Wednesday, 18 November 2015

How The Heck Can I Attract a Fresh Audience and Gain New Followers?

Are you doing all the right things and not reaping the rewards of your hard work? Get the low down on how I got my audience, and following, soaring!

There comes a time when every blogger wants something somebody else has. They either want a super awesome design that looks so much better than what they've got, and what they can afford, or they want to have beautiful graphics that just look fabulous on Pinterest, but the most common feature on a bloggers wishlist is an increase in their audience and the people that follow them.

We live in a time when the quantity of people interested in what we have to share dictates our popularity. Statistics and impressions are absolutely huge in terms of creating hierarchy, and through hierarchy comes popularity, and through popularity comes, less popular people with a grudge to bare.

The amount of people following you is not always equivalent to the amount of people who care about what you have to say. Scratching your head yet? Let me tell you story that may well help you out.

Psst, before I do, let me tell you you can highlight any sentence in this post and share it!

Before I waved goodbye to Facebook, at one point, I had over 150 friends that I'd never met in my life. They were 'online' friends, people I opened up to and people I was eager to share my stories, my knowledge, my experiences, my life with, and one day, poof, they vanished off the face of the earth. I later found out I'd been catfished and that all of those 'friends' were actually one person, pretending to be many different people in an effort to get the maximum amount of information out of me.

Why is that life lesson at all related to this post?


Through that experience, I quickly learnt that just because I had those 150 'friends', didn't mean there were 150 people actually interested in what I had to say. Just because I had a number of people surrounding didn't mean I actually had people waiting to hear what I had to share next.


Related: Get Blog Followers From the Right Places

So, back to the topic at hand. We live in a world where our popularity and expert 'name' is held accountable by the amount of people following us, but that's simply not the case. Still, getting fresh eyes upon your content and new followers intrigued by your content is something everybody wants a piece of.

Related: How To Get First-Time Visitors Hooked on your Blog

Attracting a fresh audience to your blog seems like a difficult challenge, but it doesn't have to be. There are some really easy, simple ways to get different sets of eyes on your content. Here's the 3 ways I've managed to gain fresh viewers on Nellie and Co. and a further 10 tried and tested methods proven to get you results.

1. I shared 'behind the scenes' tutorials and tips


Last month, I talked about sharing blogging secrets and shared some of the positives of doing so. Within that post, I quickly mentioned how many of my most reviewed posts are actually tutorials, or 'How To's, and I'm going to dive into why that is a little more now.

Let's take a look at Google Adwords: Keyword Planner. Adwords is a program used through Google that allows the user to check out most searched for words or terms in order to create pay-per-click campaigns. I don't create campaigns, but I do like taking a sneak peek at Keyword Planner to see what search terms are most popular and when, and whether there's anything I can create content wise that puts me in the spotlight for that specific sector. In other words:


Ashley talked about what the heck quality content is and means last month, and she touched upon how quality content can and does solve a problem or provides a solution. By scouring Adwords every now and again and checking out different keywords in relation to their search results in a set period of time, I can work out how well my content 'could' rank in Google results, and how much competition I've got in terms of other similar content if I were to write the post.

Related: Using Adwords to Write Profitable Affiliate Posts

Not only does Keyword Planner and SEO play a big part in my increase in fresh audience and my increase in organic search results, creating tutorials people want to see and are encouraged to share is also a big reason behind why tutorials do very well. People want to learn how to do things for themselves, rather than just hear about how you've done it yourself, and when you give them a walkthrough and the tools to achieve the best they can, they're more likely to share your content with other people.

Take for example my Picmonkey and Canva tutorials. A lot of bloggers struggle to create their own graphics with these two programs, and I'm asked quite a bit how I create my blog graphics, so to inform my current followers and teach them how they can easily create graphics just as I do was a really simple way of solving a problem for those interested. Both tutorials showed a step-by-step process of the graphic coming together, showing how simple, how quickly and how easily it could be done. The entire post is the exact content my current followers and new followers alike are interested in reading, and that's why it brings a fresh audience to my blog on a regular basis.

