/bloggers with my same interest by doing this.

    My blog is growing with readers that I can “relate” to. I am not a numbers person. I know there are many out there that just want the hits. I am not sure this is the way to approach a repeat reader base.

    Tammy Warren’s last blog post..Sensitive little son

  4. Lauren StarrNo Gravatar says:

    Try to write a post as a guest on another authority blog’s website. This will get you a lot of traffic from the readership of that blog, particularly if the post is good.

    Lauren Starr’s last blog post..Natural Skin Care Tips That You Can Use

  5. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Linda,

    Entrecard is something I haven’t tried, but I have seen it on yours and several other sites.

    Directories is a great idea, too. I researched directories, but got sidetracked and never did any submissions. Do you have any favorites you would recommend?

  6. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    After checking my comments, I found the three of you in my moderation folder. Thank you for sharing your ideas.

    Hi Matthew,

    Welcome to the BWAB community.

    That’s a great idea to find other niche blogs (if you’re a niche blogger). Creating a friendly community is very important, as well.

    Hi Tammy,

    Welcome to the BWAB community.

    You’re right. We can often find like minded people in the comment sections of other blogs. Just reading their words tell us a lot about them.

    And yes, not worrying too much about the numbers takes the pressure off, and we can concentrate on providing good content.

    Hi Lauren,

    Welcome to the BWAB community.

    Guest posing is a wonderful idea. You’re right, if the content is good and the blog you posted on is of a decent size, many of the readers will read you, too.

  7. Scott McIntyreNo Gravatar says:

    While I’m not able to answer your assignment today from direct experience, I’d really want to encourage Chase to stick at it.

    I can see he’s passionate about what he’s writing about. Like anything valuable and worthwhile, it sometimes takes a bit of time to create.

    One thing I’m finding is that reading ‘How to Blog’ blogs, like your own Barbara, really helps.

    Then, as I visit other blogs, I can see what other bloggers are doing which seems to be working.

    I guess I’d suggest to Chase that he keeps experimenting and applies what he likes on other blogs to his own.

    There’s always a need for enthusiastic bloggers. And readers will always recognize this.

    Just put yourself out into the blogosphere, Chase, and people will gradually get to know what you stand for.

    And you’re a member of a supportive community here… and we’re all here to help each other 🙂

    (Apologies for not being able to join you yesterday, Barbara- pc is playing up)

  8. RobinNo Gravatar says:

    Regarding Chase – I think there is maybe a little too much emphasis out there on blogs that grew very quickly – Tina Su comes to mind (not meaning to cast any dispersions on Tina).

    I’m hardly qualified to give advice, but to anyone, I’d suggest commenting on other blogs as the main tool for growth. Also, I notice Chase posts really often – I’d suggest that posting less often so posts have a chance to gather more comments can help.

    Robin’s last blog post..Feelings Are There To Be Felt

  9. LanceNo Gravatar says:

    I think commenting on other blogs, and replying to comments on your own blog work very well at helping to generate new traffic. And not just comments that say “great post”, but something more meaningful. It takes more time, but to me – the connections with others is just as important, really more important, than the number of visitors I have. It means less sleep for me… and more coffee!

    The other thing is writing posts that are meaningful – meaningful in whatever topic we write about. That’s also what will keep people coming back, and create links back to your site from other sites.

    Lance’s last blog post..What We Learn From Winning

  10. Chase MarchNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I really appreciate this post and the advice you’ve given me. There are already some great comments here that I feel that I can use.

    Thanks to everyone who has commented. I really like some of your ideas. I will look at them closer tonight after school when I have more time.

    Chase March’s last blog post..Meet The Teacher BBQ

  11. SalNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara,

    Thanks for turning me on to Chase. I just checked out his blog and I like it a lot. The biggest thing that I have found to work thus far is to give what you want to get. What I mean is comment and subscribe to other’s blogs in order to get comments and subscriptions to yours. Also, I participated in Michael’s post over at Remarkablogger and that helped draw some attention to me as well.

