By ProBlogger Writing Expert Ali Luke.
Has your blog got a grand total of three subscribers? (You, your test account, and your mum?)
Maybe you’ve got a little bit further than that. You’ve got 10 or 20 or 50 readers signed up to read your posts or your newsletter.
But you don’t know where to go next.
I’m going to assume that your blog is currently in reasonably good shape. If there are any key things that you need to do or fix, then get those sorted before proceeding. (For instance, if your About page is currently a single line saying About page under construction, don’t try to attract readers until it’s actually finished.)
Before we get underway, let’s quickly deal with a trap some bloggers fall into:
Forget About Getting “One Big Break”
Maybe you think that if a big-name influencer tweeted a link to one of your posts, you’d get thousands of subscribers overnight. Or maybe you’re crossing your fingers, hoping to get linked to by Buzzfeed or mentioned on The Huffington Post…
Stop waiting for that big break to come. Even if you do have a particular stroke of luck, you want to be in a great position to capitalize on it – not sitting back and twiddling your thumbs.
A surge of traffic may look great in your stats – but it won’t necessarily result in many new long-term readers.
Instead of thinking just about traffic, you want to focus on getting subscribers: people who keep reading your posts day after day, week after week, and month after month.
A great first goal is to get 1000 subscribers to your blog, either through email or RSS subscriptions. (Unless you’re writing about techy things, you’ll probably find most readers prefer to subscribe through email.)
When you’re just starting out, though, with just a handful of subscribers, or none at all, 1000 can look a long way off. Here’s how to get there, step by step.
Step #1: Tell Family and Friends About Your Blog
I know this one sounds a bit obvious – but if you’ve not already told family and friends about your blog, do so! Even if none of them are at all interested in your topic, they’re interested in you … and they might well know people who’d love to read your posts.
Obviously, you don’t want to overwhelm people with a flurry of messages. I’d suggest:
Send out a single email to family, friends, former colleagues and anyone else who knows you. (Make sure you use BCC for their email addresses – most people don’t like their email address to be shared with a group of strangers.) I’ve put suggested text for this email below.
If you’ve created a Facebook page for your blog, send out one invitation to your family / friends on Facebook to ask them to “like” the page. Don’t pester them if they don’t do so, though.
Link to your blog in your email signature’s footer (if appropriate – e.g. it probably won’t be in your work emails). Giving the title, URL and tagline is fine here.
Here’s a sample email you can use:
I’ve just launched [my first blog / a new blog], called [name of blog]. It’s about [topic / tagline]. You can find it here:
[link to your blog’s homepage]
I’d love any feedback about it, and if you’ve got a friend who you think would enjoy it, I’d be really grateful if you’d pass the link on to them. Thanks!
Step #2: Find Blogging Peers to Connect With
Chances are, your pool of family and friends is not vast – and many of them won’t have a particular interest in your topic.
Your next step, then, is to find other bloggers to connect with, particularly those writing about the same topic as you – or similar topics.
I’ll be very clear here that you do not want to be targeting “big name” or “A list” or “influencer” bloggers at this stage.
Of course you’re no less worthy than those people – it’s just that they’re very likely to be extremely busy, and they get a heck of a lot of emails and tweets from new bloggers all the time. They’re unlikely to be able to give you much help or attention.
(This isn’t to say that they’re forever out of your reach, of course. Once you’re a little further along with blogging, you may well be able to build up a great relationship with them by sharing their content, linking to their posts, or guest posting for them.)
Instead, you want to look for the “little guys” of blogging. These are bloggers who are at a similar stage to you: working their way up to 1000 subscribers. They might be a bit further along (with several hundred subscribers) or not quite so far along (just launching their blog) – but they’re essentially your blogging peers. Here’s some tips on collaboration and finding a blogging buddy.
You can find them by:
- Searching on Twitter for phrases like “first blog post” or “launched my blog”.
- Looking in the comments section on blogs that you read: click on people’s names to check out their blogs. Some may have massive blogs, but many will have quite new or small blogs like you.
- Looking in forums where bloggers gather, or where people interested in your topic gather – you could start a post asking if anyone else is blogging. Membership sites like Platform University and Authority have private, moderated forums where you can easily meet other ambitious bloggers; if you want a free public forum, you could try Warrior Forum (be warned, it’s very focused on internet marketing).
