Does this sound like you or someone you know?
“I’ve been writing on my blog for a year now and only have 32 followers. …and 14 of them are my family.”
“I write on my blog 3x a week but people who find my blog don’t stay!”
“Why does nobody leave a comment on my blog? It’s like a ghost town around here!”
It’s true that blogging can help you make money, build an online community, and grow a base of fans who can’t wait to hear the brilliant things you have to say.
It’s also true that most of us fail dismally at growing our blogs.
If you feel like you’re fighting an uphill battle, I have good news for you: over the next three posts, I’m going to share with you three strategies I used to grow my own mailing list, and to go from square one to a vibrant community full of engaged readers in just three months.
So let’s jump right in and learn about…
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen the advice,
“Just blog about what you love!”
“If you have enough passion, people will see that and want to be part of your community!”
I agree that you don’t want to be blogging about topics that don’t excite you, but…
If you’ve been blogging for any length of time, you know there’s more to that story.
When most people start their blogs, they have a million ideas. They pick a topic that they could talk about forever; making a list of posts to write is as simple as sitting down and asking, “What do I know that I want to share?”
They think that if they just write good posts about what they know, they’ll be successful.
While this isn’t the world’s worst way of starting a blog, it’s a great way to end up with 400 posts and only 60 regular readers.
You’re going about it backwards.
The problem with dwelling on what you know is that you may put a lot of information out there through your blog, but may never reach the person who will be most passionate about sharing your posts, retweeting your ideas, and spreading your message.
Need an example?
Let’s say you’re a fitness guru who loves to lift weights, eat raw veggies, and deny yourself sweets and other fun stuff. Know what? That could describe thousands of fitness bloggers. But you assume that because you have great photos of different workout techniques and describe new workout plans that “really get results,” you’re going to stand out from the crowd?
Now let’s think about Liz, your potential reader, a 37-year-old single mom who works nights as a nurse at the local hospital. She already knows she needs to eat more veggies, lift some weights occasionally, and cut out the junk food (who doesn’t?). Her problem isn’t not knowing what to do – it’s finding the motivation (and the time!) to live a healthier lifestyle.
If you stick to your guns and blog only about the mechanics of working out, you’ve already lost Liz. She might follow a link to your blog one time, but she’s certainly not going to stick around.
But the day she finds someone who is talking about her problem and helps her overcome the challenges she’s facing, she’s going to be that blogger’s number one fan.
And then she’s going to tell all her friends.
If your blog is going to be successful, you need to be helping someone. Inspiring someone to think differently and act differently. Making someone’s life better. (tweet this!)
Ask yourself this question: If you could have 100 new subscribers today, but they all had to be a clone of one of your existing readers, who would that reader be?
The best way to find that existing reader is to identify who is the most generous about sharing your content, gives you praise and thanks, refers their personal friends to your site, buys your e-books, and whom you love to see in the comments.
Once you have identified this reader, ask yourself what they come to your blog looking for, what specific problems they need to solve, what they’re passionate about, what their own goals are and what value YOU offer the relationship.
Don’t worry, I’ll wait…
Now visit your blog and read all of the pages, your last 10 posts, view all of the images and work your way through the site with your number one reader in mind. I want you to imagine that this blog has been built specifically for just that one person.
Ask yourself these questions:
Your blog should be built for your number one reader and nobody else. This is usually difficult to execute because we are afraid of potentially losing other readers that might come through, but listen:
When you strike a chord with that one person – when you solve her problem, when you make her life better – she will share your content, tell her friends, promote your products, and keep telling your story long after your other site visitors have moved on to the next Pinterest pin.
…and the good news is, if there’s one “Liz” out there for you, there are thousands.
Whose life are you going to change? Tell me about your ideal reader and what you’re doing to serve their needs. Or what changes are you going to make on your blog to find that one person?
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