Do you want to grow your blog’s audience? Today Chris Brogan shares some strategies on just how to do that.
It took me years to start figuring out how to grow my blog’s community such that it was steady and sustainable. A few years back, I figured out how to hit the Digg front page from time to time, but that never amounted to anyone sticking around. It was the equivalent of yelling, “Hey! Free beer!” and then the frat boys would show up, drink it all, and leave. Now? I’ve developed some methods by which I’ve grown my community at a steady but respectable pace. Leave the frat boys for the “get rich quick” crowd. I’ve got other plans you can work instead. Here are 7 strategies you can review, and see if any match your blogging goals.
- The Outpost Strategy – the simple plan is to locate the various places and ways you can point out your blog across the web. Add your RSS feed to your Facebook profile (and use some of the cool 3rd party apps that let you promote blog posts into the stream- I like Simplaris Blogcast)
- The Offering Strategy – provide free resources. Brian Solis builds great offerings all over the place, including ebooks, graphics, and more. Offerings keep people around, if only to add to their arsenal of useful things. See also Chris Pearson and his inexpensive WordPress themes.
- The Helpful Strategy – instead of being a consultant and asking “how can I help?” all the time, I like to imagine ways to be helpful, and then build posts that point out some starting point information. This gives me two benefits: it helps me find potential clients, and it grows entire populations of people who linger on my blog waiting for me to write about their vertical again.
- The Opinion Strategy – learn what others have to say by cultivating a culture of questions. Okay, I’ll admit that this isn’t as much a strategy of mine as a proclivity. I ask questions of people all the time. I know what I think. I want to know what YOU think. It’s one of the top ways I build audience, however, and I swear by it.
- The Media Engine Strategy – my approach for ensuring that you keep coming back isn’t that far off from Darren: make new stuff all the time. One reason this is useful is that it’s harder for people to copy cat. The other reason is that if we pump out decent posts all the time, you trigger other benefits because you bookmark the ones you can’t get to right away. If the bookmark is social (Delicious, StumbleUpon, Ma.gnolia, etc), you’ve just shot up a flare telling others that you think the piece is worthwhile. Either way, the tactics under this strategy are endless.
- The Timing Strategy – have you figured out when your best audience days are? Why aren’t you putting a “great” post in reserve for those days? And when you do that, when you get a post that you know is going to kill, write a post that will show up on the blog a few hours later (schedule it) that emphasizes subscribing to your RSS feed. Other tactics in this strategy including putting up an amazing post before attending a conference, so that people will check you out at the event and find some great material there.
- The Strategy Strategy – people love strategy, partly because most people get confused with which one is strategy and which are tactics. Strategy is the diet that helps you reach the goal. Tactics are ways to make sure the diet goes well. There, now figure out different ways to share strategy ideas with your audience, and they’ll stick around looking for other ways to feel smart.
As with all things, your mileage may vary. So far, my blog has been up in web-side visitors as well as RSS-side month after month. It’s working for me. If it doesn’t work in a few months or so of traffic, maybe dig into the content a bit and look for some fresh ideas there. Let me know which ones work best for you.
Chris Brogan is as surprised as you that his blog is in the top 20 of the Advertising Age Power150. He’s pleased as punch that he’s in the top 200 on Technorati. But more than anything, Chris wants to meet you in person at a conference, or on his blog at [chrisbrogan.com]