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Beginner Tips: How to Get More Readers

By Edited Nov 3, 2015 31 49

So you have started your blog, website or started writing articles for community websites like InfoBarrel and you are wondering: how to get more readers? Writing gives a fantastic feeling of sharing what you know but sharing it with whom? What is the point if noone is reading you? This article will give you some tips about how to get more readers.

Understanding Your Readers

To get more readers, you need to understand them. What do they want to read, what are they looking for, what are the stuff they generally read... You may think it is impossible as you can't read their mind and don't know their habits. Actually, the surprising thing is: you do!

There is one reader you know very well: yourself. Yes, you are a reader yourself and by analysing what you are reading, what you look for when you are reading, you will already understand better the readers in general.

So, What Is It People Read ?

This question is not about what topics people like to read about but what is it you essentially read, how did you get to this article, for example.

The main things people read are:

  1. The news
  2. Things they look for on Google and other search engines
  3. Forum posts
  4. Articles they find on facebook or other social media
  5. Blogs they are following
  6. Articles they are redirected to

Think about yourself. Isn't it true that you look a lot on google or other search engine to find information? Aren't you reading a lot of things that you found on facebook, twitter etc...? 

So, now that we understand what people read, we are halfway to get more readers. The other half being: how to use this knowledge to turn it into more readers. So let's have a look at each of this point and see if we can turn "reading habits" into "more readers".

1. News

Woman Reading Newspaper

Photo Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Pessimists will think "No way to use this topic to get more readers. People are used to going to their favourite news channels such as CNN, BBC, Yahoo News, ... and there is no chance we will make them change their habits and go read the news on mypersonalnewsblog.blogspot.com..." and part of it is true.

The main sites people use for their news will probably not change unless you are really going to put a lot of effort in it (marketing wise etc...). But there is a little twist: you can still use what is happening in the news to get more readers.

For example, writing about freedom of speech or internet monitoring, etc... now that the Snowden case is in the media will bring you customers. Otherwise, writing about important events and celebrations can be quite smart (typically "back to school", "Halloween", "Christmas", ...). 

As you can see, you don't need to become a reporter or try to get people to read the news on your website to get more readers. Simply time your articles carefully, write about things that are related to current events and you will get more readers.

Follow the News

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If you have a Kindle, you can subscribe to Reuters here and get the news directly on your Kindle device.

2. Things People Are Looking For (Search Engines)

This is probably the most important point. Why? Because this is not time or event specific (compared to the previous point) and it does not rely on heavy promotion towards your friends (see next point).

To get people to read your article when they use search engines comes down to 3 things:

- how many people look for the information you are providing (keywords)

- how strong the competition is: some markets are saturated. "Become rich" or "losing weight" for example.

- how well you can rank on search engines (better rank means more readers).

I will focus here on the third point. There are many tools to find keywords (Google Adwords for example) and checking your competition is fairly easy (search for the keywords on Google yourself).

Ranking well is of course related to the competition and in the ideal case where noone ever wrote about something people look for, you would naturally rank first. However, you generally have to deal with at least a bit of competition and ranking high will bring you more readers. 

Improving search rank is called Search Engine Optimization or SEO. Rules are changing quite often but basically, you want search engines to understand precisely what your article is about. Using keywords in your title and introduction for example gives a clear indication that your article will be on this particular topic.

If you write an article about "how to fish in Ohio" but never again in your article do you mention either fishing or Ohio, search engines will have no ideas if your article really is about it or if this was just asymbolic title. 


Image based on the Apple company logo and on an image courtesy of the New York apple Association

Another thing that can help you rank well is Latent Semantic Index. Imagine someone is looking for information about the Apple company (you know the one producing, iphone, ipad, mac, ...). Google needs to display articles dealing with the Apple company, not about someone eating an apple in his company or others. That's where Google (and other search engines) will use the context of the article to decide which articles to show.

Therefore, if you write an article about the Apple company, you'd better mention things like iphone, ipad, mac so that Google will know you are talking about the Apple company. (On the other hand, if you are writing about the fruit, you may use  words such as "fruit" in your article).

More About SEO

SEO Black Book - A Guide to the Search Engine Optimization Industry's Secrets (The SEO Series 1)
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If you want to improve your SEO skills and rank better, this is a nice book. Updated Jun 15 2013 so pretty up to date.

3. Forums

Forums are good places to get readers. If you wrote an article about the best places to play chess online, you may write a post about it on a chess forum. Not only, people from this forum may interact with this article (giving you feedback about the article, giving you more possible content for it), but you may also attract people who were simply browsing the forum.

The best is of course if you link to your article in a forum you are already participating in (not as a first poster) as it gives you more credibility. It can also be good to give some description of what you wrote. Compare this: "hi guys, click here, I promise, it is a nice link" and "The places I enjoy playing online are X, Y, Z, mainly because this, that and that. For more details, see here".