2. I put my name, and my content, in front of new eyes


There are so many ways you can put yourself in front of people, and it's much easier to achieve online than it is in real life. If you had something to share, stood in front of a group of someones and said 'I can show you why x,y and z are going to make achieving Goal A possible!', there's a pretty good chance you would be shunned, and in some dodgy areas of the North West, beaten black and blue. Alas, with the help of the world wide web and some social media know how, getting what you have to say in front of people that actually care is a lot easier than you might think.

Promoting content on social media


Say you've written a absolutely fabulous post, honestly, it's super amazing, out of this world mind blowing. You want to make sure you're not just shouting that post out into a void of nobody and actually getting your content in front of the right people, am I right? With your post all written out, it's time to take a look at what your post is.

Ask yourself the following questions. Better still, grab a pen and some paper and write them down;
  1. What is primary subject of this post?
  2. Who is the ideal audience for this post?
  3. What is the main purpose of this post?
  4. Have you featured anyone in this post? If so, who?
  5. Have you used any products/services? If so, what?
  6. What do you want readers to do after reading this post?
Ready to dig a little deeper?

Take for example, my post on Free Ecourses. Let's answer these questions in relation to that post.
  1. Q. What is the primary subject of this post?
    A. Free Ecourses
  2. Q. Who is the ideal audience for this post?
    A. Bloggers. Online Business Owners.
  3. Q. What is the main purpose of this post?
    A. Introduce and recommend ecourses.
  4. Q. Have you featured anyone in this post? If so, who?
    A. Olyvia.co, Autumn Leaves.co, KristaRae.co, CaitlinBacher.com and TheAlishaNicole.com
  5. Q. Have you used any products/services? If so, what?
    A. 21 Day Brand Detox, Transform Blog, Boost Small Biz, Sales via Social Media and Vision Clarity
  6. Q. What do you want readers to do after reading this post?
    A. Check out the ecourses featured.
Those answer makes putting our content in front of new, awaiting eyes, 10x easier than it was five minutes ago. By answering those questions, we've managed to established a clear subject, two different types of audience, five different professionals to say 'hey look, I featured you in my post!' to and five different products or services you can connect yourself to. Now, when it comes to promoting yourself on social media, you've got lots of options.

Let's use Twitter as our form of social media for now.

An okay tweet could be: "Check out todays post where I review and recommend five e-courses!"
A better tweet could be: "Today's post is all about #ecourses for #bloggers and #business women!"

However, an awesome tweet would do more than just mention the subject of the post and use a few hashtags. To get your content in front of even more people, people who don't already follow you or use those #hashtags, you've got to focus your attention on the professionals you've featured and the products or services you featured/used.

"#detoxmybrand with @OlyviaMedia was awesome! Want a reason to check it out yourself? Look no further!"

"Hey @kristirae! I loved your #boostbiz ecourse so much, I recommended it on my blog! Would you be interested in a testimonial?"

These two examples are really great example tweets you could send out that would not only promote your content, but it would put your content in front of the people that matter, the people you featured, and the people that follow them if you're really lucky. In some cases, professionals will reply to your tweet, and some may even retweet or quote your tweet, putting your name, and your content, in front of hundreds, thousands of people who fit your ideal audience.

Related: How To Build a Loyal Blog Audience

Word of warning though. When it comes to promoting your content with the inclusion of other people, make sure it's not spammy in any way. You've seen those social media accounts that spend their lives tweeting famous celebrities countless questions, asking for retweets, begging for attention - you do not want to act like, or been seen as one of these accounts. Be friendly but approachable. Be excited to share your thoughts but consider the fact you're attracting the attention of a human being with feelings. Don't appear naggy or pushy, or look demanding, give the professionals you love some loving, first and foremost, because why not?

