Thanks to social media, each and every blogger can attain a certain amount of exposure. You can share blog photos on Instagram and Facebook; you can share your link on Twitter; or you can pin a quote you wrote on Pinterest. You can even do it all from just one profile. No matter your platform of choice, you can reach people who have never heard of you. It’s nothing short of a miracle!
Nevertheless, a hurdle that many of us bloggers face today is increasing our readership. I have heard people say, “I already tweet, tumble, pin and everything in between but I don’t seem to get the traffic I want.” Or they have asked, “How do I network face to face as a blogger?” The first stems from some frustration after trying everything, whereas the second question relays that you – the blogger – understand the need for human interaction as a part of your brand growth. Honestly, neither is better than the other. What is important, though, is that both are referring to the same goal – creating an engaged and loyal audience.
So how do you build a network – a community that values what you have to say?
I have some ideas.
Pinpoint your target audience. Who do you want to read your work? Is it the stay-at-home mom, the DIY crafter or the city girl who loves a night out on the town? Is she a 25-year-old young adult or is she an established 40-year-old woman with a family? Maybe you’re trying to reach a male audience. What about their interests and hobbies? Who is that person? Being specific about these things is the basis of growing your audience. It helps you tailor your content how you want it and for who you want it. In addition, you spend less energy trying to please everyone who views your site or social media profiles. Everything about your blog becomes more targeted, and you truly begin the adventure of working smarter not harder.
Get out there! Look for events in your city or close to your city that your ideal reader would attend. Look for groups and websites that he or she would be a part of. After you have done that, participate! Get involved! It is true that inspiration is a part of what you share with the world but there’s also a consideration of what people need answers to. Blogging truly boils down to one thing – what problems are you solving, and it does not have to be deep! If your reader is the DIY crafter, they may want to know where they can meet local like-minded creatives. If your reader is a city girl, she may want to know where the next big party is or where the best food spots are in town. Now, if you don’t know what your audience wants or needs solved, start visiting places to find the answers. Pay attention. You’ll start to glean content ideas from the small things.
Connect. I have a friend who always says that your network is only as strong as your net worth, and as I’ve continued to pursue my dreams, I realize that she’s right! And trust me, it has nothing to do with money. It’s actually referring to who you know and the talent around you. Now, I may ruffle your feathers with this one but it’s something that you’ve got to accept. Your friends are not your customers. Yes, that’s a bit drastic but anyone who has built a brand will tell you it is the truth. Does that mean you should abandon them? Heck no! It just means you need to push yourself to connect with those who are on the same path as you or want to stay connected to what you have to offer. To expand your sphere of influence, you will need to expand your contacts. When you attend events (like those I mentioned in the point before), talk with people there. Find out there passions and interests. Most importantly, collect business cards! True, it saves you some money but the biggest benefit is that it puts you in control of the relationship from that point on. Another idea is to reach out to PR companies, which is very beneficial for fashion and lifestyle bloggers. You’d be surprised! They may add you to their list of bloggers they love and invite you to blogger exclusive events. Who wouldn’t want that?
These 3 simple things are just basic principles I’ve learned that I wanted to share with you. They aren’t the only things you can do but they’re a great way to get started!
Which one are you going to try?
PS: Here are a few other articles we’ve written on Networking