How to Understand and Grow Your Blog Audience
Growing your blog’s audience is a vital step in positioning your brand as an expert in your industry, reaching more people, and building your brand. There are lots of ways you can grab a few more readers here and there, but what does consistently growing your audience look like?
Here, we’ve put together a selection of highly actionable tips you can put into play right away to get to know your audience and serve them better. As a result, you’ll get more eyeballs on your posts and grow your blog’s readership.
Create Reader Personas
Understanding who you’re blogging for is crucial for creating content your audience actually wants to read. In short, a reader persona is a profile of a typical reader on your site, including their pain points, struggles, dreams, and goals.
Personas like this go much deeper than simple demographic information, like age and location. Instead, they dig into the psychographic tendencies of your readers. This includes things like:
- Their biggest struggle right now
- What problem they need a solution for
- How they like to consume content
- What their goals are and how your brand can help them get there
- What expectations they have from your blog and the information they want to get from it
Networking increases your blog’s readership and helps you better understand your audience. The more active you are in your community, the more visibility your brand is going to have and the more conversations you’ll get to see unfold. These will give you unique insights into what your audience wants and needs from you.
Start by joining relevant Facebook and LinkedIn groups or dedicated communities in your niche. Listen to what members are talking about, look out for the key questions they raise, and notice any patterns in topics.
Get involved in the conversation, too. The more you share your expertise and knowledge, the more people are going to want to check out your blog – and voila! – more readers.
Growing an email list is an important part of growing your blog’s audience. Having a list of people who actively want you to reach out to them in their inboxes is invaluable, and it provides you with a way to connect with them outside of your blog.
Lead magnets are downloadable pieces of content that you share with readers in exchange for their email addresses. Not only do they build your list (because who doesn’t want a juicy piece of content delivered directly to their inbox?), but they also give you a chance to understand your audience better.
For example, if you have a lead magnet about email marketing and one about SEO but more people download the email marketing one, you know that your audience is probably more interested in that topic.
You can use this information to fuel your content strategy going forward and ensure you’re creating content that your audience wants.
Ask Your Audience
It sounds so simple, but asking your audience what they want is a really powerful way to get information “straight from the horse’s mouth”. Understanding your readers on a deeper level like this will help you focus your future efforts and attract more readers.
There are plenty of ways you can reach out to your audience and ask them what they want. Start by:
- Creating a survey or poll
- Asking questions on social media
- Sending an email to your list encouraging readers to respond
Keyword Research and SEO
Understanding what your audience search for is vital for planning the kind of blog content you’re going to publish.
Use a keyword research tool to find relevant keywords and phrases that are well-searched in your industry and use these as a guide for content creation. For example, if you offer a time management tool, you might discover that “time management tips” and “how to save time” are well-searched terms in that area.
From there, you can build out pieces of content around these topics that you know are relevant and needed by your audience.
Implementing the keywords in choice places within the post (like the meta description and headers) will push your post up the search engines and attract more visitors via that avenue.
Check Out Your Competitors
Who are your biggest competitors? What are they doing for their audience? If you don’t have a big audience already and are struggling to find out what your readers want because of that, check out what your competitors are doing.
These brands will already have established audiences and have published ample amounts of content. Start by identifying any patterns in the topics they share and look for popular blog posts that have a high social share count.
Don’t base your entire blog strategy around your competitors, though. Instead, use it as inspiration and a springboard for your own ideas.
Measure and Tweak
Regularly check-in and see how your posts are doing. Dig into your website analytics to determine which posts are the most popular and consider creating more content around those topics.
You might find that you have one post that performs particularly well on social media, but another post ranks high in search engines and therefore brings lots of traffic in that way. Don’t just look at visitor numbers either; check out the bounce rate of each blog post and the conversion rates too.
Grow Your Blog Audience Today
Growing your blog’s audience doesn’t have to be painful. In fact, using these techniques also helps you get to know your readers which can be really fun and useful. Once you know exactly what your readers want from you, you’re much better positioned to create content they love over and over again.
Vice President of Strategy and Marketing Services
From legacy Fortune 100 institutions to inventive start-ups, Ryan brings extensive experience with a wide range of B2B clients. He skillfully architects and manages the delivery of integrated marketing programs, and believes strongly in strategy, not just tactics, that effectively aligns sales and marketing teams within organizations