How do I get people to read my blog?
Ever asked yourself this question?
If you’re struggling to get anyone to read your blog, sign up to your email list or buy your products, then I’ll bet you’ve asked yourself this question. A lot.
No traffic – No readers … No readers – No subscribers … No subscribers – No traffic…
It becomes a sort of catch-22 question, doesn’t it?
So, what’s the answer? How do you get readers for your new blog?
Answer: Get people to read your blog by finding the people most likely to want to read it.
In other words, the answer is:
Don’t go off dabbling with search engine optimisation trying to find keywords that promise a so-called “hot market”.
And … Before you write a single blog post:
Find out who you can serve by engaging with real people.
Okay, well that’s all very well and good. But who (which “real people” should you be engaging exactly?)
Answer: People who:
Why Buzzsumo-Effect Audience Building Isn’t Everything It’s Cracked Up To Be
Experts will tell you that resources like Buzzsumo will help you find the kind of content that’s most popular with people. The evidence for its popularity being in how often it’s shared, as this image below shows:
Buzzsumo shows you the posts that are getting the most shares. The theory is that if you can find out what kind of content is being shared most, you can take that content, improve on it and publish it on your own blog. There are other resources you can use like Alltop.
And, although these resources can work well in topics that gets shared a lot (so that you can piggyback on them and get subscribers as and they may work and you may get people subscribing to your blog.
And there are people who have grown their blog quickly and have got lots of subscribers in the short space of time, using this method.
But the question you need to ask yourself is:
Will the people who come to your blog if you use these resources and create this kind of Buzzsumo effect content, will they subscribe? Will they open or read your emails?
Will they be people who want to read your emails?
More importantly, will they care about what you’re doing - enough to pay attention and eventually become loyal readers, loyal fans and customers.
Quick point on growing your email list using the Buzzsumo effect content method:
Do you know that a 30% open rate is considered a really good open rate?
And that most people get below 20%.
This sorry figure is probably due to the high subscriber rates on the back of popular Buzzsumo effect content, without the backing of the most important thing of all...
Creating content your reader wants to read.
This Means Building An Audience
The concept is that you want readers who are going to be your audience.
Your audience is made up of people who are attracted to the thing that makes you different from the rest of the bloggers out there and gives you a unique advantage.
So in other words, your audience is not just made up of any readers who happened to like your content and share it on social media. But a special kind of audience an audience that likes what you do. Likes the way you say it and most importantly of all, likes your solutions, likes your answers to the problems that they suffer.
I call this audience your Common Bond Audience.
Two Types of Content Nobody Talks About Very Much
- Popular content - the Buzzsumo effect content - that I talked about earlier in this post.
- The type of content that is useful to your particular audience.
This content helps you be seen as different by them and gives you your unique advantage.
If you’ve been wondering how you can stand out in the sea of “little me” blogs out there, how you can be entertaining and relevance to people in enough measure that they are want to come and read your blog, then you need you can do it by
Defining who your common bond audience is and:
Why they should want to read your blog.
So let’s do that now and look at some other ways in which you can go about writing content that your common bond audience is going to want to read...
And the kind of content that is going to create your common bond audience in the first place:
SEO Is Actually More Likely To Kill Your Blog
First of all, as I hinted at the beginning of this post, it’s got nothing to do with SEO (search engine optimisation) or finding keywords.
Truth is, when you’re just starting out with your blog and you haven’t got a large audience already, SEO is actually more likely to kill your new blog than help it grow. Not many experts tell you that, do they?
Finding Your Common Bond Audience
The first and most useful way of finding your common bond audience is to think about this question:
Why do you want to help others like you?
For example, most people start a blog because they either:
Have something they feel they need to say to people, or:
Have something they want to share with people:
- like ideas, a meaning in life, how to be better at doing something,
- how to be, do and have something.
For example, many of my readers and clients are people who want to help people earn extra income maybe their semi-retired. Or they have been made redundant from their job and actually want to get out of the rat race and want to do something they enjoy doing and want to earn an income at it.
