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Reaching Out

Reaching Out To Your Blog Readers

Reaching OutBlog Traffic is one of my favorite topics and one huge part of that is keeping those that are already reading and supporting your blog. This post outlines some of the critical steps to maximizing your current traffic and building relationships that you can’t put a price on. Everything below pertains to those that interact on your blog either by commenting on it or sharing it on the social networks or writing about it.

Preface

Most of the techniques described below become more difficult the more popular your blog becomes. I am at that difficult point right now so I try to engage several new commenters for each post while maintaining a relationship with regular readers.

Visit Your Reader’s Blogs And Interact

This one is nothing new, bloggers have been doing it for years; reciprocation. There are still bloggers out there that live by the “€œYou Comment And I Will Comment On Your Blog” ideology. While I don’t totally subscribe to that idea, mainly due to a lack of time, it is an admirable and effective way of building online relationships and blog interaction.

Put Your Blog On Their Analytics

This is one point that I haven’t heard mentioned yet, perhaps because in almost sounds a little cold. Cold or not, you want to be noticed if blog traffic is important to you. Not every blogger uses Google Analytics and checks their stats and referrers, even though they should, but you want your blog on that list of referrers for those that do. This is something that happens naturally but you can get things started by clicking that link from your blog. Don’t click, click, click… just click once and visit the blog. Then follow the steps below.

Subscribe To Their Blog

This one is a judgment call but for those commenter’s that have a blog within your niche or interest, why not subscribe? You can add their blog to your reader or you can subscribe by email. If you choose to use an email subscription, check the Email Subscription Tip below.

Subscribe To Their List

This is another judgment call but I’m a newsletter monster, gobbling up information everywhere I can get it. Some people never subscribe to lists but I love them. I find some real gems in those mailings and it’s also a great way to see how others are using their list. Again, if you choose to subscribe, check the Email Subscription Tip below.

Email Subscription Tip

When I subscribe to a blog or list, I’m interested in what they may have to offer but I also want them to know I’m doing so as well. It’s easy to assume this is a bit shallow but if we’re going to network and form relationships, they need to know we’re doing our part. So I have a ‘subscription’ email account setup. I won’t go into the details here but I have separate email accounts setup for different purposes and none of them are junk emails. I recommend using your blog or brand name within the email. For example, I use HotBLogTips (at) gmail.com. This leaves no doubt who is at the other end of the email they are sending to. Again, this IS NOT an ‘ignore’ email. In fact, right now, it forwards to my main email account but when things get overwhelming and I need better organization, I can always stop forwarding and check it separately. Anyway, using your blog name or brand is far better than something like behawk1965**@yahoo.com… Who the heck is that? A nobody, that’s who and that’s exactly how they would be treated.

Follow Your Readers On The Social Network

Following your readers on your favorite social networks is a great way to build relationships that goes far beyond blogging buddies. For example, I like Twitter (Follow Me). So once I visit a commenter’s blog, I look for their Twitter link, if they didn’t leave it in the comment section of my blog, I’ll follow them (If it looks like they’re active). I do three things from here that only takes a minute. I follow, I add them to a list and then I send them a thank you tweet. Not everyone will respond or even follow back but you’ll be surprised at just how many do.

Start Today By Engaging Here

How important is blog interaction to you? Do you use any of the methods listed and are they working for you? Are you doing something else you’d like to share? As always, your questions and comments are always welcome here.

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  • http://www.blogengage.com/blogger/ bbrian017

    Hi Brian, you know I’ve never bothered subscribing to the lists because most of my friends submit their articles to Blog Engage but I think you have a point here. Even though I see ally our stuff on Blog Engage I will admit there’s times where I miss it due to the high volume of content being syndicated. Another idea I like of yours is engaging with the bloggers on their site. You know when you start looking back at the things you used to do sometimes you forget to go back to the basics.

    • http://hotblogtips.com/ Brian D. Hawkins

      Thanks Brian, you’re absolutely right, I’ve found myself being reminded about this we did years ago and wondering why we stopped. It’s tough though, because we’re taking an a lot more work than we used to. It’s impossible for a popular blogger to do everything all of the time but we should do some of the interaction when we can, beyond our blogs. I don’t have to tell you that because few share on the social networks more than you.