Promoting content on other blogs via guest posts


Everyone is aware of guest posts and how they work. You write a post or some content for another blog, they publish it to their followers and give you a link or two and there. Done. That's the thing though - it's not over until and it's over, and if you think that just by creating the content you can wipe your hands and get back to business, you're wrong.

Related: How To Guest Post Like a Boss

Guest posting is more than just writing something and hoping it does well on another blog. When I guest posted on Nosegraze and talked blogging niches, I thought I'd done a really good, and Ashley thought so too, that's why she featured it, but looking at that post now, I can see how I could have improved not only the content, but how I went about getting that contents value across to her followers, and how to get an exclusive guest post opportunity working for me, rather than me for it.

How do you encourage one bloggers followers to follow you though?

Create a 'Call To Action!'

Your post might be the best post you've ever written, and people reading that post might think so to, but once that post has been read, what is there left to do? Chances are, those readers aren't going to jump on over to your blog because they don't need to. You're not encouraging them to do anything other than read your post somewhere that isn't your blog, and you have to change that, now.

'Call To Actions' can be something similar to:
  • subscribing to something
  • downloading something
  • checking out something

They encourage a reader to do more than just click out of your post. They create an action. Putting the right 'call to action' to include however depends entirely what your post is about. Let's go back to the final question in the list mentioned earlier..

What do want readers to do after reading this post?

The answer you give to that question influences what type of 'call to action' you should include in your guest post. Say for example I want people to subscribe to my mail list, I could (and probably should) create an exclusive content upgrade, something that gives a little more to the post and helps the reader out further. Creating exclusive additional content and making it available for those that go the extra mile and subscribe to your mail list creates a 'call to action' that doesn't feel gimmicky.

Related: How To Grow Your Mail List with Content Upgrades

Creating a call to action, such as a content upgrade, brings people to your blog where you do your biz and rock out all day (and all night!) working up a storm on giving people awesome content. You want those people who liked your content elsewhere to be loving your content on your own blog too, right? Of course you do, but in this world, you've got to give, give, give and work hard at it too. If you have something more to give people, then give you should, Tempt people to your blog with some fabulous content, and create upgrades to content they already know and love to tempt them further.


3. I started to build relationships by sharing other people's content/achievements and talked to people!


Do I know how odd and obvious that statement sounds? Heck yes I do, but it's without a doubt the best advice I received when it came to growing my reach, and it's the one piece of advice that, if you listen to nothing else in this post, I want you to listen to this.

Do not be afraid to speak to people. They are human beings, not monstrous animals. They will not bite.

I avoided interacting with the bloggers I looked up to most for a looooooong time. I lingered on their blogs, reading everything they wrote, but never actually spoke to them, until one day when I thought it was time I shook my hand, waved hello and braced myself for embarrassment. That embarrassment never came, and I've never looked back since.

Related: How to Establish Killer Relationships Online

One of my favourite blogging ladies, Erika from Olyvia, talked about practicing the promotion of others in order to grow your brand, your readership and your audience, and she's right. People do notice. People appreciate the effort. People will take the time to check who the lovely person saying lovely things about their lovely blog is, and believe it or not, they're actually lovely too.

Even if you don't promote other people's content for the love of that blogger, sharing content from people you follow provides your followers with an awesome new piece of content, and helps build trust between you and your followers. You'll position yourself as somebody who shares quality content, whether it's from your blog or somebody else's, and without a doubt, word of mouth is still one of the best marketing tools around, and it still works a treat.

If I see somebody I follow sharing quality content from other sources besides their own, I'll more than likely be checking out their links on a regular basis. I trust that what they're sharing with me is worth my time, my effort to read, and I believe I will learn something through their sharing. Marianne from Design Your Own Lovely Blog constantly shares quality posts, not only from herself, but from around the community, and she shares offers, updates, sales and more, putting herself out there was a person who's always in the know and knows what's good and what's not. I trust her, and that works wonders.

Back to the topic in hand of sharing other peoples content.