Or they want to teach people how to create meaningful content, meaningful creativity, meaningful things. And may be in such teaching others you want to be able to create the kind of lifestyle where you earn it the income that is going to support you do what you love.
And the way to do this is the first of all:
Find others that the like you.
And by this I mean...
People are drawn to others who are most like them may be in a you don’t share exactly the same kind of background or exactly the same kind of profession but you have the same desired outcome.
You want to be able to do something that enough other people want to do too that you can attract them to your blog and create a large enough audience that’s going to create that income for you.
And, in the meantime, show them how they can create an income for themselves, doing they love and teaching their own common bond audience to do the same.
Simple Way Of Looking At How You Can Find Your Difference
To get readers to your new blog you need to be different.
And then you need to show others what your difference is (a lot of new bloggers struggle with this bit).
It’s also where you may find your biggest frustration with not getting results (and not knowing why).
So, here’s a simple way to look at how to be different and let your difference stand out clearly to the people most likely to want to read your blog (your common bond audience)...
Talk about your journey to what you know now. Or talk about why you think or feel the way you do (and, of course, when I say “talk about”, I also mean “write about”. You don’t have to do podcasts or webinars or Youtube videos.)
Here’s an example of how to talk about your journey:
Say you’ve discovered how to live a happier lifestyle, then the way you attract people to your blog is not simply talking about how to live a happier lifestyle.
You also do it by talking about how you discovered the how. For example, how you’ve gone about discovering it?
What did you have to go through to discover your happier life? What made you recognise what the solution to getting out of a not so happy life into a life you could enjoy?
And how they can copy what you’re doing, or did, to enjoy that happier lifestyle too.
So, in other words:
That’s one way of looking at your difference and how to communicate it to your common bond audience.
The other way of looking at your difference is in answering the question why do you want to help others like you?
What’s the driving force? What do you want to give people that is going to change their life in some way?
And it doesn’t have to be a profound way, it can just be as we talked about, doing something that they want to do. For example, do you know how to code in particular code language and do you want to teach others how to code using this language? Then you need to attract people who want to learn that code language.
What about if you also learnt how to code in this computer language while struggling with a really hectic or busy lifestyle.
Maybe you were doing shift work while you were learning this code language.
Maybe you were working in a particular profession, or maybe living a particular style of life, maybe you’d been made redundant at your job and were unemployed.
Whatever it is, whatever your journey’s starting point, finding people through the same, or similar, experience that you were then, gives you a strong bond with them.
The other way of building your audience and creating content that’s going to get people who want to read it is looking for gaps. Looking for gaps in the information that’s already out there.
And the way you do this is to listen and look at questions people are keeping on asking.
For example, if you listen to webinars or podcasts, or maybe you watch YouTube videos, and there arre question-and-answer sessions, what are the questions that keep coming up, that keep being asked by people? What do they want to know more of, or about, the topic being discussed?
Now the way to look at it is...
If there’s certain questions that keep being asked, it’s because answers are still needed. The people who are asking them are not getting the information, or the clarity, or the amount of information, or the simplicity of explanation that they’re looking for.
Here’s your chance to stand out:
Because if you can step in and give that clarity, that simple explanation, that missing information, to them then you’re going to get them paying attention to you and listening to you because they’ll be relieved to have found someone (at last) willing to give them what they want. Willing to take time to explain fully and simply. Willing to fill in the missing steps.
Online you stand out not by creating “little me”, Buzzsumo effect content they can read on every other blog (and probably already have - many times over, until they’re frustrated and sick of reading it).
People are tired of reading the same kind of content they can read everywhere else. The same kind of advice that actually isn’t working for them.
This is how I built this blog, TrafficSmartMarketing.com is that I was getting frustrated because the advice I was getting out there for how to grow a blog successfully and make money online, wasn’t working for me. And I came to the conclusion that there were some steps missing, so I set out to find out what those steps were.
And in the meantime, while I was looking for those steps, I recognise that there was a significant group of people out there who were going through the same struggle and frustration with that advice that wasn’t working as I was and they wanted to know what didn’t work.
