Starting a blog is one of the easiest aspects of the blogging business. However, once a blog is established, there is real work to be done in order to grow your blog into a worthwhile online destination.
Getting an audience to your blog will be a challenge. But if you observe what many of the more successful bloggers out there are doing, and adopt some of the best practices, you’ll be sure to gain some traction if you stick to your plan. We realize every method won’t always work for every blogger but you should be able to compose your own plan for growing your blog based off some of the most popular proven methods.
#1 – Provide Easy Opt-In
Readers are more likely to opt-in to your mailing list if it’s really easy. The sidebar is a great location for an opt-in form as is placing an opt-in form at the bottom of each of your posts. Therefore, when a reader finishes reading your post they can easily subscribe to receive your latest updates. Make the form simple so that users can subscribe quickly without having to provide a lot of personal information. Most importantly, never sell your lists to others. Would you this to happen to your own information?
While many websites use annoying pop up windows, I’d personally never advocate for this tactic as many users (including myself) consider it to be pretty obnoxious. This turns many readers off and can actually hurt your blog. Consider adding opt-in forms in different areas of your blog.
#2 – Incorporate Video Posts
Instead of the typical written post with a picture here or there consider doing video posts. Its a known fact that people prefer to watch than read. Camera shy? No problem. The best part about this method of growing your blog is that you don’t have to be on the video to use this medium to your advantage. Create the video using slides, pictures, yourself talking, subtitles or whatever way you prefer.
To gauge the impact of video vs text posts, use the content drilldown area within Google Analytics to measure total traffic and landing page activity for the video posts vs text posts. If the difference is meaningful, you’ll have your answer.
#3 – Free Offers
Providing your readers a free offer when they opt-in to your list is a great method to grow your blog. People love free stuff and online freebies are no exception to this rule. Many bloggers offer a free e-course or eBook that they personally wrote just for their readers. Doing this can help you in more ways than just growing your blog. It can also help build trust between you and the readers, in addition to building your credibility. When a new subscriber learns that you do have experience and knowledge in your niche, they will feel more confident about following you whether it’s via RSS, social media, as a subscriber, etc.
People want valuable but solid, trusting information. If you can’t provide this you won’t be successful in growing your blog. Not comfortable creating a product? Have someone do it for you or partner with a related blog and create something together. Of course this only applies to established blogs whom you have a current professional relationship with. Other powerful opt-in incentives include free reports, free article about your blog or service/product you offer, free download, and many more. The options really are limitless if you use your imagination and consider what the people want.
In order to grow your blog you need to give the readers what they want; valuable, reputable information. Put yourself in a reader’s shoes and think about what you want to see when visiting your blog. Maybe you need more articles on a certain subject in your niche, or your content is lacking in terms of having a “call-to-action” or lacks the means to engage the reader. Try out new methods to grow your blog to determine which works the best for you. Your readers will also thank you!