'Won't sharing other people's content defeat the object of getting people to visit my blog?'

You'd think so wouldn't you, but no, in fact, I've found it's done completely the opposite. Of course, this might not be the case for you, but by sharing other people's content, content I genuinely find helpful, enjoyable or just really want to share, and taking note to tag the person who's content it is, I've placed myself in a great situation. I've now not only shared their content with my followers, who will continue to share it with theirs, but I've gained the attention of a blogger I appreciate and look up and have the opportunity to, you know, interact with them.

Related: 5 Ways To Increase Your Twitter Following

Ask questions, be friendly, put yourself out there as somebody they want to know.

The best part? Many of those bloggers I took the plunge with and spoke to, they followed me back. They thought I was worthy of their time, of appearing on their timeline, they considered my content high in quality that they wanted to see it, and decided I was worth interacting with. The biggest motivator to interact with people more is knowing they want to interact back, and by doing so, you'll not only build quality, strong and healthy relationships with people in your interests and area of work, but you'll position yourself as someone worth following, and that's always a good thing.

Join in challenges, become a member of groups you'd be a good fit for, just be social!

The important thing to remember is that just because these methods worked for me, doesn't mean they'll work to the same level, or in the same way for you. I spend most of my social media time on Twitter, and so sending out the best, promotional tweet I can for both myself and the bloggers who's content I love is a great method for me, but if you're all about Pinterest, then you're going to be looking for different ways to achieve the best you on can on that platform, (speaking of, here's one hella of a fabulous post on Pinterest, followers and repins!)

There is one thing however that I've never changed or forgot:

Provide the best content you can, as often as you can.


As good as these methods have been for me, they would not have stood a chance at working if I hadn't created the best content I could at the time. Promoting an okay post will probably go well, but if you promote an awesome post fabulously, that's a whole different ball game. It doesn't matter how often you post your content, there is no magic number, it's entirely down to how much time you have to spare really, but what does matter is whether what you're posting is good, or great.

Related: This 'Posting Consistently' Thing ;is Bullshit

Over the last few weeks I've been pouring more and more time into creating longer, more in depth, better, more informative, quality content rather than shorter, good content, and I've seen my viewing figures rise with every new post. I've seen more social interaction happening through my blog and about my content, and I've seen my shares increase more and more. I've seen my follower count rise with each practical piece of advice I share, and I've seen my organic search results grow and grow and grow with every week and month that passes. I've seen what spending more time on better content less frequently can do, and it's fabulous.

10 more ways to grow your audience + gain followers!

  1. Have a Q and A session. I have a FAQ's page, but if you keep getting the same questions over and over again, dig deep into your answers and share it with the world. People want to know, tell them!
  2. Create a Round-Up of posts. You've all seen my Blogger Love posts around here - it's the super easy way to share the content I love with everyone, and did I mention they're actually really rewarding?
  3. Write a review. Alright book lovers, don't scream 'but reviews don't get the views!' at me - review something different, a product or a service or company. I reviewed some free ecourses and plan on reviewing more early next year, and it's those reviews that bring in the views my friend.
  4. Share the deets on the tools you use. I've done this many times with Google Analytics and Buffer, and I shared design resources and blogging tools I can't live without too. People are always looking for new things to try, so show them some. 
  5. Talk about your mistakes. I shared the things I'd change if I started a blog today, and whew, people resonated a lot with what I had to say. We all make mistakes, share yours so people won't do the same.
  6. Write progress reports. To see somebody else succeed at something pushes us to achieve things too, I know it, I've seen it. Sharing progress on projects, getting personal with stats, sharing income reports, we're all nosey buggers and want in on the gossip, so share what we want to see.
  7. Create a Beginners Guide. When we start blogging, we're all beginners, and beginners guides help a lot. If you've got some serious secrets, tips and tricks, super advice and knowledge on something wee starter cherubs want to know about, share it.
  8. Provide Freebies. Sure, giveaways are good, but they only drive temporary traffic to your blog for as long as the giveaway is running for. Create a freebie download to compliment your post, a plugin or a worksheet, an exclusive tutorial or an entire product. Your viewers are special, show them it's so.
  9. Write Longer Posts. As good as waffles are, I'm not saying you should involve them, but the longer your post, the more detail you can go into (much like this post). The longer the post, the longer people are on your site for, the more likely people are to stick around, and follow you and your blog.
  10. Make sure your content is sharable! I recently installed Sumome (it's awesome, I'll tell you why soon!) and I've seen a lot more interaction with my posts since then. 'Click to Tweet' has also seen my views increase, so it's worth going the extra mile to make people can actually share your stuff, okay?

