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How To Grow Your Blog In Record Time: It’s Easier Than You Think

How To Grow Your Blog In Record Time

You have a blog.

But, you don’t have a thriving base of readers (yet).

You want to accelerate growth and get more readers.

The big question is how?

I’ve been there, frantically trying to figure out how to get more readers and grow my blog to the point that I want it to be.

I felt the same frustration.

That was until I found what worked (and what didn’t).

Today I’m going to show you how you can do the same thing and shatter all of your expectations of what you thought were possible.

Understand your target audience and develop audience personas

Your blog needs to be about your audience.

They are the reason your blog is where it is and they will be the reason why it gets to where you want it to be.

By understanding your audience you can write content that is hyper relevant to not only your audience, but the audience you want to attract.

And that’s important.

What is an audience persona?

Think of it as a fictional profile of your ideal reader and you may have several.

So, for example, Blogging Wizard has several and I give them names:

  • The new starter – these are people who haven’t started a blog yet, or they’ve recently launched their blog and they’re looking to cover off the basics. New starters blog part time while having a full time job.
  • The fulltime blogger – bloggers that have been doing this for a long time but they’re looking to learn new things or get a refresh.
  • The business bloggers – business bloggers come from a professional background (often marketing) and are responsible for running business blogs that they don’t own. They typically have targets to hit so they need highly actionable tactics that will help them get results.

Start off by visualising your ideal visitors, think about the types of people first, then you can get the specifics down.

The important questions you need to consider are:

  • What motivates them?
  • What challenges are they facing (related to your niche)?
  • What questions are they trying to find answers for (niche related, think top level questions)?
  • What keeps them awake at night?

Your audience persona(s) will drive everything you do on your blog, from how you write to the channels you use to promote your content.

Get the content right – consistently

Your content is the centre of what you do as a blogger.

It can be your best asset or your Achilles heel.

Your focus needs to be on value and ensuring that your readers get something out of your content, whether you are teaching your readers something or entertaining them.

Identify the problems your audience is facing and solve it using content that is written (or created) for them.

This is where your audience persona(s) come in very useful.

Plan content that gets results

You will get better results when you validate your content ideas and find out what is working for other people.

That’s not to say you should just do the same as everyone else. You shouldn’t.

You should always come from your own unique angle and try to bring something new to the table.

Tips for validating your ideas:

  • Use a tool like BuzzSumo (free) to identify which content is getting shared most for a topic (or for your competitor).
  • Use SEMrush ($) to identify what keywords your competitors are ranking for.
  • Check out relevant forums and communities and find out what questions people are asking.
  • Email a survey to your subscribers.

Write content that your audience will love

We talked about audience personas earlier.

They are an incredibly important factor when it comes to writing/creating content and should form the foundation of your content.

  • Write clearly so anyone can understand – See this post by Glen Long on how to do this.
  • Put a focus on creating engaging headlines – Headlines will be the making (or breaking) of how well your content does.
  • Engage your readers – Asking questions is a great way to do this.
  • Use eye-catching imagery – It’s easier than ever with free tools like Canva.
  • Deliver quality consistently – Always put the time in to make your content the best it can be.
  • Have a unique angle – Some topics have been done to death but if you can add a fresh/unique perspective, you can make your content stand out.

Repurpose your content and expand your audience

There is a lot more you can do with your content than just publish blog posts.

You can take your written content (or whichever type of content you’re focusing on) and turn it into another type of content.

This works great because it will enable you to expand your audience and reach people who don’t usually consume the type of content you have been focusing on up till now.

You could create any of the following:

  • Infographic
  • Videographic
  • Interactive infographic
  • SlideShare presentation
  • Video
  • Audio recording
  • Webinar
  • White paper
  • eBook

Grow your email list from day one – don’t miss this opportunity

My biggest regret for a number of blogs I used to run was not building an email list from the very beginning.

The reality is that building an email list and nurturing it is one of the smartest things you can do.

Why?

If all other traffic generation tactics (e.g. SEO/Social media) completely stop, you will still have a list of engaged followers that you can notify about new posts.

