Alright, I admit. I’m a huge “data” nerd! I enjoy gathering it, organizing it, and using it to help me make the right decisions. Over the years I’ve collected a wide range of data points, but answers to one question in particular really fascinate me.
“Why did you start blogging?”
I put together a top 10 list of the most common replies based on the personal aspirations and distinctive individuality of each blogger I chat with. Can you guess the most popular reason by far?
I started blogging because I want to…
Improve my writing skills.
Share my ideas and opinions.
Archive my thoughts and feelings.
Share my knowledge with the world.
Market my business.
Tell my story.
Organize my thoughts.
If the first thing that popped into your mind is “I wan’t to be heard!”, you’re not alone! Our unwavering desire to be heard is a strong one. We want to have our ideas and opinions acknowledged, discussed – and even challenged.
The majority of bloggers strive for an audience, be it beginners working on their first ever blog post, or well established social behemoths with millions of readers. It’s the end-game; the ultimate goal we all pursue, and it’s not supposed to be easy to get there.
What’s harder than writing a blog post? Finding an audience to read it.
If your goal is to be heard, you need to fucking scream! We spend so much time crafting our thoughts into these prefect morsels of information, yet so little time finding an audience to read and acknowledge our work. The average blogger spends roughly 3.5 hours creating a blog post, yet only about 15 – 20 minutes promoting it.
Let’s imagine for a minute that the process of writing your blog post is like a three hour road trip to a friend’s secluded cabin by the lake. For the sake of this analogy, the time it takes to write a great blog post is essentially the journey you’re making to get there.
During your drive you encounter traffic, narrow windy roads, a flat tire, bad weather, killer zombies, and a number of other distractions along the way. Seriously — Worst. Drive. Ever. Do you stop and turn back when the going gets tough? Hell no, you press on until you get there. Unless you’re a quitter that is. If you give up that easy, then what you’re about to read next will terrify you.
A completed blog post is just the first of many steps.
It’s published! My work is over, it’s time to celebrate. Ugh, nope. It’s what you do after you hit that publish button that will set you apart from the rest.
Back at the imaginary cabin, your gear isn’t just going to magically sprout legs and carry itself inside. Your food isn’t going to materialize into a half dozen deliciously cooked meals, and your fishing rod will definitely not hit up the dock, attach a lure and start reeling in rainbow trout.
Making the trip out to the cabin was just the first step, it’s what you do after you get there that counts. Putting in the effort into turning your weekend into something awesome is just as important as getting there in the first place. Because the truth is, no one will do it for you – you yourself are in charge.
Don’t believe the “if you build it, they will come” fallacy. It’s the single biggest reason most bloggers fail to secure an audience for their content and ignore the 80/20 principle. Having said that, finding an audience is no easy feat. In fact, most successful bloggers will argue it takes considerably more effort than the blog post itself. It’s a slow and steady process as each little plug here, a share there, a mention or a comment compounds the next until you start seeing serious results.
Step 2, 3, 4 and 5 should be spent on nothing but blog promotion.
Every time you publish a blog post, you must invest the time into promoting it! If you don’t, you might as well get comfortable with the idea that your blog may already be dying. So seek out relevant forums, communities, social media groups, and join them, be active, and share! Anywhere your blog posts will be on-topic and appreciated is where you want to be. There are hundreds, even thousands of communities and resources built around the very things you’re likely blogging about, so seek them out and get your hands dirty. And if push comes to shove, you can build your own community (we did and it helps out significantly!).
In addition, be sure to regularly send out newsletters containing your blog posts to your ever growing list of subscribers. As long as you share your post where readers expect it, the small wins will eventually start to pile up. When your blog posts are being spread around organically via word of mouth, it’s a sure sign that you’re doing it right. Your audience is growing, so keep going!
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Thanks for sharing this! Great advice for new bloggers… and me! 😛
Great insights. Thanks for this ??
What a great article – full of actually useful information. The metaphor is so funny but accurate! It just feeds my motivation! 🙂
Thanks for sharing this wonderful article….. 🙂
Thanks for the article. This is a point I’m learning, oh so painfully. As a brand new blogger (just in my second month), I’m learning that building my audience is like pushing a boulder uphill from a stand still. It’s taking a lot of concentration and effort at the start. I’m just hoping that once I get rolling the momentum will make the journey a whole lot easier. I must confess, though, that I’m starting to enjoy the process. I’m learning from others, being inspired by others, and get small wins by way of a meaningful comment here or there. Thanks for sharing!!
Hi. I loved this post although I already knew that marketing is a huge part of blogging, I love the way you phrase it and the metaphors you use. I also enjoyed your sense of humor very much.
Some fantastic advice there. This is something that I have recently learnt and am now working hard to achieve.
I never realised how much work was involved in blogging.
So true that once you write it, the hard work begins.
Brilliant tips, most bloggers make the mistake of thinking that after publishing the work is done.Many do not realize that publishing is the small part,after publishing you have to promote your blog like crazy to get views.
Very informative,thanks for sharing
Thank you – this is an reall interesting post and you are right. The most important and time consuming thing is to actually promote your post. Which forums can you recommend and which ones are you using?
It all depends on the subject you’re blogging about. Always start with the low hanging fruit, i.e. social media channels on twitter (hashtags) and facebook (groups) as they are the most accessible. You can seek out classic forum-like communities as well, however if you do find an established community, be sure to check out the rules so you don’t end up coming off too spammy. Best of luck in your search!
This was perfect for me! I’m still trying to figure out how to promote more and I want to improve my writing skills!
This is exactly what I needed to hear! Thanks!
Hey recently started my blog, and truly giving my best not only to write but to do marketing effectively!!!
That is the best advice ever. Thanks for keeping us motivated
Great insights. Thanks for this
Thanks for sharing!
I laughed so hard because you are so damned right ! 😀 Will be checking here more often 🙂
Great tips for anyone just getting into blogging (and for many already in it). Thanks for sharing.
This is such good information! I’m really good at writing posts, but I’m terrible at promotion. Time to step up my game!
4 steps dedicating to promoting solidifies the importance of promoting. Great tips and ideas to get the creative juices flowing on promoting!
Great points. I know that’s my challenge with blogging. Learning to scream and get heard.
Like reading posts like this, I get to learn new tips to help me in my blogging journey.
This is all so true! As a new blogger and who only really has a social media following on Facebook I would say like try and find groups for your audience that allows promotion! For example, i blog about chronic illnesses so I post my blog into support groups in addition to bloggers groups because I find that is my main target audience! Morgan x
Will definitely do this. Thanks for your advice
So true and great advice here. Nobody will see it if we don’t promote it!
Great takeouts! I agree completely, writing is about 20% of the work; preparation and promotion are the real deal there ✔️
Hi Matthew, thanks for the post. I was just wondering if you had any more thoughts on steps 2-5?
Hi Brian, you’re very welcome and thank you for taking the time to read it! As for thoughts in regards to steps 2-5, the reality is that we just need to find out what works for us, there are so many social media platforms, forums and other areas where our plugs would be appreciated, just doing the research and engaging will be a huge step towards in the right direction. For example, we just recently started using instagram and decided to share our motivational quotes and life experiences from the perspective of bloggers. If you like, please be sure to follow me @be.community.
Building your audience is a huge challenge. Even more so, a returning audience! I found that going with the small but steady steps is far easier than jumping into big things every once in a while. Like with workout – little by little, but often and consistently, and you’ll see the results.