The most common question I get asked by 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, but the bitter truth is that growing a blog, especially in the years to come, will be a bit more nuanced than that.
As more and more people become creative entrepreneurs, bloggers, and content creators, the usual avenues and tools are slowly becoming less and less effective.
Now it’s the time to develop new strategies.
Now, it’s the time to think outside the box.
Without further ado, let’s dive into the best strategies on how to grow an audience for your blog in 2021.
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1. Write blockbuster articles.
Let’s be real.
With 70 million new articles being published every single month, if you want to stand out from the crowd, you’ve got to work towards delivering the highest quality content that you can consistently produce.
That’s the definition of blockbuster articles.
In order to attract readers, you need to be able to produce content that they find valuable. To keep those readers, you need to be able to create and publish content on a regular basis.
Go above and beyond when it comes to creating content, because, as the tired cliche goes, content is still king.
Most bloggers spend an average of 3 hours writing, editing, and formatting their articles. The result? Average content. Lukewarm content. Articles that no one bothers to read because they are echoes of other articles.
If you want to stand out from the crowd, you’ve got to write each article with one goal in mind: for it to be the best article on that topic that’s available on the web.
2. Collect email subscribers by making them an offer they can’t refuse.
Email is not only the best way to consistently bring visitors and readers back to your blog, it also allows you to reach out and communicate with your audience in a more personal way.
But the days when you just had to “ask” people to join your email newsletter or offer them a 10 page leaflet as a bonus are gone.
Now, as more and more people are intent on growing their email lists, you need to stand out from the crowd and offer them something they can’t refuse. Like a real, actual eBook. Or an email course. A strong enough incentive, something they’d usually pay for, or something others in your niche are charging money for.
Platforms you can use:
3. Host Giveaways.
Hosting a giveaway is one of the best ways to grow your audience, get your current readers to like you more and make them aware of other social media platforms you might be using.
But there’s a caveat though. The trick is to offer your readers something they want. That way you are sure you’re going to attract readers from your target audience. Just like we’re doing now with our giveaway, offering people 6 months of one-on-one coaching.
Don’t just give people the new iPhone. That’s going to attract the wrong crowd, and you will be left with the numbers, but even lower engagement levels as before.
Pro-tip: add as many ways for your readers to share the giveaway, and offer them clear incentives for doing so, either by giving them more chances to win if they refer a friend or by offering them something like a free download/bonus if they share your giveaway on social media.
One platform I like to use (because of its plethora of features) is Gleam.
Download this guide for free by clicking here.
4. Create a series.
Another brilliant way to grow your audience in 2021 (and beyond) is to write a series.
Think of a TV show. Most of us are eagerly awaiting the next episode of our favorite shows to go live.
You can write episodes based around a specific topic within your niche, the way we do with our Future of Blogging series.
Focus on expanding upon your previous points, or providing more clarity for your readers, so they can better understand the topic you are writing about.
Also, make sure to build anticipation for your next episode in the series by letting your readers know what the article in question is going to be about.
5. Promote your articles on Quuu.
Quuu Promote is a platform that allows you to share your articles within a community of potential readers.
You get hundreds of shares across all social media platforms.
There are two options available: manual or automatic.
The manual option means you’ve got to submit your blog post, selecting a relevant category, and then your article gets reviewed and promoted for as long as it’s relevant.
The automatic option? They’ll automatically add new articles from your blog’s RSS feed, create 3 variations of your promotion for each social network, select relevant categories, add hashtags, the works.
The manual plan is $50/month while the automatic plan is $75/month.
If you frequently and consistently publish new content, Quuu Promote is a hassle-free way of promoting your content, and much cheaper than paying for ads to promote your articles on social media.
6. Use your email signature to promote your blog.
How many people do you e-mail on a daily basis? What about readers from your blog? E-mailing others in your niche?
Your email signature is not just there to share basic contact information, but also a way to actively grow your blog and promote your brand. It’s valuable real-estate in a world of information overload.
Including a link to your blog is a great way to gain more readers among those whom you interact with via e-mail.
You can use Hubspot’s Email Signature Generator or simply design your own.
7. Build an actual community.
Don’t just share information.
People crave it, and that’s why the online forum, one of the first types of platforms on the web, is not going anywhere anytime soon.
Build an actual community around your content, giving your readers the chance to interact with one another, ask questions, and engage with you on a one-on-one basis.
Click this link to get $150 off the Annual Business Plan.
8. Build your authority with an online course.
One surefire way of growing your audience in 2021 is by building your authority through online courses.
The truth is… those who share valuable insights about the topics within a certain niche have a better chance of building an audience.
And creating, selling, or just offering for free online courses is one of the best ways in which you can share your ideas, insights, and experience.