And, of course, you can post in the comments below to tell us that you’re working on getting your first 1000 subscribers and you’d love to meet other bloggers on the same journey! Mention your blog’s topic or tagline and make sure you fill in the “URL” field so that your name is linked to your blog. (Your comment may get held in the moderation queue if you include a URL within the comment itself.)
It can take time to build up a network of blogging peers – but these people will be some of your best supporters and connections over time. Help them out by sharing or tweeting any of their posts that you really enjoyed – and hopefully they’ll do the same for you.
Step #3: Leave Comments on Other Blogs
One very simple way to start getting noticed not just by fellow bloggers but also by blog readers is to leave comments on blog posts.
Readers who like what you wrote may well click on your name to look at your blog, and if they enjoy the content there too, there’s a good chance they’ll subscribe.
In general, the earliest comments on a post get shown at the top of the list of comments, and these are most likely to get read. Don’t aim to always be first – but do check out when posts normally go up on the blogs you follow and try to read and comment promptly.
A thoughtful comment that adds constructively to the discussion will also be appreciated by the blogger (this is a much better way to get noticed than by sending them emails asking “please help me” or “please tweet this link” or “please check out my blog”).
Be careful that you don’t end up looking like a spammer, though. That means:
Use your real name (or your blogging pseudonym) when commenting. Avoid adding the name of your blog or any other tagline to the “name” field. Definitely don’t use a keyword as your name. (E.g. “Ali Luke” is great; “Ali Luke – Writer and Blogger” is best avoided; “Expert Writing Tips” is definitely out.)
Write a comment that says something worth saying. That probably means writing around 50+ words. “Great post, I loved it!” doesn’t really add much. (If you really want to tell a blogger that you loved their post, send them an email.)
Avoid including links in your comment unless they’re super relevant. This often looks self-serving. Also, comments often get held for moderation if they include a link, meaning that yours may not appear for several days after the blog post goes live (by which point, far fewer people will be reading it – and the comments).
Step #4: Link to Other Bloggers’ Great Content
Hopefully, by this point, you’re starting to build up a loyal audience of readers. If you’re not already doing so, now’s a great time to begin linking to other bloggers’ posts, either on your blog or on social media.
If you’re linking to someone’s post on social media, make sure you tag them (e.g. include their @name on Twitter or tag their business or blog’s page on Facebook) so that they can see your link. They may well retweet you, share your Facebook post, or simply thank you.
Linking out isn’t just a great way to get noticed (and hopefully to get some reciprocal shares). It also demonstrates to your audience that:
- You read within your industry or niche area, and you’ve got lots of up-to-date knowledge to share.
- You’re a valuable place to go to for links to posts they might have missed.
- You’re a generous person who wants to share great content that will be useful to your readers – you’re not just linking to your own posts all the time.
Step #5: Craft a Guest Post for a Blog You Follow
You might worry that you’re not ready to guest post yet – perhaps you thought you’d need at least 1,000 subscribers.
The truth is that most blogs don’t care how big your own audience is: they just care about how well you can write for their audience.
When you’re looking for a blog to write for:
Target established blogs with a larger readership than your own. I tend to recommend going for blogs with ten times as many readers as you, or more.
Start with blogs that you already read regularly: you’ll likely be a good fit for their audience, you know what sort of content they do (and don’t) publish, and you may well already have connected to the blogger or editor through comments, tweets and so on.
Check that the blog you have in mind currently accepts guest posts. (Just because they did in the past doesn’t mean they do today!) Their “Contact” page will often have details and many larger blogs have specific guest posting guidelines.
When you guest post, you’ll almost always get a “bio” where you can write a bit about yourself and/or your blog, and include one or more links.
I always recommend linking to a specific blog post rather than to the home page of your blog – this is a much stronger call to action, especially if the piece you’re linking to is closely related to the topic of your guest post.
For instance, instead of: Ali Luke blogs about the art, craft and business of writing at Aliventures …
I’d use something like: If you enjoyed this post by Ali Luke, check out her thoughts on Why You Should Be Blogging … and Why You Shouldn’t.
