Imagine putting in all the hard work to get your blog up and running, devoting endless hours into crafting captivating content and shouting about it as much as you can on social media, only to hear the sound of crickets.
(I’m talking about zero page views, zero clicks and zero hope that things are going to get better.)
Does this sound familiar? If so, I get it. I mean, I’ve been there.
Whether you’re trying to monetise your blog for a living or sell a product or service, the trick is to build trust with your target audience.
Why? Well, with trust comes loyalty.
And if your blog readers are loyal to you, they’re more likely to engage with your content, subscribe to your email list or even become a paid customer.
But is it easy getting your audience to trust you? Well, not always.
That said, there are some simple steps that you can take if you’re genuinely devoted to learning how to grow your blog audience.
1. Make Sure Your Website Stands Out
How to grow your blog audience 101: build a website sets you apart from your competition.
If you personally landed on a blog and it took (what felt like) forever to load or it had a confusing design, would you really want to waste your precious time looking through the rest of the website? Nope, me neither.
The trick is to develop a platform for your blog that makes an impact with your target reader.
From dreamy-looking imagery to intuitive widgets, make user experience your first priority and it will ultimately encourage your readers to stick around.
2. Focus On Topics That Answer Their Questions
Likewise, use your content to answer any questions that your target reader might have.
Play around with keyword research tools like UberSuggest and Answer The Public to find topics that your reader will find useful. Then create content that includes relevant search terms and answers their pain points to gain organic traffic via Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
It’s all about delivering value in your own unique way.
And the golden rule is: if you write for your reader first and foremost, more readers will follow.
However, it always helps if you’re passionate about the topics too! After all, you don’t want to get burned out by writing about subjects that don’t remotely interest you.
3. Feature Content That’s Easy to Scan
An important thing to remember when it comes to how to grow your blog audience: featuring big walls of a text in a blog post is a no-no.
The truth is, the digital reader is more likely to check out your content on a mobile device as opposed to a computer. Ergo, they’re not going to bother consuming your content unless it’s easy to digest.
Scannable blog posts that contain short paragraphs, subheadings and bulleted lists are key to please search engines and readers alike.
If you need a full, detailed breakdown on how to write and optimise blog posts for SEO, the “Superstar Your Blog Post SEO” eBook has got you covered.
4. Be Consistent
Since I started including content strategy as one of my services, I’ve noticed that being inconsistent is where so many bloggers and small businesses are going wrong.
It’s important to show up for your audience at the times that you say you’re going to.
One of the worst things you can do when you’re trying to build your audience is tell your readers you’re going to delver blog content every week – and then disappear off the face of the earth for months.
Whether you decide to post once a day, twice a week or monthly, devise a regular content schedule that suits you and your lifestyle and then try to stick to it the best you can.
5. Hang Out Where They Hang Out
One of my top tips in terms of how to grow your blog audience is to hang out wherever your target readers are.
Whether this is via certain social media channels, at networking events or on press trips, find your ideal community and engage with them on a regular basis.
For instance, if you’re targeting freelance writers in the UK, there’s a Twitter chat every Tuesday morning at 11am under the hashtag #ContentClubUK.
And you just never know, you might end up making both personal and professional connections!
6. Utilise Social Media
Social media can be a great tool to engage with your current readers and find new readers.
How? Well, by doing the following:
- Replying to every comment on your social media posts
- Following your readers back
- Following people in your target audience
- Using relevant hashtags in every post you publish to expand your reach
- Searching relevant hashtags to engage with people in your target audience
For example, if you’re targeting fashion bloggers, you can discover them via #fbloggers and #fblog across Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter. Alternatively, are you in the travel industry? Use #traveltuesday and #travelbloggers to find your tribe.
Either way, social media channels are used by millions of people worldwide. It couldn’t hurt to harness their power.
7. Comment On Their Content
Blogging isn’t a one-way street. It’s a community that doesn’t just revolve around you and your blog.
If your desired audience is fellow bloggers or business owners, show them that you appreciate what they’re doing in the online world too.
Comment on other people’s blog posts, like their photos on Instagram and offer helpful insights on their LinkedIn statuses.
It’s all about generating conversation in the hope that others will support you just like you’re supporting them.
And believe me, there are endless opportunities that come from expanding your network.
8. Guest Post on High-Authority Blogs
Another winner in terms of how to grow your blog audience is to guest post on other blogs. And if they’re high-authority with a good Domain Authority (DA) score? Even better.
Guest posting allows you to tap into the other blogger’s audience so that you can drive clicks back to your website and develop new (loyal) readers.
In fact, leveraging each other’s audiences is very common in the blogging world to benefit both bloggers and readers alike.
And do you know what? It’s actually super effective.
9. Allow Others to Guest Post on Your Blog
The aforementioned leverage can also consist of allowing other bloggers to guest post on your blog.
What’s the benefit of this, you ask? Well, if the other blogger agrees to promote your post across all their online channels (whether this is through their email list, social media or their blog), it drives traffic back to your blog.
And more blog traffic can equal a larger audience. Squee!
10. Grow Your Email List
Finally, one of the best tips I can give you when it comes to how to grow your blog audience? Build your email list.
If you offer a freebie on your blog so that people will subscribe to your email list, the chances are that one-off visitors will just sign up purely to swipe the freebie (which is okay – it happens).
Having said that, if you want to ensure that a random subscriber becomes one of your ride-or-die blog readers, be sure to nurture your email list.
This involves checking in with them every now and again with links to new blog posts, sending them exclusive tips and helping them in any way that you can.
Generally speaking, if you make the effort to ensure that your blog readers don’t go anywhere anytime soon, they won’t.
Figuring Out How to Grow Your Blog Audience
You might be wondering: how long does it take to build a blog audience? But it’s important to note that it’s not a race, okay?
It’s better to have a small number of high-quality readers who actively engage with your content instead of a high number of low-quality readers who are essentially MIA.
And if your blog isn’t growing, the number one reason why is usually down to your content. Make sure that you’re answering your readers’ questions with each post. Interact with them as much as possible. And refocus your niche if you need to.
Fundamentally, what works for one blog might not work for another. Therefore, keep an eye on your analytics and adjust your tactics accordingly – and then sit back and watch your blog audience blossom.
What are your top tips when it comes to how to grow your audience? What did and didn’t work for you? Let me know in the comments!