As writers start out developing their online presence I often get asked about how they will attract people to their website or blog. What you should understand from the start is to expect organic growth. Those blogs or websites you see with thousands plus followers weren’t always like that. They too started small. In the digital world there’s rarely overnight success, just a lot of hard graft.
Picking the right topic and having a great writing style all helps, as does sticking at it. Persistence, like so many other things in life, is crucial. And there are some elements that will aid you on your blogging journey.
5 ways to attract followers
1. Who are you writing for?
Do you know the audience you are writing for? Understanding this group of people is essential and honing it down to one individual is crucial. Each time you write you should be writing to that one person that you know inside and out. That way the person reading the blog feels it is written just for them, you are creating a one to one communication with them. It’s worth spending some time developing your avatar (the figure that represents your ideal customer), building an in-depth picture of them so you really know who you are talking to each time. More details on creating an avatar can be found in our blog post 5 steps to connecting to your ideal client
To do: If you haven’t already take the time to develop your avatar.
2. What do your readers want to know about?
Once you have identified who you readers are it will be easier to assess the type of information they need. Are there any particular problems or issues that need addressing that you can provide a solution to. The idea is to concentrate on demonstrating how you can help them rather than shoving your views down their throat. And while controversy has its place be careful when writing about controversial issues. Most blog writers set themselves up as the expert in a particular field and they show this by writing about topics their readers want more information on, such as subject matters that can help them in their business or personal life, for example.
To do: Having identified your avatar draw up a list of topics you can write about, offering solutions to their problems.
3. Focus on one topic at a time
The phrase ‘Keep it Simple’ has never been more pertinent than in blog writing. Each of your blogs should concentrate on one particular issue and your solution to that problem. In today’s crowded digital world it’s difficult to maintain readers if you go beyond that. This isn’t the place for complex theorising that involves an intricate web of different topics. Remember to incorporate key words or phrases that you know your readers will use when searching for answers on the internet. Don’t force the issue, otherwise the Google bots will pick this up and rank your blog lower, but include naturally within your sentences. You can see what words and phrases are popular within your sector by using Google’s Keyword Planner.
To do: Check to see which keywords to include in your writing to help people find your blog.
4. Write regularly
Get in the habit from day one to provide readers with a regular output of information. Choose a frequency, weekly, fortnightly or monthly when you’re starting out and stick to that routine. Once your blog posts start attracting followers they will expect more information at the same time. If you don’t deliver they will soon find somewhere else to go. And regular updates also helps with your ranking in Google search, the algorithm noting how regularly new information is updated on your site.
To do: Check your schedule and diarise when you will be researching and writing you blogs for the next 3 months.
5. Promote on social media
Once your blog is up and running and you have a fair amount of published posts it’s time to tell the world. Choose the relevant social media site where your followers are hanging out, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram (going back to the work you carried out on developing your avatar) and set up your presence there. Don’t forget social media is all about engaging and interacting with people so find ways to share information and detail potential solutions to pertinent issues, including a link back to your blog posts when relevant.
To do: Pick the best social media channel for you and start engaging.
The digital world is a crowded place and you need to work hard to get heard and recognised as an expert. Build up a volume of posts, concentrating on quality, highly sought after information, that your readers want to learn more about. Start implementing these elements and monitor the impact. Assess what works and what doesn’t and refine accordingly. Over time you should notice the difference.