WAHM: Curating an Audience for Your Blog

Obviously, I’m a blogger. Writing is more than just a place to express myself: it’s how I relax throughout the crazy that tends to be my daily life. Since I’ve been blogging for so long {since 2007, if you really wanted to know}, I have extensive experience in creating a blogging “audience”, if you will. If you’re just starting out – or even if you’ve been blogging for a long time – you might feel overwhelmed at the prospect of cultivating a strong blog audience. Here are four building blocks that will help you to create the right audience for your blog.

Blog regularly. I can’t stress this enough. If you’re not creating regular, interesting content you’re just not going to keep people coming back for more. If this is something that you struggle with, start by setting a goal for yourself to write three posts a week for two weeks. Then increase that to four posts per week for two weeks. It only takes thirty days to make something a habit – so before you know it, you’ll be creating regular content without even thinking about it.

Find a blogging community that you can connect with. It doesn’t matter if this is a great community on BlogFrog, participating in the BlogHer LinkedIn Group or becoming a regular poster on Bloggy Moms. Connecting yourself to a blogging community will do wonders for your blogging abilities. Blogging communities are a great way to expose new readers to your blog, bring other bloggers to your site to comment on your material and give you blog hops or social media link ups to participate in – which will give you the opportunity to connect with new readers. In addition to all of this, you’ll connect with other bloggers: which means you have a sounding board for new ideas, have somewhere to turn when you have questions that only other bloggers can answer and will learn tips and tricks for continuing to improve your blog over time.

Spread the comment love. When someone comments on your blog, you absolutely must comment back. And if you’re really looking to keep these blog commenters coming back, make sure you go leave some love on their blog too {if they have one}. This is a blogging etiquette tip that will work wonders for your comment numbers over the long haul!

Connect on all of the major forms of social media. You may not love it, but you’re going to need to learn how to use it. Social media goes hand in hand with blogging like peanut butter goes with jelly. Yes, it’s time consuming. Yes, it can be tedious. BUT IT IS ESSENTIAL. {that’s in caps for a reason!} Here are your absolute musts

  • Facebook: it’s the King of Social Media. Create a page for your blog. I don’t care if you have two people following you. CREATE THE PAGE. And you need to be sharing blog content on both your Facebook fan page AND your personal page. Trust me. It’s true.
  • Twitter: You may not love Twitter when you first sign up, but you’ll eventually be addicted. Trust me. With Twitter, you absolutely must tweet more than just blog posts. Unlike Facebook, followers on Twitter want to hear about random snippets from your day. The funnier the better. AND like the whole “returning the comment love” concept, you must.must.must. reply to people who tweet at you. Eventually I’ll post a Twitter guide for ya’ll. For now, just work on tweeting at least three times a day and finding people to follow.
  • Pinterest: Create the account. Build yourself some boards. Add the “pin it” button to your toolbar. And start pinning! Now for the hard part: you need to pin a picture from every post you write. YES.YOU.CAN. You will be amazed at how important this piece of social media is for building an immediate return on your efforts.
  • LinkedIn: This is the sleeping beauty of social media, but a necessary one. There are some people who are actually more obsessed with LinkedIn than Facebook {yeah, it surprised me too!}. So create your profile – and fill it out as well as you possibly can. Add a picture. Connect with people. Then look for groups to join that are relevant to your blog niche. Every time you add a post, make sure you tag it in those groups.

Now that you’re a part of all these pieces of social media, you need to add them to your blog. Make sure that links to your accounts show up in your blog sidebar at all times. And make sure your readers have the option of sharing each post via social media somewhere in each post.

In terms of other forms of social media, feel free to participate if you love them. These are the ones that are the most beneficial {and the most important} to growing your audience. I don’t put a ton of weight in most of the other outlets. Sure, I use Instagram – but it’s not going to build your audience like these other outlets will. My recommendation with other kinds of social media is to give them a try. If they work, keep using them! If they’re not generating any traffic – and are super time consuming – you’re probably better off focusing your efforts elsewhere.

Ok – and now that that long winded post is done, tell me in the comments: what are your key tips – or struggles – with building a blog audience?

Read more about blogging and being a WAHM!

{ 11 comments… add one }

  • Victoria From BHBH December 28, 2012, 2:10 am

    Knowing your Klout score isn’t to bad either. I know what it is, but I am still not sure what that number ACTUALLY means. One day at a time I suppose :) Sverve.com is another place that has a score for interactivity.

    I am really hesitant on putting my blog associated with my personal Facebook. I try to limit who is on there. Also, a reason why I made the blog was so I could have a special place to spam pictures of my dogs, cats, and soon to be here newborn.

    I tried to make a page without a personal profile attached and it was glitchy. I couldn’t like, I couldn’t search. It really was a mess! I may have to make another personal profile for the blogs page.

    I like blog memberships (Better Blogger Network, Bloggymoms, Blogher, etc). There are discussion boards, groups, blog posts, interactivity. I find it really easy to find blogs to follow, and for people to find my blog. Everyone loves to help everyone and it feels like a community.

    Reply
    • Cortney January 2, 2013, 9:38 pm

      I know what you mean about Klout. The number doesn’t make any sense to me! I don’t use it – I just don’t have time :)

      Understandable about the personal facebook. It’s really only a necessity if you’re looking to monetize your blog. If you don’t want to use your personal FB, a page for your blog will still get you some good help with the search engines! But yes, if you just have a page and it’s not attached to anything, you can’t search at all on that account!

      I agree with you – the blogging networks are awesome! Love Blogher and BloggyMoms – they have the best content!

      Reply
  • Mary @ CharmingAndDarling.etsy.com December 28, 2012, 6:31 am

    I am an aspiring blogger… I have my domain and my blog is in the design phase! I hope to be up and running by next week :) Thank you so much for the great information… I am connected on Twitter @CharmAndDarling, FB http://www.facebook.com/CharmAndDarling and Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/CharmAndDarling. But honestly I hadn’t given any thought to LinkedIn! I’m add that to my growing ToDoList! Thanks for the insight into that niche of the “world”.

    Reply
    • Cortney January 2, 2013, 9:35 pm

      I followed them all :) Hope you enjoy blogging!

      Reply
  • Connie Gruning December 29, 2012, 7:47 pm

    Awesome tips!!! Thank you

    Reply
    • Cortney January 2, 2013, 9:33 pm

      I hope they’re beneficial!

      Reply
  • Kathy December 31, 2012, 12:25 am

    Great ideas, Courtney. I usually do all the suggestions but have not used Pinterest and promised myself this will be one of my goals in 2013.

    Reply
    • Cortney January 2, 2013, 9:32 pm

      Thanks Kathy! Enjoy Pinterest – it can be addicting!

      Reply
  • Kiera - EasyTravelMom February 22, 2013, 4:23 am

    Great tips. I’ve been blogging for a year now and really had not figured out yet where I wanted to take my blog… getting more motivated though now that I’m trying to be more proactive in social media and seeing others success! Looking forward to tomorrow’s article! Thank you!

    Reply
    • Cortney March 6, 2013, 11:34 pm

      Thanks mama! Let me know if you want to know something that I’ve skipped, I’ve been doing this a long time and love sharing information!

      Reply
  • Molly Blazor August 31, 2013, 8:33 pm

    I love love love this post. Keeping up with social media is something I am always working at. I have no idea why I never thought to put my blog posts on Pinterest, so thank you very much for planting that idea in my brain! Loving your blog!
    Molly Blazor recently posted…Scentsy/CatalogsMy Profile

    Reply

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