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Building an Audience – How to Gain Readers

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We’ve talked a lot about how important it is to have content for your site or leading back to your site. There are so many different type of content and so many benefits.  That’s all well and good, but you may be wondering, “But how do I get people to read this content in the first place?” Gaining readership is no small task, but it’s far from impossible. Once you get on the right track and figure out the methods that work best for you, readership can snowball, which in this case is a wonderful thing.

In this article, we’re going to look at a few of the ways you can start gaining readership for your blog. Let’s get started.

Consider Personas

There are two types of personas to think about, content and brand. A content persona is the idea of whom you are writing to, who your reader is. Creating content personas helps you get laser focused on the wants and needs of your audience, which in turn helps you figure out what type of content is going to appeal the most to them.

A brand persona is the identity your company takes, almost like its personification. Is it fun? Serious? Quirky? Nailing down who you are as a brand helps you figure out who you are writing to, which will help you create content personas, which will improve your content.

How does this help you gain readers? In theory, people visit your blog to gain knowledge on things in your industry or for entertainment. By focusing on who you are and the personas you’re writing to, you’ll find that having content specific to that (as opposed to over-generalized content) is what’s going to pull people in. They don’t want anything vague or disjointed. They want answers. If you know the questions they’ll probably ask, you can give them those answers.

Invest in Quality Content

We’ll keep this brief, because we know you know it’s important to have quality content. However, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to drive the point home. Quality content is what’s going to keep people reading. They’ll click so fast out of your blog if they see typos, inaccuracies, and/or a boatload of links that it’ll make your head spin.

Your content needs to be well written, either by you or by a great freelancer you find yourself or from an agency.  It needs to have a smooth flow, be easy to read but still authoritative, and be informative. Great content is the foundation on which you’ll build so many of your marketing efforts. Don’t cut corners.

Your content should also be easy to navigate to. Bad website design is an even quicker turn-off than bad content.

Link to Great Blogs

Show your readers you are making the most of your content and giving the readers what they are looking for by linking to relevant blogs where they can find even more information on the topic they’re reading. By doing this, you’re creating a truly helpful piece of content. It’s something people may go back to for reference, or may share with their friends who have similar interests.

Another positive of linking to some other great blogs is that, granted you have that quality content we talked about, those blogs might end up linking back to you. These are mutually beneficial relationships you’re creating, essentially helping each other gain readership. You’re also doing a legitimate service to your readers, as you’re opening them up to more information on topics they’re interested in.

This all being said, don’t start linking to every blog you find. Be selective. You want blogs with authority and accuracy. Linking to a spammy and low-quality blog may only push your current readers away.

Engage, Engage, Engage

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Image via Flickr by Visual Content

Engage in the comments section of your blog. Engage in the comments section of other blogs. Engage on social media. Being a part of the conversation in a positive way is a simple way to get your name out there and to get people curious about you and what you have to say.

One of the biggest keys to engaging on other blogs and social media accounts for other blogs/companies is to be sincere. Only share information that’s useful, and talk about what you’re truly interested in. It’s obvious when someone is having a meaningful discussion and when someone’s just trying to get their name out there. Of course you should leave your blog address at some point in the conversation when it seems necessary, as people will be curious who is commenting, but don’t shove it down people’s throats.

Another important thing to remember is to keep discourse positive and helpful. Don’t get dragged into heated discussions and start getting heated yourself.

Capture Emails

We’re going to preface this by saying this tactic should be done as minimally invasive as possible. Limit the amount of times a pop-up asks for an email address, and use cookies so the same pop-up doesn’t hound people who’ve been there before each time.

Capturing emails is a solid way to bring in an audience. Put those emails in your newsletter subscription list, and let your content speak for itself. If the readers find it useful, chances are they’ll go to your blog through your newsletter and avoid that unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email.

When you’re trying to capture the email in the first place, consider offering an incentive for doing so, such as a discount, a free ebook, or a trial run of the service you provide. Incentive is a powerful thing. Use it to your advantage.

As you see, there are many different ways to gain and build readership for your blog. These are only a few of the many ways out there. Don’t stick with just one. Use as many as you can and you’ll reap the rewards. More readers means more traffic to your site means more sales. Don’t give up.

About the author

Courtni Casanova