Be sure you article is relevant to the forum you are posting in. Don't post your article about boomerangs in a forum about computers. You will be flag as spam and even if you don't, very few people check your link.

4. Promoting on Facebook and Other Social Media

Facebook and other social media are great to share articles because you can reach a lot of people in a very short amount of time.

However, sharing your articles on social media is not as easy as it seems. Sharing everything you write all the time will make your friends less likely to read them. Sharing complex technical articles about the problem of the propeller in a submarine will not be successful unless your friends are engineers, etc...

Social Network Concept


What you want to share on social media are articles that are likely to go viral. Fun, short, mind-blowing, atypical, visual, etc... My biggest success in this field is this article: http://www.infobarrel.com/5_Things_Not_to_Say_to_a_Rubiks_Cube_Solver.

Getting Serious with Twitter

5. Getting Followers

This is something you will only get by having high quality content. For example, at Infobarrel, VicDillinger is a successful writer. He does not use keywords or SEO. He simply writes about what he wants but puts so much effort into his articles and he has so nice writing skills that people follow him, read his articles, buy his e-book, ...

It is generally easier to get followers if you have a blog dedicated to something in particular  than when you write articles about any possible topics.

6. Linking!

Linking is an important way to get more readers. Linking to other ressources may get you some linkback, linking to your own articles will make your readers read more of your articles, ...

But linking is also something more complicated than it seems and for this I conducted a small experiment on you. Yes, you as a reader. As stated in the introduction, you are a reader yourself and analyzing yourself as a reader will help you understand other readers.

So in this article, I have put both good links and bad links. Which ones did you click on? Which ones were you at least tempted to click on?

I cannot say for sure (everyone is different) but on the whole, it is quite clear that very few people clicked on the links to my boomerang or chess articles. Why? Because they have nothing to do with this article. So why would anyone click on the link?

The other bad link is the one to my Rubik's cube article. The link is not even clickable! And it does not include an anchor text. It would have done much better if I had written: "My biggest success in this field is this article: 5 Things Not to Say to a Rubik's Cube Solver". You must think of your reader as a lazy person. Ask him to copy/pasting a link, and you already lose much of his interest. Ask him to scroll back to the top to click on the "like"/"thumb up" button and you won't get that many likes...

7. Bonus: More Readers at All Cost?

Sometimes, authors want to get readers so much that they make some mistakes. Paying for traffic, using images of sexy girls to lure people into clicking on links, etc...

Please remember that what you want is people to read your articles. Not just to look, see that they have been lured and surf away. Or come to your articles to get paid and surf away.

The difference? People who really read your articles may click on the "like" button, may share it with their friends, may link to it from a forum, etc... One of my blog entry was linked to by someone in a Finish forum. I would never have been able to reach for this market on my own as I don't even speak Finish.


To conclude, please remember that getting traffic takes time (or luck). Giving up too early is the best way to NEVER achieve it. Also, don't promote your blogs/articles too early. Wait until you have a "finished" product to show as keeping the promise: "a lot is coming soon" is not helping much. Patience is not readers best asset.

For Blogging Breaks

TKO Anti Burst Fitness Stability Ball (65cm)
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Treat yourself nicely as you deserve it. You work hard on your blog/articles and you need breaks! This ball is cool as you can use it as a chair or as a toy / balance exercise during pauses.
Scalp Massager by Body Back Company
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Not as good as a real massage but still pretty nice to get the stress down if you are a hard worker.


Jul 15, 2012 3:44am
Just right! People open and read articles that they find interesting.
Jul 15, 2012 11:46am
Thanks for the comment!
Jul 15, 2012 5:33am
Thank you for this article. Thumbs up! And thank you VERY MUCH for the link to my article about the 10 Hot Olympic Athletes
Jul 15, 2012 11:46am
You are very welcome. I thought it was a nice article and it fit nicely with what I wanted to write.
Jul 16, 2012 9:12am
Thanks for the shout out.