Step #6: Optimise Posts That Are Getting Lots of Traffic
Once you’re getting traffic to your blog, whether that’s through search engines or through the links in your guest post bios, you’ll want to make the most of all those new readers.
While I’m definitely no SEO expert and I’ve struggled to deliberately create posts that rank well and get a lot of traffic …
… even I can login to Google Analytics once in a while to check which posts are bringing in the most visitors.
If you’ve not already got Google Analytics set up, WPBeginner has step by step instructions on doing so.
Once your Analytics account is up and running, login and look at your website’s stats at least once a week.
To find out what content’s most popular, Navigate to Behavior Flow > Site Content > Landing Pages.
This should show you the top few pages on your site, by the number of visitors. Here’s mine for the past month:
You may well find, especially if you’ve been blogging for a while, that just a small handful of posts are outperforming all the others. As you can see above, my top post got 2027 visits during the past month and my 10th post got just 363 visits – quite a difference.
Why not capitalize on posts that are already performing well? That could mean doing one or more of the following:
Giving the posts a quick update to remove any broken links, out of date references, etc. You might want to go further and give key posts a full overhaul.
Linking forward to posts that you’ve published more recently (which, obviously, you couldn’t link to when that post went out).
Adding a call to action to encourage readers to subscribe to your blog.
Creating a whole new piece of content (a “Content Upgrade”) on the same topic as the post, but which goes further – you can use this as a highly specific email-sign-up incentive.
Including links to any relevant products or services that you now have.
This doesn’t need to take a lot of time, but it could really pay off by converting casual readers into long-term fans.
If you follow this plan – and keep on commenting, writing guest posts, and optimizing content that’s working well – you’ll be well on your way to 1000 subscribers.
Do drop a comment below to let us know where you’re at right now and what your next steps are going to be. Don’t forget to include your blog’s URL (if it’s already up and running) in the URL field, so we can click your name to check it out.
This article was first published on: June 15, 2016 and updated August 2, 2022
I launched my baseball blog in January and I’m looking to increase my readership and connect to other baseball bloggers. How can I help you?
Good luck with the blog!
Great info! I am in a very early stage and things can get pretty confusing :) So far I have already followed step #1 so I will now start with the others :) Thanks a lot for this post
Thanks Andra, glad to help!
It can be really difficult at the early stages, Andra … I definitely remember feeling bewildered most of the time when I launched my first blog! Just go step by step and you’ll get there. :-)
I have been submitting guest posts and commenting on related blogs for almost a month now, still not seeing any significant result yet.
Will continue to do it until I get the results I want.
Thanks for sharing. :)
Keep at it, Shawn! It does take time — sounds like you’re doing all the right things. :-)
Keep at it, Shawn — it does take time.
It does take time, Shawn — stick with it and good luck! Have you had any / many guest posts accepted yet? You’ll hopefully see some good results once several of your posts go up.
Thank you for this very timely information. I have recently started my first blog about Crafts and Hobbies in a Mobile Lifestyle, Full Time RV living, Travel, and Leisure. I am currently working on writing articles and building a following.
Good luck with your blog, Kevin!
Getting email subcribers to my blog has been much harder than I anticipated. Tried many things untill I one blog post resulted in a few subscriptions. I realized then that the best way to grow your list is to write quality content! My blog is still new. Dealing with running, endurance and personal growth. Blog ia called MyEpicTrails
Just in time! I’ve taken over the blog for the business that I write for. We “relaunched” a month ago, after 6 months of dead time, and I’ve been tasked with the challenge of basically starting from scratch. Every little bit counts!
I’m struggling to build any audience at all. It seems like either my content is crap, or I’m join stuck doing things that are not working. :(
Hey Mark, I just had a quick look at your blog, I think it looks great! I would suggest if its in your budget that you make a Facebook page and try boosting some of your posts to a very specific target audience… I’ve recently been trying it and you’d be really surprised how far a budget of $20 – $50 can go!
Ryan, can you really do well with a budget of $20 – $50? How can I get started?
Yeah absolutely, best bet is to boost a post I found, some of my posts where getting upwards of 400 – 500 actions (Link clicks, comments, likes).