These are also people that will be most likely to buy products/services from you (be careful with this, if you keep trying to sell without adding value, people will unsubscribe quick).

You need a real email provider

Using Feedburner or any type of RSS service to handle email delivery of new posts isn’t good enough here.

You need the ability to send unique emails to your list.

If you have been using Feedburner, you can export your email subscribers and import them into a service like MailChimp or GetResponse easily.

How to build your list faster than you thought possible

List building is a topic that I have written about at great length already.

When you’re ready to take your list building efforts to the next level, read this post.

It covers all the tactics and tools you will need to get the job done.

Just one tactic listed could get you 700% more sign-ups.

Promote every post – you will be glad you did

We all want more people to read our content but some of the best pieces of content end up gathering dust in some neglected corner of the web.

The only reason this happens is because not enough time is spent on promoting our content.

In many cases, less than 5 minutes is spent.

Here’s the thing:

Clicking publish is just the beginning.

When you put the time into promoting your content – that’s when the magic happens.

You can find the exact process that I use to promote my content in this post.

Tap into the influence of authority figures in your niche

I’ve written about the power of influence a lot, but it warrants another mention here because of how well it works.

There are people in your niche that have an established audience, they have influence and they have authority.

You can tap into that audience.

It boils down to finding ways to include these people in your content and letting them know about it.

People are (usually) compelled to share posts where they’re mentioned in a positive way because it increases their audience’s perception of their authority.

There are a number of ways you can do this just from the content that you create, but there are some in particular that have worked well for me:

Group interviews

Create a list of the biggest names in your niche, think of an engaging question that people would love for these experts to answer and ask those experts to take part and contribute.

The important step is letting the participants know that the post is live and encouraging them to share.

The last group interview I published got:

  • 3,018 social shares (total).
  • 7,435 visitors in 3 days.
  • 4,917 saves on Pocket.
  • Mentions on Social Media Examiner, The Hootsuite Blog and more.

I’m not saying that you will get exactly the same results, but when you include the right people and encourage them to share, the results may surprise you.

Industry roundups

In any niche, there are so many great posts published each week and it can be a challenge to keep track of them all.

Sometimes we miss incredible posts.

Try publishing industry roundups that bring all of these posts together and let the authors know they’ve been featured.

This could be via email, @mentions on Twitter or tagging them on Google+ or Facebook.

Mentions in regular blog posts

You don’t need to write a special blog post to be able to leverage the influence of others.

Just mentioning someone or one of their posts in a regular post can work well.

But, it’s got to make sense and add value to your post.

Once you’ve mentioned people in your post, let them know about it.

How to find niche influencers

There are plenty of tools on the market to help you do this and a lot of them are free (or fairly priced):

Use Triberr to multiply your reach

Out of all the tools that I have used, Triberr has had the most profound difference to the success of my blog.

Thanks to Triberr, I have been able to get more social shares and traffic while being in a position to connect with other influencers in my niche.

If you haven’t heard about this before; Triberr is a social platform that connects blogs and bloggers.

It’s full of topical tribes of bloggers and makes it easy to find great content to share while putting your own content in front of people who may want to share it.

You can follow tribes which means content will appear in your ‘tribal stream’ and request to be promoted to a full member.

When you are promoted to a full member, your posts will be visible in the tribal stream of all other users.

Here’s what to do now:

  1. Sign up for an account.
  2. Head to ‘settings’ then add your blog and RSS feed.
  3. Search for relevant tribes and start sharing.
  4. Follow those tribes and request to be promoted.
  5. Leave a personalised message for the tribe’s owner.
  6. Create your own tribe and invite other users that are a good fit for the group.

A few things to note about Triberr

It’s a great community full of some awesome people.

It works on the reciprocity principal.

You share my stuff; I’ll share yours but make sure you share content that will be valuable for your audience.

Also, you can pay to promote your posts but there’s also something called ‘affinity’. So, when you share other user’s posts, they’ll be more likely to see your posts in their tribal stream the next time.

Over to you

When you build your blog on a solid foundation, you will get incredible results.

