If you're fairly new to the blogging or online business world or if you're beginning to take your brand a little more seriously, it can be intimidating to jump in head first when it seems like every brand around you is busting at the seems with loyal, ride or die followers.
I know you may be thinking, "How in the world am I supposed to keep up when it seems like only my mom and a few close friends are reading my blog and buying my products?"
Well the bright side to all of this is the fact that we all start from somewhere. Even the brands who brings in millions of monthly pageviews once started out with 0. So don't fret, you'll soon have your own loyal crew. But how do you get started? Today I wanted to share a few actionable tips that you can apply today to help you begin growing your followers (as in social media), pageviews and email subscribers even if you're starting with no one.
But before we get started, one thing I really want to mention is to not get too caught up in the "numbers". You should always aim for quality over quantity when it comes to building your tribe. I would much rather have 100 loyal followers who need and appreciate what I do over 12,000 who could honestly care less or don't need what I have to offer.
Let's jump right in...
CREATE INCREDIBLE, SHAREWORTHY CONTENT
If you want to consistently get people to your website, then you need to create content that attracts your target audience. Great content is actionable, meaning they can apply what they've learned immediately and it is also helpful. Meaning it was created to help them through a particular pain point they are experiencing. This type of content continues to bring in new readers and also keeps your regulars coming back for more. Thus, your pageviews grow,
ALSO READ: 3 FACTORS THAT MAKE UP INCREDIBLE CONTENT
SHARE YOUR WORK
You can't expect for anyone to visit your site if you're not consistently sharing the work that you create. Creating irresistible blog content or having a pretty site is all pointless if you're not putting it out there into the world. With each and every blog post that you create, you should be sharing it several times a day throughout Twitter and Facebook and also pinning it to relevant boards on Pinterest. The same goes for your products. You can't expect people to buy if they don't know you exist.
MAKE IT EASY FOR YOUR WORK TO BE SHARED
People want to support you, but you have to make it easy for them to do so. Adding social media buttons to your posts or click-to-tweet quotes can help your readers share your posts with their audience. The more eyes you can get on your content, the more you'll see your pageviews increase. If the platform you're using doesn't come with the social share options, you can check out a free service like SumoMe.
KEEP YOUR READERS ON YOUR SITE
Another way to begin boosting your pageviews is to keep your readers on your site and browsing your content. You can gage how long someone is browsing your site by looking at your bounce rate via Google Analytics. The lower the percentage, the longer people are staying and engaging on your site. You can keep readers interested longer by...
- Adding in links to relevant posts throughout your blog posts or in a gallery at the bottom.
- Having clear blog categories that are relevant to your target audience
- Adding your most popular blog posts to your sidebar (if applicable) or on a "Start Here" page in your main navigation
MAKE YOUR SITE USER FRIENDLY
Your website is the "home base" for your brand. But if it isn't easy to navigate then it can potentially cost you a ton of page views. Step back and look at your website as if you're your reader. Do the pages upload slow? Are there tons of distracting fonts or colors? Is the navigation hard to find? Does it look out of whack on a mobile device? All of these things can play into if someone continues to come back to your website or not. If you're not up to doing your own site audit, ask a friend for their honest opinion or hire a pro.
When working to build up your social media followers, the most important thing to remember is to be genuine and intentional. You not only want to build your followers but you also want to build community. The only way to do that is to take a genuine interest in getting to know them and possibly providing a solution to one of their pain points. Here's how you can get started...
FOLLOW OTHERS IN YOUR INDUSTRY OR THOSE IN YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
Common sense, but if you want followers, then you need to begin following people that you can either see yourself working with in the future, people you admire or people who are obviously in your target audience. You can do a simple search or start off by following a few of the people that your current followers are already following.
HOP INTO THE CONVERSATION
Engaging with the people you follow is by far the best way to getting them to follow you back. If someone is chatting about your favorite topic, don't be afraid to chime in. If someone asks a question on a topic that you're knowledgable in, feel free to answer it! And it doesn't always have to be about business or your "niche". My favorite times to engage with my followers are when we are all watching the same show. A few other great ways to begin engaging with your followers is:
- Participate in twitter chats. I love #BlkCreatives, #NectarChat and #CreateLounge
- Get active in Facebook groups. You can find groups that are related to your particular industry and starting to get to know others in the group. You never know they could become a new business bestie or client.
SHARE OTHERS WORK
Another great way to gain new followers and build community is to share the work of others. Don't be stingy and just share your own blog posts or products, if you follow someone who's work you admire and that you think your audience will enjoy, share it! Building relationships is about more giving than taking. I did this a lot when I first started out (and still do!) and it helped me to quickly grow your my following and bond with other like minded creatives who I now consider real life friends.
Your email list is one of the BEST tools you can utilize as a business owner. Not only does it allow you to begin forming a bond between you and those who subscribe but it also helps to build trust. And we all know if you can get someone to trust you, you can get them to buy from you. Here are a few tips that help me to bring in new subscribers every single day.
ADD MULTIPLE OPT-IN FORMS TO YOUR SITE
As of the time that this post goes live, my email opt-in shows up at the bottom of every single page on my site, no matter what page my audience clicks on first. Why is this necessary you ask? Well for one, if someone goes to my contact page first instead of my homepage, they still have an option to opt-in. Also, you should be subtly reminding readers as often as possible that you also offer free value via email as well. If your template doesn't allow this, then manually put your opt-in wherever you are able. This can be your home page, your blogs sidebar, a special page dedicated to your newsletter in your navigation, your about page and contact page.
CREATE AN INCREDIBLE OPT-IN FREEBIE
Let's face it, people like free stuff. Especially free stuff that they find extremely valuable. if you're struggling to get people to sign up for your email list, offer them something that they can't ignore. This can be in the form of a super valuable ebook, a workshop, an email course or maybe even a discount off of your products. The possibilities are endless but I will say that whatever you decide to create should be so value packed that you'll actually consider selling it instead.
ADD OPT-IN FREEBIES TO YOUR BLOG POSTS
Another way to steadily gain new subscribers is to add in freebies to your blog posts. These freebies are often some type of worksheet, workbook or video tutorial that will help your readers apply what they've learned from your post. This is a great strategy because even after your post has gone live, whenever someone wanders onto your site they can still opt-in for the free gift. I would recommend doing this for as many blog posts as possible! Also go back through your older blog posts and update them with free gifts as well.
HOST A FREE EMAIL COURSE/WORKSHOP/ETC
So lets say you have done all of the above but you are still not seeing the type of growth you would like. Another great way to gain new subscribers is to take it a bit further and host some type of free limited time workshop or email course. All your followers would have to do is give their email in order to gain access. Not only does this create something of value for your audience but it also helps you to boost your list. Every time I host a workshop, I add about 200-300 new subscribers to my list.
Whether you're just starting out or have been doing this a while, the biggest piece of advice I want you to take away from all of this is that you have to stay consistent if you want to see any type of success. You can't expect to see any growth on Twitter if you never tweet and interact with people. And you'll never see an increase in pageviews if you write a post but never promote it. Yes, people will likely come to you but you have to continually give them a reason to!
WHAT STRATEGIES HAVE YOU USED TO HELP YOU GROW YOUR PAGEVIEWS, FOLLOWERS AND SUBSCRIBERS?
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