    Again, thank you for the new feed and keep doing what you do best!

  12. I think that even the “great post” comment can be a good idea when you are facing a little known post. You might not get a big audience that way, but you could win a friend.

    After all, sometimes I feel comments are the best reward for posts, specially if they are sincere.

    As for this post, I am quite a newbie, with no insights to offer. Just that I’m trying to imitate a bit from the best, and to “be myself” at the same time.

    Wish me luck.

  13. Step 1: make sure I reply to every single comment on my posts
    Step 2: get out there, read and comment on other posts
    Step 3: talk about my blog in person to people
    Step 4: just now getting into social networking

    My readership growth has been slow and steady. Perhaps there will be a tipping point and all of sudden my readership will take a jump. Early days yet.

  14. This is a tough situation and I have felt like Chase many times, and my blog does have loyal readers. But I do get those moments where I think I could just close up shop and it wouldn’t matter. I could post occasionally on friends’ blogs and just read and comment a lot and focus on other writing and my busy off-line life.

    But Chase, what you and anyone else in this position has to consider is why you blog. Do you do it to please others or yourself? If you have something you want to say and you want to connect with other bloggers and be part of a community then you just have to keep at it and not keep score of stats. I find comments so much more satisfying anyway, and I know you feel the same Barbara.

    And if you blog and you comment and you give of yourself, others will give of themselves and what starts out as a lonely one way exercise becomes inclusive and two way and then regardless of your readership size it is satisfying and meaningful and well worth the time.

    I also found working out what I had to offer was an important step in my blogging journey. I started out trying to fit a personal development niche, but the thought of only writing those articles stressed me out and it just felt too narrow. So I relaxed, forgot the niche and focused instead on what I wanted to talk about. How could I be more me? And then everything started to pick up. Quality content is a basic must-have for any blog.

    My guest post at Zen habits also helped a lot, so I think if you can do guest posts it is well worth the effort when you’re trying to get some readers. Chase, good luck and hang in there.

    Kelly

  15. Writer DadNo Gravatar says:

    Chase,

    You’re doing well; you just need patience. Every comment I’ve ever read from you, on my site or off, has been worth reading. I especially appreciated your comment this morning. Keep up the good work, and it will come. Directories might also be a good idea.

  16. Ulla HennigNo Gravatar says:

    1. I have joined twitter. It was a way for me to get to know other people which I could learn from. Those people are posting their new blog entries there, so I can have a quick look and subscribe their feeds if their content is interesting for me. I try to comment on those blogs as often as possible (if I’ve got to say something). I also post my new blog entries on twitter.

    2. The other thing is “group writing projects”. There is a blog (http://groupwritingprojects.com) which announces such projects. Not all the projects there make sense for me, but one or the other does.

    3. Don’t get under pressure from statistics. I mean, I too would like to have more traffic on my blog, but I get comments regularly. And that’s something, too.

    Just my 2 cents,
    Ulla

  17. Unfortunately, we have to spend much more time on promotion than on writing posts, if we want our readership to grow. And even then, we can’t expect to get a rush of new subscribers. With very few exceptions, building up an audience takes a lot longer than we’d like it to!

    Hunter Nuttall’s last blog post..Write For The Web: Drive-by Shooting

  18. I think Kelly had a great point there about really evaluating what you want out of blogging.

    I do feel like you, though (Chase). We are all just a cog on a wheel, aren’t we.

    See my problem is, although I enjoy blogging and also reading blogs, I just don’t have enough time in my day to visit 20 blogs read and comment. I barely have enough for 5.

    I own a business in a VERY competitive market and I must keep my attention there, otherwise, no blog, no money, no house, etc.

    Though I might be able to give lots of technical advice about blogging, I can’t help in how to read and comment on a lot of blogs. Still foreign to me.

