In today’s world, keeping a freshly-updated blog is a major component in any business’s content marketing strategy. It’s an easy way to gain search engine optimization perks, establish yourself as an industry leader, and increase brand awareness.

What isn’t so easy is getting your blog in front of a large number of eyes. After all, millions of blogs are published online every single day, making it quite difficult for most postings to stand out among the wave of new articles being produced.

The good news is that the success of your blog is not solely left up to fate or chance; there are steps you can take to broaden your audience and create a heftier impact with your content marketing strategy. To help you out, here’s some advice on how to build your readership and gain the results you want.

Create a Clear Image of Who You’re Writing For

A monumental part of a blog’s success is presenting the information in a way that’s enticing to the target audience. Because of this, you’ll lure in a greater following if you learn to adapt your language, style, voice, topic choices, etc. in a way that will be received positively by those who fit the mold of your ideal reader.

For example, having a clear image of who you’re writing for will help you narrow down what type of vocabulary to use. Should you stay clear of industry jargon, or does your audience already have a deep understanding of your niche? Should you use a sense of humor or be more straightforward and professional in your approach? It’s small questions like these that end up making a big dent in how widespread your blog goes.

If you don’t have a solid illustration of who your content should be marketed towards, here are a few questions to help you paint an effective audience persona:

  • What is the age range of my readership?
  • Would they be more likely to be men or women, or is my industry gender neutral?
  • What level of education do my readers have?
  • What subjects would best resonate with my audience? Am I writing for existing/potential clients, or am I writing for peers in my industry?
  • Are they conservative? Liberal? Somewhere in the middle?
  • What purpose would they be looking to fulfill by reading my blog? How can I write in a way that piques their interest and manages to educate them simultaneously?

Network With Other Blog Owners in Your Niche

An excellent way to get your name out there is to develop relationships with other blog owners who are in niches similar to your own.

By following and engaging with industry leaders in your field, you can get your name in front of an audience who is already interested in topics that are relevant to your brand. Find bloggers who currently have a substantial following, and start adding them on social media, sharing their posts, commenting on their blog entries, etc.

Consistently involving yourself with online discussions related to what your business offers helps get your name out there, and more readers will be likely to take notice of your engagement and visit your own blog. Likewise, the blog owners themselves may return the favor by promoting your publications as well. It’s a win-win, and best of all, it’s a completely free way to help market yourself.

Strengthen Your Presence on Social Media Platforms

Promoting your new blog posts across all of your social media channels is an easy way to get traffic to flow towards your posts and inspire new readers to visit your website, but this tactic only works if you already have a healthy amount of followers who are likely to share your postings. Ultimately, it doesn’t do anything advantageous to announce your new blog entry if you don’t have any interested followers who will take notice.

If you aren’t currently committed to developing your presence on social sites, you should work just as consistently in strengthening your social media strategies as you do with any other of your alternative digital marketing methods. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, either. The type of social tactics that are successful largely depend on your industry and the image you want to cultivate with your brand.

At the end of the day, your content marketing and social media efforts should be happily married; they should work harmoniously to promote each other, and ideally, the success of one should lead to the triumph of the other.

Write for Purpose, Not for Promotion

If you only use your blogging platform to promote your services, packages, or deals, you might want to rethink your strategy. You’ll be much more likely to draw in a loyal group of readers if your content offers them something of value that they can advantageously put into action.

Giving advice that assists readers in solving a common issue, or writing an opinion piece that shines a new light on an industry-related topic, goes much further than writing a blog that’s exclusive purpose is to alert users of a new product/service you’re providing.

Writing informative, well-researched content helps to paint you as an industry authority, resulting in greater trust between you and your audience. It helps demonstrate your expertise, and online users will be more curious to see what you have to say next time if you can offer content that’s made up of substance rather than material that’s oozing with gimmicks and sales pitches.

Similarly, the higher quality of content that you post, the more favorably you’ll rank in search engines, and obviously, the higher that you rank means an increase of users will naturally find your blog.

To help you determine if your blog is useful, ask yourself these questions:

  • Would someone have a clearer understanding of the topic-in-question after reading my post?
  • Did I present the subject in a new light?
  • Could someone easily put these tips into action?
  • Is the information explained in-depth enough to be a worthwhile read?

Follow What Type of Content Works For Your Industry

You’ll have better luck growing your blog if you pay attention to what type of content seems to be working for your industry. You can track this information a couple of different ways.

First off, it’s always a beneficial idea to keep an eye on what your competitors are doing, especially if they appear to be getting more engagement with their blog posts than you are. While you don’t want to create a carbon copy of their content marketing strategy, you can put your own spin on what seems to be working.

Secondly, you can track social media to see what forms of content get the most shares, likes, etc.  There are websites out there, such as BuzzSumo, that allow you to track popular content themes by typing in specific key terms or topics. They’ll then bring up a list of articles related to those themes that earned the largest amount of social signals. You can take that data and successfully integrate it into your own content marketing blueprint.

Coming to a Close

It’s no secret that building your audience takes a sizable amount of trial and error, and it can also be highly time-consuming. However, if you use the above advice, you should get a head start in seeing the results you want. Just remember that if you’re intentionally, strategically, and consistently working towards expanding your blog’s presence, your hard work should pay off, resulting in a healthy boost to your online visibility as well as your bottom line.

Image: Photospin

Author Bio:

Glenda McCarthy-Gaspar, the CEO of the marketing company, Proforma SI, has over fifteen years of sales and marketing experience behind her. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, her three children, and her two golden retrievers. Follow on Twitter