Growing your blog is a marathon, not a sprint. And while it can be discouraging at first, you’re not alone! Growing your audience and getting readership is a long process, but the payoff is great. Here’s the rundown on how to build your blog, and how to keep them coming back.
- Network your butt off! Networking isn’t just an in-person skill. Put yourself out there! Connect with other bloggers like you, or those than inspire you. Share their content and respond or leave helpful tips in their comments section. Everybody loves feedback!
- Guest blog at any chance. A great way to get involved is guest blogging, but you have to be strategic about it. To start, create a good relationship with the blogger before you pitch some ideas. A good rule of thumb is to guest blog on those that have a high following and engagement, as those that don’t won’t get you very far. Write the best content you can (even though you might want to save it for yourself). Take initiative and respond to comments if the original blogger does not, and promote promote promote.
- Narrow your content. The first step in refining your content is to know your target audience. Once you’ve seen the content your audience likes, publish that consistently (this will keep them coming back). Make sure you’re staying on top of emerging trends, especially those that are trending well on social media. And remember; the content is always about them, and how you can help solve your readers problems. It has to be beneficial for the reader!
- Don’t neglect the social share buttons. Think about some of your favorite blog posts or articles you’ve read. You want to share it with friends right? Naturally, you look for the Facebook, Twitter or Email buttons. Make sure your blog has these social share buttons, so your fans can be just as excited to share your content as you are! But that being said, don’t overdue it. Sometimes when people have to many choices, they’ll choose nothing at all. And if they see that the content isn’t being shared, they aren’t inclined to. So if you have low shares, make sure it’s not visible.
- Do more than social media. Most people think sharing on social media is enough, when in reality it’s far from it. Try emailing it to your subscribers, share it to bookmarking sites or mention people you think might be interested. If it doesn’t work, just try a different approach!
So now that we know how to grow an audience, how do we keep them coming back for more?
- Being clear and consistent are the biggest keys to getting returning readers. Declutter on your website as much as you can, and get rid of any irrelevant or unnecessary copy.
- Include an about us page. People want to know why they should be reading your content, and how it will benefit them. Having a page to explain why this content is important to the reader will encourage them to come back.
- Make sure you’re optimized for SEO. And we don’t mean just having keywords and fluffy content. We mean really making sure your overall website “health” is up to par. I.e, getting rid of any broken links, including alt text, meta descriptions, etc. It’s tedious, but it’s worth it.
- Email lists. This is a great way to keep track of customers and add more. Make it easy for them to subscribe and offer as much as you can as incentive. It’s easy to manage with tools like MailChimp or Constant Contact.
- Use social media to your advantage. For example, include social links on a confirmation page, include them in your welcome email, etc.
- Include an RSS subscription. Some think RSS is dead, but we promise it’s still alive! If you’re unfamiliar, RSS is button that allows people to save their favorite content to a feed.
- Be accessible. Overall, make sure you’re a human. It sounds dumb, but people want to feel personalization, trust and credibility behind the content. Be easy to reach by including a contact page, respond to comments and involve readers in the content as much as you can.
And there you have it! Do you have additional ways to attract and keep readers that have worked well for you? Share with us!