From Zero to Hero: How to Steadily Grow Your Blog’s Audience


Tag Archives: Content Marketing

Blog management and audience growth

From Zero to Hero: How to Steadily Grow Your Blog’s Audience

Being fun, creative and, in theory, easy to do, blogging is already established as a dream job of our generation. Practically, being a successful blogger seeks a lot of your time and it never leaves much space for creative blocks. Even if circumstances allow you to fully commit to your followers and you have no shortage of inspiration, luring more readers and growing your blog is not exactly a simplest venture. Be that as it may, in order to enthuse, engage and influence, you’ll need your blog traffic to have constant growth. Here’s how you can accomplish this ambitious goal.

Presence Seeks Uniqueness

In a modern world run by merry millennials, developing a strong online presence requires a sort of identity that an audience can identify with, get inspired by and remain frequently amused in the process. The blogging market, as you now, is a saturated one, which means that the competition is lurking behind every corner. If your readers are not particularly pleased with you, they will promptly replace you with someone else – all it takes for loyalty to weaken is one click.

All of this means that your approach will need to be innovative, original and quirky, but not only that. Content, which is the very essence of blogging, is of little significance if not presented in an attractive fashion and wrapped up in a gorgeously designed ribbon. Before even you start publishing, you should devote some of your time to devising your branding strategy.

This includes answers to several important questions like: Who I am in the blogging world? What have I got to offer that’s different? How do I want to be perceived? What audience should I lean towards? Once this becomes perfectly clear, you can start building and marketing your blog accordingly. Think carefully about your blog name, keep your style in tune with your content and start spreading the word around.

Polish Your Content

Once you’ve gathered a nice number of followers – and they will undoubtedly come with your family and friends – you’ll need to start upping your game a bit. If you’re aiming for the top, professionalism should be your main concern. You’ll need to completely devote all of your creative efforts to this goal and stay consistent in doing so. Your branding strategy will come to its first test in this step, but what you’ll really need to commit yourself to is the quality of your content.

Blog topics are various and your approach will differ depending on your chosen niche. Whether you’re running a photography or writing blog, your content will have to be polished and ready for publishing.

After catching the first wave and expressing some of your thoughts to your followers, don’t stop. In order to stay consistent and publish regularly, you’ll have to think about new material while working on the current projects. If you are writing, be sure to proofread every word in order to notice and edit potential spelling and grammar mistakes, as well as typos – if made public, these occasional slips will make you look like an amateur and this will encourage your readers move on to another tab in their browser.

Think Like Your Audience Does

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However masterful your writing skills may be, you’ll need to get a bit more into market research as well. As boring as it might sound, understanding your readers’ behavior, their needs and preferences, and the competition that will try to win them over is crucial for achieving the success you’re striving towards.

There are a couple of things you can do as a non-expert for improved audience targeting, and locating your readers through social media is always a good way to start. Popular channels offer plenty of opportunities for narrowing your search down through filters, thus allowing you to reach those interested in a specific niche or topic and advertise your blog directly to them.

Another alternative is to track your competition and start following them on social media. Since you’re in the same niche, your audience is most likely the same as well, and you can easily get a grasp of your average reader’s profile by examining theirs. This profile should and will affect your branding and marketing techniques, your blog’s virtual presentation and style, as well as your content itself.

Mingle

As can easily be deduced from the previous steps, mingling around social media is of the utmost significance for connecting with your readers and growing your traffic. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are the holy trinity of the online world, and they are followed by Pinterest and Snapchat. All of these platforms will serve you well as a way of getting to know your audience, but also as a highly suitable environment for introducing yourself to the blogging community.

So far, image-oriented networks such are Pinterest, Instagram and Snapchat have significantly improved their potential for sharing non-visual content as well, and their popularity allows writers to slightly alter their marketing approach and pitch their blogs to wider audiences. A post as simple as an engaging pic, followed up by an inviting caption, can be just intriguing enough to make your potential reader click on the link and visit your blog. Facebook and Twitter are even more advantageous for content sharing, which is something you should definitely start leveraging.

Infiltrate the Community

Social media is a perfect place not only for engaging with the receiving end – once your presence is established on these platforms, you’ll have an opportunity of connecting with your fellow writers as well. Even though the competition is fierce, most successful bloggers don’t have anything to lose, and they will gladly recommend your posts to their followers.

Research some of the influencers from your niche and approach them with a simple request – not only can they help spread the word around, but you can stumble upon new and interesting collaboration ideas and become a part of the community. Having your blog’s name written just below theirs is one of the best ways of making it perfectly clear that you’re here to stay and have every asset to support that.

Lend Your Writing Skills

If your success rates have started to sink, the time is probably right to start considering guest blogging. After all, your blogging skills and creativity of approach mean little if there’s no one to follow them – instead of sitting idle or wasting your precious time creating content that only a few of your devoted fans will see, start posting on other blogs from your niche.

Choose the ones your audience is most likely already familiar with and read frequently, and try your best to stand out. Every second reader has a habit of checking the writer’s profile after reading an inspiring blog post, and every third will actually go to your own blog and continue to visit it regularly.

Even if your blog has already started to fill up with readers impatient to hear more of your thoughts, this certainly doesn’t mean you can let your guard down. Loyalty goes both ways, and you’ll need to make your current readers feel appreciated by engaging with them, answering their demands and keeping up the good work.

If feeling left out, they will easily stop visiting. Keep your posts regular and consistent, but never stop improving. Constantly bettering your offer is the single most important way of keeping your readers happy and the most effective technique for steadily growing your audience.