  • http://www.imjustsharing.com Mitch Mitchell

    You know I’m not subscribing to lists. Then again, I have 5 blogs and so I’m busy enough managing all those, along with all my other writing, to intentionally increase the amount of email I get. However, I do make sure to stop by every once in awhile at all the blogs where the owners have commented on mine. And I try to find this blog for all posts you write. ;-)

    • http://hotblogtips.com/ Brian D. Hawkins

      I hear you Mitch, newsletters aren’t for everyone, I totally understand that. I do know that you subscribe to blog feeds using a reader and that’s probably more important when it come to keeping up with what other bloggers have to offer.

      Personally, I’m quick to subscribe but I’m just as quick to unsubscribe if being on that list turns out to be a waste of time or worse, just a marketing tool.

  • http://www.aha-now.com/ Harleena Singh

    Wonderful ways indeed!

    I think you covered up everything one needs to do to reach their readers. Yes, I totally vouch for blog commenting, there can really be no better way to build those relationships with people.

    I agree that some people would wait for a visit from you before visiting your blog and commenting or vice-versa, but that’s what seems to work. But there are so many blogs that I want to visit, though just as you mentioned, due to the lack of time it isn’t possible to tap all of them. However, whenever time permits, I do make sure to visit them.

    Absolutely! If you like a blog, you should subscribe to it and to it’s email list too – I do that too, though the newsletters are limited because of the mails one has to handle thereafter. :)And social media we really can’t leave behind, something that all of us need to be good at.

    Thanks for sharing, and am glad I fit in with all of these ways. :)

    • http://hotblogtips.com/ Brian D. Hawkins

      I knew you would understand what I was saying Harleena, you are a pro at that kind of networking and building relationships. I see you everywhere. :)

      And your blog falls into a pretty unique situation; it’s not limited to any single niche. Virtually anyone can enjoy your content. I love stepping away from blogging and marketing every once in awhile and read the quality writing found on AHA NOW!.

  • http://www.slymarketing.com Jens P. Berget

    The best way, at least for me, is to read and comment on other blogs. This doesn’t just add value to the posts and helps the author, but it creates a relationship between the blogger and the reader, this way it’s easier to get more comments on our own blog posts as well.

    I believe that we need to be more personal, and if we become personal it’s even easier to get more “friends” and to reach out to your blog readers and get the feedback you are looking for.

    • http://hotblogtips.com/ Brian D. Hawkins

      It’s true Jens, some of the best information is in the comments and you can’t beat that type of interaction. Nice point, I should have included that in the post. :)

    • http://www.joomladesignservices.com/latest-news/ Smith Warnes

      Engaging with your blog readers is a very important thing to build trust and relationship with your site visitors and there is nothing as important as replying to each comment personally and reverting to mails that users send. I agree that reading the blog thoroughly and then writing a comment that will add value to the post and will benefit other readers is vital. Thanks for the post:)

  • http://www.thetechnomag.com Joe Clark

    Hi Brain!

    The strategy of “You Comment And I Will Comment On Your Blog” is old but seriously its a gold!

    I am not talking it for backlinks purpose but it can help you stay connected with the fellow bloggers. You can share your ideas with them and encourage them if some of their blog post helps you. Same way you can get that love back from them as well. :-)

    Joe

    • http://hotblogtips.com/ Brian D. Hawkins

      Hi Joe, It really is an effective way to go. That link to Sire’s blog was from back in August of 2008 and still works today. In fact, Sire still practices it after all this time and he has a popular blog.

      • http://wassupblog.com/ Sire

        Actually Brian, I don’t practice it as much as I used to because I just don’t have the time. I do however still reply to every comment made on my blogs. I reckon I owe my readers at least that much. ;)

        • http://hotblogtips.com/ Brian D. Hawkins

          I can understand the time issue Sire, I’m right there with you. As you can see, I’m even late for replying to comments. Thanks for stopping by. :)

  • http://techieride.com/ Rajkumar Jonnala

    Well for reaching a blog reader newletters will be preferred. But i use commenting to get new reader to my new blogs.

    thanks for the tips

    • http://hotblogtips.com/ Brian D. Hawkins

      I agree Rajkumar, blog commenting can bring in some traffic, especially if there’s real interaction and conversation.

  • http://wassupblog.com/ Sire

    Hi Brian, first let me thank you for the link love, I really appreciate it.

    As for the “You Comment And I Will Comment On Your Blog” I lived by that code for a very long time and I can vouch that doing so brought a lot of traffic to my site. More than that though, and I fell this is very important, it helped to build my blogging presence as well and helped me to interact with a lot of bloggers, you included ;)

    Naturally this only works well if you leave good constructive comments.

