I’ve received a few emails of late from beginner bloggers who are concerned they have just a handful of blog readers and want to know how to reach a wider audience. I’ve found this a very interesting (and modern!) problem to be presented with, because blogging for zero readers is naturally where we all began.
Personally, I loved those early days of blogging into a big black hole. It was liberating. I was uncensored, brutally honest. With no knowledge of who my audience was, or who they would be, I didn’t have to worry about their expectations. They only reader I had to please with me.
Of course, the first time I realised someone I wasn’t related to not only read my blog but enjoyed it was cause for celebration. When that unexpectedly starting happening more and more it was a revelation. It made me think that maybe I should take this blogging thing a little more seriously. That was 1 whole year after I first started blogging. 4 years prior to where we are now.
I get that starting a blog today is very different to starting a blog 5, 6, 7 or 8 years ago – those of us who started blogging back then had no idea what we were on the cusp of. I understand that people may want to start a blog now solely to make it their career and I get that those people will want to ask those of us who make a living from blogging how they did it.
But I would like to remind us all to have a little patience.
Whilst some bloggers rise to meteoric success in a short space of time, most of us simply slogged it out. We put in the hours, produced hundreds of posts and kept going without knowing what sort of readers or future that blog may bring.
We don’t have a magic answer, I don’t even know ALL the answers, but there are a few things I feel have helped bring new readers to my blog.
How to find your first blog readers
- Make your blog pretty. It took me a few months to realise my blog was like a shop window and the prettier it looked the more people came in.
- And fast. Resize your images before uploading them to ensure a faster loading time. (You can also use a Plugin like Smush if, like me, you didn’t know how to resize images for several years. *face palm*)
- Make it easy for people to connect with you. Include a snappy bio on the home page/side bar and make your subscribe button, email address and social media profiles easy to find.
- Make sure your content is easily shareable. I’m a huge fan of Social Warfare share bar which can float down the page.
- Tell us about you. Your about page is likely to become the most read page of your website. Make sure it tells a story about who you are and what the readers can expect from your site. Study the about pages of blogs you love and learn from the way they have structured them.
- Start with who you know. Almost every blogger I know started out writing just for their friends and family. Unless you want to remain anonymous, start by sharing what you are doing with your friends and family and ask for their support with getting the word out.
- Join Facebook groups. I add this point with caution because the number of blogger groups on Facebook has gone a little crazy of late and it’s easy to get distracted by all the noise. My advice would be to choose a select number of groups covering the different interests of your blog and become a genuine, active, non-spammy member of them. Offer advice; share your concerns. Please don’t just join them to add a link to your new blog and never be seen again.
- Join Twitter chats. As above, select a number of Twitter chats to participate in and engage with the people taking part. Find a great list of travel Twitter chats divided by day of the week here.
- Network. Attending events relevant to your blog’s niche is another way to meet potential new readers. Blogging events can also be great for learning how to improve your blog and meeting bloggers you may want to collaborate with.
- Collaborate. Collaborating with another blogger or brand is a great way to reach new audiences. Facebook groups are a great way of finding collaboration opportunities but don’t be afraid to reach out to bloggers or brands directly if you have a great idea for a guest post.
- Pitch to media. Have a great story you think would work well in your favourite magazine? Reach out to the relevant editor and see if they agree. Working with PR to provide quotes or case studies to media is another way to get word of your blog out.
- Talk to your readers. Your current readers will know better than most what does or doesn’t work with your blog. Ask them what they want to see more of and engage with them through your posts. Always reply to comments and show readers you are grateful for them taking the time to visit your part of the internet.
- Invest in your blog. It can be hard to do all these things by yourself. Invest in some key blogging tools to help with the day-to-day management of your blog.
- Take a course. If you really want to jumpstart your blog I’d recommend signing up to a blogging course like this one from The Travel Hack. Over a period of 12 weeks Monica’s course covers everything you need to know about blogging from building a brand to preparing a media kit and setting up income streams
- Keep going. Even if you are your only reader, keep doing it for you. The rest, in time, will follow.
As a little experiment I’d love to ask those of you that remember how you first came across my blog? Maybe there are some more lessons hidden in that?
6 quick tips to improve your blog in 15 mins
Blogging bad habits & mistakes I’m guilty of
How to pitch to brands as a travel blogger
Making a living from travel blogging: 15 things you need to know
Main photo thanks to Nick Morrison on Unsplash
42 thoughts on “How To Find Your First 100(ish) Blog Readers”
I found your blog on Bloglovin! I totally understand the excitement that comes with your first non-relative reader. Someone actually stopped me on the street once because he recognized me from my blog and I felt like a D-list celebrity :).
That’s so cool! I’ve never had that before although I have had friends meet people overseas who say they read my blog and that blows my mind. I love subscribing to blogs on Bloglovin but haven’t used it much for finding new ones – sounds like I may be missing a trick. Thanks so much for stopping by 😉
I found your blog from reading something about a blog award you’d won and decided to check out your site.
These are all good ideas, and I think it just takes patience, hard work and time.