The best I got was:
Total Spend: $25
People Reached: 11856
Not bad for $25!!
I actually quit Facebook, I’m trying to promote via Pinterest, Twitter, StumbleUpon and a little Reddit. Don’t really have money to spend on advertising yet.
Mark, I took a quick look at your blog and the content looks just fine — both in terms of topics and writing style (I liked your veganism post..!)
I suspect, then, that the difficulty is with the promotion methods you’re using. What have you tried so far? Is there anything you think you could/should be doing in addition?
Mark, I took a quick look at your blog and both your topics and writing style seem just fine (I liked your post on veganism!)
I think, then, perhaps you just need to tweak your promotional methods a bit. What have you been doing to build your audience up to this point? Is there anything new you think you could/should try?
Thanks for your feedback and kind words. Well, that’s what I am currently struggling with. I’m trying to do blog comments + StumbleUpon, haven’t had any success with Reddit, or Pinterest yet. But that’s the struggle, I can’t seem to establish what works best, so I can focus on that part. I also tried posting on forums but most forums don’t allow linking at all, so I stop doing that.
Mostly blog comments as I am still in the stage where I’ve no idea what I am doing and trying to figure everything out. :) But thanks for your feedback and kind words!
Eh, sorry, moderator please delete this comment and the previous one. :S
It can be really difficult in the early days. I took a quick look at your blog and your topics and writing style both seem great (I liked your veganism post!) Also really good to see how consistently you’re posting.
I suspect, then, that your audience-building tactics might need some tweaks. What are you currently doing? Is there anything you want to try (or think you should be trying!) that you’ve not done yet?
Great post Ali! I especially like the tip about guest blogging- sometimes we feel like we need to have a huge audience before we are “able” to guest post- so not the case! It is funny that I happened on this article- I remember bookmarking your site way way back in the day (2009) when I started my very first wordpress.com site. :D
You’re so right, Amy! I come across so many (great) bloggers who feel they’re “not ready” to guest post because they need to wait until they have enough experience / audience members / etc … not true at all! Honestly, most blogs just care about how good your writing is.
You’re absolutely right, Amy! I’ve come across far too many bloggers who feel they have to wait for more experience or a larger audience before they can guest post … not at all true! Most host blogs just care about how well you can write, not how many readers you have.
Thank you for the great information and tips 😀 I just started blogging a month ago and already feel frustrated because feel like I am writing to no one. I will try some of these tips ans hope or works for me 👍
Good luck, Heidi — hope you have a great second month of blogging!
You’re welcome, Heidi! It can be so frustrating in the early days — I remember feeling like I was sending my words out into a huge vacuum and that no-one would ever read them. Do stick with it, and hopefully you’ll quickly start to build an audience. :-)
This is very timely for me! I’m writing a personal blog and cover topics that interest me like technology, Christian theology, marriage, business, marketing and sales. I’m still trying to find my “voice” as I write.
My first takeaway from your article is that I need a solid About page. I’ve been avoiding that for a while. Next, I need to start reading more content from people writing about similar topics so that I can comment on their posts. Thanks for the advice!
I think an About page is definitely a great next step, Benjamin. While you’re at it, you might want to take a look through your key topics and see if there are specific ones you want to focus on — it sounds like you’ve got quite a range there.
Of course that’s absolutely fine if you’re blogging purely for yourself and friends/family, but if you want to grow your audience larger, you might need to narrow it down a bit. That doesn’t necessarily have to mean picking topics that are an easy match (e.g. technology, business, marketing and sales all go together pretty well) — you might decide to write about online business from a Christian perspective. (If that’s a good fit for you and you’ve not already come across Michael Hyatt, I’d strongly recommend checking out his blog.)
I am new to blogging and I so appreciated the tips in this article. I am slowly working through them. I changed my email signature and sent an email to my friends. This is an exciting journey.
Well done on taking action, Barbara … and good luck with the next steps on your journey. :-)
Thank you so much for these amazing tips. We are starting out a new company and this will come in handy. I just have one question though, we are a travel agency (a new one on the market), how fast can we get these 1,000 blog readers? How many months, or days?