    Thus, my blog has not grown much either. I did have one growing day (or week) when one of my articles hit the front page of del.icio.us and went viral. It landed on lifehacker which brought me about 100 new subscribers. Interestingly though, none of them comment? LOL

    I think, Chase, you should read my last blog article. It’s actually about keeping your chin up during slow times or if you should close up shop, ironically.

    Good luck my friend.

  19. I also agree with active participation in commenting, grabbing feeds and returning so as to give readers of other blogs an opportunity to also see you regularly. Getting a ‘feel’ for your tastes, abilities, personality, possibly quirks, etc..

    Also, using social networking platforms such as Facebook, (my home away from home..ok, alongside Stumbleupon) Digg, Mixx, and Sphinn are resources for establishing a reader base.

    Make sure you keep your associates in proper perspective, as they are also there for reasons of their own. Give mutually, don’t be a slave for anyone just to get a vote, and brand a name for yourself and your blog/business, product/service..

    And read “But a Grain of Sand” if you like poetry. It puts things in the light they belong in. http://www.authspot.com/Poetry/But-a-Grain-of-Sand.78223

    Thanks Barbara. Good luck Chase..
    Kimberly

  20. I have a fairly young blog *2 months old* and so far what Ive been doing to get more visitors is by visiting other blogs and giving helpful comments. Hosting and joining carnivals also helped me gain traffic.
    I tried those2 and they seem to work fine on me.

    One thing I haven’t done is to use twitter and facebook.

  21. chrisNo Gravatar says:

    I guess we all have to do it the old fashion way. We have to earn it! Earning traffic means getting out there as you said and being part of the community. What Robin says also make sense. Maybe allowing your blogs to gather more comments by posting less will help.

    Kelly however sum it up. Do you blog to please others or yourself. I went through this phase. The puberty phase of blogging.

    I still want traffic but at the same time I think I’ve matured quite a bit in the past seven months to appreciate what I have now, which is a real community and good friendships among my fellow bloggers.

    We also need to be cognizant of the fact that we can’t be all like Leo, who exploded his readership in such a short time.

  22. Ari KoinumaNo Gravatar says:

    Actually, getting recognized as NBOTW on your blog was the biggest consistent traffic builder so far on my infantry blog. I had one post that did really well on Stumble, but it happened early on and I didn’t even realize that my RSS link was broken. (ouch!)

    So I have little insight to give to Chase. One thing I can suggest is to look into BlogCarnival.com and submit to some. Actually, it’s even better if you run your own carnival. It’s not a huge traffic generator, but it is easy to submit.

    And just so everyone knows, I battle daily with my feelings of insecurity and insignificance myself — that’s something we hold inside, that’s making us interpret whatever goes on the outside to confirm it. Any beginning blogger can go out and write with confidence, with full belief that there is nothing in the world that can prevent them from building a successful blog. Don’t blame your life events for your inner feelings.

    ari

  23. Chase says on a recent blog post:

    “I haven’t written much. I haven’t really replied to any blog entries. But I’ve continued to read my favourites in Google Reader.”

    I think it’s really important to interact with other bloggers. Not just passively read, but make comments on their blogs. I agree with you, Barbara, and with others who said that it’s the best way to steadily grow a blog.

  24. RitaNo Gravatar says:

    Barb,

    I would say exactly what Kelly said. I’d start with self-examintation: why am I blogging? To whom do I wish my blog to reach?

    I, too, find that being a non-niche writer has allowed me to go to places that are not, to me, self-limiting. There have been times, particulary at the start, when I would get 20 comments one day and 0 the next. Heck, being so new to this my comments are STILL quite variable.

    But I focus on the posts that are etting the most “hits.” Why this one and not the other?

    The only thing I can add that I feel has been working it to think of a PHENOMENAL TITLE to your post. Think like a head-line writer. Then, when you go to other people’s blogs, your “headline” usually goes with you.

    Rita

  25. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Scott,

    Yes, Chase is passionate about writing and it shows in his articles. When we see that, it’s sad to think someone may give it up. Like you, I’m encouraging Chase to stick with it.