You will get the social shares, traffic and engaged readers that you want. Other awesome opportunities will follow.

Start off by getting your audience persona(s) put together before doing anything else.

What tactics are working well for you on your blog?

We’d love to hear more in the comments below.

About Adam Connell

Adam used to run a team of marketers. Now he shares what he’s learned about growing blogs and businesses here on Blogging Wizard. He’s a fan of Firefly and Chinese takeaways. Click here to join the Blogging Wizard newsletter; you’ll get our best content & 15+ guides to grow your online presence faster.

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  • Nirmala Santhakumar

    Again a nice post from you Adam and I’m learning something new at my every visit here.

    Coming to your post, I’m agreeing with you in all points and doing half of the tasks which you’ve mentioned here.

    I’m missing to get exposure with triberr (i’m already over there) and still I’m using feed burner for mail subscription. These mistakes have to be rectified and will take action soon.

    • Thanks, Nirmala! Glad you’re finding my posts helpful.

      When you really start to gain traction on Triberr, you will notice a huge difference. For me, the big difference came when I started creating my own tribes.

      When you switch to a mailing list provider from the Feedburner email subscription service, you will love the other things you can do.

      The main thing I do, is for every post, I send out a unique email specifically for that post.

      Thanks,
      Adam

  • Adam, I’ve been following your posts for a while and find them valuable. This is a great example of a “pillar post” I am proud to share it with my networks. One of the things most of us do not get around to doing is promoting all our posts. Since the social media surge happened only a few years ago, those of us who’ve been blogging for a lot longer never remember to promote those old posts. Repurposing our content is also a good idea.

    Thanks. It is good to be connected with you!

    • Hi Vidya, thanks for following and sharing – I really appreciate it.

      You’re right about post promotion and a big factor is having the time to do this type of thing.

      One thing I did to get around this was to post a bit less and put the extra time into promotion.

      Very true, old posts do tend to get left behind. I use a tool called Social Oomph to publish my old posts to Twitter every so often to help them become a bit more visible.

      Thanks, you too!

    • Repurposing old content definitely works. Great tip Vidya.

  • I really like the detail of your post. I am now using Triberr because of you, Adam. I had the pleasure to interview one of the founders, Dino Dogan.

    • Thanks George. It’s great that you’re getting started on Triberr, you’ll see some great results moving forward.

      I always enjoy listening to Dino’s interviews, will check it out when I get some time!

  • I love the free links you provided. I have one blog I’ve gotten lucky with in terms of traffic (tragically due to one post in particular which makes me work harder for that “just right” next post) and these other site (I’m checking out buzzsumo now!) will help me get the next traffic high! 🙂

    • Nicole, I’m really glad you’ve found those links helpful. I love that you’re constantly working harder to get things right. Keep tweaking and improving – the pay off will be awesome 🙂

  • Carol Cameleon

    I post a ‘shout out’ blog with my favourite posts of the week and tell the blogger about it. I find it’s very effective and also very good at nurturing online networks.

    • Carol, sounds like a great way to build relationships and network. Telling the blogger about it is the step that people usually miss out.

    • I definitely think I’ll try this. Seems like a good way to network.

    • That sounds like a good strategy, Carol. It’s given me an idea that I will have to try soon.

      • Let us know how it goes for you, Nathan!

        • I will do. I’m rebuilding my website and ideas at present. But will be back blogging soon.

          • Great stuff – I’m doing something similar for Blogging Wizard at the moment. Let me know how things go!

  • Adam,

    Power post dude, awesomeness here. I got super clear on the buyer or reader persona deal before starting my new blog. Actually, this was the reason why I started a new blog; I had to start fresh, building a clear, detailed buyer persona for visitors to grow my audience.

    I’m huge on Triberr. I already saw some 40 RTs after I woke up, and I hadn’t promoted the post or even seen it yet because here in Fiji it was 12 AM when I auto published. Triberr is amazing. I recall seeing 7,000 page views on more on some days on my old blog, and this was a blogger freebie, nothing like my blog today.

