A blog is an essential tool for marketing your business, especially if you have a limited budget.
But a limited budget is one of the factors that can make it harder to get attention. It doesn’t have to be!
So before we even get into 10 great ways to boost your blog audience, let’s start off with the most fundamental rule: Stick with it!
No matter what industry or niche you’re in, your blog content can engage people who will subscribe to your list, and potentially buy your products and services later. In fact, blogging is one of the best ways to attract and retain an audience.
Now let’s look at how you can attract your first 1,000 blog subscribers.
Start with your audience
You can’t optimize your blog for subscribers if you don’t know who you want to attract in the first place. So spend some time finding out who your target audience really is.
Ask yourself: Who is your ideal reader?
- Are they male or female?
- How old are they?
- Do they have children?
- Where do they live?
- How much money do they make?
- What education level do they have?
- Where do they work?
- Where do they hang out?
- What is their problem?
- What are their needs?
- What is their biggest frustration?
- Attract readers with great content
When you’re trying to attract blog subscribers, you need content that really resonates with the audience!
You may think you know why readers visit your blog and what they want to read about, but take the time to research it. When you write useful posts on exactly the topics readers want, more readers will subscribe.
Then create content that can help them solve a problem, or inspires them to buy a product. There’s no better way to woo and win blog subscribers than providing them with excellent content.
If your content solves problems for readers and helps them learn something they can apply in their own situation, they’re will subscribe to your blog and visit it later.
Create strategic, purpose-driven content. Only publish content that is top quality. Make it easy to scan for key points, screen friendly, and concisely written.
Post frequently and consistently
Yes, blogging is hard work. However, more posts mean more visits — it’s just that simple.
Once or twice a week is usually enough for most bloggers; don’t overwhelm your readers. Plus, don’t forget that you have to promote your blog and drive traffic!
A pretty good balance for a successful blog is if you spend about 20% of your time creating content and 80% promoting it and sending traffic to it.
Pay attention to your design
When somebody visits your blog for the very first time, what do they see first? Your design! Be sure to make a killer first impression.
The absolute first thing that needs to done for your design is to install a professional theme. There are countless free themes out there, or you may want to purchase a premium template that can really set you apart. More than anything, your theme should reflect your brand identity.
Another mistake that many bloggers make: trying to put everything including the kitchen sink on their blog page. Keep your design clean. As a blogger, your focus should remain on your content. Don’t distract your readers with tons of widgets or links in your sidebar. Keep it simple.
My general rule of thumb is to keep the sidebar as long as my blog’s search page.
Offer an incentive
Many bloggers complain they can’t get people to subscribe, but they don’t offer any incentive to do so. Having an amazing opt-in freebie is absolutely invaluable to grow your list quickly.
Once you have identified your ideal audience, you are now in a position to create something to attract them.
Put together a short, useful free report, ebook, infograph, or anything your audience may like, and give great value to them. Be specific: the more specific you are in creating your freebie, the better your chances of getting the right people on your list.
Even if your content is great, sometimes potential subscribers need an additional incentive. That’s why you need a lead magnet to give subscribers something in exchange for their subscription.
You’ll be amazed at how many more subscribers you get if you start offering a freebie. People love free stuff!
Ask them to subscribe
A common mistake I see business owners making is that they don’t ask their visitors and social media followers to subscribe to their blog. They are already connecting with you, so encourage them to stay engaged!
You are creating great content that you know your target readers will love. So let them know about it! Don’t be afraid to use every channel available to promote your blog!
Here are some tips where to ask your visitors to subscribe, or put an opt-in form:
- HelloBar (a signup box at the top of the page)
- Inbound posts
Which one is best? It depends on your audience. Test out various methods for a month or two to see which ones are the most effective.
- Find your most popular blog posts and optimize them for opt-ins
Your most visited blog posts would be a primary source of leads for your blog.
Use Google Analytics and find out which blog posts currently drive the most traffic. Then make sure these pages have very clear buttons, icons, links or calls to action (CTA) to join your email list or subscribe to your feed.
I have a picture with a call to action on every page of my blog.
Build a Blog Subscriber Landing Page
A landing page is normally the page on a website that a visitor comes to, or lands on, when accessing a website from an outside link such as a search engine result or an on-line ad. In this case, it’s a special page on your website that is dedicated to getting more subscribers.
By creating a specific opt-in landing page, you can sell the value of subscribing to your blog and show off the benefits of your blog to readers, including:
- Samples of the content your email blog subscribers will get
- Email frequency
- Subscriber extras
Include this page in your navigation menu, place a link in your blog posts, or link to it in the sidebar of your blog.
Use Social Proof
Here’s how social proof works: if people think other people like your content, they’ll want to subscribe, too.
Even if your blog’s brand new, you can still showcase social proof from other areas, such as testimonials and recommendations, social shares for posts and guest posts, numbers of comments, and so on.
Use Your Email Signature
One place to promote your blog that some people overlook is your email signature. Edit your email signature to include text links to your blog.
It’s a great way to promote your new blog in your email signature, and ask for blog subscribers anywhere it’s relevant, all without being pushy.