    Hi Robin,

    Isn’t that the truth. We read about blogs that skyrocket right from the start. That certainly isn’t the norm.

    That’s a good point about posting less and letting comments build. It not only helps that way, but also takes pressure off of trying to publish every day.

    Hi Lance,

    Haha! I like that, “It means less sleep for me… and more coffee!”. Visiting other blogs does take time, but in the end, it is worth it, isn’t it?

    Hi Chase,

    You’re welcome. Having read all of the comments thus far, there are tons of ideas for you as well as anyone who is looking to build their readership. Like you, I appreciate each and every reply.

    Hi Sal,

    Welcome to the BWAB community.

    It does come down to that, doesn’t it. Give and you shall get.

    Hi Miguel,

    Good Luck 🙂

    Being ourselves is very important. That, and lots of patience.

    Hi Urban Panther,

    Good points!

    Telling our friends and associates about our blogs is a great way to gain some readership, as is social networking, although social networking will take up more of our time.

    Hi Kelly,

    You’ve brought up a great point…why do we blog?

    And yes, comments and community are more important than stats. However, with building a community comes responsibility. It’s necessary to visit and comment on other blogs and that can be a huge time commitment. As my community grows, so do the blogs in my reader. There’s no way I can visit all of them in one day, so I organize my reader in a manner where I can hit most of them at least once a week.

    Your point about blogging about what YOU want to talk about is so important. Although niche blogging gets hyped up as the way to go, writing within a niche can also be stressful.

    Hi Writer Dad,

    I agree, Chase is great at commenting. Patience is important, isn’t it?

    Hi Ulla,

    Joining Twitter is a great idea. I’ve been hearing more about how it does assist in having others find our blogs. I haven’t joined yet, but it’s on my “list”

    Group writing projects is something I haven’t heard about, but that also sounds like another wonderful idea. Thank you for supplying the link.

    Hi Hunter,

    Isn’t that the truth? Promotion of our blogs does take time, and that’s time we could be writing.

    Hi John,

    You’re current post is great. It can apply to anyone in business or in blogging. You bring up some excellent points.

    Like you, time is my biggest issue. As you said, it’s our full time work/business that pays the bills. That’s where most of our attention has to be directed. All we can do is hope our blogs will also grow, but they too, take time.

    Hi Chris,

    You’re right. We aren’t going to all be like Leo, or Tina Su, or anyone else who grew their blog fast. It takes time and dedication.

    Hi Ari,

    Thank you. That makes me happy to know the NBOTW series helped to gain you recognition. 🙂

    Yes, blog carnivals is another great way to get your name out there and get some links back to your blog.

    Hi Vered,

    You’re right, passively reading may be beneficial to us (based on the topic), but if we’re not leaving a comment and interacting, the authors of other blogs won’t know we were even there.

    Hi Rita,

    I like your idea about picking a great title. In a reader, they stand out and are often clicked on and read. If we can get someone to click the post, our chances of getting them to comment is that much better.

  26. PatriciaNo Gravatar says:

    Thank you Barbara for another great post and lots of good ideas are coming forth. What great commentors you have too.

    I have still very slow growth, but it is growth on my site and I am getting just enough workshop referrals and on line counseling appointments that I am getting really close to breaking even.

    I went to a brilliant Conference yesterday on the local Military base about recognizing and healing PTSD. This is truly a brain and body injury not a disorder and Dr. Jonathan Shay is extremely knowledgeable –
    The conclusion if you want to heal this injury you need to have a strong community which is grown from healthy seed stock and well foundationed roots. The Army feels that it needs to heal the seed stock and the communities that their seeds are coming from before they send them out to war and are ovewhelmed by how to accomplish this.
    I am going to write a series about this workshop, but I think the blogging world is just working on defining what healthy seeds, strong roots are….towards building strong communities of like minded people…. and success will have many faces.
    The chaplains, psychiatrists and social workers in the Army are looking back to that seed stock to heal their war exhausted community.
    Fascinating that we are all talking about the same things?

