You’ve been blogging a while. You have a decent following. And you’re already doing all the obvious things to build traffic, from promoting on social media to utilizing a plugin for SEO. So are there more things you can still learn about building traffic? What additional steps can you take to draw in new readers? Is your best tactic at this point to just keeping chugging away, or could there be more that you should do?
The good news is it’s never too late to build your blog audience, particularly if you think strategically. And with that in mind, here are five foolproof ideas to try.
1. Raise the Bar on Your Content
Plain and simple, the best way to draw new readers is to create better content—and, while it may seem obvious, this is a strategy you never outgrow. Even when you think you’re doing the best you can, there’s always a way to push higher. Take better photographs. Write more meaningful posts. Look around at the competition and see what they’re doing better than you. Then, work to make your blog the best in the industry. Don’t settle for being one of the many; shoot to be the one at the top. Keep improving and improving. The better your content is, the more shareable it becomes, bringing new readers to your site.
2. Spend Time Making Friends
According to Derek Halpern at Social Triggers, there’s no better way to draw new readers than by convincing other bloggers to send readers your way—Bloggers offer a great deal of influence, and tapping into that influence is one of the best ways to make your blog grow. So give yourself time to build relationships with other bloggers, and go about it the same way you go about building relationships anywhere else. Be friendly, responsive, generous, and kind. Pay attention to what other bloggers are writing about, and be the kind of person who remembers what they say. When you show other writers you care about them, you make meaningful connections that create valuable relationships over time.
3. Invite Prominent Bloggers to Guest Post
A surefire way to get bloggers to send you new readers is by asking them to guest post for your site. When people write posts for your blog, they will be quick to promote them on their social networks and to their audiences. As they do, they bring floods of new readers to your site. So reach out to bloggers you have relationships with, whose work you already like, and ask if they’d be willing to contribute a post.
4. Team Up for a Big, Cross-Promotional Giveaway
Two are better than one—and that’s as true for blog promotion as for anything else. When you pool your promotion efforts with other bloggers, you set your site up for greater success. Look at the example of what 15 lifestyle bloggers did, teaming up for a $200 Anthropologie giveaway. By working together, they divided the financial investment each blogger had to put in. What’s more, each person promoted the other 14 people in her post about the giveaway, exposing new readers to new sites.
5. Begin Writing Somewhere Else, Too
Play off another site’s traffic by contributing to its content, along with a clear link and mention of your own blog. Whether you write a monthly column for your local newspaper or a one-time guest post for a huge blog in your industry, doing so exposes you to an entirely new audience of readers. Many of those readers will like what you say and go to your blog to learn more, expanding your read.
After you’ve been blogging a while, it’s easy to fall into a rut. It’s easy to coast along on your average amount of traffic, wishing for a fluke promotion to come and boost your readership someday. But you don’t have to wait. If you’re serious about growing your blog, implement some of the above strategies now—New readers are out there; you just have to find new ways for them to find you.