In the Agile world many people are blogging. People do it to share their thoughts, communicate what they have being doing or to tell about their product or services. The tagline of BenLinders.com, “Sharing my Experiences”, makes clear why I’m blogging: To share my learnings to help my readers to learn and become better in what they are doing.
Luis Gonçalves (co-author of Getting Value out of Agile Retrospectives) published a list of 100+ top Agile Blogs and this blog is listed! It feels great to be among the worlds top blogs on software development, a big thanks to all my readers who made this possible! Success doesn’t come for free, I’ve learned along the way how to become better in blogging by doing it and reflecting. Allow me to explain how I do it.
Just the facts ma’am!
I started blogging more than four years ago, here’s my Welcome! blog from July 27, 2010. Since then I have posted 130 English posts and 91 Dutch posts. I’ve had almost 100.000 unique visitors since this blog started and more than 400.000 page views, of which 45.000+ visitors and 200.000+ page views in 2014 until November 26.
The number of visitors has grown substantially, currently there are around 1500 unique visitors per week and around 5000 per month (update: 14000 unique visitors per month as of December 2016). Visitors come from all over the world, most are coming from the United States and there are also many visitors from the Netherlands, India and United Kingdom.
Becoming a top agile blog
If you want to get your blog on the 100+ Top Agile Blogs list, here are 5 tips to improve your blog and get more happy readers:
Provide great content: Content is and will always be king, if you want to get readers you will have to give them what they are looking for. If they like what they see, chances are big that they will share it with their colleagues, friends, people in their network and in the social media. Which will draw new readers to your website. On this weblog I share my experiences with effective software development and management practices. It’s a bilingual (Dutch and English) blog on agile and lean, quality and defect prevention, governance and continuous improvement. I focus on improving collaboration and communication and people skills to deliver business value to customers. There are 200++ blog posts and 40+ pages with tons of valuable information. This website is updated continuously to ensure that it stays valuable.
Make it easily accessible: You have to assure that readers can find what they need when they need it, easily and quickly. Not all readers are equal, it helps to provide different ways to find stuff. You can read my blog sequentially, follow post on a subblog (see the menu below “blog”), pick posts based on a tag or search for specific topics. My blog posts have plenty of links to related blog posts or other relevant material. You can read this website via feeds. And subscribe yourself to be informed when a new post is published or join my nieuwsbrief (in Dutch).
Interact with readers: Comments are a great way to hear from your readers, but you have to show that you are listening. You can leave a comment on all pages and blog posts and I will react to every comment. You can follow me on twitter, Facebook, Google+ or Pinterest, or connect with me on LinkedIn. If you share something from this website in the social media then I will retweet it, like it or react (if you didn’t get a response, let me know by sending me the link to your tweet, LinkedIn or Facebook post and I will react 🙂 ). I regularly post guest blogs on this website, let me know if you want to publish a guest blog post. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions, or want to share your experiences.
Get referenced: If you want to drive traffic to your blog you have to find a way to get linked on websites that have many readers. This website is referenced on many major websites, such as retrospectivewiki.org, wikipedia.org, Agilopedia, InfoQ.com and on the UK Governance Service Design Manual. My blog posts are reblogged on 101ways.com, versionone.com, bridge-outsourcing.com, workimprovers.nl, imfacts.nl and veranderproject.nl. I’m an active member of many LinkedIn, Google and Yahoo groups. Finally I frequently comment on other related blogs (if you have a great blog and want me to react, sent me the link 🙂 ) which also attracts many readers.
Write a Book: If you want to stand out in crowd writing and publishing one ore more books helps. Even though nowadays people get there knowledge today from reading blogs and on-line magazines, there are still many people that prefer to read a book or ebook. You can add links in ebooks so that readers can go to specific blog posts if they want to know more about a topic. My ebooks on Agile Retrospectives and Quality are available in my webshop, at Amazon.com (and all other Amazon shops), Leanpub, iTunes, Smashwords, Lulu, Kobo, Scribd, Oyster and Blio. Paperback editions are sold on Lulu, Amazon, and other on-line bookstores.
These are the 5 things which have helped to get more readers and have them stay longer on my website. Feel free to use them to turn your website into a top agile blog.
I’d love to hear from you. What do you think makes a great blog? What do you do to get more readers?