If you’re just starting out as a blogger, you’re probably wondering how to grow your audience.
The good news is that there’s a lot you can learn from bloggers who have already built an enormous following – no matter what they blog about, great bloggers share a number of habits that make them successful. If you’re diligent about developing these habits yourself, you too can build an army of loyal supporters.
Let’s look at why highly successful bloggers truly connect with their audience:
1. They are Passionate About Their Subject
When you’re truly excited, it comes across in your writing – it arouses your audience and makes them feel that you have something worth saying. Don’t pick a blog niche just because there are lots of potential readers, write about something you truly care about, and readers will come flocking. In any case, if you’re not deeply passionate about your subject, chances are you’ll get bored and abandon your blog very quickly.
2. They Take the Time to Make Themselves Experts
People read blogs because they want unique insights and interesting points of view. If you just repeat what other bloggers are saying, then you’re not adding any value.
You need to take the time to become a true expert. If you’re passionate about your subject, this should be a labor of love – not a burden. Read widely and keep up with the latest news so that you have your finger on the pulse of your subject.
Engage in social media – not just your own blog – to build your knowledge and have meaningful discussions. By making learning a lifelong process, you’ll give your readers something that they just can’t get anywhere else.
3. They Create Incredibly Useful Content
Not only are top bloggers experts, they also give their readers genuinely helpful information.
Don’t just focus on expressing your own views – think about what your audience wants to know, and then give them this information.
For example, if you blog about cooking, ask kitchen equipment manufacturers for product samples. Then try these samples out, and tell your readers what you think. On the other hand, if you’re a fashion blogger, make the effort to go to real fashion shows and give your followers a first-hand account of what went on.
4. They’re Prolific
To grow a huge audience for your blog, you need to keep your readers coming back. Sure, it’s important to add new readers all the time, but if your existing audience is drifting away, then you’re fighting an uphill battle.
The way to build a loyal following is to produce lots of fresh content – every day if possible. This doesn’t mean you should write for the sake of writing – fuzz and fluff are useless. You have to deliver concise, insightful material on a regular basis – it’s tough to do this, but the more you try, the easier it gets.
5. They’re Motivated Self-Starters
The great thing about blogging is that you don’t have a boss telling you what to do – it’s also one of the biggest challenges.
No one is going to force you to sit down and write that next blog post, or tell you to go out and interview industry experts. What you do has to come from within yourself. Unless you can get up each morning and tear into life with a fresh appetite, you’re going to struggle. That’s why it’s so important to be passionate about your subject – if you believe in what you’re doing, then staying motivated is much easier.
6. They Know How to Manage Their Time
As a blogger, it’s so easy to waste time. There are countless ways to pretend to yourself that you’re getting useful work done. For instance, you may find it fun to play around with the latest plug-ins for your blog – but you need to ask yourself whether this is the best use of your time.
Successful bloggers look at their time as a precious resource – they plan ahead, schedule activities, and then do what they say they’re going to do. Everything in their plan is there for a reason. If something isn’t in the plan, it isn’t a priority.
7. They Persist
Even the most successful bloggers have setbacks. Not all of your blog posts will hit the mark, and you’re going to get turned down again and again by people you want to interview.
It’s easy to get discouraged, but to succeed you need to carry on. Talent isn’t enough – there are lots of skilled bloggers who don’t succeed because they can’t keep going when the going gets tough. The best bloggers are determined and won’t take no for an answer – if something doesn’t work, they just move on to their next great idea.
8. They Engage in Meaningful Dialogs With Their Readers
A blog isn’t a lecture. The best bloggers listen to their readers and create a dynamic community.
By responding positively to what their readers say, answering their questions, and engaging in meaningful conversations, they make their readers feel like they belong. This in turn creates a deep bond and a sense of trust – turning readers into impassioned supporters.
9. They Build Strong Relationships With Other Bloggers
Blogging isn’t a competition.
Great bloggers take the time to build relationships with other bloggers. They leave thoughtful comments, share other bloggers’ posts and even get in contact with them directly. If you do this, you’ll get amazing insights that you can share with your own blog readers. Equally important, connecting with other bloggers gives you exposure and helps you to build your audience. When you build a relationship with other successful bloggers, they’ll be the first to talk about what you do. Just make sure that you’re completely genuine. You have to truly care about what other bloggers are saying – otherwise you’ll just come across as engaging in cynical promotion, and they’ll spot you a mile away.
Jeff Foster is co-founder and CEO at Tomoson, the influencer marketplace. The platform allows bloggers and social media influencers to get paid for posting sponsored content, and lets businesses connect with targeted, niche audiences.