Strategies For Building Your Audience in 2015
If somebody writes a blog, but nobody reads it, does it really exist? Okay, so that’s not exactly the next “If a tree falls in the woods…” mystery, but it’s a fair question to ask in the blogging world. Without an audience, your blog is just a personal journal, even when you have the best of intentions to educate and help people. So how do you get people to not only read your blog, but build a loyal audience?
Create A Niche
Every writer has a unique writing style and every blog needs its own identity. While you don’t need to reinvent every aspect of writing a blog, you need to find a way to become a recognized expert with specialized knowledge. That specialty may become your niche within the industry and turn your blog the go-to resource. Invest the time to analyze what differentiates your skill set, experiences, and personality from other bloggers.
Learn About Your Target Audience
It’s amazing how many bloggers and even businesses have misconceptions about who their audience is. Before I started building StartABlog123.com, I put myself in the place of a potential visitor. What are a new blogger’s:
- needs and wants?
- hopes and fears?
To answer these questions, it’s important you also look beyond your own opinions. One way is to use Google’s subtle suggestions because it happens to be the best and most reliable resource when you are focused on growing your search engine rankings. Type in your main keyword, for example “content marketing”, and look for “searches related to content marketing” at the bottom of your screen.
You will find a myriad of search terms relating to the original phrase. Piecing together different search phrases will help you understand user intent around keyword phrases.
If you have a particular skillset, the easiest way to build an audience may be via social media marketing. As search engines give social more weight in their algorithms, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn will become more important traffic mediums.
If you run a B2B blog, LinkedIn and Twitter are ideal for catering to business professionals. If your target demographic is stay-at-home moms, Pinterest and Instagram will be your optimal platforms. You can even build up relationships by answering questions placed on Quora.
The best way to get people to read your content is to improve their personal or professional life in some way. Frankly, if you aren’t making the world better, you’re wasting your time.
However, providing value is relative. What you may deem “valuable” may actually be useless if you don’t understand your target audience. If you’re an expert, try to give away as much knowledge for free without asking for anything in return. Provide specific step-by-step tutorials, case studies and resources to build a relationship with your readers. Make them feel like you are invested in helping them succeed.
You may only get one chance – one post – to convince a reader that you are a destination they should be visiting on a regular basis, so put everything you have into each post and create real value.
Don’t Make The Hard Sell
If you are publishing a product review peppered with affiliate links, don’t write a glowing review every time. Be critical and offer the pros as well as the cons. Readers with “Buyer’s Remorse” will never visit your blog again. In fact, some of the most popular bloggers are admired and loved for their perceived brutal honesty, even when it costs them money.
This is probably the hardest thing to accomplish, but in the long-run, will reap you the greatest rewards. The internet is riddled with repetitive content with no value-add, and to a certain extent, it’s understandable. It’s hard to come up with fresh blog post ideas every day and discuss a unique perspective or opinion on every topic.
While not every post you publish needs to be a hard-hitting editorial, your most visible content needs to grab the attention of influencers. You may write 3 high-quality posts a week, but once a month, you need to produce something absolutely epic and amazing to establish yourself as an authority.
Think “inch wide, mile deep” content that is 5,000 words long with actionable tips, examples, and curated images.
If you analyze the most successful bloggers, you will realize that joining their ranks doesn’t require uncovering some secret formula. The best B2C and B2B blogs just take the simple concepts and execute on them consistently.
Gary Dek is the founder of StartABlog123.com, where he provides a free step-by-step tutorial on starting and growing a blog. Gary enjoys helping others build successful online businesses via content and social marketing.