Imagine putting in 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? I get it. I’ve been there.
If you’re trying to monetise your blog for a living, a large part of being successful involves showcasing authority in your niche. However, it’s also about building trust with your audience.
If you can create trust, you can build loyalty, which encourages your blog readers keep coming back for more.
And do you know what this means? You increase the likelihood of a reader becoming a subscriber to your email list or even a paid customer for your product or service.
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: make sure your website is top-notch.
If you land on a blog and it takes forever to load or it has a lacklustre design, then would you really want to waste your precious time looking through the rest of the website? Nope, me neither.
The trick is to deliver a seamless online experience that entices a reader and makes them want to continue interacting with your content.
From dreamy-looking imagery to intuitive widgets, it’s all about creating a website that sticks out in your reader’s memory to ultimately encourage return visits.
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. The golden rule is: if you always write for your reader first, then more readers will follow.
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.
Everyone who writes web copy knows that your core reader is probably checking out your content on a mobile device nowadays as opposed to a computer. Ergo, they’re not going to bother roaming your content unless it’s easy to digest.
Scannable blog posts that contain short paragraphs, subheadings and bulleted lists are the future 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 missing the mark.
The trick is to show up for them at the times that you say you’re going to.
Don’t tell your audience that you’re going to deliver blog content every week but then have huge gaps in between posts where they wonder where the heck you’ve gone.
Produce a regular content schedule and stick to it, whether this involves posting once a day, week or month.
After all, how are supposed to build trust with your readers if you keep bailing on them? Unreliability isn’t cool.
5. Hang Out Where They Hang Out
One of my top tips in terms of how to grow your blog audience is to hang around wherever your target readers are.
Whether it’s on 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, I know for a fact that an awesome bunch participate in a Twitter chat every Tuesday morning at 11am under the hashtag #ContentClubUK. (Thank me later.)
6. Use Social Media to Find Newbies
Similarly, social media isn’t just a great tool for being friendly with your current audience. You can also wield its power to find new potential blog readers.
Are you targeting fashion bloggers? 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, use your social media channels to showcase your latest blog post, for sure, but don’t forget to include relevant hashtags to get your content seen by the right people.
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 you never know the opportunities that may come from expanding your network. You might even be best friends with these people one day!
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 traffic can equal a larger blog 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, then be sure to nurture your email list.
Check in with them every now and again with links to new blog posts, send them exclusive tips and generally make the effort to ensure that they won’t go anywhere anytime soon – and they won’t.
Figuring Out How to Grow Your Blog Audience
Growing your blog audience isn’t a quick task. That said, there are some simple steps you can take to make positive moves in the right direction.
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 followers who actively engage with your content instead of a high number of low-quality followers who are essentially MIA.
And always remember that content is king. If your blog isn’t growing, then the number one reason why is usually down to your content. Make sure that you’re answering your readers’ questions with each post and interacting with them at every opportunity. You could even refocus your niche if you need to.
Above all, keep in mind that what works for one blog might not work for another.
Therefore, take your time to explore different options until you figure out the methods that make your particular audience grow on an exponential level.
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!