So what's the take away here? How can you attract a fresh audience and get new followers?

As I've already said, not every method will work in the same way for everyone, but;

  • Sharing more about you and your methods and your blog or business doesn't hurt. People want to see how you've done what you've done, and they want to learn how to do it too. Help them out!
  • Get your content in front of new eyes, and go big. Promote your content on the social media sites that work best for you and your blog or business. If you've featured someone or something, tag them, tell them, show them some lovin'.
  • Get yourself guest posting, and show the world what you've got. You don't need brand new content - take a post you loved that other people loved too, tweak it, rejig it, revamp it, repost it. Add in some content upgrades to show you're awesome, and bring them back to your blog.
  • Build relationships and start speaking to people, get those social interaction juices flowing. Tell a blogger you love them, share their content with your followers, stop being a lurker and say hello, we humans don't bite! Often..
  • Make sure the content you're posting is the best it can be, and be proud of it. Quality content is only as good as the time and effort you've put into it. If you don't know a lot about it, research it, if you know a lot, include it, put your everything into it and reap the benefits.

What as helped you grow YOUR blog audience?

8 comments:

  1. This is so helpful. Some great information that I'll definitely be taking into account from now on. I'm hoping to do a few guest posts soon so those tips were really useful, thanks. Now I'm off to read all the related posts.. :)

    Eliza xo | www.lipglossandpaperbacks.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Eliza! Hope those guest posts go well for you, and hope you loved those other posts too! :)

      Delete
  2. Awesome post! I have been trying to blog about things other than "books" but have been struggling with it. I want to discuss and dig into other things, but on the other hand I don't want to lose my bookish followers and bore them to pieces. I did do a survey and found that most people prefer discussions or personal posts but I can't get this niche thing out of my head, haha! Niche has always been drilled into bloggers heads that it feels wrong to go other directions, you know? Anyways, I am glad you shared these tips. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Keeping or finding a niche is always a little daunting, but in the end, if you blog is going in other directions, and you want to it, follow it, there's nothing wrong with changing, and you may lose some people along the way, but you'll gain new followers too! Go with your heart, the head with plan things for you :)

      Delete
  3. This post is wonderful, great advice. You've really captured some great methods for getting new followers but you presented it in a way that doesn't leave me feeling unsure and daunted like so many other. Makes me feel as if I have a chance to start fresh. Thank you!

    Dreams @ Once Upon A Dream Books

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's always a chance to get people interested in your content and you, it's the little steps that make a big change, and if you're serious about it, it's the little touches that keep followers coming. Best of you luck, and you're more than welcome hunny! :)

      Delete
  4. I think it's really good to get new followers for the right reasons. Like for you: you give people tips on things that they might not be able to find elsewhere - OF COURSE you have more followers now which is a good thing. It means that a lot of people are being helped. I try my best not to concern myself with followers and recently just quit instagram because of that very reason. I realized that it wasn't healthy the way my selfies kept being compared to the selfies of girls who got 1000s of likes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's exactly how it feels Nova, and it's so rewarding because I can see all those people I've touched and been able to help, and it feels amazing! I think the amount of followers you have can play a part in how you feel about yourself, and that's wrong, if you're happy with you, you do whatever you want girl! :)

      Delete