When just starting out, it is quite clear that a blogger has no audience, so to speak.
0 followers isn’t inviting one to put his best content, of course.
As a matter of fact, I think that lacking an audience is far worse than earning no income from blogging.
The thing is, people tend to go about building an audience the wrong way.
I said, building an audience.
You have to build it, one reader after another. One great blog post after another.
But how exactly do you do that?
Easy. You network.
When you first arrive online, you are nobody. If you are trying to be read, you have to become somebody.
I remember when I started posting on my main blog back in April 2012. It was like I was talking to myself.
Lack of feedback means there’s no way to figure out what needs to improve.
Was a any good?
Well, the thing is that I managed to get other bloggers to agree to interviews, got a few blog posts Freshly Pressed (it’s now called Discover) and I even had Neil Gaiman and Random House share a couple of posts of mine via Twitter.
Here’s the thing: you might not have an audience, but other folks have one. And that’s where you can find as many readers as you are willing to work for.
How to (properly) network
Most bloggers’ idea of networking consists of them begging other people (via the comments section) to follow them. It’s insane.
As a matter of fact, I rarely even approve comments that include a link to someone else’s blog. It’s just rude.
Instead, what did I do? I interviewed interesting people; they obviously had a lot more readers than I did.
Other ways to network?
Interacting with others, sharing the content of others, and participating in communities are all great ways to generate attention and build an audience.
Think of it this way: you can engaging in a conversation. You are enjoying it for what it is.
The “social” element of success is so, so underrated. Sorry to break it to you, but without this, you cannot be successful, no matter how good you are.
I know brilliant artists who have 184 followers on their Instagram accounts. Brilliant.
Not only do you get in front of the people in the audience, you can also start letting people know that you have speaking experience, which is a great credibility builder.
Interviewing people is great, but so is getting interviewed.
Comment on other blogs
Find the top ten bloggers in your niche, interact with them. Read their stuff, offer great comments. This is a big, big part of networking.
Write each comment without even mentioning you have a blog. Write really great comments. Ask questions, state your opinion, respectfully disagree if it’s the case.
Just don’t be a jerk, okay?
After you’ve built rapport with some of the most popular bloggers in your niche, you can ask them if you can guest blog. Some will say no, some yes, some will ignore your message.
Don’t take it personally.
But when someone accepts, then do your very best. I mean it. Write something you are proud of. Don’t save your best stuff for your blog, but rather use that content to get as many readers as possible from someone else’s audience.
Promoted posts on Facebook, promoted Tweets, are all great ways to promote content and get in front of others. This can bring you rapid exposure and help shortcut the overall process.
Your blog needs to have a strategy for building your own audience. You need to map out a smart strategy and pursue this in a purposeful manner.
You may need to do some experimentation to find what works for you, but there is no time like the present.
Get out there and make it happen!
What other methods have you used to leverage other people’s audiences in order to build your own?