I’m afraid that’s a bit like “how long is a piece of string”..! Obviously, if you write one guest post a month, it’s going to take a lot longer than if you write one guest post a day.
If I had to give you a number, though, you’re probably looking at spending at least 2 – 3 months growing to that size (if this is your first blog). Experienced bloggers can often move much faster as they can leverage their previous audience and relationships.
I am also a blogger, blogging from last 6 months but unable to get that much traffic which i want so i will try all this steps i hope it will increase some amount of traffic and increase my self confidence.
Thanks for this valuable article.
Good luck, Rohit! I think if you work through step by step, you’ll see results. :-)
Hope so, thanks for wishes.
Nice post Ali, I think a lot of these tips will help out a fair bit! Another thing I’ve found that helps significantly is using Facebook advertisements. I was really surprised at how far a $20 budget could go, simply by using very specific targeting.
I’ve yet to try Facebook advertising for blog traffic, but I’ve seen quite a few other bloggers doing so … maybe that needs to be the next step on the list! Great to hear it’s been working well for you.
I’ve taken a break from topic specific blogs, now I’m just enjoying writing about anything and everything in my personal blog.
Sometimes writing just for the joy of it is the best thing to do!
Great tips! I have been blogging for about 6 months now and while the hits are starting to go up, subscriptions are another story! Keen to connect with any similar blogs out there on travel & DIY. :)
Getting more hits is a great sign, Emily! I took a quick look at your blog. One thing I’d recommend is having a widget in your sidebar where readers can sign up to subscribe by email. (At the very least, you could put your RSS link prominently there.) Hopefully, that’ll help convert passing traffic into regular readers.
This was a great post and great writing. I am working on my first 1000 subscribers, for now I think it will take me 20 years but I don´t mind, I don´t expect to have hundreds or thousands of readers over night. I am happy to have a hobby that brings me pleasure, I love taking photos, writing, being creative. It´s my hobby, yes it would be awesome to turn my hobby into a job, everyone wants to have a job that is actually a hobby, but for now I am happy where I am:), enjoying the writing and happy for every like, even if no one reads the post I am still happy, because for me the most important thing is to try and get out there:) #lifestyle #beauty #fashion #healthylifestyle
Nothing at all wrong with enjoying blogging as a hobby, Momo — great to hear you’re having fun!
Thank you so much. By reading this, I made sure to hotfoot if over to my new blog and remove the “Under Construction” tag on my About page. I actually filled in the details and added a picture. It is not as good as it could be but it is certainly an improvement on “Under Constructions – Details to Follow.” Lol.
Now I should get to work on the other types in this post – Thanks again Ali. :)
Yay and well done getting moving, Victoria! I think About pages are SO easy to put off for another day. I took a quick peek at yours and it looks like a great start. :-) (And what a lovely smiley photo of you!) Good luck with all the other steps too.
Thank you so much :)
Wow! You said it all!
Very nice and detailed! I recently started Hide In My Suitcase , in order to share experiences and info about things you can do when you travel that are cool and not so common! I look out for the cool and the unusual everywhere I go.
Beginnings are always hard, but it will all end up being rewarding in the end!
I enjoy using different sorts of social media to promote it, especially Instagram, but they take a lot of time!
Good luck to everyone who’s starting now!
Good point about beginnings always being tough! That sounds like a fun blog. :-)
Good point that beginnings are always hard … I often have to remind myself that! Everything gets easier if you just keep going.
Excellent post, as always, Ali! I always find you to be one of the most helpful (and readable) bloggers online. Plus a lot of your info is super helpful to authors, something which isn’t always the case with more generic blogging advice. I can certainly attest to making friends with other bloggers – it’s how I met you! And I’m certainly glad I did :)
Getting email subscribers is proving to be my biggest problem, but I suspect that’s because writers aren’t necessarily interested in my short story collection of Gothic horror and dark fantasy stories, and I’m not 100% sure how to attract general fiction readers to my blog, but I’m going to try all of your steps to see how far I get!