    Just be sure to give as much as you take. Promote helpful, niche-specific posts you read on Triberr, comment on the posts themselves and leave a few comments on Triberr too. Being sociable is the fool-proof way to get invites to new tribes so stop in to each group a few times each day to chat, read, share and expand your presence, and your traffic will multiply at a stunning rate.

    Excellent points Adam. That reader persona one is huge. Gotta have a target to help the people who need your help, and to get clarity in all you do and why you’re doing it, blogging-wise.

    Thanks. Tweeting in a few.

    Ryan

    • Thanks Ryan!

      After checking out your first posts, the added clarity really shines through – crystal clear.

      Awesome to hear about how well Triberr is working out for you – this is incredible.

      That’s it, helpful and relevant posts are what it’s about. You’ve got a great approach to using Triberr and it really shows with the results you’re getting.

      Thanks buddy, we’ve got to be clear from the get go and that’s when the magic happens.

      I can see your new blog growing at a rapid rate!!

      Cheers for sharing.

      Adam

  • I didn’t know BuzzSumo. I’ve just tried it and I like it so much. Thanks for the post Adam!

  • Adam I really love your thorough writing style. List posts and group interviews have worked well for me. Thank you for the insight on Mailchimp as well.

    • Thanks for the kind words 🙂 Great to hear how well list posts and group interviews have worked for you. My pleasure!

  • FrancesCaballo

    What a great post. I especially liked your idea to use BuzzSumo — an app I hadn’t tried before. Thanks, Adam! (I’ve tried Triberr in the past but gave up on it. Looks like I need to revisit that app too.)

    • Thanks Frances 🙂 I think you’ll get on well with BuzzSumo, it works great for finding niche influencers too.

      Triberr is definitely worth taking another look at! Let me know how you get on.

  • I didn’t know about BuzzSumo. Thanks for these great tips!

  • Hey Adam,

    You gave so many gold nuggets here and I can see why you’re getting the shares you have gotten. I keep hering about BuzzSumo but never went over there to check it out. It sounds like it could be my calling! Thanks for sharing and I hope you have a great weekend!

    • Hey Sherman,

      Thanks for stopping by!

      I think you’ll love BuzzSumo, they’re a relatively new player but rolling out new features pretty quick.

      Have a great weekend too.

  • Hello Adam,

    I found you in AM Tribe on Triberr – sure do love that place. 🙂 Am brand spanking new over there but as I learn the ropes, I am enjoying more and more.

    Great article above and I can see you put a great deal of effort into your work. It definitely shows.

    I’ve used several of the ones you mentioned, but had not heard of NOD3x before, so thanks for the heads up! 🙂

    I really like the clean style of your site, Adam and will definitely be back.

    I’ll be sharing your stuff, and hope you have a wonderful evening.

    – Carol Amato

    • Hi Carol,

      Thanks for a great comment – I’m with you, there’s always some great posts to find in the AM Tribe.

      My pleasure, glad you’ve been able to find a new tool to try out – the team behind NOD3x are incredible and always happy to help out.

      Thanks for the kind words and for sharing, I really appreciate it. I need to check out some of your posts!

      Have a great evening too!

      Adam

  • Creating ideal customer avatars or persona is a highly crucial step. I didn’t do it in the beginning and I wasted a lot of my time! I now realize how important it is to create ideal customer avatar. It helps me to better serve my target audience and stop wasting time on things that don’t count!

    • Jane, thanks for the comment.

      I did exactly the same thing when I started off, it’s a step that I completely missed.

      Have you noticed much better results since you started focusing on your ideal customer avatar?

  • Rob Montgomery

    These are great technical ways on how you can grow your blog. Any blogger or blogger wannabe should know about this! By the way, I think one good way to grow your blog (non-technically) is to read and respond to each and every comments your blog post gets. I salute you for doing this!

    • Thanks Rob! I’m with you on reading and responding to each and every comment – it’s a great way to engage and keep the discussion going.

      As a blog grows it can become quite a challenge, but I think despite a blogs size, it’s definitely important to do.