  27. My original blog (onebagnation) has seen very slow growth. Vintage Mommy has gone more quickly, but I did more planning and reaching out to other bloggers in my niche as I started (and I had learned a lot doing OBN).

    Reading and commenting is good; twitter is good too (though easy to spend too much time on).

    Evaluating why you blog is fundamental to the process too!

  28. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    My comment moderation is working overtime today. 🙂

    Hi Kimberly,

    Welcome to the BWAB community.

    You’ve mentioned social networking sites I haven’t heard of. Mixx and Sphinn. I’ll have to check in to those.

    I checked out your poem. That is so beautiful, and has a lot of meaning.

    Hi Sam,

    Welcome to the BWAB community.

    Another vote for blog carnivals. I’ve joined a couple but have never hosted one. Is hosting difficult?

    Hi Patricia,

    It is fascinating how the subject of community, helping others, and like minded people are not just subjects on blogs, but in real life too. I’m looking forward to your series on what you learned in the workshop.

    Hi Ann, (Vintage Mommy)

    That’s interesting how one blog differs from the other, with the second one being the one you did more planning and research for. I’m guessing that has a lot to do with it. We do need to promote ourselves, don’t we?

  29. Barbera, My blog grows a little at a time as I meet new friends. But I do really believe in the importance of reaching out and being able to reach others and help others through our blogs. In fact I wrote about that today. We must be on the same wave length today.

    We can make such a difference if we try.

    Wendi Kelly-Life’s Little Inspirations’s last blog post..The Power of Your Secret Weapon

  30. Chase MarchNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks everyone. You’ve really given me a lot of food for thought.

    I now realize that traffic isn’t the be all and end all of blogging. I will take your advice to heart. Although I don’t have a lot of time to spend in cyberspace, there are quite a few things I can do and try. And I never would’ve thought of them all without you.

    I really appreciate this entire discussion.

    Chase March’s last blog post..Meet The Teacher BBQ

  31. carlaNo Gravatar says:

    I think I need to read other related blogs and comment more. Vered posted on my blog and made a point that I should find other small/beginner blogs. I tend to read and post on the more established blogs (problogger, etc) and its easy to get lost in the 200 other comments.

  32. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Wendi,

    Yes, we are on the same page, and like you, I do believe we can help others with our blogs.

    Take this post for example, just by rereading the comments thus far, it warms my heart that everyone has spoken up to help Chase as he continues to build his blog.

    Hi again Chase,

    I think I can speak for everyone.

    It has been our pleasure to extend our help. We wish you tons of success with your blog.

    And don’t go too far, as I’m sure more comments will trickle in over the next day or so.

  33. I really like that line by Chase, really creative. Thanks for sharing. And Chase, keep writing. Sounds like you’re quite good at it.

  34. NaturalNo Gravatar says:

    wow, that comment almost breaks my heart. I have visited Chase’s blog several time, I have him in my reader as well. I would say not to give up…the ONLY way I know how to build traffic is to comment on blogs, a lot.

    Someone once told me if you want a friend, you have to be a friend.

    If we want comments and traffic we have to give comments and traffic back.

    I think he’s an excellent writer and posts some really profound thoughts over there.

    I would say never forget too why you are blogging. Implore his friends to visit his blogs, get things moving, family, print up flyers if need be. He has students…not sure what grade….teach them about blogging and make a home work assignment out of one of his blog posts..leave the comments on the blog. I don’t know if that’s acceptable, but my point is get people you know to participate and comment on other peoples blog. When I get comments from new faces, I always eventually go back and comment on their blog. Keep doing it.

  35. Debbie YostNo Gravatar says:

    I wish I had an answer, but I don’t. I have tried many social networks and commented in the blogosphere to grow my blog but I still have a small audience. Sometimes I get a new reader and they may or may not stick around. It can be frustrating at times. I know I’ve had my moments, but after a day or two, my mood is back up. Stress in my personal life can really affect my attitude with blogging. Not many people become the overnight wonder. There is a lot of competition out there, but at the end of the day, I’m not sure I could give up blogging if I wanted to. I love to write. I always have. I enjoy the opportunity to practice my writing skills and I’ve made some great friends along the way. For now, that’s enough for me. Blogging is my outlet and I enjoy it.

