According to a recent study, the #1 struggle facing bloggers is growing their audience.
Now - I’m no Pat Flynn, but I have managed to accumulate a combined social following of 20,000+ folks and make a full time living off of my creative business for the past several years.
So today, I’m sharing 5 simple strategies that you can take to grow your blog audience.
01. "Warm Leads”
Is it just me, or is something about the phrase “warm leads” a little creepy? Lol, but for real: It’s time to create a funnel for new email subscribers!
If you’re like me, this has been on your todo list for a few weeks. One of those “I know I should but I also have a bajillion other things going on, so I’ll put it off till next week”. No more procrastinating!
You can keep it simple and tweak down the road. Because sending a few emails after someone signs up for your list helps develop a relationship with your reader. And having a genuine relationship with your reader means you don't have to feel spammy when you pitch your products!
Plus, depending on your newsletter schedule, it keeps the reader engaged with your brand on autopilot.
In one of those emails, consider asking for a referral.
Here’s the thing: people WANT to see you succeed (I mean sure, there’s always bad apples) but for the most part - you are providing helpful, valuable content to your readers and they want to be a part of what you’re building. Think of some of your favorite creatives that you support!
As one of your “drip” emails, ASK for a referral.
Make it easy and choose ONE ask, such as a click to tweet OR an email forward to their friends. (Too many call to actions = taking no action).
You can take this to the next level by offering referral rewards.
(Provide a coupon code for one of your products if someone shares your blog/freebie).
When it comes to referrals/affiliates, I like to make it a win-win-win.
For example, create a "give $10, get $10" type of deal. That way, YOU get a new customer, the new customer gets $10 off AND you reward your existing customer with $10. WIN WIN WIN!
Your deal should be commiserate with the offering, I'm using $10 as the example but if it's a $1000 course, up the ante a bit!
02. Pirate an Audience
Heh...I just wanted a fun headline, this doesn't have to be sinister ☠
Here's just a couple ideas of how you can do this:
- Guest post
- Land interviews (on blogs, podcasts)
- Host a joint webinar
- Get an Instagram feature
This way you can share your juicy content with a brand new (but similar) audience. This harnesses that “word of mouth” GOLD (continuing the pirate metaphor here).
Essentially, you are utilizing that "know, like and trust" factor that has already been established with that audience.
I hope it goes without saying, but you want to REALLY provide your best content here!
You know what would be fun? Try an Instagram stories swap. Partner up with a blogger in a similar niche and take over each other's Instagram stories for the day -sharing a “day in the life” and helpful tips.
03. Provide Free Samples
If the cheese section is giving out free samples, you better watch out because I WILL come in like a wrecking ball.
Since there's SO MANY cheese options, getting a little taste increases the possibility of purchasing this free sample cheese by 100000%.
So, do your audience (and yourself) a favor- and give em’ the cheese.
Here’s a couple ideas:
- Give a free chapter to your ebook - this is a great opt-in opportunity! Instead of just a PDF chapter, give an audio recording of the first chapter? Makes it more personal.
- If you have a course, give away a video, or even a free “module”. You could create a whole sales funnel around that freebie. People are going to work through that free material and want the rest of the steps so they can really get the full results.
- Link to blog archives - okay not exactly a sneak preview, but this is such an easy way to provide a gold mine of content to your readership, especially if you’ve been blogging for several months.
These “free samples” provide transparency with your content so that people know what they are about to purchase from you. It’s all about breaking down those barriers.
04. Utilize Pinterest
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Implementing a Pinterest strategy is THE BEST and FASTEST way to get a surge of traffic onto your website and grow your audience.
- Join group boards & post your blogs to them ← easiest way to expand your audience overnight.
- Schedule pins throughout the day. Easy to stay active and reach a variety of people.
- “Loop” pins utilizing Board booster - smart way to repurpose existing content.
RELATED: Free Webinar 3 Essential Pinterest Strategies That will Rapidly Grow Your Traffic + Email List.
05. Follow-up with Inactive Users
One of the simplest ways to grow your audience? Reach out to the people that are already hanging around.
The great thing about building your email list, is that there are SO MANY tools to analyze your list "activity". Who’s opening? Who’s clicking? And importantly, who’s not!?
Did someone sign up to your email list, but never open your freebie email? Send a follow up email - “Hey you, don’t forget about your free video course!”
Did someone stop opening your emails entirely? Maybe you’re landing in their spam?
Send an email individually instead of just doing a campaign. Ask what their struggles are, or offer to review their homepage. There’s lots of ways you can help people, just gotta get creative!
And helping people = the most effective way to grow your audience (in the short AND long term).
- Warm up your leads
- Pirate an audience (In a non sinister way, of course)
- Give free cheese! I mean, sneak peeks!
- Implement a killer Pinterest strategy (start by watching this awesome Webinar)
- Follow-up with inactive users