When people sign up for my email list, the first email that goes out asks them what they’re struggling with in their blog.
And one of the most common things they tell me is that they struggle with attracting loyal readers.
It’s one thing to get blog traffic and quite another to get quality traffic – people who are in your ideal audience, and who sign up for your email list and become fans of your blog.
In my 5+ years as a blogger, I’ve learned a lot about what draws a hungry audience to my blog.
These 17 strategies have all proven to be golden.
(Make sure you scroll to the end of the post to download your free eBook on “Blog Writing Magic” that will go into more depth on this subject)
Create Great Content
1. Epic posts
Epic posts are the backbone of your blog. They are the posts that you become known for and that readers come back to again and again.
Epic posts help your readers with their most pressing pain points. They are typically longer than other posts and contain a whole lot of your knowledge.
For examples of epic posts, check out these:
2. How-to posts
How-to posts are a great way to bring value to your readers. They offer clear, step by step instructions for achieving a specific transformation.
When readers get a quick win from your how-to posts, they start to trust you. And trusting readers are loyal readers.
Here are some examples of great How-to posts:
3. List posts
5 Reasons I love list posts:
- Having a number in your headline inspires curiosity.
- You can link out to blogs you respect and build relationships with other bloggers.
- They’re a great way to share a lot of value. (Like in this post, for example.)
- You can do list posts in which you curate other content, thereby leaving less writing for yourself. (That’s a win in my book!)
- List posts get more shares and traffic. Who doesn’t want more of that?
4. Share your story
Your readers will come back again and again when they feel like they know you. The best way to accomplish that is by sharing your story. In this recent post, I shared about my blogging journey – something I don’t often write about. It was one of my best-received posts!
5. Write Great Headlines
No matter how great your content is, no one will see it unless you write great headlines. Your headline is what determines whether a reader stops by to check out your blog or not.
For a great resource on headlines, check out Jon Morrow’s Headline Hacks.
Also, try out the Coschedule Headline Analyzer. It’s a fun and free tool that will help you improve your headlines.
6. Optimize for SEO
Search engine optimization isn’t as daunting or as scary as it sounds. To start out, install the Yoast SEO plugin on your WordPress blog. It will help you optimize each blog post for SEO without leaving the post screen.
For more great advice on SEO and blog traffic, check out my friend, Brian Deans’ blog, Backlinko.
7. Guest post on blogs with a similar readership to your own
When new bloggers ask me how many times they should post per week, I always recommend that they start out by posting on their own blog twice a month and guest posting twice a month.
When you’re just starting your blog, you have a very small audience. The best way to get more eyes on your blog is by writing high-quality guest posts for bloggers with larger audiences than your own.
8. Comment on other blogs every day
Blog commenting not only helps you build relationships with other bloggers (who then come and check out your blog), it also builds back links to your blog, which is great for SEO.
When you comment on other blogs, follow these rules of engagement:
1. Comment on blogs in the same niche as yours (that way you’ll have higher quality back links.)
2. Leave a thoughtful comment that adds to the conversation and creates engagement.
3. If you are commenting on a popular blogger’s post, try to be one of the first to do so. Subscribe to Google Alerts so that you know when they publish a new post.
9. Get on Slideshare.net
Slideshare is a great place to share a different type of content with your readers. Over 70 million people use SlideShare, but most bloggers aren’t leveraging it to their benefit.
My Slideshare deck (below) has received over 90k views over the past year.
If you’ve written a highly engaging blog post, put it on SlideShare and find new readers for your blog.
10. Use social media (with caution)
I don’t believe in spending a ton of time on social media.
However, if you choose 1 or 2 social media platforms to become an expert on, and then spend all of your social media time there, it can pay off big time.
11. Install Social Warfare on your blog
Social Warfare is the best social media sharing plugin I’ve found for WordPress. You can make the buttons match your blog colors and it loads super fast. Check out Social Warfare here.
But the best thing, you put in several images per post and they are always the right size for each social media channel. Go ahead – share this post on Pinterest and see! Go ahead – I'll wait 🙂
Build Relationships with Other Bloggers
12. Publish roundup posts
Roundup posts (like the one on social media above) brings tons of new traffic to your blog because the bloggers you feature will often share your post with their audience.
My client Gareth Jones went from 5–10 visitors per day to 5k in one week when he published a roundup post on his blog. They really work.
13. Emailing your favorite bloggers and connecting with them through email
Another great way to build connections is to directly email your favorite bloggers. You can usually use this format for their email: firstname.lastname@example.org. For example, my email address is email@example.com.
Of course, you don’t want to email a blogger cold. First, leave some thoughtful comments on their blog. Then reach out and connect through email and ask if you can include them in a roundup post.
14. Do joint webinars with other bloggers in a complementary niche
A great way to grow your audience is to join forces with another blogger and do a joint webinar. You can do a webinar for their audience and have them do one for yours, as well.
You will offer greater value to your audience and get in front of new people at the same time.
15. Start a mastermind group
We get together on GoToMeeting every month and talk about what we’re working on in our blogs and businesses. It’s been a great way to grow my business and to get great advice from people I respect.
Start your own mastermind group by reaching out to people you meet in Facebook groups, or join a paid one led by an influencer.
16. Build relationships with course creators
Whenever I take an online course, I make it a point to build a real relationship with the course creator. For example, I took Tara Gentile’s course, Connect to Sell, and then afterward, I reached out to her and asked her to do a guest post for me.
Because I had already built a relationship with Tara in the course by showing up for the live calls and asking lots of questions, she was happy to guest post for me.
The next time you take an online course, taking the extra step of getting to know the course creator is gold. It’s an excellent way of getting more connected online and finding new ways to grow your audience.
17. Make valuable connections between other people
I absolutely love connecting people. It’s one of the perks of being my client – I always make valuable connections between people whom I think could benefit from knowing each other.
How does that benefit me? Well, I’ve just provided extra value for my friends and colleagues and strengthened my relationships in the process.
When you help people make valuable connections, you will create not just loyal readers, but loyal friends as well.
Attracting loyal readers is really easy when you know the right steps to make it happen. By creating epic content, being everywhere, and networking in the right places, you will attract more of the right readers to your blog.
By creating epic content, being everywhere, and networking in the right places, you will attract more of the right readers to your blog.