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How to Justify Your Content Marketing Efforts and Prove It’s ROI

Content marketing is a long game. It’s not something that can help you become an overnight success. Sure, there are cases when a single blog post literally spread all over the Web like wildfire, but that isn’t really content marketing. This sort of marketing technique is far more than that. It covers all sorts of different aspect that bulk up your brand awareness, stimulates user engagement, and influences your customers to create more conversions on your site.

Even though this is something that every single profitable brand out there desperately wants, people still tend to have problems with making their content really work for them.

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Content marketing requires patience. It takes a lot of time before it starts to bring in fruits of your labor. How come? – Well, because this practice requires continuity. In order to turn your website into a real content hub where people will intuitively come looking for tips and answers on how to improve their business – you need to generate a constant flow of smart and compelling content on your site.

That means that you need you focus on quality and quantity, as well. You cannot just publish a new post once a month and expect from people to come running to your blog. Nope. It doesn’t really work like that. Your job here is to be omnipresent, useful, and above all – relevant.

Naturally, this sort of thing tends to take a lot of time and lot of efforts, and yet again – it doesn’t really guarantee anything. You can set up all sorts of different goals for your content, but the thing is – its influence cannot be put in real and precise numbers. Most businesses really don’t like that. They believe that time is money, and every single second that is spent on something that isn’t really increasing sales is a valuable second wasted of their company time.

Thanks to that, a lot of marketers are still facing extreme difficulties while pitching content marketing to some of their clients. Even though most businessmen get that this sort of marketing is important for their brand, thanks to content marketing’s unclear accountability and revenue generation – most decision makers tend to look at this technique as something that isn’t really a top priority for them. 

You and me both know that this a terrible way to look at content marketing.

Why Should Anyone Invest In Content Marketing If Doesn’t Guarantee Precise ROI?

Despite the fact that almost every business out there is going all out in this department as well, and it’s becoming more and difficult to get your desired audiences to acknowledge and read your material – the demand for creating new and curating old content is still exponentially growing online.

How come? – Well, because today shopper’s decisions are dependent on information they find online. They’re in constant need of more and more material that helps them understand which products are a good fit for their particular needs and which are not.

It doesn’t really matter if they’re looking for a tv, a new cell phone, clothes, some sort of a digital tool, or even a type of pastry – people turn to the Web for answers. They start browsing through thousands and thousands of search results, looking for best solutions for their questions.

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This is where content marketing comes to shine. When you really strip it down to its core, Google is nothing more than an algorithm that finds the best answers to people’s queries. If we don’t continue to create answers that feed this engine with valuable information, that it later on distributes to those who are in need of solutions – then people will stop using the Internet. It will stop being valuable to them. 

Like I already said dozens of times on this blog – if you want to sell something to people, you need to make sure that they understand what exactly are you offering to them, how it works, and why should they even consider paying for your products and services.

Nine out of ten people won’t buy something just because it looks pretty. No, they need much more from you and your business. They need to be charmed and impressed. They need to clearly see how a certain product or services will influence their life for the better.

We live in a time and age where every single business entity is obligated to invest in marketing. But, unlike our grandfathers, we cannot solely get by producing generic ads and posters that ask people to visit our store or buy something from us. Nope. Those days are long gone, my friend. Today, your marketing needs to be smart, sharp, and subtle.

You cannot just aggressively stalk people around the Web and force your message down their throats until they finally cave and buy something from you. No. You have to be smarter than that. The only marketing that really works today is the one that subtly feeds its targeted crowd with information that influences their judgment.

People don’t want to lose control. That’s why you need to develop an approach that lets them see the value of your work and come up with the decision to give your business a go on their own terms of course.

That’s why it’s important that we, as individuals who are dependent on information, look at content marketing as something that is of crucial importance for our brand, and not just a luxury.

But Where’s The Money? How to Measure Success?

Even though content marketing is a long game and it tends to affect your brand on all sorts of different levels that are not really that easy to single out, in a way, some aspects of it still can be precisely measured, and thus – used to determine if your efforts are successful or not in this department.

If you set up your analytics right and learn how to read your data, you can clearly see and judge the performance of your content assets. You can identify your best-performing campaigns from a revenue perspective and you can even single out which post stimulated which sale or conversion.

It doesn’t really matter if you focus on landing pages, emails, images, blog posts, or videos – the influence of every type of content can be tracked and measured to the very last click or cent. Content marketing is nothing without data. It’s what help us see what’s working, what’s not, and what we need to tweak in our approach in order to improve our conversion rates.

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But, in order to track the success of your content, you must first sync with your sales funnel. You must create all types of different content that influence your site visitors in every stage of your buyer’s cycle. Next to that, you must make sure that every single one your content pieces is backed by intelligent CTAs that offer your targeted users a chance to make organically go for the conversion after or during a certain exposure to your content.

When calculating the ROI of my content marketing efforts, I usually take three different stages into consideration:

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Direct return: Where the complete credit to a certain sale goes to a particular piece of content or campaign.

Second chance: Where the credit to certain sale goes to more than one piece of content or campaign.

Collective effort: Where the credit for a certain sale is evenly spread among the various type of content throughout my sales funnel

Why do I keep track of such things? – Well, because following up on metrics like which post is converting best, which topics and types of content spark the most engagement, which one is generating the biggest number of clicks, time spent per post, etc. – I drawing a clear picture for myself and my employers what we need to do in order to grow our ROI in this department even more.

I hope this post helped you understand your content marketing efforts and how to look for ROI that you can use to encourage your employees to keep on investing in content marketing.

That’s it for now. If you have anything to ask or add – feel free to write your thoughts in the comments section below!

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