To paraphrase Tony Robbins, if you feel that you are not earning enough money, and you want to make more, and so you ask for more, and someone hands you a dollar bill, do you have a reason to get upset?
So, do you have a strategy to getting from zero followers to five thousand?
And, no, hope is not a strategy.
Come on, tell me. Do you have a blogging schedule? Do you write and edit your blog posts in advance or frantically write and write and then just hit that publish button?
What are you actively doing to become a better blogger? What about better understanding your audience?
And what about the time and energy you invest in trying different strategies to grow your blog?
What? I can’t hear you.
If you aren’t doing any of those things, let me ask you this: how do you expect to hit a target you do not have?
Would you expect an archer to hit a target if we were to blindfold him and turn him with his back against the target?
Waiting for Inspiration to Hit You Is Not a Strategy
99% of all bloggers have the following content strategy: inspiration and luck.
If they are inspired and lucky enough to be able to write when inspiration hits, then they write. If not, bad luck.
Also, if you were to ask them about their goals, they’d tell you that they want to blog more, get more readers, maybe guest blog or be interviewed, and…
That’s so vague it can’t even be considered a proper strategy.
“Here’s a dollar, now get out of here.”
But imagine your results if your strategy looked more like this:
- increase my blog’s audience by five thousand new readers
- publish at least one blog post per week
- guest blog once per month for a blogger whose audience is at least 50% larger than mine
When you compare the two, it’s easy to see which approach is better.
How to Create a Simple but Effective Content Strategy
1. Write down your goals.
If you were to drive from point A to point B, but you didn’t know which roads to take to reach your destination, then you’d have to add that destination on your car’s/smartphone’s GPS, right?
Successful bloggers know why they blog, and what is it that they want to achieve. Do you?
Here’s an example:
“My goal is to build a blog about art, because I have always been passionate about this topic. I am an avid art collector, and have always been fascinated with the artistic process. I can invest six hours a day, writing content, promoting it, and building relationships with both artists and other bloggers in my niche.”
This is a why. This is why you embark on a journey. Without it, neither the journey, nor the destination make much sense.
Next, you need some goals that are tied to this particular why:
- Build an online community of art lovers (at least 10,000 readers)
- Post four times per day, every day.
- Invest two hours daily to reach out to new readers, explore networking opportunities, or learn something new about blogging, art, or online marketing
- Earn approx. $1,000 via advertising, affiliate marketing, and selling paid reviews to readers
2. Know who your ideal reader is.
The curious paradox of blogging is that everything you do has to take into consideration one person and one person only: your ideal reader. You’ve got to know their likes, dislikes, needs, dreams, desires, fears, and frustrations. You need to know what they like most about your content, and what they don’t like so much.
If you ignore this step, thinking you either know everything there is to know about your audience or that all that matters is what you want, don’t.
This is the most common mistake made by every single blogger who’s stuck at 57 followers for over six years.
Who are you writing for?
Don’t kid yourself. Be honest. Who’d most benefit from your content?
You see, the type of content that never gets much attention is precisely the type of content that is pretty much useless: it’s not educational, it does not entertain, it does not make others relate to it, it does not inspire or motivate. It just is, and even the bloggers themselves are not sure what it’s supposed to be.
You cannot write great content, you cannot develop a proper strategy, and you cannot grow your blog unless you know who your ideal reader is and what must be done to make them happy.
3. Build relationships with your readers.
Do you want to know why most bloggers will never get to have five thousand readers?
Because they never think that blogging is more about socializing than it is about anything else.
In growing your blog, you need to build and maintain a connection with your audience.
It’s not just about the posts you publish, but also about the way you reply to comments, or the newsletters you send out.
In a way, when people visit your blog, it should feel like an amazing party, one they want to be invited to.
One of the things that made me want to me a blogger was the community aspect of it: finding like-minded individuals and interacting with them.
Do not downplay this aspect either. It is one of the most important elements of blogging.
4. Promote your content.
For the most part, there are only two kinds of bloggers:
- Those who quit within the first few weeks
- Those who keep going, making the same mistakes over and over again for a few years, until they reach a thousand or so blog posts that almost no one bothered to read, at which point they quit
These bloggers never asked themselves one simple question:
How do you promote your posts to people who are not subscribed to your blog?
There are six common ways to do that, each with its pros and cons.
If you’ve got money to invest, this is not only a great way to get readers, but also to make sure you have enough time and energy to focus on content.
GET FAMOUS PEOPLE TO LINK TO YOUR STUFF
If you know how to build relationships and connect with the most popular folks in your niche, having them share your work is a great way to get introduced to new audiences.
REPUBLISH ON THIRD PARTY SITES
Publishing your content on sites or platforms, such as Medium, is a popular way to get more visibility.
I’d also include guest blogging in this category as well.
When you have a critical mass of people in your audience, who are also sharers, they can serve as a valuable army, quickly disseminating the word about your content.
Social platforms are designed for sharing and connecting. If you establish a following where your audience hangs out, it can be an excellent way to reach new people and get them back to your blog.
Ask and it shall be given to you…
If you do not ask, the answer will always be “no.”
For instance, let’s say your ideal reader comes across a piece of your content on Twitter. They get to your blog, read the post, and love it. Once they’re done, they say “that was great” and off they go, never to be seen again.
You did all the hard work to get your ideal reader to your site, but you didn’t have content in place to close the deal. Shame.
What do you want your readers to do?
Subscribe? Buy one of your products? Follow you on social? Donate to a charity of their choosing?
Make it clear for your audience to take the next step.
You’re Never Going to Find a Treasure Without a Map
Without a proper blogging strategy, you’ll burn out before finding the treasure.
You don’t have to create a complicated plan; you just need to be clear in your intentions and the steps required to take you from point A to point B.
This is a small sample of a fantastic tutorial I wrote for our patrons, titled “From 0 to 5K Followers.”
18 pages that will help you in your quest to building the kind of audience that makes you proud to be a blogger.
Become a patron of ours and download it!