There are a number of key standards you need to establish with your content before even starting to grow your network. If you do not honor these standards, the likely hood is that you will struggle to build an audience.
- Keep All Content Quality, Educational and Relevant:
For many, blogging does not seem important so they simply crank out short 200 word blogs with little substance. People do not want to read this and if this is how you blog, your wasting your time.
It's critical that you spend some time on your blogs and produce the best content possible that people will really learn from. Make the content relevant to your blogs target audience and something they will be excited to read.
- Keep Content Consistent:
To help build your audience, it's extremely important that your content comes out on a consistent basis. This could be twice a week or everyday, it does not matter. However, the simple fact of having planned and consistent content will give your audience something they can rely on and plan to read.
- Give People Ways and Incentives to Follow or Subscribe:
There are many ways people can connect with your blog and your brand, from Twitter, Facebook, RSS, Email Newsletters, etc. or all of the above. No matter how you like to connect with your audience, make it as easy as possible for them to connect with you.
Additionally, it's key to explain the benefits of connecting in your call to actions. Do not simply say "Follow Us on Twitter". This is boring and non-compelling. Think of the value they will receive from following your brand and explain this to the user.
- Create a Content Strategy:
Having a clear direction of what to blog about and aligning this with your SEO and inbound marketing strategy is a great way to make blogging easier for you and ensures you will maximize your ROI on blogging.
There are many other things to keep in mind when creating a successful blog and I would encourage you to do additional research on this topic before starting. The focus of this blog is once you have an established blog that meets these standards, how can you start building your audience. Below are a number of methods to do exactly that:
- Integrate with Other Business Operations:
Take a step back and look at all the other operations that go on in the business and see how you can start integrating call to actions for people to check out and subscribe to your blog. This could be email signatures, invoices, voicemails, stationary, business cards or simply telling your clients about it.
The more you can get the word out that you have a great blog with amazing content, the more people will take notice and start following the blog.
- Create Monthly Blog Recap Emails:
Many times people are simply too busy or forget to check your blog on a regular basis. Creating a monthly email to send out to your email lists that recaps the most popular or best blogs can be a great way to not only revive older content, but also generate more traffic to your site.
If you do not want to send out an email, you could also simply create a blog post which links to the best articles of the month, quarter or the year. People love this because it saves them time searching through blogs. They can simply cut to the chase and see the best of the best in one spot.
- Content Sharing Websites:
There are many content sharing websites which essentially aggregate content or have users submit content and then distribute the content on their website. Below are a number of websites that you can check out and submit content to.
- Guest Blogging:
Find a top rated news or authority website which has some type of blog. Connect with them and see if you can contribute a monthly guest blog. Many websites are open to this because it's free content.
Guest blogging can be one of the best ways to drive traffic to your website. I guest blog on a number of other websites and we see a great traffic response. Additionally, it boosts your credibility and with a well-written author byline, it will increase your brand awareness.
The flip side of this, you can also seek others to guest blog on your website. This could be from a business selling a complement product, a news publication, etc. Many times these authors will promote their blog on your website to their networks, driving new visitors to your website.
- Share with Your Social Networks:
When you see this, you're probably like, "Duh!". But it is important to mention that you should leverage your social media accounts including: Facebook, twitter, pinterest, linkedin, youtube, flickr, etc. to help promote your content.
The precursor to this, is to build up your social media following on each one of these social networks. You can browse our blog for additional content on how to specifically do this on the respective network.
- Optimize for SEO:
Again, this may seem like a no-brainer, however, I need to mention it. Make sure your entire blog post (and website) is optimized for SEO. This is a whole process in itself and I'm not going to go into great detail because we have a great free webinar which you can watch to learn more: "Supercharge Your Local SEO, The Ultimate Guide"
- Co-Promoted Blog Posts:
Find a complement product or website to your own and team up to create some type of premium blog content. Work together to create two articles, one to post on your website and one on theirs. Then once the articles are posted, work together to drive traffic to them from your respective networks.
- Blog Series:
Creating a multiple part series is a great way to entice the reader to come back to the blog again to read the next edition to the series. This can be a great way to break up longer blogs or simply cover a number of pieces of the same topic. Push your readers to subscribe to your RSS or follow you on twitter so the next series article can automatically be sent to them.
- Blog Posts About Other Companies in Your Industry:
Writing blog posts related to another company in your industry such as reviews, top lists or feature articles and then tagging the company in it can be a great way to get your content promoted for free.
For example: You are a ecommerce website selling clothing and you write a blog post, "Top 10 Men's Summer Tees" and write a detailed ranking of the best tshirts. Then promote your blog on your social networks and tag the top 4-5 brand in the post. There's a good chance they will retweet your post and drive traffic to your website.
There are a million ways you can start boosting your audience and these are just a few of them. Please keep in mind, building a big audience is not an overnight venture. It typically takes years and years to build up a following. View your blog as an investment in your company and each post you make as an additional "investment" into building your brand.
If you have questions, comments or other ideas I encourage you to post in our comments. Additionally, please subscribe to our RSS and follow us on twitter for more amazing educational content on Inbound Marketing and Joomla Web Design.