    Now, I have to go figure out something to write for tomorrow!

    Debbie Yost’s last blog post..Teacher Appreciation

  36. Evelyn LimNo Gravatar says:

    Is he blogging for himself or blogging for an audience? It helps to ask himself that. If he is blogging for an audience, then generating traffic is important. There are so many ways to generate traffic and because time is limited and a scarce resource, pick 1-3 top ones to focus on before moving to the next ones.

    Yes, it is true. It is irritating and frustrating that we not only have to concerned about the writing portion but also the marketing aspect. Creativity time gets halved. But as I have found out and I’m sure that you would agree, building traffic by blog commenting has its other rewards.

    Also, it is good to be reminded that no one will comment on yours if you also do not comment on others. You must give to the community first before you can receive. I now enjoy my blogging life so much more because of the online friends I have made.

    I try as much as I can to respond to comments and to visit sites that belong to commentators. It is time consuming and I do my best wherever I can. I’m sure it is the same for everyone here too!

  37. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Carla,

    Welcome to the BWAB community.

    What Vered said is a great idea. Commenting on smaller blogs will help build community a lot faster than commenting on big name blogs. It’s not common for a big name blogger to visit all of those blog authors who comment on their blogs.

    Hi Bamboo,

    Thank you for your support.

    Hi Natural,

    I’ve seen you on Chase’s blog, and like you, agree that his writing can be profound.

    Commenting on other blogs does seem to be standing out. We meet a lot of new friends in blogosphere, and as in real life, they like when we come and visit.

    Hi Debbie,

    I look at your comment and smile. The post that is showing for CommentLuv is “Teacher Appreciation” and Chase is a teacher.

    I’m guessing there’s not ONE right answer that will work for every blogger. For me, commenting worked, but others have success via other methods. I’m guessing it takes experimentation to find what works for each of us, lots of patience, and like you said, a love of writing.

    Hi Evelyn

    Yes, we do need to give in order to receive. Having a community does change the whole blogging experience, doesn’t it?

    It is time consuming, but is a great investment.

  38. Cath LawsonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – To be honest, I haven’t done nearly enough to increase my blog readership. Like you, I grew quite slowly.

    I guess anyone wanting to grow faster would need to dedicate a bit of time to social networking, learning SEO, guestposting, interviews, linkbaiting etc.

    And commenting is important – it makes a different to traffic numbers initially, but later it’s more about building community.

    I read lots of blogs but I mostly comment on newer blogs – a lot of the time, ones you’ve recommended, as I like encouraging new bloggers. But it’s really time consuming & I may have to cut back on it a bit.

    Recently – I was forwarded a copy of an email written by a NBOTW. It was a malicious attack on articles I’d written on my blog and also the work of another blogger, whose work is becoming extremely popular.

    It was a case of sour grapes I guess, but it has made me consider being more selective about which new bloggers I support.

  39. Okay… so before commenting here, I took Linda’s advice and joined Entrecard. Within a few hours I was receiving dozens of hits from other bloggers using this tool. I’m still trying to figure it out, but the increase in traffic was almost instant. Thanks Linda!

    Stacey / CreateaBalance’s last blog post..9/11 Morning Pages

  40. Glee GirlNo Gravatar says:

    Lots of wonderful advice here everyone – thanks for sharing. I’m just starting out and although I’m not trying to break any records in terms of subscribers (I’m partly blogging for myself) but it is so much more rewarding when people comment and “get” what you’re trying to do.

    I’m trying to get out in the blogosphere and comment on other people’s blogs when I’ve got something to say and I’ve subscribed to many as well but I’m feeling a bit swamped. It’s hard to keep up!

