How to extend your best blog posts
Every now and then I write a post that seems to really resonate with my readers. I wish I was better at figuring out how to strike a chord with every word, but what the heck, I’ll take what I can get. (Even a broken clock is right twice a day)
When you hit the mark with a seemingly magical post, one that draws lots of comments, trackbacks and bookmarks, you should take the extra effort to use it as a tool to extend your readership. There’s a good bet that if your current readers were moved enough by your post to comment and share it with others then it might just be a door opener to some new readers.
Here are some ways to extend your reach for some new readers. (You can exhaust yourself trying to do this with every post so I suggest you save this strategy for real winners)
Keep an eye out for your best posts. I use a little tool called aideRSS. This service collects what’s being said about posts in comments, delicious, Google, digg, Bloglines, technorati and various other places bloggers hang out and puts together a score card that makes it easy to see what folks have deemed my best posts by their actions and reactions. I could do some of this on my own but this just makes it so easy. They also provide me with a little widget to place on my blog to let my readers know my most popular posts – folks like to read what others thought was popular so this allows you to keep the best there for new visitors.
Keep an eye out for other’s buzz. You can use aideRSS to track the most popular posts from any blog in the world. This can be a good way to get ideas about what people who visit your blog might find interesting. A systematic focus on hot topics, massaged correctly, emulated creatively, can go a long way towards helping you build readership.
Expand on your best posts. If you’re like me some of your best posts are under 200 words. If in that space you got people excited, consider completely rounding out your post and turning it into a 700 word article. Submit this article online to one of the many article directories. (Duct Tape Article Directory) and/or submit it to your local newspaper or magazine for consideration as a contributed column.
Promote your best posts. You don’t want to kill people with this but once you’ve got a winner, point it out in your newsletter, re-purpose it to your homepage, post it to your Facebook profile, Stumble it, digg it, mixx it, bookmark it, share it with your blogroll members. Submit your posts to a relevant blog carnival.
Position your best posts – Find other posts from blogs around the world that are closely related to your hot post and make a point of posting relevant comments on those blog posts with some of your key points. This will draw some readership that is like-minded to your posts from the close positioning to the topic.
All of this can be a bit of work, but what isn’t. A blog is not a magical candy store, it’s a tool. Hit a couple home runs with your posts, prop them up consistently and you’ll be on your way to building a solid readership.