The modern reader is complicated — and fascinating. They don’t merely want you to provide them value; they want you to actively and genuinely pursue building a relationship with them. They want to be engaged with, not persuaded. They want to feel like you’re invested in their success. They’re smart enough to understand that you not a saint, but they could never trust a sinner.
At the same time, the modern reader is kind of busy… and kind of lazy.
Most blogging niches are both overcrowded and ultra-saturated. The most lucrative of them are also ultra-competitive.
In other words, there are more bloggers than ever, publishing more content than ever, with a small percentage of them providing readers with all the high-quality content they’ll ever need.
Because of all these factors, readers are far more reluctant to subscribe to your email newsletter. They just don’t want more spam in their inbox. They won’t follow you on social media, for fear of a cluttered newsfeed.
At the same time, the information overload we’re now experiencing ensures that the urge to explore that defined the early days of blogging is all but gone.
Talk to any blogger who’s been around for at least a decade and ask them how their niche has changed over the past several years, and chances are they’ll mention the fact that nowadays readers are more skeptical, more knowledgeable, and have bigger expectations than ever before. And one of those expectations is that the bloggers they subscribe to should care about more than just guiding cohorts of people through a funnel.
This is how I believed growing an audience was like.
It makes sense, doesn’t it?
Consistently provide value by frequently publishing new content, trying to convert as many people as possible.
But this model no longer works since millions of other bloggers are trying to do the same thing.
Kevin Kelly, co-founder of Wired magazine, wrote a great article titled 1,000 True Fans. He argued that:
“A creator, such as an artist, musician, photographer, craftsperson, performer, or author — in other words, anyone producing works of art — needs to acquire only 1,000 True Fans to make a living.”
Kelly defined a true fan as anyone willing to purchase anything that you produce.
But turning a stranger into a true fan cannot be done if we think of our growth process (and all the strategies we deploy) as part of a funnel.
The vast majority of bloggers want to grow their audience, and they often mistakenly deploy funnels with the vague hope of attracting as many people as possible across a multitude of platforms.
At the Art of Blogging, we strenuously believe there is a better way to grow one’s audience.
If you really want to grow your audience, you need to understand that the mechanics of growth have become more complex than ever before, and readers far more sophisticated, and the world is so interconnected, that only the bloggers who are invested in building genuine relationships with their readers will manage to drive word of mouth and actually grow.
The true fans aren’t just worth it if you plan to monetize your blog. The true fans often become promoters, accelerating your growth tenfold.
What Is the Perpetuum Mobile Framework?
By definition, a perpetual motion machine is one that can work infinitely without an external input of energy.
Of course, such a machine cannot exist, as it would violate either the first or second law of thermodynamics or both.
But we can get quite close if only we aim to design a system that’s as efficient as possible.
This is what our framework is all about.
Thinking about creating an efficient system will help you better design systems and strategies to attract more readers and drive positive word of mouth, because, let’s face it, hacks and shortcuts don’t work in an ultra-competitive ecosystem.
In other words, you are not trying to design a funnel that requires a constant input of energy, time, and money, but you are trying to create a machine that’s as efficient as possible.
“I made a decision to write for my readers, not to try to find more readers for my writing.”
When you begin to think in those terms, you will invest most of your resources not in converting first-time visitors into subscribers but in turning existing readers into advocates.
This changes everything, and it will influence, for instance, your decision to invest in a referral system for your email newsletter, launching an affiliate program, or hosting live workshops and webinars.
The Four Phases
There are four main stages of the framework that form the foundation of every single growth strategy, no matter the platform.
For instance, in the attract stage, you attract first-time visitors (on your blog, social media profiles) by offering them value in the form of the content you share.
In the engage stage, you focus on building relationships. As opposed to a funnel, success is measured by the quality of your engagements, not the number of new subscribers.
During the support stage, you help and empower your readers to reach their goals. Their success is your success. For instance, you can host live events and workshops or offer one-on-one coaching.
In the four and final stage, you make it easy for people to promote your brand (blog, social media channels, newsletter, products, etc.). This includes running a referral program, special promotions, ambassador programs, and deploying calls to action to get people to spread the word.
If you’re ready to grow your audience, our bestselling course, From 0 to 5,000 Readers in 6 Months, provides you with the tools you need to turn first-time visitors into true fans and promoters.
Our course is (no false modesty here) the most comprehensive blueprint ever built for the purpose of growing a blog’s audience. And by combining cutting edge strategies and frameworks, lifetime access to a private community of ambitious bloggers, and ongoing support through live workshops, our course is your best bet of building a genuine tribe of loyal readers.
If you’re interested in enrolling, all you have to do is click here.