Creating a blog from scratch is exciting, but it’s also intimidating. It can feel nearly impossible to reach readers and build an audience from the ground up.
Yet it’s more than possible. My post on 6 tips for new bloggers showed you the basics skills needed to get a start in the blogging world.
Today we’re expanding on those tips by showing you how to take the blog you’ve created and get the ball rolling on reaching a larger audience.
Here are 8 tips you need to know about finding new blog readers from a next-to-nothing starting point.
1. Domain Name
A successful blog must have a professional domain name.
If you’re using a blog as a marketing tool for your online business, this is easy. It’s a little more difficult for those starting a blog from scratch with no associated business.
Pick a blog name that’s catchy and easy to remember. You want a name that your readers will remember and share with their friends. Incorporate your top keywords into the name if possible.
Above all, go with a .com domain name. It’s the most recognizable TLD extension in the world for a reason.
Moz is a good resource for additional rules for choosing a domain name.
2. Web Design
First impressions are everything when it comes to running a successful blog.
A reader’s first impression of your blog comes from web design. So utilize a neat and clean design that allows you to get your brand message across clearly.
If you’re planning to use ads on your blog, we recommend going with fewer premium-quality ads rather than more low-quality ads. The less advertising clutter, the better.
Take a look at Shout Me Loud for more tips on how to make your blog more attractive.
3. Pillar Posts
Creating pillar posts is my favorite way to quickly grow a new blog and increase its audience.
A pillar post is simply a long-form blog post (aim for at least 2,000 to 5,000 words) that provides a very detailed and well-researched overview of a particular subject. They often come in the form of how-to articles and guides.
Pillar posts set the foundation for the rest of your blog’s content. They help you rank for top keywords and make your blog a go-to resource for your niche.
Writing a handful (at least 5) pillar posts in the early days of your blog has long-term traffic boosting benefits and establishes you as an authoritative source of information.
4. Daily Content
One of the staples of a great content marketing plan is producing daily content.
Yet audiences have wised up. According to Econsultancy, mediocre content no longer cuts it. You must provide your readers with content of real value otherwise they’ll start looking elsewhere.
Daily content is especially important when you first create a new blog. You want new visitors to think they’ll find something new each time they visit. Give them a reason to come back and they will.
After you create a handful of pillar posts for your blog, we recommend publishing one shorter blog post (500 words or so) per day for at least the first couple weeks of your blog’s life.
5. Video Content
Video content marketing is changing the face of online marketing as a whole.
According to Cloudswave, 75 million Americans watch online videos daily. They go on to state that over 700 videos are shared every second on Twitter alone.
The stats speak for themselves. If you want to be a successful blogger in the modern day and age, you’d do well to consider producing at least some video content.
Content Marketing Institute is a great resource for everything related to video content marketing.
6. Search Engine Optimization
Once you get the ball rolling as far as producing regular content goes, it’s important to look at the SEO side of the picture.
Understanding the basics of SEO will help you write blog posts that rank more highly on the search engines. A basic knowledge will also help you tweak things behind the scenes to get the most bang out of your buck from every post.
Check out our post on SEO and content marketing for ideas.
Prefer to hire some outside help? Our business owner’s complete guide to hiring an SEO expert will point you in the right direction.
7. Social Media
Being active on social media is one of the best ways to get new eyes on your blog.
Create social media accounts specifically for your blog. This allows you to grow these accounts in conjunction with your blog. Post each new blog post you publish on your social media accounts to grow your followers.
Improve your social media marketing efforts by actually engaging your audience. The whole point of social media is to network so make sure that’s what you’re doing.
We’ve covered social media marketing extensively in the past. A few of our top related posts talk about how to pick the best social media platform for your brand and how to create the best social media posting schedule.
8. Guest Blogging
Few techniques are more effective at boosting traffic to your blog than guest blogging.
Find authoritative blogs in your niche and ask their owners if you can write a high-quality guest post free of charge. Strive to create engaging, informational content that puts you in a good light without being overly promotional. Usually a byline with a link back to your blog is all you should add to a guest blog in the way of promotion.
Guest blogging is one of the best ways to get your name out there and build authority while directly engaging with the most influential bloggers in your niche.
My guest blogging and outreach strategy guide tells you exactly what you need to do to make the most of guest blogging opportunities.
Finding readers for a brand-new blog isn’t a walk in the park. Luckily though, it can be done with hard work, patience, and a little know-how. The 8 tips above will get you off to a great audience-building start.