Blogging: How to Attract and Retain An Audience Like A Rock Star

23 Actionable Blogging Tactics To Grow Your Audience

Green Day Crowd Surfing Recently bloggers have been buzzing about Google’s plan to pull the plug on their Reader. Since Google Reader regularly drives thousands of people to established blogs, this move translates to the loss of a significant portion of these blog audiences.

To combat this potential falloff in loyal readership short term, bloggers are experimenting with a variety of alternatives including expanding their email registrations and the use of other feed readers. Yet the real issue at the heart of blogging is attracting, engaging and retaining your audience to build long-term relationships.

5 Steps to attracting and retaining an audience like a rock star

Follow these five steps to be a blogging rock star to attract, engage and retain your audience long term.  Blogging-Rock_Star Audience

1. Reach prospective blog readers

Every blogger faces the challenge of continually attracting new readers. Regardless of the size of your audience, you have a core of established readers and an inflow new readers as well as people who’ve stopped reading your blog (for one reason or another.) Therefore you must regularly expand your blog readership. At the heart of this suggestion is the assumption that you know the audience you’re trying to attract. To this end, it’s useful to develop a marketing persona.

  1. Be findable. Optimize your blog for search to enable your audience to find your content on search engines.
  2. Leverage the power of social media. Use a variety of different social media networks based on the focus of your blog to engage prospects and lure them to your content. Share your blog content across relevant social media networks.
  3. Take advantage of the power of other bloggers’ audiences. Write guest blog posts to attract readers from other blogs to stop by your blog. Understand that you must write amazing content and can only incorporate one or two links back to your own blog.
  4. Use third party media. Take a broad approach to third party media. To get recognition, it’s helpful to use PR.
  5. Test advertising. Place ads on other blogs and social media entities where your target audience already congregates.
  6. Encourage word of mouth. Ask your readers to share your content with their family, friends and colleagues. Incorporate social sharing into your blog.

2. Entice potential readers to visit your blog (and not bounce away)

Once readers have learned about your blog elsewhere you must continue to lure them into your information so that they don’t just bounce off to the next site.

  1. Use attractive visuals. Don’t count on the power of your writing by itself to pull readers in further. To this end, photographs, especially those of people are very important.
  2. Format your content for easy-consumption. Understand that if your blog looks like a massive chunk of text, it will scare people away. Therefore don’t underestimate the value in making your information snackable with bolding and outlining.
  3. Craft strong blog titles. Bear in mind that only 20% of readers get beyond the headline in their reading. Therefore your title must hook your reader and reel him in.
  4. Brand your blogYour blog should be an extension of your brand in terms of how it looks and how it’s formatted so that readers can recognize it without thinking about it.

3. Engage prospects to keep them on your blog

Once a potential reader has made it to your blog, entice them to stay longer and/or take further action such as registering for your email.

  1. Present the best content you can. Offer blog posts that contain strong writing that’s well edited and has good grammar. To accomplish this, you must understand your audience.
  2. Link to related content on your site. Incorporate links to useful content within your blog posts as well as offering links to related, hand-selected articles at the end of your post.
  3. List the top posts on your site. Build your blog’s version of its bestseller posts. This is a great way to entice readers into your site.
  4. Encourage comments (and make it easy for readers!) It can be useful to have a set of blog friends where you all comment on each other’s content so that visitors see activity. Also, show that you appreciate your reader’s time by responding to comments where appropriate.
  5. Engage with readers on other social media platforms. Promote your content where you’re active on other social media entities and invite visitors to join you there.
  6. Participate in events related to your blog both online and offline. This means Twitter chats, conferences and meetups.

4. Get prospects to commit

Encourage blog visitors to take some form of action beyond just reading your blog posts. Understand that only a small proportion of visitors will take further action whether it’s signing up to receive regular content or buying a product from you.

  1. Utilize calls-to-action to prompt readers to act. Don’t assume that readers will take the next step in terms of making a commitment without being nudged to do so.
  2. Provide free ebooks and other inducements. Encourage readers to dive deeper into your content by presenting them with more high value content in exchange for their email address. (BTW—We’d be pleased if you’d download our 101 Actionable Blogging Tips.)
  3. Offer information that is part of a larger activity. Create content that supports sales such as recipes, patterns, styling and how-tos. This type of information can link to your product offering without being promotional.
  4. Encourage visitors to sign up for your emailings. You can offer emailings for your regular blog posts or you can offer a weekly emailing.

5. Transform prospect relationships to generate revenues

Use the power of your blog to drive revenues. While many bloggers focus on creating revenue streams, don’t turn your blog into a promotional machine. It’s the surest way to kill your readership.

  1. Create targeted products for your readers. These offerings can be your services, content products or events.
  2. Encourage readers to use other products you support through the use of affiliate marketing. Leverage the power of your audience to sell other people’s products. (BTW—we appreciate your support of our affiliates!)
  3. Allow third parties to advertise on your blog and other media to reach your audience. This is a traditional way to monetize a media entity.

 

Regardless of the channels you use, the challenge at the heart of blogging is about attracting and retaining your audience like a rock star to build a long-term relationship.

What tactics have you used to attract and retain your blog audience? Have you tested other initiatives? If so, what did you discover?

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen


Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies. You can find Heidi on , Facebook and .

Social Media Success Summit 2014

Attend Social Media Success Summit 2014 to get stellar insights from 45 social media experts including Mari Smith, Jay Baer, Lee Odden and Amy Porterfield.

Order your ticket to Social Media Success Summit NOW and SAVE $350 off the regular price. This offer is good until September 5, 2014 or when the tickets sell out, whichever comes first.

This important virtual conference offers more than 45 sessions this October. Attend as many as you like; download the rest with no travel costs or hassle.



Free Download!

Why Modern B2B Marketers Need Predictive Marketing

Why Modern B2B Marketers Need Predictive Marketing Predictive modeling is rapidly becoming something that every company needs to survive.

Not so long ago, predictive modeling was a luxury item: a sophisticated tool used by big companies to squeeze another five or ten percent improvement from selected marketing programs. Today, it is rapidly becoming something that every company needs to survive.

The change is being driven by the speed of business. Shifts that formerly took weeks, months, or years can now occur in days, hours, or minutes as news flashes through online channels and social networks and customers change their behaviors in response. New products, new competitors, new messages, new applications, new problems, and new media can appear overnight. 

In this eBook, marketing technology expert David Raab from Raab Associates discusses why the time for predictive marketing is now and then explores practical applications of predictive marketing for B2B.

Download this FREE Whitepaper Today!


 

 

Related Articles

 

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/billiejoesentourage/3730330633/

 

Tags , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • http://www.facebook.com/karendianegilbert Karen Gilbert

    Great ideas in your blog post Heidi. Currently, I am researching different blogs that accept guest bloggers, so will keep your suggestions in mind. http://www.simplysaidwithkaren.com

    • http://twitter.com/eemusings eemusings

      You can have a look at sites like My Blog Guest and Postjoint too if you’re on the hunt to find homes for guest posts.

  • http://www.socialbakers.com/ Michal Smetana

    In my opinion, the number 2 is one of the most important out of all these. Using attractive visuals, formatting content for easy-consumption, crafting strong blog titles that attract the most engagement, especially on Twitter, and branding your blog are just a must of being a successful blogger among the high competition in today’s world.

    • heidicohen

      Michal,

      Many content creators and bloggers overlook the power of your content format to attract an audience.

      Happy marketing,
      Heidi Cohen

  • Tamarray Cain

    So very happy to find this blog post! Packed with value….Definitely plan to implement these strategies!