5 Ways to Build a Blog Audience
The good news is that the path to growing an audience of blog readers isn’t a mystery. While there are plenty of ways to grow a blog following, here are five ways to get started:
Target Your Content for a Specific Audience
Are you writing posts or creating videos that address the needs of a specific audience or share valuable information that they can’t find anywhere else? You can’t build an audience until you identify a specific group of readers and write posts directly for them.
Ray Gulick at evowebdev writes, “Understand your audience’s needs, desires, and frustrations. Do NOT assume they are just like you: they aren’t, although you may have some things in common. Do some research. Find bloggers who are already engaging your audience and read their posts and, just as important, read the comments.”
While writing targeted, reader-centered content isn’t necessarily hard to do, it takes effort and practice to do it well. In addition, while most bloggers want to write about the topics that interest them, the key to attracting an audience is finding the intersection of your passion and the needs of readers.
Create Visual and Audio Content
When you write up blog posts, you can reuse that content in visual and audio formats that will both expand your reach and save you content creating time in the future. For example, Michael Hyatt is a business and productivity blogger who has converted his most popular blog posts into a podcast series called “This is Your Life”.
Beyond that, he also uses his blog content in his speeches, which he sometimes shares on YouTube. Other posts are reused in E-books or commercially published books.
- It sets you apart from your competition
- It gives you a direct line of communication with your audience
- It creates networking opportunities with other bloggers
- It increases your blog’s reach”
When you create E-books based on your blog posts, you can share them socially at sites like Scribd and increase your reach. Other posts that can be turned into infographics are excellent for sharing on Facebook and Pinterest.
Want to find a new audience for your blog? Go to other blogs and spend some time there. Leave comments that are helpful or insightful, and you’ll start to see readers from that blog begin to visit yours.
Brian Gardner suggests that this is a great way to build a stronger community, to gain more readers, and to introduce yourself to bloggers that you’ll want to guest post for. The more you put yourself on the radar of top bloggers, the more likely they are to read your content and engage your blog. If they like what they see on your site, the more likely they’ll be willing to let you guest post for them.
In fact, guest posting on top blogs may be one of the best ways to attract top quality readers in your niche, since a guest post is a great way to quickly build trust with new readers. You will only be able to guest post after you’ve engaged readers on other blogs and written solid content on your own site, but once your site is up and running, guest posting is a way to dramatically increase your traffic.
When you launch a blog, you are committing to marketing it. At the very least, you need to go out on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest in order to follow and friend like-minded people who will read your content.
Denise, from Build a Better Blog, asks, “Where does your ideal reader hang out? Facebook? Twitter? (I have no doubt that your ideal reader is on Twitter so don’t ignore this.) Forums? You need to know this in order to hang out with them and that’s the key. Be where your reader is.”
You can’t always create content and then sit back, waiting for your readers to come to you. Sometimes you need to put yourself out there and interact with readers where they are.
Create Irresistible Headlines
The best headlines will intrigue readers or create a sense of urgency to stick around your blog to learn more. According to Darren Rowse at ProBlogger, there are a variety of headline styles, such as a “How to” post, a title that invites debate over a controversial topic, or a post that asks a provocative question. Brian Clark of CopyBlogger goes a step further by providing a series of potential title options you can adapt to your own blog.
Jessica Malnik at socialfresh writes, “A headline is your chance to ‘hook’ people into reading your post. People will decide whether to visit or stay on your site within an average of 3 seconds. If the headline is vague, confusing, too long or just plain sucks, there is a good chance most people won’t read your post.”
Growing your blog audience involves thinking more about your audience, going out to where they are, and hooking them with quality content. They are out there, and if you follow these steps, your audience will begin to grow.
This guest post is written by Lior Levin, a marketing consultant for a to do list app company, and who also consults for a psd to html developer conversion company.