So I set up traffic smart marketing to provide those missing steps; to give them the answers they weren’t getting elsewhere. And the blog’s growing nicely as a result. I’m attracting to me people who I recognise, not because I’ve met them before but because I recognise what they’re going through because I’ve been through that almost the same experience as they are trying to get readers to their blog.
That brings us again to the point of what a common bond audience is...
It’s the group of people and what they’re going through that you recognise because you’re similar to them and you recognise their struggles and frustration.
And they will be attracted to you and more interested in reading your content because they will recognise you as one of them.
They will see you as understanding them.
That’s how you join together in your common bond audience.
What increases your attraction for them is that you’ve found the answers they’re still looking for and you’re going to give them those answers, so that’s why they need to be interested in what you write about on your blog.
And it’s why they should stick around and sign up to your email list and in the future buy your products.
Look for what’s missing.
You'll find some examples of how you do this (and how I’ve done it) in this guest post I wrote for this influential blog, BeABetterBlogger.com, here.
And just to give you are an example of how you can stand out by writing about real things in a way that will attract people who recognise what you’re writing about, I came across a blog posts are by a new blogger who was just starting out and it was a blog about the trials of the 9 to 5 grind and how passionate he was to build something that meant something. And how difficult it was when all your creative juices were being used up in that 9-to-5 grind.
And I really liked the style of writing as well. I really liked the way that this blogger wrote about these things and I followed him on Twitter because of this and told him how much I thought about this particular blog post. I followed him for a while.
But then I was disappointed because he didn’t write anything more in this vein. The other blog posts he created were the same sort of content I could have read anywhere else.
So, I didn’t really find him very inspiring. It’s a shame because I’m sure that if he was to write more content in the same vein as that post about passion and how it was stifled by the 9-to-5 grind, I’m sure that would speak to a lot of like-minded people going through the same passion-killing grind and would have helped him grow his blog.
So, What Does This Means For You?
If you want people to read your new blog think of what you’re going through.
Your struggles that you’re going through. The problems. The things that are standing in your way, keeping you from your dream - write about those - but write about them in a way that includes other people who might be feeling like that.
That can mean quite difficult to do because in the beginning it’s very personal and it is all about you.
You Don’t Have To Be An Expert (Or Know All The Steps)
But, if you just think of all those people out there who want to do what you can do, who don’t have the steps or the knowledge that you have (now) and you can give them those steps, all that knowledge.
You Don’t Have To Be An Expert.
You just have to have more information than they do about how to get to their desired outcome and be able to give it to them (and to want to give it to them) enough that you can create that content to do so.
The content that is going to attract them.
So, don’t worry about what you’re blog looks like, forget about the design, putting adverts on your blog, forget about those banners and you know what to put in your sidebar.
Concentrate first of all on thinking about, and then defining, your answers to:
- why do you want to help others like you
- what is it about what you want to help people with the fires you are enough to want to give your knowledge your skills, your know-how to others
- what is it that you want them to be able to do that inspires you to do it and then:
- what’s your journey to what you know now
- how did you get to here?
- what’s helping you succeed?
How Did You Get To This Point Where You Can Now Say:
“I want to show others how they can do [whatever is it your doing] because I know how it’s going to get them where they want to be?”
“I want to help people like me get what they want, because I know how it’s going to make them more happier, more healthier, more financially satisfied,...?”
And that’s how you get people to read your blog:
By talking about your journey, your struggles and frustrations going through what they're going through...
[showing you're one of them and understand] Isn't it frustrating when you can't (do what it is ) and:
Offering your solutions as answers to their questions they keep asking (and getting frustrated over because they can’t find those answers in the places they’re already looking)...
[offering that answer they've been searching for] Here's what I've found works...
They can’t move forward.
They need you.
Because you can help them get what they want.
Now, add the reason you want people coming to your blog by leaving a comment below...
Hi, I'm Tom Southern. If you enjoyed this post and found it useful, then you might like to know that I've written other posts on these little talked about and highly effective ways of getting blog traffic, getting readers and subscribers and growing your blog successfully. If you'd like to read these other posts, join my email list (click here to join now) and you'll get links to these and new posts I write too.