Growing and Nurturing Your FollowingJust about every blogger would love to have a larger following. A bigger audience means we can get our message out to more people and ultimately, we can achieve more profit from our work. But when it comes to growing your following, I’ve got good news and I’ve got bad news.

The good news is, it’s not that difficult to grow your following.

The bad news is, it’s going to take time and work, but if you’re willing to put in the time and effort, it will be well worth it.

A lot of bloggers are so focused on the writing part of blogging; they neglect the work they need to grow their blog’s audience. While writing great content is a definite way to attract traffic and grow your word-of-mouth, it’s rarely enough. Make sure you dedicate time, effort and even some cash to growing your following.

A few ways to get more eyeballs on your blog:

Make your RSS feed readily available and encourage visitors to sign up. You can have the obligatory RSS button in your side bar, but also encourage visitors to sign up in your posts and remind them directly how to sign up.

Build your mailing list. We’ll be talking about list building next as it is very important; probably even more important than your RSS feed. Unless you serve a real techie audience, more of your readers will email than use RSS, so make sure to ask your visitors to sign up every chance you get.

Make friends with others in your niche. Here’s another people never seem to take the time to do. Make meaningful friendship with other bloggers, product sellers and website owners in your niche. This means more than liking someone’s status on Facebook. It means talking directly with people and developing friendships.

And why should you make friends? Well, it’s very simple. Friends are more likely to share your blog URL, your content and your products. So make lots of friends and do the same for them.

Use social media to supplement your following. It’s a sign of the times, but social media is often the focal point of many people’s web experiences, particularly younger generations. They go to Facebook or go to Twitter and they read blog posts, find news and other information there. You definitely want to be seen in social media, so there are a couple of things you can do:

– Include sharing buttons on all your posts. That way your readers can pass your content onto their social media connections.

– Get involved in a few strategic networks where you can reach a large part of your potential audience.

Buy ads. Sometimes buying traffic is the quickest way to growing your following. You can buy ads in newsletters, on other websites, on Facebook and even through Google Adwords. Don’t be afraid to spend a little money to make a lot.

Facebook Ads

Guest blogging and other content contributions. Contribute content to other people’s blogs, podcasts, reports and websites wherever you can. It’s an easy, free and effective way to reach new audiences and establish your credibility. Seek out opportunities that will give you a lot of exposure, but don’t turn your nose up at opportunities that allow you to reach small, but very targeted activities.

As you can see, becoming a successful blogger isn’t just about blogging. It would be nice if we could just write and things fell into place, but it’s not how it works. Carve out time in every single work day to build your following.

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