If your content is the bones of your website, the audience is its blood. It pumps life through your website, keeping it alive and thriving.
Without a business website audience you won’t grow. And everything you do to increase readership and make a more dedicated group will come back again and again.
That isn’t always as easy as we hope it will be. The adage, “Write it and they will come” was expanded a few years ago to specify, “Write it well and they will come.” This is still true, but not necessarily enough to push you above the competition that is literally surrounding you in the millions.
Having a plan beyond writing well and often is going to be necessary if you want to expand your business website audience – and hook that audience for real. So, where do you start?
Connect with Independent Non-Corporate Bloggers
Of all of the items on this list, this is your easiest and most direct way to expand your business website audience. Bloggers should always be building connections with big names, small names, medium names, old names, new names… Communities form within blog niches, and it is a great way to support others, and get that support back.
The two fundamental rules of succeeding in building blogging relationships are:
Target Independent, Non-business Bloggers
There are two huge problems behind trying to connect to corporate blogs: (1) There’s no one there to connect to. While this article is actually about building a business blog, the irony (and the blessing) is that most of corporate blogs in your niche still don’t quite get blogging (and that’s also your powerful competitive advantage!). Most corporate blogs have no human beings behind them: There’s no one to interact with. They are mostly regularly updated brochures. (2) They are basically your competitors, unlike independent hobbyist bloggers who can be turned into your promoters.
Don’t try to Apply the Same Template to any Situation
Blogging community is diverse: One blogger actively monetizes his/her blog (so they may be interested in running a paid ad), while another one may be insulted when approached with the offer to place a sponsored review. Instead, the latter could be excited about the opportunity to be featured in your expert round-up or provide a quote. Approach each connection differently: Do some research, connect on social media and actually read the blog prior to contacting.
If you want to really connect on a deeper level, try finding bloggers in your local area. Nothing forges real friendships than meeting face to face.
So What Can You Do Today?
Go ahead, search BuzzSumo and start creating a list of people you’d be building connections with going forth. Don’t start with the list of 100 people: You’ll be overwhelmed.
Start with 15-20 bloggers who seem to be interested in the same topic as you are. Don’t target huge influencers: They won’t have time for you. Aim at rising stars, who are active and hungry, reply to comments and tweets and seem to be eager to explore new opportunities!
Consider Contributing to Big Name Sites
Though harder to achieve, this is a must. Plenty of big name websites welcome an outside contribution or regular editorials from niche experts. You just have to pitch them, or else get to know the editor and ask them if they will take occasional posts from you.
Read the guidelines for posting, go through what is being published on the site, and be mindful of what they are looking for. It may take a few months to be published, but when it is, you’ll see a huge traffic and brand awareness boost.
A single contribution can triple your readership on a decently sized website. It is a valuable resource, so take advantage of it: Commit to contributing regularly, build closer connections with the editorial team, help them promote your contributions, etc. It’s all about making the most of those connections!
So What Can You Do Today?
Don’t try to look for these opportunities elsewhere: The first step is to explore the blogs you already read and love: You know their style and people behind them. It will be easier for you to approach them. Look at how you connected to your favorite blogs using Linkedin:
Get Creative With Related Topics
You have to walk a rather thin line when it comes to expanding on your content topic reach itself. It will improve your chances of reaching new audiences, but it might dilute the strength of the audience you already have.
You don’t want to go too far off topic, especially when it comes to a company / business blog which doesn’t have that freedom of style a hobby blogger does.
However, there is no doubt that a little creativity in that regard is good. You want to find topics that are closely enough related that they fit with the tone and niche of your site, but varied enough to wriggle into new categories where you can go fishing for readers that may not have found you otherwise.
Think Related and Neighborhood Topics
Create a resource your current audience would appreciate but try to expand your reach to those people who may not yet know they are interested in the topic you are covering.
For example, if you are into a hosting niche, don’t just blog about web hosting technology: You provide actionable advice to website owners in general giving them a helpful resource on naming, marketing and branding their sites (which they then may consider hosting using your platform). This solid guide on speeding up your site is a perfect example of what I am talking about here: It’s not directly related to the topic of the site but it caters to the potential audience perfectly.
Go The Visual Route
Images are powerful, no matter where they are used which so many publishers are using more and more visual content in various formats: many successful blogs use Gifs and images more than text these days.
You can do the same and start basing posts (at least some of them) around visuals. Or start adding in more to break up the text and add or change context and tone.
Think about creating unique images versus simply using someone else’s photos: Think about developing your own recognizable style which will help your content stand out and stick in minds.
So What Can You Do Today?
Here’s the simplest way to try something different (in terms of visual content) this year: Go back to your most popular articles of 2015 (most visited, commented, shared, etc) and find one great quote from each one.
Now go to Canva, pick a good template and create three (or more depending on how many articles you picked) visual quotes. Use different background photos and text, but keep the template and the font the same: This will give your quotes a more consistent look. (FirstSiteGuide guides are a great example of consistent visual look, for example, so is Moz Guide)
Now, create a nice-looking “visual” roundup of 2015: Easy, fun and sharable! Schedule separate tweets with each visual quote for more exposure. Consider adding image mouse-over sharing to get more people share your quotes.
If those quotes belong to some experts, tag them in each update: They will come to help you spread the word.
Improve Your Reach, Expand Your Business Website Audience
It isn’t rocket science. Expanding your business website audience is pretty simple when it comes down to it. What you need is the dedication to think beyond the frequency and quality issue. By branching out and varying your sources of traffic you are going to reach more people. That is where the quality and frequency make a play and hook them for the long term.
Do you have any tips on how to improve and expand your business website audience?
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