How to build an audience

Here’s an email I received this week:

“Dear sweet Greta,

I have finally gotten really into blogging.  Both actually remembering to post but also enjoying doing it.  So my question is, how do I get more viewers?  How do I get more people to come to my website? I know we talked about SEO and keywords once but I don’t remember much about it… that the best way to get viewers?  Is it that and something else?  I think my posts are pretty good and I’ll keep doing good ones but it helps knowing people are reading.  Any suggestions?”

Why, yes, I do!

First, watch this 3 minute TEDTalk vid that I show every single one of my clients. I frickin’ love it… and you’ll hopefully see why.[/az_column_text]

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Here are 5 key suggestions to help build your blog audience:

1. Why are you writing: write for them, not yourself

The first step to building an audience is asking yourself very seriously, what does the audience I want to attract actually want to read about? The answer may surprise you, and may not be what people say, but rather how they act or what they do. You may not know the answer to this right away, and it’s not something you should to “make up”. Ask them! Observe them! (Hint: Read #3)

2. Formatting: make yourself easy on the eyes

The first impression your blog makes matters. The visual appearance of your post is more important than the content initially. I know, that may bruise our egos a bit, since we tend to be pretty partial to our own words… but a reader will first look at your blog like a piece of visual art. If he likes what he sees he will come in for a closer look, skimming the titles and then finally reading the small print. A lot of expensive studies have proven that we like to scan a page before reading it to determine if it is “worth our time”. A long page of text without any contrasting format will often scare a reader off, no matter how great your blog post is. Adding videos, pictures, and breaking an article up into headings, subtitles and lists will help a reader get the gist of your story easily.

Check out my blog post on “7 killer steps you can do to make your blog post get read” for more on this.

3. SEO & keywords: it’s matchmaking heaven

Check out this example:

I own a home in Portland. My dishwasher breaks. I need it fixed. I go to my computer, open to Google Search and type into the search field: “Best dishwasher repair in Portland.”  I’m busy, so I scan the first few results at the top of the Google search page , deciding which one looks like the best from its listing. I click on a title that looks promising… which lands me on the website of a local repair shop. I check out their pricing page, maybe their expertise and testimonials. I get their contact phone number and call to schedule my repair.

Google plays a trusted matchmaker, matching the words “best”, “dishwasher”, “repair” and “Portland” with websites that include those words “best”, “dishwasher”, “repair” and “Portland.” So, as a local business wanting to attract a specific audience, a website BETTER MAKE SURE IT PROMINENTLY INCLUDES THE MOST OBVIOUS SEARCH WORDS, right? Otherwise, how will people who might love reading your blog ever know about you?

When you are writing a blog post, you have a unique opportunity to consciously think about the words you are using. Again, asking yourself, “Who needs this information? Who cares about I am writing? What is the message I want to convey?” What words or phrases might your audience type into Google search? Make sure you include those words – exactly – throughout the body of your post.

There is a reason I’ve titled this blog post, as I suspect those I’d like to reach might want to know, “How do I get more people on my website?” “How do you build an audience?” I made sure to include key words and phrases like “seo help,” “seo & keywords,” all the while keeping the integrity of the article so my message doesn’t get lost.

4. Stats & Analytics: embrace your inner geek

Successful blogging isn’t a guessing game. You’ll know if your blog post is getting read by actually looking at your analytics on Google, or looking at your reports on Facebook or Mailchimp (or whoever you send emails through). How many people opened your latest newsletter (where you invited them to read your latest blog post)? How many visitors clicked through to your blog post? Was it more or less than the one before?

Stats put the truth before you in black and white, which can either confirm your suspicions or give you surprising and powerful new insights. Either way, it’s a pro move to rely on the truth versus pouring your heart out into the darkness and wondering if anyone is noticing how brilliant your blog is!

I just sent out an email recently with a free Playbook containing exercises that can help. Did you download it? If not, it’s not too late! You can ask me to resend it to you directly, or you can download it yourself here:

5. Share like crazy: transform from a lone nut into a leader

If you haven’t watched the video above yet, watch it now to know what I’m talking about.

Simply put, don’t wait for people to come to you. You need to share the link to your blog post with everyone and their mother. Post it on Facebook and boost the post for $20. Email it to your contact list, as you’ve seen me do. Talk about it with friends and follow up with a link. You have to become your own advocate for your business and inspire folks, letting them know you have something exciting for them to read… Don’t be afraid to follow up with them and ask, “did you read my post?” If they didn’t, ask them to be honest with tell you why? This is invaluable gold to glean from your audience. Listen to them. Discover what your readers want to actually read….. which brings us back to #1.

Hope this helps, and with all my love,

Greta Rose signature[/az_column_text][az_blank_divider height_value=”50″]

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