“Content is king” is good advice, but I hate to disappoint… just delivering great content isn’t going to get you your first avid fans.
Facebook groups will, though. Networking with other bloggers in your niche will. Going where the conversation is and providing real value in the form of opinions will.
And, weirdly enough, this is the type of stuff that makes one feel sleazy. It feels disingenuous to reply to folks who share their opinions on the web, or to comment on someone’s post just so they can comment on yours.
But I hate to destroy this romantic vision of what blogging is all about for you, but you got to do some things you don’t feel like doing to get readers.
Because readers don’t just magically appear, even if you do your best to create brilliant content.
You see, you must build a bridge between your “great content” and those who want to read it. If not, no one will even know you exist.
Idealism kills every deal…
Keep your eyes on the stars, but your feet on the ground.
This means you need a strategy to get people to see that content, you need to figure out that headlines and introductions are extremely important; I am sure that my most popular post on this blog ( The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Bloggers) wouldn’t have gone viral if my title was bad, no matter how good the content.
And headlines are just a small part of all that you have to do to get readers.
There’s a lot more. Adding relevant images. Interacting with fellow bloggers. Sharing your posts on Facebook groups. Writing guest blogs. Getting interviewed.
I sincerely wish it was as easy as creating quality content.. I wish we didn’t need to brainstorm ideas for headlines that will entice potential readers, or format our content is such a way that scanners stop and actually read our stuff..
The thing is, we all start with 0 followers.
And to change that, you need to stop being a romantic and wait for your soulmate to find you, and go on a few dates and see what works.
So…what do you do after you publish a blog post?
Simple. You need to promote.
And this is what, for the most part, keeps folks stuck at 57 followers for the first five years of their blogging journey.
It’s not that their blog sucks, but they feel they shouldn’t use some tricky and not always ethical methods of getting others to read their stuff.
But let’s assume this: for whatever reason (maybe it’s the divine visiting you…) you know that the next person you’re going to meet is your soulmate. You know for certain, because you’ve been told so, that you’re going to make this person happier than anyone else could even hope to make them.
And you meet them, and they say they’re not interested.
Would you give up because they told you “no” once?
Of course not.
Now, think about your blog.
Are you proud of your content?
Would you like more readers?
It doesn’t seem like it, because you’re not even trying to meet them, let alone insist until they decide to take a good look at your blog because you know your content is going to blow their minds.
A piece of art needs to be seen by others. Beauty will save the world, as Dostoevsky used to say, but not behind closed doors, not with all the lights turned off.
Same with your blog post. You’ve written a great blog post? Wonderful!
Now it’s time to let others know it exists.