20 Tips to Build Your Blog Audience From Scratch

I’m Blogging-Are You Listening?

“I’ve been blogging for a period of time but no one’s reading my blog” is a refrain I often hear on BlogChat. Help, how do I get my blog to take off?

Write great content is often given as the answer. By itself, however, writing great content on a regular basis isn’t enough to build an audience interested in your content! You need to take a marketer’s approach. Think of your blog as a media entity you need to promote to create a vibrant community. To this end, you must know what you want your blog to achieve and who your prospective audience is.

If you’re starting from scratch what do you do to develop your audience?

  1. Let your family, friends and colleagues know.  Get your social circle to read, comment on and share your blog posts.
  2. Participate in relevant social media. At a minimum, create a profile and connect to family, friends, classmates and former colleagues. The goal is to expand your social circle.
  3. Link to your blog in your social media profiles. Remember your goal is to let folks know about your blog and get then interested in visiting it.
  4. Share your blog posts on social media. While you can automate these feeds, handcraft each one with relevant commentary to attract greater readership.
  5. Stake out a claim for your blog on every social media platform. Where possible, create a profile in your blog’s name so people can find it, even if you not active on that platform.
  6. Get a blog buddy. Having trouble getting motivated?  Find someone else who’s also blogging and meet with each other regularly to help each other get feedback and brainstorm topics.
  7. Become part of a blog network. Join a tribe where you support each other with social sharing and commenting. Check out 12Most, a blog with a very friendly, welcoming community.
  8. Comment on other people’s blogs. The goal is to contribute to the conversation. Be a regular so that the blogger gets to know you.
  9. Participate in Twitter Chats. You can highlight your blog in your introduction by saying, “Hi! I’m Heidi and I blog at http://HeidiCohen.com.” Also participate in blogchat (Sundays at 9:00pm east coast time.) While it’s a very fast chat, it’s a great place to meet other like-minded bloggers and get your questions answered.
  10. Join related Linkedin groups. Don’t overlook other related groups where people know you, such as your university.
  11. Write guest blog posts. Try an assortment of blogs. Understand that the more high profile blogs may not be interested in your contribution until they see that your blog has gained traction.
  12. Offer to write articles for your firm or other organization.  Write appropriate articles but make sure that in return they give you a short bio with a link back to your blog.
  13. Leverage your email signature file. Include a link with a good call-to-action.
  14. Actively participate in business groups. Think business organizations including the Chamber of Commerce and Rotary.
  15. Get involved with local social groups. Include your PTA, church or hobby group like a knitting circle.
  16. Give presentations at work and conferences. This way you can share your email address and blog URL.
  17. Attend relevant events and conferences. Include your blog URL with your registration. Go one step further and write your blog URL on your nametag.
  18. Get press. Sign up for HARO (short for Help a Reporter Out). It’s a free emailing. Read it and respond to appropriate press requests and include your blog URL in your response.
  19. Create business cards for your blog. Alternatively, you can include your blog URL on your existing card.
  20. Give out promotional items. Think pens or t-shirts with your blog URL. Even better, wear the t-shirt so people can see you. For example, Peter Shankman hands out customized poker chips.

As with any other form of marketing, it’s important to try multiple tactics; not just rely on one method. Remember it’s difficult to determine which ones will be most effective for your blog without trying out a variety of approaches.

What other methods have you used for building your blog audience?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen


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Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/best_photo/3155408256/

 

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  • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

    Great tips, Heidi! Actually not all that different than the way to respond to people who say, “I’ve built a Facebook fan page, but no one is there!”

  • http://www.indiabroadband.net/ Chahal

    Very good tips! I especially like the one about contriversy. Those blogs always seem to get the most comments because people love to prove their side of the story, especially when it comes to a topic that is dear to them. Thanks for the article!

  • Nadir

    Nice one Heidi.

  • http://twitter.com/AniKnits Ani

    Thanks for the tips Heidi. I’ve found that social media has been great for getting new people to my blog.

  • Charlie Solano

    Blog are great way to say your things to your audience but important to to get audience to your blog. this is a great piece of writing to do so.

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  • The Book Wheel

    Business cards are a great way to promote. I leave mine everywhere, although to be honest my Mom is better at it ;)

  • Vicki Winters

    Great tips, thanks!

  • Robin Brodrick

    These sound like great tips Heidi, I plan on using some right away for my new blog http://humanresourcesmadesimple.blogspot.com/.