This post are my notes from the live session at Blog World Expo in Las Vegas.  Please forgive me if I misspell anything or if some of the notes don’t make sense, as I am trying to gather as much information from each speaker as I can.

Quick Facts on the Session

  • Topic: Finding Readers for Your Blog
  • About: What’s the point of great content if nobody is reading it? Darren Rowse has jam packed his session full of teaching and tips on ensuring that your blog is read… by more than your Mom!
  • Speaker: Darren Rowse

Live Notes

Darren starts off by talking about how the 4 pillars (Content, Readers, Community, Monetization) don’t just happen.  You need to have a strategy in place for each of these pillars.

He starts by asking a question.  What day was your biggest traffic day and why did that happen??  The reason he asked that is because you want to understand why you are gaining that increase in traffic and see how you can foster and leverage that traffic.  It could be from

He had everybody in the room turn to the person next to them and find out what their blog is and what/why a certain blog post received lots of traffic. I thought this was a great excercise!  If we could take everyones story and write  a blog post, that would be outstanding knowledge.

Which Readers?

Darren starts talking about his Digital Photography blog.   By knowing who you want to read your blog informs you on the following things:

  • Content Strategy
  • Promotional Strategy
  • Community Strategy
  • Monetization Strategy

Create Reader Profiles

Creating fictional reader profiles can make it much clearer how who you are writing for.  The below screenshot is taken from Darren’s presentation, showing an example of one of his user profiles.  Because there are going to be different types of readers for your blog, you want to identify those different readers.

It sounds much more personable if you are actually writing for someone, rather than a broad audience.  Keep these audience profiles in mind, when blogging.

  • Demographics
  • Needs’ Challenges
  • How they use the web
  • For Advertisers
  • For Guest Bloggers to Reference

Darren mentions that he has an autoresponder, where he surveys everyone that signs up for his newsletter, 3 months after they sign-up.  This is designed to gain feedback on topics that his readers would like to see covered, that are not currently discussed.

Darren starts showing examples of blog posts from his Digital Phototgraphy blog that goes viral and why they went viral.  He talks about list posts doing very well, humor, comprehensive posts, and things that are controversial.

He also says that if you give your readers assignments or homework that it can work really well and keep people on target.

Where Your Readers are Going?

He talks about his DPS site and where people are going to discuss photos and photography.  He also goes into niche specific websites like LifeHacker and Photojojo! as other places to submit content to.

  • Get Off Your Blog
  • Build Anticipation
  • Build Something Worth Being Found
  • Choose Popular Topics for your Blog and Posts
  • Start with the Readers You Have
  • Content Events
  • Use Familiar Technologies for Subscribing
  • Persist

Darren talked about the 31 days to build a better blog, post series that he launched on ProBlogger.  He said that just by mentioning that he was going to be launching a series of posts to help provide practical tips for his blog, that subscribers went up 20%.

Subscribers for DPS

  • 27% RSS
  • 73% Email

The first 1000 subscribers are the hardest to get.  But once you reach that it starts to snowball and you it becomes easier to grow.

He shows his Email Cycle and Autoresponder Sequence

Techniques for finding Readers

  • Guest Posting
  • Social media Sites
  • You Tube
  • SEO
  • Forums
  • Pitch other Bloggers
  • Leverage Other Online and Offline Presence
  • Participate in Memes and Projects of Others
  • Blogging/Web Communities
  • Competitions and Awards
  • Speaking at Events and Workshops Online/Offline
  • Blog Alliances
  • Present Workshops
  • Incentivise Subscriptions
  • Interview Someone
  • Comment on Other Blogs and Readers Blogs
  • Advertise on SU, FB and MySpace
  • Submit Stories to Media/Press Releases
  • Anticipate Big Events
  • Press Releases
  • Develop Reports/Whitepapers

Create a twitter landing page, which is a page specific to your Twitter followers that tells them about your site and encourages them to sign up for the newsletter and other social media sites.

Make sure you tweet this post with the Hashtag #bwe10