  41. I would simply suggest to find 30 people that you enjoy reading, and would like to be part of their community. Create your own community. The people on Barbara’s blog for instance mostly write about personal development topics, so it makes it easy to feel part of the community here.

    People will fall off your radar, but…new people will come on board, and if you have a tight community of enough people to feel like you can really connect and count on them, then you won’t get overwhelmed by the blogosphere.

    There isn’t enough time to make friends with everyone around here, so I just focus on making sure that the friends I do make really count. Also Digg and Stumble have provided me with a ton of traffic. Don’t stretch yourself too thin between all the communities though. You are better off to work on building one socialnetworking profile at a time, develop contacts, learn how it works, watch the kind of content that hits the front pages, and write occasionally in those formats. For instance, on stumbleupon people like short bulleted little lists, on Digg people are looking for something that is news worthy, not just some long boring update about your weekend.

    At some point you have to be your own boss with your blog though, just because I want to go off on a tangent about some random thing doesn’t really mean it will wow my readers.

    When people come to your blog they are ultimately going to think “what is in this for me?” if you have nothing to offer your readers…insight, education, entertainment, a good hearty laugh…then don’t expect people to ever come back again.

    Don’t give up Chase! Blogging should be fun, and you should always follow your heart and do what you love. If you love writing then just keep on writing…

    If you need some help with social networking you can add me on digg.com/docnicole and stumble.com/docnicole and I can help you make some friends.

  42. FriarNo Gravatar says:

    It’s funny, how not too long ago, people used to write into diaries and journals.

    They wrote just for the sake of writing, and it wasn’t a priority that the whole planet shared each and every thought they felt.

    If something was worthy enough, they might try to get it published. But otherwise, writing was largely personal and intimate experience.

    Yet look at the centuries of great literature this old technology has produced.

    As opposed to blogging, where there is (I dare say) a bit of arrogance, about our self-importance, and getting our message out to the world.

    Traffic, hits, comments, etc… Versus writing for just yourself.

    Sometimes I wonder if we’ve lost our way…

  43. All the the suggestions in the comments have been working for me. The other thing that has worked really well is to get others involved on the blog itself. I’ve gone that route by including weekly interviews plus I have the Lab-Rats. By having others involved, I create a community even before the comments start, plus those involved become part of the promotion of the blog.

    Cheers,
    Alex

  44. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Catherine,

    Isn’t it ironic? We had this same discussion many, many months ago. I know you also like to support new bloggers, and that’s important.

    That troubles me that a NBOTW would be maliciously attacking you and your blog. Fortunately we all know you and how your writings help all of us, so please don’t take the attack personally. Blogosphere is smaller that most people realize, and I believe in karma. In cyberspace I believe it’s called “being black listed”.

    Hi Stacey,

    WOW! That’s great. I like that you tried Entrecard, and posted the results. That didn’t take long, did it?

    Hi Glee Girl,

    Welcome to the BWAB community.

    You’re welcome. Although you’re new here, you will find those in the BWAB community willingly share. Helping others is why we blog, and visiting each other is how we build community.

    I realize it can be overwhelming, but just do what you can do and enjoy the journey.

    Hi Dr. Nicole,

    What a wonderful comment. You’ve covered all of the bases, and how kind of you to offer to help Chase with social networking. That can be so overwhelming when we’re new to it.

    Hi Friar,

    Those are true words you’ve written. We used to write for the sake of writing. Oh my, how blogging has changed that. I’m hoping blogging doesn’t take the joy of writing out of the equation.

    I also hope we haven’t lost our way.

    Hi Alex,

    What you’re doing is a great idea. I love your “Lab-Rats” series. And you’re right, those involved in your “experiments” are going to be your best advertising. Kudos to you for having such an original idea.