This piece is timely, simply because engaging a reader has to be more than merely picking the correct keywords. And the part you put in there toward the end about "pandering" (putting pics of naked girls, etc.) is the truest thing in the piece -- one can write well, I believe, without resorting to cheap tricks. Good stuff, especially for newer people, and a thumb from me.
Jul 16, 2012 4:26pm
Thanks for the thumb and the comment. Yes, this article is mainly for newer people.
Jul 22, 2012 5:49am
Very informative and well written article. Thumbs Up!
Jul 22, 2012 6:44am
Thanks a lot!
Aug 5, 2012 11:33am
Very well done. Excellent article.
Aug 5, 2012 12:22pm
Thanks for your kind comment.
Aug 5, 2012 12:47pm
Good article and congrats on the feature. Thumbs up from me
Aug 5, 2012 1:15pm
Thanks for the comment and the thumb. I was actually happy but a bit surprised about the feature.
Aug 5, 2012 8:47pm
Congratulations on being featured!
Aug 6, 2012 12:01am
Aug 6, 2012 2:29am
Very good article. Many of these 'IM tips' articles tend to obfuscate or lack examples that we would see as valid examples. Thumbs up and congrats on being featured.
Aug 6, 2012 4:30am
Thanks for your comment and the thumb, I appreciate it.
Aug 6, 2012 12:18pm
Congratulations on this very well written and informative article! Thumbs-up and a tweet!!
Aug 7, 2012 12:30am
Thanks a lot for your comment, thumbs and tweet :)
Aug 6, 2012 2:07pm
"your friends may get fed up with what you write (they generally just want funny or shocking pictures/videos, not in-depth articles)"

That is so true.

Aug 7, 2012 1:04am
On the other hand, we are spending already so much time on facebook, if all of our friends were to write in-depth articles and we were to read all of them, we would not have so much time outside facebook...
Aug 7, 2012 1:27pm
Sometimes, some of these social media sites never can attract enough readers, especially when people are too busy chatting rather than glimpsing at the posts. But your article is very persuasive and interesting, thank you.
Aug 7, 2012 1:37pm
Thank you for your comment! Yes, I think it isn't so easy to attract readers, that's why I thought about writing this article.
Aug 7, 2012 4:05pm
Thanks for some great tips! I wasn't expecting so much information. Nice!
Aug 7, 2012 4:56pm
Thanks for your comment! And please do expect much info from me, I am quite a verbose person :)
Aug 22, 2012 4:26am
This is a great list and I'm sure going to try them.
Aug 22, 2012 5:24am
Thanks for your comment!
Aug 29, 2012 2:31pm
You have given me some great points to think about. I will keep them in mind and probably revist your article being completely new to infobarrel. Thanks you
Aug 30, 2012 1:49am
Thanks for your comment, you are welcome to revisit this article anytime you want!
Aug 30, 2012 9:03pm
Great Article and some solid advice!
Sep 10, 2012 7:19am
Oct 15, 2012 1:38pm
If you write/share about ways to earn money, of course there will be many readers. If you write/share about ways to heal disease/pains of course there will be many readers. If you write/share about excellence in professional/personal life, again many will come to read. There are a group of topics that matters for someone at some point. Maybe now I'm interested in how to have better relationships, but in a few months maybe I'll be interested in how to open a business. Thanks for your article.
Apr 28, 2013 9:14pm
I just keep getting more and more useful information that I need to be doing. I will have to add a few of your tips to my goals for the next month. My goals list is starting to get longer and longer. I am really liking the posting on forums that are related to my article. This will be a definite on the goal for May. Thank you.
Apr 29, 2013 12:16am
Thanks for your comment. to give you an example, I wrote a Squidoo lens about how I started figure skating as an adult. I did not pay attention to SEO but included a link to this article in my signature in one figure skating forum I was active in and this kept the lens in Tier 3 (+some updates + regular promotion). So yes, it can help.
Jun 14, 2013 12:47pm
Good advice and nice move with what kind of reader person reading the article is. I followed the one on seekyt maybe because I learn about using keywords now.
Jun 14, 2013 3:33pm
Feb 7, 2014 3:14pm
I was totally entertained and educated by this article, thank you.
Feb 7, 2014 3:15pm
I was totally entertained and educated by this article, thank you.
Feb 7, 2014 3:15pm
I was totally entertained and educated by this article, thank you.
Feb 7, 2014 3:15pm
I was totally entertained and educated by this article, thank you.
Feb 7, 2014 3:15pm
I was totally entertained and educated by this article, thank you.
Feb 7, 2014 3:15pm
I was totally entertained and educated by this article, thank you.
Feb 7, 2014 3:15pm
I was totally entertained and educated by this article, thank you.
Feb 7, 2014 3:16pm
I was totally entertained and educated by this article, thank you.
Feb 7, 2014 3:21pm
I was totally entertained and educated by this article, thank you.
Feb 7, 2014 3:21pm
I was totally entertained and educated by this article, thank you.
Feb 7, 2014 3:21pm
I was totally entertained and educated by this article, thank you.
Feb 7, 2014 3:21pm
I was totally entertained and educated by this article, thank you.
Feb 7, 2014 3:30pm
So sorry for multiples of above message, nothing seemed to be happening when I pushed reply until suddenly there were twelve copies!

Anyway thanks again (for the thirteenth time)
Mar 1, 2014 12:21am
Great article.
I am sure that the information in this article will help to build my success.
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