    • http://hotblogtips.com/ Brian D. Hawkins

      My pleasure Sire, the funny thing is that I remembered that post and was blown away that it was from 2008. Wow, is time flying or what? The post is as relevant today as it was then and definitely worth sharing.

      • http://wassupblog.com/ Sire

        It has hasn’t it? It feels like it was only yesterday. You are right though, it is still relevant.

  • http://internetdreams.com/ Samuel

    Commenting on other blogs and gaining a relationship through is really gold.

    Doing that in return can get a relationship and such a great way to do so.

    Thanks for the article Brian!

    • http://hotblogtips.com/ Brian D. Hawkins

      That’s what it’s all about Samuel, thanks. :)

  • http://www.makemoneyinlife.com JamesW

    Great blog post Brian, the top 3 are: visiting their blog, subscribing and connecting with them on social media.

    I think that these basic ways to connect are still the best and most used ones.

    thanks for sharing :)

    • http://hotblogtips.com/ Brian D. Hawkins

      They definitely seem the most common James, I agree.

  • http://TimsMinions.com Andi the Minion

    I seem to do most of the things on the list, if you are not careful it robs you of a lot of time though lol. But still juggling it all becomes a skill and you do sort out the wheat from the chaff so to speak.

    • http://hotblogtips.com/ Brian D. Hawkins

      Absolutely Andi, It’s very tough to keep time under control. I’m trying something with a schedule and timer right now just to keep myself away from the deep end. :)

  • http://glen-andrews.com Glen

    Hi Brian, these are great tips. When I started online I was on TONS of lists, AND yes, I learned so much just from the emails.

    I think it’s helpful to find someone who’s doing what you want to do, and study (not copy) their systems.

    I also try to follow and learn from people OUTSIDE my niche.

    • http://hotblogtips.com/ Brian D. Hawkins

      Great points Glen. So are you still subscribed to a lot of lists?

  • Luis

    Great tips here, Brian. In my case, our blog is mostly directed at educating our clients so it’s rare that one of my readers has a blog of their own. Whenever that is the case, though, I at least check it out and drop a friendly comment. I also subscribe to any blogs I find that I find helpful and worth visiting, and im happy to say that includes your blog, Brian.

    • http://hotblogtips.com/ Brian D. Hawkins

      I almost mentioned that Luis, not everyone has blogs. Like you said, though, there are other ways to reach out. Thank you for bringing that up.

  • http://www.techbappa.com Techbappa

    As a New Blogger, i like visiting blogs and comment. This helps me to learn new skills every time & meet bloggers. The comments in return motivates to become regular reader of the blog.

    • http://hotblogtips.com/ Brian D. Hawkins

      Me too Techbappa, I’ve been blogging for a long time and that’s still my favorite part.

  • http://socialwebqanda.com Andrew

    Nice post! For me, I prefer to connect and interact with other bloggers on Twitter. If I try to subscribe to them via multiple channels I get hit with information overload and end up shutting down and not engaging nearly as much as I’d like to. I think we all have our own system of what works. But great points that can definitely help.

    • http://hotblogtips.com/ Brian D. Hawkins

      It’s true Andrew, it’s very easy to get swamped in messages and notifications and we have to find what works best for us. I like Twitter a lot too and it’s the biggest traffic referrer for this blog.

  • http://www.seoserviceszone.com/blog/ Swet Nath

    Hi….,
    I must say nice blog and yes its true Visiting your readers blog and interacting with them will definitely help out to increase the readers. The point Following the your reader on the social networking will also a great help you can also try by attracting like-minded individuals to your blog and by notifying with your readers personally will be also a big help for reaching out to your blog readers.

    • http://hotblogtips.com/ Brian D. Hawkins

      Thanks for that comment Swet. :)

  • http://www.rancorinfotech.com Aasma

    Nice points Brian,

    However I believe if you like to build relationship with any specific group of people then you should follow them on Twitter and Facebook. As everyone do have accounts on these popular sites and they do spend good amount of time there.

    • http://hotblogtips.com/ Brian D. Hawkins

      Twitter and Facebook are extremely popular Aasma but I’m not so sure everyone is active there.

  • http://www.technoupdates.org Narender

    Really a pretty effective article dear Brian . You have pointed a lot of issues . As a blogger its always vital to get in touch of your readers.

    • http://hotblogtips.com/ Brian D. Hawkins

      Thanks Narender, t’s all about engagement and interaction.

