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When you first start a blog, you may be a bit underwhelmed by your initial level of traffic and engagement. It’s challenging to build an audience, and it certainly doesn’t happen overnight.
However, with the right strategies and plenty of patience, you can learn how to build an audience for your blog — and keep readers coming back for more.
The first step in building up an audience is to figure out exactly who you’re targeting. Think about the topic of your blog and ask yourself, “Who would be interested in reading this?”
QuickSprout recommends pulling together a highly detailed profile of a “target community member,” complete with age, job, location, family demographic, hobbies, preferred social networks, and so on. This audience profile will become a valuable tool for honing in on your content and marketing efforts.
Another important step for attracting additional followers is to read up on search engine optimization (SEO) best practices. You don’t need to be an expert in SEO, but you should know the basics. These practices will improve the chances of your blog appearing in search results, thereby attracting new readers.
Some SEO best practices include:
- Use narrow, targeted keywords (but make sure you’re using them organically in your posts).
- Post unique, clearly written content on a regular basis.
- Create accurate meta-titles and meta-descriptions, these are the titles and descriptions read and analyzed by search engines.
- Create helpful content that other website owners will want to link to.
One of the best ways to attract new fans to your blog and build relationships with other bloggers is to engage with them on their websites and social media pages. Become an active member of the online community that you want to be a part of, always keeping your “target community member” in mind.
How can you do this? Read, like, and comment on blogs similar to your own, and share content that may be useful or interesting to your target audience.
When your name appears on other sites — even in the comment sections — you’re increasing the brand awareness for your blog. Pam Moore, a veteran marketer, says that it takes five to seven impressions before someone will remember your brand, so the more that you get your name out in front of your target audience, the better!
As you engage with other bloggers and potential fans on social media, you’ll begin to acquire followers. Keep these fans engaged by promoting new content (or recycling older content) through your social channels. Make sure to use engaging images and clear headlines to capture people’s attention as they scroll through their feeds.
Paid social promotion is also a viable way to reach new readers if it’s in your budget. Almost all social media platforms offer some type of ad program, so use your community member profile to select the best site and target your ads appropriately.
When done correctly, these paid promotions can yield big results. According to Hootsuite, 75 percent of Instagram users take an action, such as visiting a website, after looking at a sponsored post on Instagram.
Once you’ve built a solid readership with site visitors, adjust your mindset to cater to established followers as well as attracting new fans. First and foremost, you should create content regularly so there’s something new for your audience to read on every return visit. It’s also important to continuously engage with them through comments and social media.
You may want to start a newsletter to provide updates to dedicated fans. Further, you should encourage readers to follow you on social media if they don’t already do so.
When you follow these tips on how to build an audience, you’ll grow a dedicated fan base that will return to your blog regularly. Don’t forget to be patient, though! You probably won’t go viral overnight, but with time and dedication, your audience will grow.
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