Aww, Icy, I’m blushing. Thank you! I’m glad I met you too (and we have some mutual blogging friends too…)
I’ve gone with non-fiction ebooks related to writing and blogging as my giveaways, and have yet to get anywhere with building a list for my fiction. I’ll let you know if I crack it somehow. Right now, I feel the solution is probably to do what Joanna Penn does and have one site aimed at writers and one aimed at fiction-readers … I could do with a few extra hours in the day, though!
Valuable info! Thank you! I’m still in the early stages of my blog and working on getting my first 1000 subscribers.
I launched my personal blog (psychology, photography, travel etc…) last month!! I’m working on getting my first 1000 readers :) My title is ‘Little April Shower’, and my tagline is ‘Sit down. Relax. Have a cuppa.’
At 300 email subscribers so far and working my way up!
Thanks for the tips.
Great advice. If anyone is starting a new blog around the make money online / digital marketing niche, I’d love to connect with you. I’ve held back for a long time because I wasn’t confident that my content would be good enough. Not holding back anymore. Hopefully I’m on the right track with my new blog.
So many great tips! I have been writing a marketing/branding/social media oriented blog for a while and to be honest, it takes time to develop your writing style and voice and to keep at it. Great content is certainly key. Then comes the promotion :) If anyone would be interested in step #2, and share each others complementary posts, that would be awesome!
Wow – have I had so much fun looking through these comments! So many new blogs to follow!
In honor of the 2016 National Park Service Centennial – my husband and I have been working on building our site “Park Chasers” – about chasing our dream of visiting each of the 411 units in the National Park Service.
Excited to see so many other travel writers just starting out!
I’ve been blogging for a few months about homeschooling, large family parenting (we have 11kids), and I’ll admit that I do like to rant about public education. So far I only have about 200 email subscribers, even though my blog count says that I have over 1200 followers (this is including Twitter, Facebook, and Google). I already commenting regularly on other blogs, publish a weekly post of my favorite links (although I never thought of tagging them), and I’ve been asked to write two guest posts in the next month and have also recently become a blog contributor for another homeschooling website. The only thing I haven’t done is Google analytics, although I do keep SEO optimization in mind when writing and tagging my posts. I guess I’ll just have to be patient! For anyone who’s interested, my blog is called “There’s No Place Like Home.”
Oh my goodness, I have 2 kids and most days that seems like more than enough..! It sounds like you’re making fantastic progress for a few months in. Have you come across Planning with Kids? It’s not a homeschooling blog but Nicole who runs it has 5 kids (I realise that may seem like almost none when you have 11..!) and she’s a great blogger.
Thanks, I’ll check it out!
I’m launching my personal finance blog in July and really enjoyed reading your tips. Looking forward to connecting with and PF bloggers out there!
I started my first blog ever a few weeks ago. parenting 2 home kids. My tag line Empowered Parents Successful Kids. I really appreciate the game plan to get my first 1000 subscribers. This post really broke the steps down to a manageable size. I feel some relief.
Yay, glad to help, Tamara! Good luck working through all the steps. :-)
I launched my blog Acronyms With Kathy G in February of this year to help people reprogram their subconscious mind using acronyms to help them feel better about themselves Come and join me and become an acronym-aholic.
I just started my blog this month! I didn’t know to set up a way to subscribe to my blog through email, so that’s my next to do. My other social media platforms are slowly growing and my stats are slowly getting better on Google analytics. It doesn’t look like much but to me any improvement is good! I’m a lifestyle blogger focusing on college tips and tricks and hair/makeup. I love finding other small blogs to follow!
There are so many things to learn when you get started — I look back at my very first blog now and cringe! Email subscriptions make a huge difference, so hope all goes smoothly with implementing those. :-)
Helpful post thank you! We started a blog 2 months ago called Live All The Days and have felt like we are jumping from one thing to another, like there isn’t enough time to do all the strategies to help it grow. I’ve been doing the commenting on other blogs etc but perhaps I’m targeting blogs that are too big? Would love any feedback on our blog though.
Also, wondering if there is some kind of audience “benchmark” that bigger successful blogs can share.. What kind of traffic is deemed to be decent? Thanks! Karina
Hi! I’m Michelle a Blogger for 2 months now and I am working on getting more followers. Trying all the things I can, commenting, following others (mainly through bloglovin), link parties, Seo, squirrly Seo and social media. I know it’s a long process but I would love to get a better handle on this! I’m at http://www.oblogoff.com
Loaded with great tips as usual. I remember the class I took from you a few years back, it really gave me a good start.