  • Ferb

    Hi Brain, yep, there are still a lot of people stuck with the idea of “You Comment & I Will Comment On Your Blog” ideology and they tend to fail if they don’t comment on others first because no one will know that they’re even exist on the Internet. I believe promoting is really important for a blog.

    Thank you – Ferb

    • http://hotblogtips.com/ Brian D. Hawkins

      Good point Ferb, you have to get comments before you can comment back. :)

  • http://inspiretothrive.com Lisa

    Hi Brian, great tips for folks to stay engaged with their blog readers. I try to subscribe to most of them and if I find a post on Twitter that I don’t have time to read I will favor it to go back later. I’m not sure I agree on always commenting on someone who comments on your blog either but it does make a difference if you care about that sort of thing.

    • http://hotblogtips.com/ Brian D. Hawkins

      Hi Lisa, you are right there with Harleena, one of the most social and sharing people I know. As far as commenting back, I was just showing what some people do, I don’t always subscribe to that myself. For one, there’s simply not enough hours in the day for us to do everything but we all do what we can. :) Thank you for all the support you have giving me, you are awesome in my book Lisa!

  • http://www.collinsconsulting.com.au/what-we-do/executive-search Dipa

    Oh yes! Blog interactions are extremely important. I have firsthand experience in the form of improved site rankings and traffic with thigs like blog commenting etc. Thanks for sharing these tips-certainly appreciate your inputs in the matter:-)

    • http://hotblogtips.com/ Brian D. Hawkins

      Site rankings and traffic are great Dipa but they are more a byproduct really, the real gold is in the long term friends we make.

  • http://aa-accidentattorneys.com/ Paul Lee

    Very important information for today’s blogging. Through social media and things like comments, blogging has become a much more involved and interactive process. There must be a level of two way communication between you and your readers to have success!

    • http://hotblogtips.com/ Brian D. Hawkins

      It’s true Paul, and I believe social media was inspired by the growth of blogging and forums. Whether I’m right or not, the timing of social media couldn’t be better for blogging.

  • Kuldeep

    Hi Brain,

    Wonderful post, you’ve sorted all the necessary and essential tips out here. And talking about reaching the new blog readers i prefer guest posting and blog commenting.

    However guest posting is an amazing way to build our online reputation and authority our blog too.

    • http://hotblogtips.com/ Brian D. Hawkins

      I agree Kuldeep, guest posting is a powerful and rewarding way to get your message out. I wish I could make more time to guest post more often. It’s really cool to interact with so many people for the first time.

  • http://www.ethicalbehaviorboy.com Michael Belk

    Hey, Brian I like two of your ideas. I subscribe to blogs of interest to me and blogs in my niche because I really want to know what they are talking about.

    I have gotten article topics from other bloggers. I try to fit the topic to my blog.

    I also like your commenting policy. I try to comment at blogs which take the time to comment on mine.

    I think a conversation is more interesting as long as readers are adding their two cents.
    Great post Brian.

    • http://hotblogtips.com/ Brian D. Hawkins

      Thanks Michael, it shows in your comments too, that you enjoy it and you are interested in the topic. It’s always a pleasure reading your comments, and your blog, Ethical Behavior Boy, for that matter. Thanks :)

  • Annie

    The mentioned steps will definitely be successful if carried out in a way that looks as natural as possible.

  • http://monarch-dental.com/ Aayna

    I agree that it is very crucial for a blogger to reach to his audience. This way he makes a personal connect with the readers which not only ameliorates his thought procedure but also gives him an idea about the set of people who read his blog. The points mentioned in the post are apt. I prefer comments as the medium for reaching to the audience. Thanks for the post.

    • http://hotblogtips.com/ Brian D. Hawkins

      Thanks Aayna, I like comments too but, as you can see, I’m always running behind. :)

  • http://www.torontogoldbullion.com Andru

    Maintaining good relations and staying in touch with your blog readers has an effective impact on the traffic generation of the blog. Following your readers on social networking sites is easier and faster. You can start accepting feedbacks from them thus making the relation between you two more better.

    • http://hotblogtips.com/ Brian D. Hawkins

      Yep, another vote for relationships Andru, and the social sites. Thanks. :)

  • http://www.windowtech.ca Sam

    I normally comment on others blog, it creates a relationship between the blogger and the reader, this way it’s easier to get more comments on our own blog posts as well. I agree that reading the blog thoroughly and then writing a comment that will add value to the post and will benefit other readers is vital.

  • http://www.vroomvroomvroom.ca Kevin

    Reaching out to the blog readers is very easy when you maintain good relations with them. In such situations, they themselves are willing to stay in contact with you over social networking sites and emails. You can also convince them to subscribe to your posts and new stuff being added to the blog.

