The most common question I get from fellow bloggers is, “How do I get more readers?”
Honestly, I’d like to tell you that building a community around your blog is as simple as writing great content, the truth is that growing a blog is a bit more nuanced than that.
Getting more readers for your writing takes a lot of dedication, time, and energy.
It’s not just about content, but also about community.
The strategies I’m sharing with you are the culmination of 8 years of trial and error growing my blogs to over 180,000 engaged readers. These are proven tactics that I still put into practice myself — and cost little more than time, hard work, and a bit of creativity.
Without further delay, let’s get into the best strategies on how to grow an audience for your blog in 2020.
If there’s no thing I’m quite the expert on, that’s alienating a large, engaged audience.
I started my first blog back in April 2012. By November the same year I had over twenty-thousand readers. I was earning about $100 every single day, and my articles were read by close to a thousand people within the first 3–4 hours of posting new content.
Somehow, in my quest to increase my numbers, both in terms of readers and income, I lost friends and alienated a lot of people.
Just take a look at this statistic:
Here’s how you can do it as well in a couple easy to follow steps.
Do you sit around waiting for the muse to inspire you? Do you have trouble punching the damn keys? Do you often struggle to stay consistent? Are you looking for that magic trick that will turn you into a blogging superstar?
What about your content? Is it good enough? Why isn’t it great?
Depending on your answers to these questions, you might either be an artist of blogging or an amateur.
But what better way to find out than to go through the seven key differences between an amateur and someone who punches the damn keys like an artist, right?
Do you want to be a fantastic blogger? To share articles that have an impact on those who read them? To create a catalog of blog posts that you can be proud of?
Maybe you aren’t sure you have it in you to become a successful blogger. Maybe you think you don’t have the skills, the life experience, or the expertise to share content that significantly changes people’s lives.
Maybe you’re afraid that success as a blogger comes down to luck, or being friendly with the right people, or the ability to clickbait readers, and you’ll only be wasting your precious time and energy.
Well, you’re wrong.
And I’m not telling you this because you are a beautiful, unique snowflake whose particular set of experiences, feelings, and ideas are going to be the stuff history books are made of. No. I’m telling you this because blogging is a process.
On the 22th of April, 2012, I signed up for a WordPress.com account. The same day I wrote and published my first blog post.
I didn’t know how to write an article, what a headline was, or how to format a blog post. I didn’t know who my target audience was, I didn’t have any social media accounts, and I didn’t have any money.
It took me a month to purchase my domain, and for a long time that was the only money I invested in my blog.
I didn’t know how to write an introduction, how to make my content engaging, or how to add value to my readers. In fact, I didn’t even know about many of the principles of blogging I learned along the way.
All I knew was that I needed an audience. And I just wanted to blog. And I knew that I would give up, no matter what.
And so I wrote. I published every single day, not because that was my strategy, but because I didn’t know what else to do.
It made sense. Just write whatever, as often as possible.
And that’s what I did.
My blog got 500 views during its first month, and then that number slowly jumped to 1,000 views, and then it all kind of went crazy, and six months later I had over 20,000 followers, earning $100-$150 per day.
That was a great time to be a blogger. It was.
All you had to do was be a bit better than the average blogger. That was it. We were having fun because there were no gatekeepers. We could write whatever, whenever, and publish it in any way we saw fit.
People often forget that the truly exceptional thing about blogging is that people read your stuff and they go, “Wow. That’s smart. I never thought of that.” And after a few seconds they go, “I bet I could do that…. Maybe I should.”
This was what made blogging so appealing. A lot of people read blogs armed with the vague hope of someday summoning up the courage to start their own little online space.
It looked easy, and maybe it was easy, because all you had to do was be 1% better than the worst bloggers. Just want it a bit more than the vast majority of bloggers. Write a bit better, spend a bit more time editing your articles, search for a nice picture. That was it.
I wrote about art, about the creative process. Then I wrote about life, love, motivation. I wrote about my depression, my anxiety attacks, and my heartbreaks. It didn’t seem to matter.
All I had to do was be a bit better than the average blogger… until I wasn’t.
There’s a lot of blogging advice out there. A lot. I’ve written some of it myself. More than five hundred articles, tutorials, how-to guides, step-by-step guides, habits, lessons, case studies, books, and online courses.
But the truth is that most of the stuff I wrote, most of the advice I’ve given, it’s not going to make much of a difference.
Look, I’m going to be honest with you. When you play this game of “offering blogging advice,” you often feel the pressure to come up with some insight, some strategy that no one’s ever thought about. Most of the times, that strategy sounds clever and simple, but it’s difficult to implement, especially by a beginner.
Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes the advice is good. At least, that’s what I’d like to believe. Sometimes the advice I share is something that’s been just at the edge of your mind’s peripheral vision, and that way I help you bring it into focus.
Eight years ago, long before I started the Art of Blogging, long before I was coaching aspiring bloggers, I wrote a post. The 7 Golden Rules of Blogging. Some five hundred or so words.
In this article I shared advice such as, content is king, format your posts, and engage your audience. This post got over 3,600 likes and 510 comments.
Even though it makes a lot of people angry, the best advice is the most obvious. The best advice is the one you actively choose to ignore, or the one that involves a lot of time and mental energy. The “read a lot” and “write a lot.” The, “if you want readers, go out there and comment on a bunch of blogs every single day.”
A lot of people don’t want that. They ask, “Is it that simple?”
It is. Blogging success can be as simple as leaving half a million comments on half a million different blogs.
But can you do it?
Do you ever ask yourself if you can do it?
Do you want to know how much time and energy a full-time blogger invests in doing those three dumb things? Reading a lot. Writing a lot. Commenting on other blogs.
That’s why I am sharing with you the tips and tricks and rules of blogging that sound clever when you read them, only to make you angry when you try to apply them.