If you’re writing a blog you want people to read it. Otherwise, you wouldn’t publish it online. And as most of us are keen to have a bigger audience than our mom (she’d read it more often, if she can just figure out where the ‘any’ key is) we want to grow our audience.
But how do you do that?
There are a lot of strategies out there. Today I’m going to cover some of the most effective.
Don’t talk about yourself
Your story is only interesting to you and those that love you. I’m sorry, but that’s the truth. If you want to have a big audience, you have to talk at least part of the time about other people’s favorite topic – and that is themselves.
That is why so many blogs are ‘how to’ stories, self-improvement articles and ways to write better blogs. It’s because those are stories that have relevance to reader’s lives and therefore far more likely to draw in an audience.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t tell your own stories, but make sure they’re actually stories – that they follow a story arch, have some kind of conclusion and frequently include some sort of take-home message that people can again apply in their lives.
Have an audience
You can’t write for everybody. If you do that, you’ll end up writing for nobody. Why? Because you won’t generate any excitement. Sure, you might be able to draw in an audience with an article, but when they then don’t connect with the next few articles, they’ll drift away again.
What you want to do is write articles for a specific audience, so that this group keeps getting pinged by what you’re writing. Then they’ll become fans, who are willing to spread the message of your blog.
And that will significantly boost your blog reach.
So you’ve got to work out your niche. Be it, a nerd fitness site, instructions about how to freelance from the road, or a site about being an atheist chick, as long as it has a specific audience who will feel personally addressed by (and like) what you’re writing, your audience will grow.
Mix up your media
It used to be hard to create videos, podcasts, slideshows and the rest of what’s out there. Today it isn’t anymore. So you really don’t have any excuse to only write articles. So you should really try to create some alternative pieces of content.
Because by doing so, you widen your reach tremendously. Some people like to read, but certainly, not everybody does. Some people prefer videos, some people want to listen to what you’ve got to say while riding their bicycle. And you’re missing out on all of those by only sticking to one format.
So broaden your appeal by broadening the type of content you create.
Have the right social media
Different people (men or women, young or old) use different social media platforms. If you’re going to push your content on social media (and obviously you should, as that is where people nowadays spend most of their time) then make sure you’re actually approaching them on the right platforms.
And that is yet another reason that you should know who your audience is so that you know on what social media platform you can find them.
Work on your SEO
Okay, this is a long-term strategy. SEO is not something that you’re going to achieve overnight. That said, if you do manage to get up on the first page of search results, then you’re potentially going to draw in thousands of extra eyes every day – for free!
And so, it’s worth always keeping an eye out for rating well for SEO. That means finding the right keywords, doing the research and creating absolutely excellent content so every now and then.
This last point is important. I’m sure you produce really good content all the time, but when you’re just starting out that won’t do. It’s better to occasionally have a piece that is absolutely outstanding, while the rest is just above average, then to have good content all the time.
That’s because the outstanding content has legs. You can push it again and again and even consider paying to put it in front of more eyes. Not sure you can produce outstanding content? Get help. There are plenty of content writing services out there which can help you turn something that is good for something that is great. Sure, it will cost you a bit of money, but sometimes you’ve got to spend money to make money.
On that note.
Consider social media advertising
You can get your content in front of a few thousand extra eyeballs for only a few dollars at a time. ‘But I can do that with guest blogging’ some of you no doubt cry. I don’t know about you, but a guest blog takes me a long time to write. As I’m a freelance writer, if I work out the per hour cost of that, it works out financially better to write paid content and push my blog posts by paying for it.
I just wait for a post that is running well on its own and invest a few dollars in pushing it front of more people. By spending only what normally costs me a cup of coffee, I get a few hundred more eyeballs and hopefully a few more fans.
Use Google Analytics
You can rely on your gut and guess what people want you to write about, or you can use Google Analytics and actually know what you should write. Go with Google Analytics. It’s free and it will give you real information about what posts are working, where traffic is coming from when they’re leaving your site and who is sending them your way.
All stuff you can act on to make your site better and really find out what you have to do to make sure your audience sticks around.
Blog audiences do not build overnight. They take time and effort. Most people say it will take you a year go get anywhere. Most people quit long before then. And that isn’t fair. If you’re going to build up a loyal audience then you’ve got to be loyal to them in turn. It’s a two-way street.
So even if you’ve only got a few dozen people coming into your blog a day, then keep writing. As long as there is some kind of upward curve, it’s worth it to keep going. If you keep going, you might one day find that somebody that matters has tweeted about you and put you in front of a serious audience. If you don’t, then that will never happen.