  • You have given us bloggers a roadmap t success here. I struggle as well with getting the max out of my content and will definitely bookmark this post as it is one of the most valuable I have read in a long time. I could elaborate on every detail of what you have written, but the fact is each detail is profound! Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Nathaniel,

      Thanks for the kind words – great to hear that you’ve found this useful!

  • Hi Adam,

    Another really useful post. Thanks.

    I agree with you about Triberr being a useful tool and as you say, it makes a lot of sense to share only the relevant posts for your audience.

    Also, as you know (because you were a recent winner!), I do a month Blog Awards when I share with my readers the best blog posts I’ve read in the previous month. I know these blog posts are popular because I can see the open & click through rate when I send out the email to my list. I’d recommend Blog Awards as a way not only to grow your blog but also engage and retain your email subscribers.

    Cheers
    Mike

    • Hi Mike,

      My pleasure.

      I really like how you’ve differentiated your roundups from others, just being featured in a post that includes the words ‘blog awards’, I feel much more compelled to share the post. And it’s great to hear your mailing list subscribers are enjoying them too!

      Thanks,
      Adam

  • Adam,

    Freaking awesome post here.

    One point you said that I loved was “Have a unique angle. Some topics have been done to death but if you can add a fresh/unique perspective, you can make your content stand out.”

    This is SO true. It really hurts me to see new bloggers write about topics like “How To Build An Email List”, “How To Write A Blog Post” over and over again that’s just average. Those topics have been done over and over again and they write about it but they don’t put a new perspective on it.

    And again, I know all about Triberr but haven’t been able to effectively use it. Don’t know if I messed up the settings in the beginning or if I’m not doing it correctly, but I’ll try it again and follow your instructions here.

    Keep up the great posts my friend.

    • Thanks Andrew!

      I know exactly what you mean – a unique angle is so powerful.

      When I consider what angle to take, I always keep these words in my mind: “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it”.

      Sometimes we don’t have to write about something new, just putting a different spin on it can make the difference between someone taking action or not.

      Great to hear you’ll be giving Triberr another shot – let me know how you get on.

      Sure thing my friend!

      Adam

  • Hey Adam,

    Great info!

    Triberr is one of those things I keep hearing about, but I’ve yet to poke with a stick to see if it’s alive. With so many bloggers praising it, yourself included, it certainly sounds like a community I should look into.

    Also, the Glen Long link you gave is to one of my all-time favorite posts. So many great writing tips in one place. It made me feel like my own writing was on a third-grader’s level!

    Keep up the great work…

    • Thanks Kevin!

      Out of all the platforms that I’ve used, Triberr is the one that has had the single biggest impact on my blog.

      It takes a little while to build up speed, but after that, the impact it can have is incredible.

      Haha, I feel exactly the same way when I read Glen’s post – he’s got this writing thing down to a fine art.

      Thanks!

  • Great post Adam!

    I discovered your blog after you left a comment on ProBlogger.

    There are some awesome tips in there, particularly for those who have been blogging for a while and aren’t getting the traffic they feel they should.

    Thanks for posting.

  • Planning your content and keeping to that schedule especially at the very beginning is very important. And understanding that after publishing an article there is a lot more you need to do in order to get your content closer to the audience you want.

    • So true, Alexandra! Thanks for dropping by 🙂

  • mark newsome

    Excellent tips Adam!

    I’ve been meaning to get over here and start studying your proven blogging methods a whole lot sooner.

    Because practically every major blogging expert, whose advice I follow and respect, including several of my Coaches and my mentors, mention your blog as a proven resource!

    Your excellent post is really more like a mini boot camp! And you’ve certainly provided more than enough hands on results producing instructions, to move any serious blogger/entrepreneur ahead in a big way!

    Thanks! Let me go for now, because I see several other interesting headlines that you’ve written, that I definitely need to look into asap!

    • Thanks Mark!

      Wow, that’s awesome to hear 🙂 And really glad you’ve came over to check out my posts.

      I really appreciate the feedback, Mark – let me know how you get on with implementing these strategies!

      Thanks,
      Adam

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