Every blogger has most probably, at some point in their career, sat and wondered how they are going to grow their blog audience, and what they should be doing differently to get the ball rolling and grow their audience. The blogging community has grown massively over the years, and this is heavily down to the growing use of social media. Using social media is an extremely effective way to grow both your network and your audience. There are countless ways of using social media to promote yourself, but what are the most effective?
Establish your target audience
Before creating social media, channels or establishing a voice for yourself online, it’s important that you know who your audience is who you are promoting yourself to. This includes their location, ages, gender, interests and behaviours. This can be achieved by knowing who is already following your blog, and knowing who you would like to appeal to. From knowing this you can establish your tone of voice as well as where you will be promoting yourself
Choose your social platforms
Choosing what platforms you are going to be using to is key to this strategy. For example, if you’re a sports blog appealing to a predominantly male audience, you don’t want to be wasting your time using Pinterest, where 80% of that platform is populated by women aged 16-30. If your audience is heavily populated by Millennials and Gen Xers, you’re most probably going to benefit from Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Once you have established your platforms based on your audience, you can be sure that you’re promoting your content on places where your users are.
Add social sharing buttons to your blog
It may seem very obvious, but installing a social sharing plugin to your blog is going to make it much easier for your audience to amplify your posts without you doing any work. This can result in someone with a large following on social media to post your content and redirect thousands of people to your website and encourage subscriptions.
Be social on social media!
The key to social media is to be social, blogging can often be a personal thing and you’re opening yourself to a worldwide platform. People are going to buy into people, and they’re going to want to get to know you through your platforms and reading your blog. From things such as share snippets of your blogs before you’re posting them, posting selfies of you and your friends to sharing what you’ve had for dinner (a given if you’re a foodie!), people are going to buy into your personality, which will result into growing your audience!
Promote your posts by re-sharing and pinning them to the top of your profile
Many platforms now allow you to highlight your top posts in various ways, from Facebook and Twitter allowing you to pin your posts to the top of your profile, and Instagram allowing you to add Story Highlights. This is an effective way to promote your highlights, so when people visit your profile they will be automatically greeted with your popular posts.
Interact with your audience
Going back to the point of being social, there’s no point in creating social media platforms to grow your audience if you aren’t going to be engaging with them. It keeps your audience wanting to come back if you’re going to be speaking to them and will build that relationship which will make your audience keep coming back to check your blog updates.
Be active in blogging communities
The best way to grow your audience is by speaking to people who have already established theirs. Joining different blogging communities on social media and attending events/meet-ups will help you grow your network with like-minded people. Being in contact and establishing a working relationship with these people will benefit yourself, other bloggers and even your audience.
Partner with other bloggers
There are many ways to partner with other bloggers, including collaborations and guest posts on each other’s blogs. Once you’ve networked with other bloggers and established a working relationship, it’s great to consider working on collaborations with those that you think you share a similar audience and interests with. This will result in new, original content on your blog page, which will keep your audience engaged, as well as your work being shared with a wider audience from other bloggers.
Create a consistent schedule
Creating a social media schedule will ensure that you have regular posts going out throughout the day. You should be publishing content on social media at least once a day to keep an audience engaged whilst growing a larger audience. Establish the most effective times to post throughout the day by finding when your followers are most active and post around these times. If you are creating content that appeals to parents, posting at 3pm during the school run will not do you any favours, as understandably your target audience are going to be rushed off their feet at that time. Posting at a quieter time of the day for parents such as 10:30am is going to make sure your content is appearing on their timelines when they have time to sit back and read your posts. There are many social media management tools that you can use to schedule content at the times that suit you, and most importantly your audience!
Make the most out of tagging features
Tagging can really help your content reach a wider audience, you should always be effectively tagging your blog with relevant topics, but it’s also important that you master the use of the # on social media too! Many platforms allow you to search directly by hashtags and a lot of the time, people find their news from searching for different hashtags. Finding a collection of hashtags that work effectively for your brand will ensure your content is pushed out to people that are interested and will ultimately direct them to your blog. Another way to use tagging is to tag other users – if you are a beauty blogger and are reviewing the latest product, you should make sure that you’re tagging that product in your post as you never know, you just may feature on their social media!
Most people want an incentive before they do anything, all of your followers will love a competition or if you’re giving them a discount code for different products! A ‘like & share / repost’ competition is many brands best friends to encourage more activity on their social platforms. These competitions do especially well at growing your audience organically when the product that is being given away is related to your brand. If you’re a gamer blogger, doing a giveaway of the newest and in-demand game will definitely grab the attention of your followers, and encourage them to share it on their social profiles. Spending £40 on a product is most likely going to get you more engagement and growth than spending £40 on a paid ad campaign.
By following these tips, and creating engaging and relevant content on your blog, your audience is going to continue to grow and your blog will receive more and more visitors.