4 Ways to Grow Your Audience

4 Ways to Grow Your Audience

Growing sapling

Growing sapling

 

Do you ever feel like you are writing your heart out and no one is listening? If so, you’re not alone. That struggling-artist-laboring-away-in-a-dungeon feeling is common among bloggers.

The blogosphere is cluttered with wanna-be writers and the web is full of noise. Growing an audience is hard work, plain and simple. Picking a niche and knowing your target audience are critical, to be sure, but here are four additional ways to break through and grow your audience.


1. Accuracy:

Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Daniel Moynihan

Be a fanatic about accuracy. I think it was Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan who said, “Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but they are not entitled to their own facts.” Putting all the nonsense in Washington D.C. aside, facts are facts. Your writing is your brand. Sticking to the facts is the same as being honest and being honest is how you build trust with your audience. In fact, it is your job to build trust between you and your audience. If your readers believe you play loose and fast with the facts, that you aren’t a credible source of information and opinion, they will abandon you. If they think your space is just an ongoing rant about how you feel at the moment then you’re work is probably no more compelling than a teenager’s Facebook page. Few readers will not stick around unless you offer interesting facts and unique opinions. Doing good research shows you are a thoughtful and serious person and not just another self-indulgent blogger with a keyboard and free time. Search engines and wiki’s are great places to locate and verify facts. A couple sites I like are http://www.factbrowser.com and www.snopes.com. Here’s the lesson: Don’t cut corners and don’t be lazy. Put in the effort and protect your reputation.

2.     Consistent Voice:

The web is an almost unlimited source of information. So every blogger needs to ask their self, “With so many choices available, why would anyone read my blog?” Beyond your impeccable research and use of facts, is your unique writing style and tone. Professional writers refer to this as your voice. You need to find your own writing voice. There are many things to consider when developing your voice. Pace and grammar are two important elements of your voice. Pace refers to the rhythm of your writing. Some writers prefer writing everything in short declarative sentences. Others prefer long complex sentences with lots of commas. I like to mix up my pace, my sentence length, to give my reader some variety. Using all short sentences can be dull and too many complex sentences is too much work for today’s readers. Grammar contributes to voice and can be quite technical. There are many websites dedicated to grammar. One of my favorites is www.grammarly.com. But owning your unique writer’s voice doesn’t mean you get to throw-up on the page, ignore the rules of grammar, and be a crappy editor. Practice the rules of good writing and you’ll find your voice.

3.     Mix it up:

If you are certain the information you are delivering is relevant but you’re still not getting the readership you desire, experiment with your format. Instead of writing a traditional narrative post, like this one, produce a short video. The equipment is relatively inexpensive and, who knows, video may be your thing. Curating content and sharing them as lists using online tools such as List.ly, is growing in popularity but make sure to add your insights and opinions. Interview pieces is another great way to grow your audience by leveraging the brands of more established experts. Experiment for a few months and then if you want to focus on one format or continue to mix up formats. Another blogging tactic is to simple double or triple the number of images you insert in your posts. Blogger stats indicate that image rich posts are found and read more than posts with fewer images. Finally, mix up your content as well. Publishing the same topics over and over is boring for you and your audience. Even a really important message can grow stale. If you want more ideas, Problogger posted (written by guest blogger Karol K) a long list of “52 Types of Blogs that are proven to Work.” Test and measure various ways to deliver and share your content until your audience grows and you find a comfortable format.

 4.     Relevance:

I put relevance last but probably should have put it first. Ask yourself if your content is relevant to your target audience. Are you writing about what interests you or are you writing about what interests your target audience? It’s a serious question. You’d be surprised how many bloggers are doing the former when we Grow Readership thru Blog Relevancyall should be doing the latter. This is a common mistake with new bloggers. You need to write about what your audience cares about, whether those topics interest you or not. An easy way to check yourself is to simply review your prior blog posts and determine which ones are popular with your target audience. Once you’ve done that then it’s your job to write more about those topics. If you’re new to blogging and have no history to draw from then a good way to select topics is to search popular social media platforms, see what your target audience is talking about, and then share your opinions on those topics.

Here’s a checklist you can use as a reminder. To grow your audience you must:

  • Use verified facts to support your opinions.
  • Write clearly in a consistent and authentic voice.
  • Mix up formats and see which one works best for you and your audience.
  • Write for your audience, not yourself.

And here’s a bonus tip, “Have fun!”

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