Hi Gemma, I totally agree. Persistence is key! And that’s interesting to know about the awards. I feel very thankful for those. I should probably add a point to the post saying don’t be afraid to put yourself forward for awards. You never know what the panel are looking for.
The best thing I discovered at Problogger 🙂
I think I stumbled around your blog on twitter, via a post probably shared through a topic I was searching for, or even the #ttot hashtag. But it indeed could have been a twitter chat……
I love Twitter for things like that. I’ve found it not as actively used by brands and bloggers in Oz but I think it was the platform that really made a difference for me in terms of readership.
I think I came across one of your posts on Twitter, read it, enjoyed it, and then followed your blog. There are many ways to get out there!
It’s true and so much of it is just about common sense and being natural. Like with any social media platform you get out of twitter what you put in, I think. Thanks for answering my question 😉
I remember an interview you did with Amy on Creatrice Mondial and thought, this lady sounds awesome, I’m going to read more of her stuff! And here I am.
Ah thank you! So taking part in interviews on other blogs totally works. Good to know 🙂
I found your blog on bloglovin. Absolutely love it!
Ah thank you. I think I have mistaken the relevance of bloglovin to readership – that’s really interesting to know!
Great tips! I guess blogging is all about slogging smartly. 🙂
Yes – and happily 🙂
The perfect blogging pep-talk. Bookmarking this for a rainy day. x
Problogger conference /twitter. Love all the tweeting from the conference. Sitting watching a presentation, reading tweets and following more bloggers.
I can’t make it to the conference this year so I’ll be following along remotely. It’s great that you can participate in events even from afar.
keeping my fingers crossed!
Thanks for posting. There’s so much to consider these days in order to gain engagement. I’m still trying to figure out Twitter…I feel like a 32-year-old dinosaur! lol. I found your blog on Bloglovin’, which I also recently discovered (a dinosaur living under a rock, perhaps?). Really enjoying it.
I think we all have our favourite channels – I love Twitter but find Pinterest a complete chore. It’s also very interesting to hear that people are discovering blogs via Bloglovin. I always saw it as a blog reader but great to know it can be used to find blogs too. Thanks for finding me 🙂
I just found your blog via bloglovin – I think I searched travel and your blog was in the first 20 or so. Your post pictures made a great first impression and so here I am!
Now I’m off to read all your other posts 🙂
Thanks Rebecca! Again I’m so surprised at how helpful Bloglovin is for bringing in new readers. I’m going to go find some new blogs to follow now too 🙂
Hi Jayne, I found your blog via another blogger Vickyflipfloptravels and I am currently looking through all your past posts and loving your writting style. I am a Dietitian working for the NHS, so just blogging on my spare time for fun. I don’t use any of the other social media since I lack time. I read a lot of travel blogs, but only subscribe to few. I am subscribing to yours.
Hi Gilda, thanks so much for dropping by! How good are Vicky’s tips for new bloggers? She’s an ex-colleague and great friend of mine and I love reading her posts as much as everyone else. It sounds like you have a great approach to blogging – do what you can and enjoy it. There’s no pressure to do any more than that 🙂
I think patience is the most important thing too. Success doesn’t come overnight from nowhere for anyone. Being real with yourself is the most important thing.
Yes Yes Yes!
Found your blog via the Nuffnang FB post. 🙂 I love all of these suggestions, they’re actually refreshingly different from the usual thing we’re told. How does one find out about Twitter convos? I never hear about them until after the fact and that’s only when happen to stumble over them at random.
I too have mainly stumbled over them in time and then I tend to follow the hosts or add them to a twitter list so I can receive notification of the next one. I also save the hashtags to twitter or add them as a stream on hootsuite so I can keep an eye on tweets and participants. This is a good point though – maybe I should do a post about the best twitter chats to take part in for travel bloggers?!
Bloglovin! 🙂 Persistence is key, I have struggled with my blog for the first few years of its creation, not knowing where it was going, and why. I would spend hours resizing photos and planning and thinking – what am I doing this for?
Now I can see that those hours are slowly starting to pay off, but my god there were a lot of times when I was completely lost.
Thank you for this article!
Me too! I think we all have those doubts but as long as we enjoy it keep going and eventually it all starts to make sense 🙂
Must have found your blog through looking up food of some sort 😛
I just found your blog through Bloglovin and it’s great! I started my blog a few years ago to land a job. I have a job now but now working on how to make a living as a freelancer. Really enjoy all of your blog tips posts and look forward to reading more.
Hi Emily, thanks so much for stopping by. So glad to help in any way. Good luck building your freelance business. J
And also be aware that traffic has peaks and troughs … at some times during the year people are more likely to be away and not at their computers. This is ok and normal 🙂
Excellent point 🙂
Discovered your blog on Twitter and found alot of helpful posts on here, this one escpecially appealed to me and gave me a couple of new ideas!
Cheers Craig – I’m happy to hear it!
I found your blog by it being featured on Travel Blog Success on Facebook. So happy! Love your site!