The most effective audience growth strategies for your blog. You might have already started your blog and be wondering when your audience is going to turn up?
You’re not alone.
The competition for blog audiences is fierce. Only a small number of blogs will ever grow a truly successful and reliable audience. The competition is fierce because marketers and business owners recognize that blogs are a powerful inbound marketing strategy.
However, growing an audience isn’t as easy as setting up a blog. It takes time, hard work, and a passion for your niche topic to stand out amongst the crowd.
This article will look at the tactics used by successful blogs to grow a loyal audience. Focusing on the tactics discussed below will help you to create an effective growth strategy to increase your blog traffic.
Let’s get started…
The first step is quality content
Creating excellent content that gives a unique and interesting take on your niche topic is the first step for any blog. Successful blogs need a foundation of genuinely engaging content that aims to add value to the reader in some way. Without it, it will be impossible to grow a loyal following.
For most people time is precious and they only spend a limited amount of time per day reading blog articles. So, you want to make sure that your readers feel like time on your blog was time well spent, not wasted. Do everything within your power to impress every single reader and it will make growing your audience much easier.
Get active on social media
More than 3.8 billion people use social media worldwide. The average time a person spends on social media every day is 2 hours and 24 minutes.
So, it’s safe to say social media platforms have done a great job at growing their audience and captivating people’s attention.
For bloggers, social media is a huge pool of potential. There are billions of people actively looking to engage with content daily. All you need to do is get your content in front of them.
I’ve used examples from Neil Patel’s blog and social media pages to highlight some of the social tactics described in action.
Create accounts for your blog on social channels relevant to your audience
Start by creating an account for your blog on each social media platform. Focus your time on the platforms that have an audience that would be interested in the content you produce.
If you’re a photographer you might want to focus most of your efforts on picture-led platforms like Instagram and Tumblr. Or if you’re a journalist, you might find that Twitter has the audience most likely to engage with your content.
Whatever it is, pick your platforms and dedicate some time to growing your audience. Think of the content you upload as an extension of your blog. It needs to add value to the social media user, make them smile, or improve their day somehow.
Make sure that you don’t use it just as a promotional tool. Audiences can quickly become disengaged and unfollow you if they feel like they’re being used. A good rule is to make 80% of your content entertaining or educational, and the remaining 20% promotional.
Make it easy to share your posts
It’s important to make it easy for others to share your content.
Including one-click social share buttons at the beginning and end of your content will increase the likelihood that your readers will share your content.
It’s simple to add to your website and can be extremely powerful in terms of extending your reach.
When readers share your content, it’s exposed to thousands of people that might never have found your blog otherwise.
Be active on social media and add value to popular discussions
Something that all successful blog owners do is engage with their audience. It’s a great way to build a connection with your audience and reach out to new potential readers.
Spend some time going through your comments sections and answer any questions your existing readers might have. It will increase the likelihood that they will come back again to engage with more of your content. This is because your feedback makes them feel valued and part of a community.
To reach out to new readers, try finding popular posts on social media platforms, and get involved in the comments. You can answer people’s questions and provide interesting observations about the post. If people like your responses, they might be interested to find out more about you and follow your accounts.
Work on your Search Engine Optimization
Blogs can be a website’s most powerful weapon when it comes to improving SEO. They provide an opportunity to show up in search results by answering the questions that search users might have. These questions might be about your business, product, or niche topic.
There’s a potential audience of billions of search engine users that you can attract with your blog. The tricky bit is making sure that search engines deem your content as relevant and worthy of showing to search users.
On-page SEO tactics in your blog content will help you to improve your relevance. You’ll also need to complete the technical requirements of SEO and generate backlinks to boost your website’s authority.
For now, let’s take a look at eight ways you can optimize your blog content for search engines. For this section, I’ve used Backlinko’s blog to highlight quality on-page SEO in action. Let’s dive into what you need to do to build a search audience.
Keyword research should be at the start of any SEO campaign.
For every blog post, highlight one to two target keywords to include strategically throughout your content.
For the best results include your keywords in your page title, headings, and at a natural frequency throughout the post.
Avoid keyword stuffing at all costs!
2. Length of content
While there is no ideal length of content, research has found that content on page one of search results tends to have an average length of around 1800 words. Aim for somewhere between 1500-2000 words.
