So, you’ve decided to take the plunge and start a blog. Congratulations! I get asked this question all the time by bloggers who are new to the game: how does one build a blog audience? When I first started this blog, I really had no idea to be honest. I just launched it for fun and hoped for the best. However, as I started taking it a bit more seriously, I knew I had to put in a little extra effort to expand my audience and readership. Here’s a few ways to grow your fan base.
1. Share your blog with your family and friends.
I didn’t tell anyone IRL that I blogged for a long time. I thought people would think it was kind of lame and dorky. I was way, way wrong. My friends and family absolutely love it (p.s. hi mom, I’m sure you’re reading this right now). These folks have been my biggest supporters and I don’t think I could do it without them. Thank you all!
2. Network, network, network!
You’re going to have to put yourself out there a little bit to get noticed. The easiest way to do this is to start interacting with other bloggers and PR companies on the net. Leave thoughtful responses to other bloggers’ work. Reply to tweets. Like their Instagram posts. Some of these bloggers might return the favor! Whatever you do, please, please don’t blatantly promote your work on another blog (ex. Don’t be that person to leave a comment saying “Cool post! Check out my blog and follow me on Facebook/Twitter/Insta/Everysocialmediaplatformoutthere.” Just, no.)
3. Join a few blogger networks.
Blogger networks are amazing, and you can join more than one! I’m currently a part of Virginia is for Bloggers, the Southern Blog Society and the Her Campus Blogger Network. I’ve “met” so many other bloggers by doing this, and have made a few e-friends along the way too. Your blog buddies will ultimately become some of your biggest supporters as well!
4. Go to blogger meetups.
Don’t be afraid to show your pretty face around town! Go to some blogger meetups and mingle with other bloggers/PR folks in the area. You can also take initiative and host your own meetups as well if there’s not much going on in your neck of the woods. Always make sure to have a business card on you when you meet new bloggers so all the new contacts you meet can easily look up your website.
5. Establish a relationship with brands you love/are sponsored by.
Are you featuring a brand in a post? Tag them on social media! Sometimes a brand will RT, regram or share your post and/or images from the post. How exciting! That leads to more exposure for you and your blog, and maybe a few new followers on the way as well.
6. Get yourself featured on other websites.
Press is always a great way to get yourself some exposure. Now, be reasonable – you’re not going to get a one-pager in Vogue tomorrow, however, start with smaller, local media outlets or other blogs in your niche. If they have open slots for features, send over an email and explain why you would be a good fit. I also love the Lucky Contributor Community, and I’ve successfully applied to be Teen Vogue’s Best Dressed Reader of the Day in the past.
Another thing you can do is collaborate with other blogs/brands. I’m a big fan of the Style Scenario series I just recently worked on – it was a great way to tap into my blogger friends’ audiences!