  45. Hi Barbara,

    When I started my blog, I didn’t know about “techniques”. I just knew I wanted to share my little experiences and my little weird thoughts, and hopefully use that as a platform to connect with like-minded people — numbers and hits didn’t quite matter to me. I figured if I could even manage to get a few people who’d genuinely want to befriend me after reading all that jazz, that would have been worth its while. 🙂

    I was already following a couple of blogs with good streams of comments, so it was easy for me to discover new sites that were aligned to my interests. I’d leave comments and it always made me happy when I saw replies to my comments. I told myself that if I ever get comments on my blog, I’d definitely want to make sure I reply them all.

    Then I discovered StumbleUpon, and I started using that as my “filing system” for some of my favorite sites and articles. And then I made more friends there and got some traffic flowing. All good.

    All in all, I think intention, authenticity, friendship and kindness are important factors that contribute to the “success” of a blog. My definition of “success” may be different from many others, but it’s my blog so I get to define the perimeters. 😉

    It’s always good to come here … the community here is just buzzing with goodness! And thanks for introducing Chase’s blog to us. I’ll be popping over in a while.

    Irene | Light Beckons’s last blog post..Epiphanies From Freaking Out

  46. J.D. MeierNo Gravatar says:

    I never thought about traffic until one day, I saw a mail fly by at work that out of the 20 bloggers for our teams, I was near the bottom. I didn’t know it mattered.

    It lit a fire. I found the eye of the tiger.

    I decided I would do a blogging “improvement sprint” and write with might for a month. It doubled my monthly views from 100k, to 200k and I shot near the top. I blogged daily and sometimes three times a day. It was a memorable month.

    I think it was the passion and the focus. Normally I wrote about tech stuff, but for that month I wrote to change people’s lives.

    J.D. Meier’s last blog post..Social Loafing

  47. Chase MarchNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Natural,

    My school has a lot of filters on the computers. It doesn’t allow students to do any social networking. Ironically we can read blogs there but we can’t comment on them.

    I do have a private blog just for my class. I use it to give them instructions or links to follow every time we have computer lab time booked. It really works.

    Thanks for your kind words.

    Hi Everyone,

    I won’t be posting an entry today on my blog so I can comb through these comments and implement some of your suggestions.

    Thanks!

    Chase March’s last blog post..Meet The Teacher BBQ

  48. @Barbara: “As I mentioned in my reply to him, I went for 10 months before I began to see sizable growth with my blog. I equate that to when I began to “get out there” visiting and commenting on other blogs.”

    I really appreciate you sharing this with us. I think too many bloggers keep this information a secret from the rest of us new comers. How are we to know what to expect without some real numbers and insight to gauge our growth and success.

    I’m pushing 1 1/2 months at this point with my blog and things have been going very well. But there are certainly times when I look at those ‘top blogs’ and ask, “How the heck am I ever going to even come close to building a community of that magnitude?” And it’s not the numbers but the people and their feedback/insight/interaction that I look forward to as I build a stronger foundation. But it’s realizing that it can take much longer than we expect in the beginning, that helps us pace ourselves and dig in for the long haul.

    I love your blog and the posts that you fill it with, but this one really helps out a lot! Eric.

  49. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Irene,

    I like how you put that:

    All in all, I think intention, authenticity, friendship and kindness are important factors that contribute to the “success” of a blog. My definition of “success” may be different from many others, but it’s my blog so I get to define the perimeters. 😉

    That says it so well.

    Hi J.D.

    That’s an awesome amount of page views for a month. Your determination really set you on fire, didn’t it?

    I’ve been on your “work” blog. What you write about is usually WAY over my head, but I do like your posts about everyday stuff. It can’t be easy to maintain two blogs and write consistently on both.

    Hi Eric,

    Thank you.

    You’re right. Many bloggers don’t say how long it took them to get to where they are. With my (major) target audience being new bloggers, I want to share what happened to me. In some ways I think my blog grew even slower than most as I didn’t use SEO properly, didn’t comment very much, and didn’t understand social networking. It may have hurt my numbers, but my blog grows at a pace I can handle and adjust to. Overnight success would overwhelm me.

    Yes, dig in for the long haul and you’ll do great.