And, no, if video is not your thing, you can certainly build an online course by adding relevant material, quizzes, assignments, and other types of media.
The most beginner-friendly platform when it comes to online courses is Podia.
Another platform worth mentioning, and the one I use for The Art of Blogging‘s courses, is Thinkific.
Special offer: Try Thinkific’s Pro Plan for one month for free by clicking this link here.
9. Host webinars.
Another fantastic way to grow your blog is to host online webinars.
Hosting a webinar is a creative way to show your expertise and authority in your niche, while allowing your audience to see/hear you is a great tool to build trust with your readers.
There are a lot of platforms you can choose from when it comes to hosting webinars, but the ones that seem to get the most people to participate are browser based platforms, such as LiveStorm.
People don’t have to download special software, so they can join the webinar no matter where they are or on what type of device.
Another interesting option is GetResponse, which is an all in one platform: email marketing, landing pages, and webinars.
Another interesting thing about GetResponse is that it allows you to effortlessly sell access to your webinars, which is certainly a monetization option you can explore if your webinars prove to be popular enough.
If you’re looking for an all in one solution, that allows you to grow your email list, host webinars, and sell digital products, GetResponse is one of the most versatile platforms out there.
10. Curate by Missinglettr
Missinglettr is another interesting platform that stands out from the crowd. You can create campaigns based around your blog posts and then promote them across social media.
More so, through a combination of AI and Machine Learning, Missinglettr can automatically detect new blog posts, then scans your article, looking for quotes, content, and graphics that it can then share on social media.
Well, Curate is an add-on that allows you to share your blog posts with other Missinglettr users.
As the name implies, you are offering your content to be curated by others across their social media platform.
P.S. Click here to get Missinglettr today and pay only 50% for the first three months.
11. Quote, mention, and link to other bloggers in your niche.
Another great way to grow your blog in 2021 is to mention other bloggers in your articles.
The mention could be anything from including a quote by another blogger to using their story as a case study, or simply linking back to one of their articles.
This doesn’t mean you’re not an original blogger. Quite the contrary. You exhibit massive social proof and appear as someone who can successfully interpret the signs or connect seemingly unrelated dots.
So, don’t worry about letting your readers know that a particular article was inspired by another blogger within your niche, or to quote/mention other bloggers.
Also, there’s no harm in e-mailing or messaging said blogger to let them know that you’ve mentioned them in your blog post.
They could link back to you, share your post on social media, or tell you they’d like you to guest blog for them.
If that’s not a valid way to building and nurturing relationships with others within your niche, I don’t know what is.
12. Take advantage of the viral nature of infographics.
Let’s face it. Infographics, charts, and custom graphics have the viral element built in.
We are predominantly visual creatures, so we a far more likely to engage with an infographic.
13. Make social sharing of your content as effortless and easy as possible.
The more effort it takes for someone to share your content, the less likely they are to share it.
Even so, there are a lot of blogs out there that don’t enable sharing of content on all social media platforms.
If you want to grow your blog, then make sharing your content as effortless as possible for your readers.
You can also take it a step further with a plugin like SocialSnap that has a ton of features, such as click to tweet or the ability to place share buttons anywhere you want within your content.
14. Leverage social proof.
What you need to understand about social proof going in 2021, as more and more people decide to give blogging a go, is that readers will begin to spend more time looking for “proof” that your blog is worth reading and worth subscribing to before they even try to read one of your articles.
Now, if you have the numbers, you have to make it clear to them that you do have “social proof.”
But at the same time, if you do not have the numbers, you have to avoid negative proof.
This also means that you have to publish new content less frequently in order to give your most recent articles enough time for a conversation to develop in the comments section of your blog.
Because people rarely comment on older articles that have no comments. In fact, odds are they won’t even click to read those articles.
Keep in mind. Leverage social proof, while doing your best to avoid clear examples of negative social proof.
15. Take advantage of personalization.
Lastly, we’re going to include all the ways in which we can personalize the experience we provide our readers.
From personalizing the subject of our emails to live chat, responding to comments, to providing segmentation with tools such as RightMessage.
With so many blogs out there, it makes sense that the vast majority of readers want to feel some sort of connection with the authors of their favorite blogs.
They want to feel like someone’s talking to them, not just at them, not just sharing valuable knowledge, but doing so with empathy because they care.
In other words, in 2021, one of the most powerful growth strategies you can deploy when it comes to your blog is to care, because readers simply won’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
The blogging world is a constantly-changing landscape, and the ones who manage to stay at the top of the food chain are always those that are willing to experiment with new strategies and tactics.
As more and more people decide to start blogs, we must make use of all the strategies, tools, and frameworks that are made available in order to stand out from the crowd and provide our readers with a top-notch experience.
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