So you’ve got a blog but how big is your audience and how can you attract more readers?

Well, it’s a simple answer – your content is king. Of course, the reality is that it can be a challenge to come up with relevant and engaging content – hands up anyone who panics about where the next idea for a blog article will come from?

I’d defy anyone to boast that they can write articles at the drop of a hat. Or maybe they can, but I’m not sure the quality would be there – and by quality I mean what they say, not how they say it. I don’t mind admitting that there are times when I worry about what topics I can write about – but that’s because I care about sharing information that is useful to my audience. The whole point of my blog is to share marketing knowledge and opinions, there’s no point in talking about what I did last weekend unless it has a relevance to you!

Writing a blog is all about giving something of value – it’s not about doing a hard sell for your business, it’s sharing knowledge/insight/genuinely useful stuff that will benefit your readers. Leave the selling side of your business to your website and other marketing communications.

Writing about the fantastic week your business has just experienced is not the way to go, either. Self-indulgent posts about ‘me, me, me’ are the quickest way to switch off your audience and it won’t encourage anyone to subscribe to your blog or RSS feed. Of course, you can be clever and find ways to weave in some newsy stuff – it might be one way of showing how you work with clients. (And if you are bursting to share some great news, Twitter is a better forum – but don’t do it incessantly, no one likes a show-off!).

And so to my top tips:

  • Make sure you think about what your audience wants to hear, not what you want to tell them. Put yourself in their shoes – what will interest them, what issues do they face and how can you make a difference and help them?
  • Be consistent in how often you post new articles on your blog. There’s nothing more frustrating than subscribing to a blog, being inundated with loads of posts one week and then get nothing for weeks after. I’ve mentioned this before and it’s easy to get yourself organised – take a look at ‘What is the best time to publish my blog?
  • Similarly, if you write about lots of different themes you’ll struggle to maintain your audience, let alone grow it. Concentrate on what you’re good at and write about themes that you can ‘own’.
  • Avoid the ‘me too’ syndrome, don’t look like every other blogger in your business space. Your blog is a great opportunity for people to get to know the person behind the business, so do allow your personality to come through and don’t be afraid to voice your opinions. It will help you connect more successfully with your audience.
  • Always, always, always respond to comments that are added to your articles. Engage with your audience – you never know where it may lead.

Have you gone from strictly family and friends to a global audience? It would be great to hear how you’ve managed to build up your blog audience.