Today I’m excited to introduce you all to Eilidh MacRae of Eilidh MacRae Media, who has kindly taken the time to come and chat to us today about how to grow your blog readership. It’s a subject we all struggle with, especially in the beginning, so have a look at these great tips and let us know, what is your biggest struggle when it comes to building your audience?
How To Grow Your Blog
A great blog post can take a lot of work. You’ve spent hours researching a subject, even longer writing the post, and ages trying to get your design displayed just right on your blog, and it’s finally live! But how can you ensure your post is put in front of the right audience, and how can you keep them coming back for more?
Great content is just the start of a successful blog. Whether you’re trying to turn your content into your business, or grow your business using your content, there are simple steps you can take to ensure your blog content readership reaches it’s full potential, to help your business in the right direction…
1. Make content easy to find
We all know about SEO don’t we? We know we should be doing something to help our content along, but what exactly makes content search engine friendly, and what can you do to make sure that when people are searching for your posts, they are finding them with ease?
If you haven’t done already, carrying out keyword research is a must, to determine the ideal search terms to optimise your website for. Once you’ve established these, it’s important to optimise each and every post, using relevant search terms. My favourite tool when it comes to SEO is Yoast, which can be used across WordPress websites, and helps you input everything you need to make sure your content is found.
2. Share, share and share some more
Something I see a lot of brands and bloggers doing is sharing their posts once on each platform, and leaving it at that. When you’ve spent time and money on creating content, it’s important to maximize exposure, to ensure your content delivers the best possible results. Put your content in front of more eyes, by sharing it multiple times and in multiple places.
Share across your social platforms when the content is brand new, but don’t leave it there. Create alternative post images to share your content multiple times, without becoming too repetitive. Mix up when you share your content too, if you first posted it in the morning, try in the afternoon and the evening on other days, to reach those who are online at different times during the day. Hootsuite is great for scheduling posts in advance at set times, and you can easily upload your unique images to create an entirely new post every time.
Utilise groups too, to reach out further than to those that already follow your account or find your content via hashtags. Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ all offer great platforms to post content in relevant groups.
3. Make content visually appealing
When I’m scrolling through Twitter looking for great posts to share, I’m looking firstly at images, and secondly at subject matter. When we are presented with so much content in one place, it’s far easier for our brains to scan images, looking for colours and styles that jump out. When I find an image that works well with my own brand’s style, I then look at the post to better understand if it will be useful to my audience.
In creating beautiful images for your posts and to promote your posts via social media, you automatically encourage shares, and posts with visually pleasing images always have a higher click-through rate.
For when you are Tweeting images, try creating a Twitter card. Simply search for Twitter card validator, which will create a preview version of your content for sharing on Twitter, with an image, title, and the beginning of your post. When I’m in a hurry and I want to find a great piece of content to share quickly, I’m more likely to retweet a post that uses a Twitter card, as I’m able to easily see what the content is about, Twitter card posts are also great for generating interest and increasing your click-through rate.
4. Allow readers to easily subscribe
Gaining a sign-up to your mailing list is an amazing thing. It means you’ve successful enticed someone to click-through to your post, where they have found content that is relevant to them, and that they love so much they want to always be informed when you publish something new in the future. But unless you make it really straight forward for them to sign-up to your mailing list, they won’t go out of their way to try.
Add a simple sign-up form to your side blog menu, and consider adding a pop-up when someone reaches the end of a post. A genuinely interested mailing list is a fantastic way to make sure your content is being put in front of the right people, to increase readership.
5. Make content shareable
This follows-on from the previous point, in that unless you make things really easy for people, they just won’t do it. As much as our own efforts to create lots of social shares for our content is great, wouldn’t it be so much easier if you could just sit back and let other people share your content for you? In adding easy to use social share and follow buttons, you are increasing your chances of your readers sharing your content with their audience, increasing your post exposure.
It’s such a simple thing, but can greatly increase your blog hits. There are loads of great WordPress Pugins for social share buttons. Make sure for each post you fill in all the necessary information to make this all run smoothly. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tweeted a post directly from a website, to find when I look at my feed there is no image set-up for the post, causing me to delete my share.
In following these steps, you can ensure you’re giving your content the best shot at being found and being appreciated. Of course it does all start with great content though, so create something that you know your audience will value, and want to share and talk about!
If you need help with blog content or content marketing, our blog management package may be helpful.
Eilidh is the founder of Eilidh MacRae Media, a content marketing agency that works with lifestyle brands and bloggers, including fashion, beauty, health, fitness and interior design, providing a variety of services, including blog and content marketing.