Are you struggling to get readers to your blog? Do you wonder how other bloggers are able to do it successfully, even though you may feel that your content is a lot better and more valuable? Well, you’re in luck.
Without readers, your blog might as well not exist.
No readers mean no comments and no social engagement, means a dead blog.
When you’re just starting out in the world of blogging it can be challenging to get readers at first.
Heck, you could trench on for months before getting anyone to take notice of your blog.
But don’t fret, there is a way. There are several ways in fact.
So, assuming you’ve gone through your pre-blog startup checklist, i.e. picked a niche you’re passionate about, have clear blogging goals set in place, etc. You should be good to go, right?
Sure thing. OK, so, the question –
How do you get people to follow your blog?
How do you get someone to become a raving fan of your content and subscribe to your future blog updates?
In this post, we’ll look at a few positive ways in which you can grow your blog readership, not just from a technology standpoint but also a strategic one.
You have great content, right?
Let’s first establish that you have great content on your blog because without that you can forget about growing an audience of any kind.
Your content has to be valuable, authoritative, and most importantly, it has to be memorable!
If you’re struggling to create great content that has all of those attributes, and more, please check out the following blog posts –
- How to check if your content is as awesome as you think?
- How to create cornerstone content that provides massive value
- 4 Smart ways you can become a better problem-solving blogger
OK, so now let’s get down to the business of growing your blog readership!
1. Publish more content your readers actually “want to read”
When you pick a niche that you’re truly passionate about, creating content for your blog is a lot easier, and it’s a lot more fun too.
That being said, unless you’ve picked a micro-niche, you’re going to have lots of topic ideas to write about.
For myself? Well, I’m in the web design, digital marketing, and blogging niche, pretty broad I know, which is why there’s a lot of topic ideas I could write about.
However, a lot of my readers don’t always want to read about web design tips and hacks, or conversion rate optimization hacks, or digital marketing.
In fact, a huge proportion of my readers are bloggers and prefer to read blogging and WordPress related articles.
So, you also have to dedicate yourself to publishing more content that your readers actually want to read about.
It might not always be content that you want to write about yourself, but you have to serve your audience because your readers come first.
So, find out which pieces of content on your blog have the most views, the most amount of engagement, and social shares, and publish more of it.
2. Stop ignoring the email marketing advice you already know
Next up, which should actually have been the first item on my list here, is: What are you doing about growing your email list?
If you’re on it, then great. Pat on the back for you when I next see you.
If you’re yet to make a start, however, then what on earth are you waiting for?
I’m not about to start preaching about the importance of building an email list, because I’ve harked on about this matter enough times on this blog.
Plus, it’s advice that you ‘should’ already know.
If for any unknown reason you are not building your email list, then the following articles might be of help to you. Perhaps you’re new to all of this.
- Email marketing: How to offer your readers what they really need!
- Build your email list faster and smarter with Thrive Leads
OK, asides from growing a massive email list, What else can you do to grow your blog audience?
3. Segment your email list based on reader interest
Ah, yes! Now there’s something worth talking about.
Building an email list is all well and good, but, what happens when you have a blog in a niche that covers a wide range of topics?
You need to segment your list or build lists based on your reader’s interests.
Let’s take my blog for example, again –
I have segmented lists of folks who prefer to read about blogging tips, and lists of folks who prefer to only receive hacks and tips on WordPress, and likewise for website design and digital marketing.
By segmenting your email list too, you can build a more targeted readership and send relevant content and information to readers who want it.
MailChimp is a powerful email marketing platform you can use to segment your email list building.
Thrive Leads is a powerful WordPress plugin you can use to create email opt-in forms for each of your blog categories.
4. Automate your blog post marketing and promotion
It doesn’t matter what tactic or technology you use to grow your blog readership if you don’t market your blog content properly, very few people will actually get to discover it.
This is where blog marketing comes in.
Now, there’s a bunch of awesome tactics you can implement in your blog content marketing strategy to help you increase traffic and readership. In fact, we have a list of them right here.
But here’s the thing.
Your time is super valuable, right?
You don’t have endless hours every day to spend marketing your content on every single platform known to man and woman.