3. Page titles
Your title tag or headline will be the first thing search engines and potential visitors will see. Make sure you include your target keyword to match the search users’ intent. This will also signify to the search engine that your content is relevant for that topic.
4. Meta descriptions
Meta-descriptions are the second thing visitors and search engines will see. Include your keyword again for relevance. Then, summarise the content in a catchy way that encourages click-throughs. Call-to-actions work well here.
5. Headings (H1-H6)
Use headers to create a visual hierarchy and to signpost to your readers what’s coming up next.
Well laid out headers will make your article easy to navigate and improve the readability.
Search engines also use them to understand the relevance of your content and decide how user-friendly it is.
6. Friendly URLs
Don’t stick with the automatically generated URL.
Make sure you create a short URL that hints at what the content is about.
Along with the page title, it’s one of the first things a search engine will see when crawling your pages.
Include one or two of your keywords to signify the page’s relevance.
7. Internal and external links
Use internal links to direct readers and search engines to other articles that explain a topic you mention in more detail.
It will keep your readers on your website for longer and show search engines other relevant posts.
When linking externally, make sure it’s to a reputable source and the information adds value to your reader.
8. Rich content (images, videos, infographics)
Include images, videos, and infographics throughout your content where appropriate. It will make your content much more engaging.
Additionally, you can use rich content to help your readers understand a concept or your topic in more detail. Make sure to optimize your images by reducing the file size and include an ALT tag.
Write guest posts
Guest posting is the practice of writing content for someone else’s blog. 60% of blogs write 1-5 guest posts a month to help with growing their audience.
Contributing to the top blogs within your niche will allow you to get in front of a large audience. However, the size of the audience is not the most important aspect. It’s the fact that the audience is already engaged with your topic or industry.
The content you post on other sites will be a representation of you and your business. If you do a great job, people will want to find out more about you by clicking through to your site. And voila, you have a brand new audience.
Guest posting can also be a great way to generate backlinks and increase your website’s authority around your niche topic. You won’t get accepted if you have hundreds of links to your site throughout the content. However, a link in your author bio is generally accepted by most sites that accept guest posts.
Some common mistakes bloggers make when guest posting
1. Posting on the wrong website
Just because a website accepts guest posts, doesn’t mean that you should go for it. The most important thing is that you target reputable websites with a relevant audience. If you post content to spammy websites, it’s likely to damage your reputation and SEO rather than boost it.
2. Pitching irrelevant topics
To increase the chance of being accepted onto industry-leading blogs, think about what will resonate with the site’s existing audience. Trying to force a blog into publishing irrelevant content to their audience will never work. Forget about promoting yourself and ask, what will add value to their audience?
3. Ignoring guest post guidelines
Writing guidelines exist so that a website can maintain consistency across all of its content. Not following these guidelines is probably the easiest way to get your post rejected. However, meticulously ticking all the boxes outlined in the guidelines will seriously improve your chances of getting accepted.
Create lead magnets
Lead magnets are old but gold. They’re a tried and tested method of generating a larger following for your blog. A lead magnet is a valuable resource of some kind that is given away for free in exchange for contact details.
They leverage the lure of ‘freebies’ to build an audience that you can speak to at a later date. The key to a successful lead magnet is producing something that is relevant and valuable to your audience.
Lead magnets can be:
- Free consultations
- Trial subscriptions
- Access to premium content,
- PDF downloads of long-form content
- Discount codes
- Online courses
Would any of these ideas appeal to your audience?
Here’s an example of an effective lead magnet…
The Onnit Academy blog offers a free ebook to entice their visitors into handing over their contact details. What makes this lead magnet great is its relevance.
I was reading an article about healthy snacks for road trips.
So, they know I’m interested in healthy food and that I care enough to finish reading the post. Just before I leave, this pop-up appears offering me a free ebook about healthy foods.
This level of targeting is something you should try and replicate to create your own highly-effective lead magnets. The relevance and value of your lead magnet will be the biggest driver in growing your audience.
Conclusion of Audience Growth Strategies
This article has focused on audience growth tactics that will make the biggest impact on your reach when done correctly. These options are not the easiest way to increase traffic to your blog. However, the rewards can be immense.
While there is no magic formula to increase your blog traffic, there are two consistent themes that run throughout each of these strategies. Relevance and value. Make sure to question how anything you produce is relevant and how it adds value to your audience while implementing these tactics.
Let us know in the comments about the strategies you have found to be effective at growing the reach of your blog.
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