Growing your audience is one of the most important parts of running a blog - and it's not as difficult as many people think.
Here's how to do it:
1) Focus on your target audience
Your core audience is the group most likely to get involved with your posts - liking, commenting on, and sharing the material.
This is a key part of growing your audience, because these people are essentially recommending your blog to other people they know, and such recommendations carry a lot of weight in potential readers' minds.
To help with this, make sure the share buttons are easy for readers to find. You don't want them to have to think too hard or spend time looking around for the buttons, because they'll just move on.
Just putting the share buttons at the bottom of the post may be all you need to do to get it spread to a wider audience than you ever expected.
2) Look around and post to unfamiliar social media platforms
If you keep all of your advertising in a limited box, you'll never be able to reach the customers outside of that box... and your blog will never grow very far.
Try searching for new social media platforms and sharing your content to the audiences you can find there.
Be sure to learn the etiquette for each platform before you start advertising, and remember the social aspect of social media.
Most people don't want to be bombarded by advertisements all the time, so at least some of your content needs to be fun instead of promotional.
If you start coming off as too aggressive with your advertising, people will stop paying attention.
3) Teach your audience about the things they care about
Every blog should have a relatively narrow focus, and once you've decided what it is, start trying to teach your audience about the subject.
Readers should walk away from your blog feeling like they've learned something funny, useful, or valuable that they can apply to their life.
This helps grow your audience in two major ways:
- First, when people learn something, they'll assume you know more about the subject and have more to teach them - and that's how you get them to think of you as an expert.
- Alongside that, most relationships with customers start by giving them something they want, and when you're using inbound marketing, they usually want the solution to a problem they're having. If you help them resolve an issue, they'll think favorably of you and be much more receptive to anything you say.
These feelings are what encourage people to come back and read more of your blog... and the more they read it, the more likely they are to become customers (or supporters, or advocates, or whatever it is you want them to do).
4) Publish consistently
Blogs should be updated on a regular basis - at least once a week, and more often if you can manage it.
Your readers should have the sense that you'll be providing them with helpful new information on a regular basis, because that's a critical part of actually getting them to come back.
If they don't believe you have anything else to say or teach them, there's no reason for them to keep reading your blog, and they'll jump ship with no further thought.
You can nudge this along with comments at the end of each blog, reminding them of your publishing schedule.
Try to avoid talking about the actual content of your next post - if they decide they're not interested before they even read it, they'll start checking your blog less often, and that's how readers start to drift away.
5) Offer multiple ways to subscribe
Email is one of the most powerful tools you have - and allowing people to subscribe to your blog lets you deliver content straight to their inbox.
However, not everybody wants to have more emails than they already do, so be sure to offer multiple ways of subscribing (and don't send a confirmation email for all of them).
Keep Blogging No Matter What - Growth Will Happen!
Ultimately, growing your audience comes down to the simple principles of publishing great content, effectively marketing what you've published, and continuing to publish no matter what else is going on.
If it's hard to write on a set schedule - and this happens a lot in some industries, so don't think it's unusual - you can write the posts ahead of time and set them to automatically publish whenever you want them to go live.
As long as you follow these principles, you should see a steady growth in your blog's readership.
Remember, blogging is a long-term advertising effort, so your growth won't come overnight... but it will come.
Thanks for visiting!