So, how about you automate your content marketing?
Before discovering content marketing automation for myself, I truly believed that I was doing a pretty grand job of ‘manually’ promoting my content.
It was exhausting! So, now I obviously automate 80% of my content and social media marketing.
I use two wonderful tools to help me automate my blog content marketing and promotion –
- CoSchedule (You can read my review of CoSchedule here, as well as how I use the platform to automate my content, or just watch the video below).
- Buffer App
5. Enable web browser Push Notifications on your blog, immediately!
Now, this is one piece of tech you simply can’t avoid any longer.
I’m sure you’ve visited many blogs that offer the option to subscribe via web browser push notifications, right?
A lot of bloggers are implementing this and it’s a very powerful and fast way to grow your blog readership.
I use and recommend a couple of push notification services out there, PushCrew and PushEngage.
If you’re interested, do check out my tutorial here for enabling push notifications on your blog using PushCrew.
6. Offer irresistible incentives to encourage people to subscribe
OK, so you know you’ve got to put in place a lot of different gears to grow your blog readership, again, not just from a technology standpoint but a marketing one too.
One surefire way to attract the right kind of readers to your list is to offer irresistible incentives.
Everyone loves a freebie, and the more valuable it is the better, however, it must be totally relevant and in line with your blog’s mission.
The problem is that a lot of bloggers seem to forget the importance of relevancy when it comes to providing incentives.
Here’s what you need to ask yourself –
- Obviously, how relevant are your incentives and are they in line with your marketing message, blog, mission, etc?
- How valuable are your incentives, what kind of problems will it help your readers solve?
- What is the end goal of your incentive? Do you want your readers to take a certain action after they’ve consumed your freebie content, i.e. purchase a product or service?
7. Create subscription-worthy content upgrades
Do you know what a content upgrade looks like?
It looks something like this –
An example of a content upgrade would be where you might write a post titled “Top 20 Tips To Improve Your Productivity When Working From Home”, and at the end of the post you provide information on how your readers can gain bonus content or even a downloadable product.
Some bloggers even embed an email opt-in form at the bottom of their posts for readers to signup to gain access to the bonus content.
If you need some genuine ideas as to what to provide as a content upgrade, check out this in-depth post on the Smart Passive Income blog.
8. A/B split test your email opt-in forms and email landing pages
If you have a brilliant incentive and well-designed email landing pages and opt-in forms but are still struggling to grow your readership, then you’ll need to consider doing some A/B split testing.
This is not hard to do at all. I use Thrive Architect to build my landing pages, and Thrive Leads for opt-in forms.
Thrive Leads come with A/B split testing tools, while Thrive Architect there’s something called Thrive Optimize available, which is an additional plugin required to do A/B split testing for landing pages.
Check out the video below for more info –
9. Don’t ignore your commenters
I get it, you’re super busy creating content, doing marketing stuff, monetizing your blog, providing services, and everything else.
What you’ve got to remember, though, is that comments are the lifeblood of your blog.
Appreciate that people are coming to your blog and reading your content, and, they’re going as far as leaving you a comment.
Hopefully, they’re leaving decent comments and not spammy stuff.
Your job is to NOT ignore them.
Engage with your commenters, let them know that you’re listening to them and are in tune with their thoughts and opinions.
Don’t be afraid to answer their questions, be helpful and resourceful at the same time.
Growing your blog readership means stepping out of your comfort zone and putting yourself in front of your audience, your tribe, so don’t hold yourself back.
In addition to responding to comments, did you know you can convert your commenters into subscribers after they’ve left a comment?
There’s a plugin called Thrive Comments, which I use on this website, that can help you convert more of your commenters into frequent readers.
So, there you have it, 9 tips for you to digest. But, what could be the 10th tip? Do you have one?
If so, feel free to leave something in the comment section below.
I’ve purposely left out obvious tips like network with other bloggers, join blogging community sites, do guest blogging, and comment on other blogs because I don’t want to repeat the same old advice that you’ve probably read on a million other blogs.
Put in place a few of the tactics and technologies mentioned above and I’m super positive that you’ll start seeing your blog readership grow.