Blogging is defined as the act of writing for an audience. As much as we’d like to deny it, no audience, no blog.
But how do you build one?
How do you find readers? How do they find you?
Most bloggers I interact with struggle with this. And it’s heartbreaking, because one tends to lose the motivation to blog when no one’s reading.
No motivation quickly becomes no inspiration.
And once you’ve become creatively bankrupt, the sensible thing to do is to quit.
I don’t want you to quit. That’s why I’ll share with you four simple steps to build an audience for your blog.
1. Figure out what helps you stand out.
There’s so much content out there that everything’s been blogged about five times already.
I recently wrote a post about Google’s Art and Culture project and the fact that there are over 1,200 museums you can virtually visit on their website.
Do you know how many blog posts are just like that? Even Romanian blogs, news outlets, and TV channels have shared this exact same story, in one form or another.
The goal is to add to the conversation. The goal is to be different, no matter how scary it sounds.
The goal is to get out of your comfort zone and decide what it is that helps you stand out from the crowd.
As the saying go, it’s the bottom that’s overcrowded.
Write your truth, the way you see it, no matter what. Write about the things that are different about you, your vision, your dreams and goals and aspirations.
This blog is called The Art of Blogging. It’s not called The Mechanics of Blogging, even though there is such a thing (if I were to take a more pragmatic approach to content creation and content marketing). I talk about the art and beauty of writing the kind of stuff that sets your soul on fire. That’s why it’s called the Art of Blogging.
Art is what I know best. And art is what I write about.
2. Go after readers. Constantly.
It’s not enough to publish content on your blog, share it on your social media profiles, and call it a day.
The truth is that no one will find you, unless you find them first.
People don’t stumble upon the kind of content they want. Heck. Most times they don’t even know what they want until they are presented with it.
Admit this simple fact: you blog for others to read.
Now, go find people who’d like to read what you write.
Find them on Google, if you must. Go on Facebook groups. Republish content on Medium. Interact with folks on Twitter. Comment on the most popular blogs in your niche.
If you don’t find them, they won’t come. It’s as simple as that.
3. It’s all about one reader. It’s always about one reader.
The truth is that most bloggers focus on numbers. They start a blog, they want their first hundred followers. Then they want a thousand. Then they want ten thousand.
All you need is one.
You need to focus on one. Just one. On replying to that one comment, on enjoying that one person who follows you.
Always focus on the one, on delivering the best possible experience to whoever you come into contact with.
4. Little by little, a little becomes a lot.
Blogging is 79% about momentum.
Okay, I made that statistic up, but the truth is this: the snowball effect is real.
That’s why you need to consistently publish quality content.
Building momentum turns you into an unstoppable force.
But you have to keep punching those damn keys.
Even when no one seems to be reading your blog.
Even when someone left a nasty comment.
Even when you feel like giving up.
Even when it feels like nothing’s working.
Let me tell you another secret: you will exert so much effort your first follower that you’ll likely feel like it’s not worth it.
It is worth it.
From 0 to 100, that’s the toughest battle you’ll find.
It gets easier as you grow your audience.
It is what it is. The hardest battles have to be fought right in the start.
You just have to keep punching those damn keys. Be consistent until you build some momentum, until you become a force to be reckoned with.
Think of building an audience as being a door-to-door salesman. You’ve not only got to keep the same enthusiasm knocking on door number 50 as you did when you knocked on the first door, but you’ve got to change strategies, the way you deliver your pitch, and adapt to whoever is behind that door.
Also, you should keep in mind that sometimes the previous 49 people are not going to open their doors to you.
But the 50th person does not know that.
How you treat that 50th person, even though everyone rejected you, will determine whether you’re successful in building an audience or not.