  • http://insurance-supermarket.ca Steve

    I believe that we need to be more personal, and if we become personal it’s even easier to get more “friends” and to reach out to your blog readers and get the feedback you are looking for. Its not about backlinks, You can share your ideas with them and encourage them if some of their blog post helps you. Same way you’l get the response, vice versa.

  • http://easybusinesstoday.com Timothy Langen

    Great post. Here’s something i use regularly … Try using links to other useful, relevant blogs and websites to increase your blog traffic. Your readers will appreciate your efforts to satisfy them and they will know they can always count on you for new information. Other sites will appreciate the plug as well and may even add links to your blog as a thank you.

  • http://procept.com Peter

    Visiting the reader’s blog and going through it in order to interact with him through the comments can be a good idea to reach out to the reader. He might have a good impression of yours then in his mind that will surely help you increase your list of active readers and commentators.

    • http://www.hypernovadesign.com/services/search-engine-optimisation Alex

      I agree with you, Peter. Engagement with other people on blogs comes from sharing comments, opinions and links through blogs. I always visit my commentator’s link (that’s why I enable the function to share the link by clinking on the name), and try to start a valuable conversation is possible.

  • http://www.aliensmoney.com Qasim

    Hi Brian,

    Thank you so much for sharing these tips, I was already check most of my commentors blogs but never gone so far to subscribe to their email list, I think your tips to engage more with your commentor will make sure that you are forming a good relationship with them.

  • http://blogsetupguide.com Garen

    I have a number of blogs I subscribe too. Basically, my mindset is the more people I am network with the better we will both be. Twitter is great and good way to get traffic. Looking to use Facebook just like Twitter now and go with the 20/80 rule and share other good post along with mine. One tip I can give for that is to use thank me later (WordPress) plugin and basically, give them your Facebook url and tell them they are always free to post there as long as it’s relevent so I can actively start engaging on Facebook, like I do Twitter. Been looking for Facebook tips like crazy now as I have mastered Twitter. Do you have any good reads you recommend for Facebook?

  • http://blazingminds.co.uk Karen

    I’ve always made it a habit of stopping by commentators blogs and having CommentLuv enabled is a great way for me to see their post that they have opted to leave on the blog as well, I’ve found so many great blogs by visiting those that visit me.

    The majority of the time I do like to leave a comment as well, specially if the post is of interest and relevant to something I myself may have written recently.

  • http://english.wanwidget.com/ Juan

    my blog is still new, so not many blogger will drop a comment, so i think i should start do like your entry post here

  • http://techlila.com Rajesh Namase

    Nice post, when someone post a comment on my site usually I check his site, if he/she posting nice article then normally I left comment there, by using this technique readers are coming back to my site to comment more.

  • http://www.zipminis.com Darin L. Hammond

    Brian,

    Thank you for an awesome entry that gave me new ideas. I am weak in tracking the people who visit my blog, but I see how powerful a tool it can be.

    A powerful tool for me is to engage in sharing the blog through social networks. In most cases, the bloggers see who has done this, and it peaks there interest in you. Once connected in their networks, the interaction you describe is most helpful. Retweeting and reposting are appreciated by all, and I have found over time that bloggers are the best followers. We support our own, and scoring a faithful blogger as a follower is a tremendous asset. Bloggers share, interact, and follow back. On the other hand, those arriving from Google or other search engines tend to be less committed and dedicated.

  • http://www.tipsinablog.com Danny

    This is a great idea, Brian.

    Often I just go and find posts that interest me, and if I feel I can put in a half decent response, I do…

    The only difficulty I have had in the past, is when I decided to go and drop a comment over at a visitors blog(it’s the least we can do) only to find I was on a site who’s topic was close to totally unfamiliar with me…

    That can be a bit of a challenge, and we don’t want to just wing it!

    One site owner started visiting my site, and upon checking out their site, I noticed they were not getting any comments for all the effort they were putting in…

    So, I signed up to get their latest posts, etc, and visited often…

    I also tried to give them some encouragement(their site was struggling)…though, I think in the end they have not updated the site for quite some time…and just gave up(which is a shame)…..

  • http://groovypinkblog.com Klaudia

    Great list of “must-do”. The only problem I have is the email subscription – I’m not a fan of it but at the same time I use Feedly to make sure and check what’s going on and connect/interact with others online.

    Thank you again for interesting post!