I'm only new here and slowly finding my way around the forums so please excuse me if this has already been done. My new blog has been running for a month now and I have found when I switched over I lost allot of my readers. So how do you do it?
I would love to get a few more followers too so check out my blog and get to know me, I love finding new blogs and can follow you too.
I just visited your site and really enjoyed it. I wanted to add one more thing to all of these great comments. It took me a while to understand the full value of social networking. What was once the bain of my existence has now become a soft addiction. I have truly connected with some wonderful people that I now feel the need to check in with on a daily basis for their wisdom and insight.
When people reach out to you and comment on your site it is important to reply to their comments. Hopefully, your reply will be automated back to their email address.
Also, if you see a post based on something that you also have written about, send them a link to that post so you can share experiences.
I also agree with the commenting suggestions. I have found that giveaways have also helped to build my traffic. Offering additional entries to people who blog about your contest gives you exposure to people who may not have found you otherwise. It does give you a temporary spike in hits, but a number of those people will probably like what they see and become regular readers.
There was a very similar discussion started just the other day on MBC so this is a really important topic for a lot of people. This was my reply on the other discussion and I thought I would share it here, too (I hope that is OK - it just seemed worth sharing here, too). I work with thousands of bloggers and here a few tips that seem to really help. I totally agree with the suggestions above, especially about Twitter and leaving valuable comments. Here is the link to the other conversation so you can get tips from that thread, too!
1. Twitter - if you are a blogger, it really pays to learn to love Twitter. Its a great way to share your new posts with a large audience and find other blogs to comment on. You can also search Twitter by topic (i.e. "teenagers" or "day care") and share your posts with people who are looking for info you might have blogged about.
2. Tag your posts - both Blogger and Wordpress let you add keywords to each post (although WP is better at this). Take a few moments with each post and think about what terms someone might type into Google. Adding those keywords helps search engines connect your blog with people who are looking for topics you've written about!
3. Comment on other posts. Not just a quick "hi - love your pics!" but a genuine, thoughtful comment that tells that blogger you really connected with their site and looked around. Your comment can add value to that bloggers post by providing even more info for their readers. Make your comment as interesting to read as the post.
4. Guest post on other blogs. Most sites and blogs are always looking for more content and posts. It gives the blog author a break for a day and exposes your writing to new readers. Its tempting to think that your efforts would be better spent on your own blog but giving to others ALWAYS comes back to you!
5. Link to bigger blogs. I'm not suggesting you go link-crazy but its helps your Google rankings when you link to larger blogs that have high "credibility" ratings with search engines. So if you are posting about something at Target, go ahead and hyperlink to their site. If you blogging about a product, store, celebrity, quoting from a news source, visiting a city - go ahead and link to their site.
6. Add social tools to your blog such as BlogFrog - BlogFrog is a network of almost 20,000 bloggers who all link to one another via widgets. So when you visit a BlogFrog site, your blog actually shows up on their widget for ALL their readers to see. It drives reciprocal traffic. You can even add an instant community to your site that lets readers interact, which draws more traffic. In the interest of full disclosure, I am one of the co-founders of BlogFrog so I might be a little biased :) But I am first a mom like you as well as a blogger and member of MomBloggersClub.
I really learned a lot from reading the suggestions in this thread and I'm going to pass them on to our bloggers!
You had a 109 followers until I stopped by and now you have 110, not a shabby follower count at all for a new blog, so congrats, you are obviously on the right track. Here are some tips for you:
Take the time to follow everyone back who follows you, it's good etiquette
Follow other blogs, that you see here, that you come across on twitter, and spread the good karma, the more blogs you follow, the more bloggers that will follow you in return.
What are your hobbies? do you belong to forums and online communities about things you are passionate about already and have virtual friends there? Spread the word within communities you already belong to. People that already know you are more likely to follow you.
Get social, get viral, have a social media page set up on facebook, twitter, myspace, linked in for your 'business' which is your blog. Then post to those pages, daily like you do with the blog itself.
PUBLISH! make sure you are posting to digg, stumbleupon, technorati, reddit, plaxo. Publish there everytime you add an article to your blog, ideally, daily. Ascending Butterfly
Some of the most important things to do are to carve out a niche that is not being served by someone else. Stay focused and confine yourself to your specialized area--become an expert in it, don't give up, be positive and only aim to build bridges (not burn them). Know what kind of readers you are trying to attract. Write often about subjects your audience wants and needs. I have learned so much from the top bloggers and professionals out there.
Also, follow as many people who are where you want to be and subscribe to their blogs. The blogging community, in my own experience, has been so giving and willing to share. In fact, I try and tweet and blog about resources for bloggers that I read about in the PR and advertising trades I still read even though I'm transitioning from former public relations executive (corporate and agency) and journalist to full-time Mommy Blogger.
Above all, keep posting great questions like the one you've asked here while you are learning. Then, be ready to give back to the newbies who will soon be following you! Good luck and know that YOU CAN DO IT!
Understanding the very basics of good SEO can be really important too. I find that when I pay attention to titles and add a couple subheadings, my posts are found more easily by Google. As a experienced web writer I tend to think of content as king - high quality content in your authentic voice will win out every time!
I would start with friends and family and do what you just did. Respond to blogs and post discussions. But, as I found w/my last blog, review what you are responding to and who you add to your blog. It's easy to get "blogged down." I had so much traffic that I didn't want coming into my last blog which is why I started over from scratch, among a few other reasons. Also, if you are going to blog about sensitive subjects, or things you may not want everyone you know to see, make sure you genralize or make it as anonymous as possible...point in case, I can blog about something that happened to me and someone in my family reads it and I get crap for what I said...
I agree with LZ re: commenting on other blogs. I have noticed from Google Analytics that the vast majority of my blog traffic comes directly from twitter and Facebook- so, even though it makes me feel kinda spammy sometimes, I'd recommend promoting blog posts thru social networking. And hey everyone- stop by!