Do you have a goal for your blog’s subscriber count? An amount you are aiming for a certain number of blog followers by year’s end?
I did. After starting my email list in June this year, I wanted to reach 500 subscribers by December 31.
Currently I’m at 1,832.
The following days saw my traffic up by 1000%. Over a month later and it is still more than 300% up. My email subscriber rate soared and has more than tripled. As have my RSS subscribers. All thanks to one paragraph of praise by a very well-respected blogger in my niche.
The way to get 1500 new subscribers in three weeks? Simple – get mentioned on one of the big blogs in your niche.
How to increase chances of that actually happening?
Well, that too, is simple. Spend time on each of the following four steps, and you will see your sphere of influence broaden, your fanbase grow and your content improve out of sight.
It’s not easy, but it is simple.
1. Build Relationships with Leaders and Readers
First and foremost, you need to connect.
Connect with the influencers in your niche.
And by connect, I mean ask yourself what you could do for them, with no reciprocation expected. These leaders want the same thing you do – more readers, more subscribers, an army of devoted fans. Help them get that and learn now to network effectively. To begin with:
- Tweet their latest posts
- Spread word of their newsletter
- Become an affiliate for their products
- Link to them in one of your excellent posts
- Do a wrap-up of their ten best posts
RESULT: Over time you will appear on the radar of some of these influencers. That’s all you’re trying to achieve.
Connect with your readers.
Treat them as the human beings they are. It’s easy to think of readers as numbers on our Analytics page – a total we need to manipulate into growth. But don’t lose sight of the fact that every single reader is important. Because every single human is important.
- Reply to emails
- If someone asks for help, go above and beyond to do just that
- Show your readers that you care, by creating helpful, in-depth posts from those emails (with the original reader’s permission, of course). If one reader is struggling with an issue, you can be sure there are others.
- Re-tweet their posts
- Comment on their blogs
RESULT: You are creating a community of friends and fans. You are building a small army and once numbers reach a certain point, word will spread like wildfire.
2. Create Outstanding Content
Corbett Barr is fond of telling us to write epic sh*t. All the time. He says mediocre, good and even great content is not enough these days. Your content needs to be outstanding, viral or epic to gain any real attention online.
I don’t know that my content could be regarded as epic, but I do know I have spent a great deal of time improving my writing and that has paid off – slowly, but significantly. Focus on improving your content by:
- Studying the greats – really dissect the outstanding posts from the world’s best. Look at Zen Habits, Derek Halpurn and some of Problogger’s best.
- Learning about effective copywriting from the experts. You could do worse than reading through Copyblogger’s archives.
- Practice. Write daily. Hone your blog writing skills.
As you begin to produce excellent content on a regular basis, people will start to notice. And if you spend time building relationships with leaders and influencers in your niche, then they will begin to notice too. That puts you in a wonderful position.
RESULT: Shareability, fantastic value for your readers and sticking power once you get eyes to your blog.
3. Guest Post Strategically
Annabel is a huge advocate for guest posting and I am with her 100%. In fact, a strategically placed guest post was the final piece of the puzzle for me, in getting the attention of Joshua Becker, which in turn, has skyrocketed my subscribers and readership.
What do I mean by “guest post strategically”?
Guest posting anywhere and everywhere is good. It gets your name out there, gives you practice in producing outstanding content and helps build relationships with other bloggers.
But to guest post strategically – with a particular goal in mind – is even better.
- Who are the influencers you would like to connect with?
- Where do these influencers appear online?
- What blogs do they contribute to themselves?
Once you have established the answers, make a list of blogs to target. Then spend time writing a guest post specifically tailored for that site and make it outstanding. Really, really outstanding. Pitch it and move on to the next one.
RESULT: Grab the attention of your influencers by appearing alongside them. They will be impressed with your content and you dramatically increase the likelihood of forging a relationship with them once you have something in common.
4. Rinse and Repeat
Make your efforts count by backing up and repeating this process time and time again.
RESULT: Repeated exposure to your name, your voice and your message will see you at the forefront of not only your influencers’ minds, but also your ideal audience.
Some of these efforts will be in vain, while others will pay off in ways you didn’t expect. The key takeaway is to make it as easy as possible to forge relationships with influencers and prove to them you have the skills and knowledge that makes your blog worth sharing.
Once that happens, it’s just a matter of capturing the new visitors and making raving fans of them. But that’s another post entirely…
Tell me, what’s the one action you’ve taken that’s seen the greatest increase in traffic and subscribers to your blog?
Guest post by Brooke McAlary
Brooke McAlary is a passionate writer, simple living advocate, big thinker, wife and mother. She is on a mission to help you live the simpler life you want and has created the insanely useful Slow Home BootCamp to do just that.