The biggest help to me was your tip #3: Leave Comments on Other Blogs. It’s been a great way to get a conversation going.
I’m going to use the email sig suggestion next.
I’ve got a blog on coffee that’s been running for 2 months. Wired for Coffee, Coffee News and Reviews for Your Best Brew.
Love to connect up with any other food/beverage bloggers.
Aw, thanks Bob, always nice to be remembered..! Appreciate all the kind words … and good luck with the blog. :-)
I love these suggestions and cannot wait to get started. I have been blogging for many years, first with my art, now with life-coaching and positive outlooks. I love to write and blog as often as time will allow. Thank you for laying these out in such an organized and thoughtful manner…I’m always so grateful to learn.
Live every moment to its fullest,
Valuable information as always. I’ve always been hesitant sending an email to friends and family but I’ve been able to make steady progress without doing so. I write opinion pieces about the news/politics. Always been my passion, though not my profession. Always looking for ways to improve marketing and the performance of the site.
If it doesn’t feel right to you, don’t do it! I can see that news/politics could be a tricky subject to raise with family and friends if you perhaps have quite different views to them. It’s great that you’re making steady progress, and I hope some of the other steps will be useful for you. :-)
Thanks for this Ali – I just came back from a TBEX conference (Travel Blog Exchange) and there wasn’t a lot of coverage on building an email list. It’s been a slow-go for me in terms of building my subscribers, and after having learned I need to work on this to snag more gigs, this post definitely helped.
Glad this came at a good time for you, Jordana — and good luck with building your email list!
Thanks for a great post! I have just started a blog teaching people how to automate their Excel spreadsheets using Excel. It’s been a just over a month, and so far I have found about 50 subscribers through Google Adwords. If there are any other bloggers out there writing in this niche, please connect with me! I’d love to build a relationship!
Thanks for the tips.
I have been Blogging for about 3yrs and for about 2yrs on my Current tech blog.
But inconsistency is what holding be back. Also its hard to find people of my level in my niche.
I thought Tech niche is oversaturated with thousands of blogs made about it.
But it’s surprising to see that from all comments posted above, I cannot find a person with a tech blog.
Thanks for the post, I will try to follow your tips from now on.
Any tech blogger can connect with me – Digicular.com
Great Post, I have been running my blog now since March and slowly getting more traffic…but no subscriptions. I am starting to worry that my content is just not good enough. Any feedback would be really appreciated.
Thanks for all the lovely comments, everyone! So glad this has been useful. :-)
I’d enjoy connecting with other bloggers – Gregory B. Knapp, Find Your Purpose – Live Your Passion.
I’m about half way to 1,000. The fastest way I add to my list is to speak at networking and service groups. At the end of my presentation I simply ask everyone who enjoyed it to give me their business card. I’ve added a few hundred subscribers this way.
I’ve added many of the rest from people who have read my book, “GO!” and with free eBook offers.
Great advice Ali! Just started this year and seem to be going nowhere. Not sure if it’s my writing or what. I’ve thought of letting Facebook friends know about the site but I hesitate since I have a full time job and don’t want to put that in jeopardy. So it’s hard to get past step #1 (for now). I have done some commenting on other blogs and joined some Facebook groups, where good conversations and recognition is beginning to happen. Just takes time…
Letting friends and family know can be tricky if your blogging might impact on your day job, and obviously don’t do anything that would put you at risk. It’s fine to skip step #1 and focus on the others! Sounds like the commenting and Facebook groups are working well for you already. It does take time (and patience, which I have to admit I’m not very good at…)
Thanks for all the great tips in this post, Ali! I’m new to blogging and will definitely put them to good use.
I’ve been up and running for a couple of months now. My blog is called The Safe Healthy Home – tagline: making our homes safe, clean and healthy.
I have started commenting on other blogs and will keep on doing that. I haven’t really told friends and family about my blog, believe it or not, so maybe that’s the next step I should take. Thanks again.
This is great info, thanks for posting Ali! I’ve had a hobby blog for about 3 years now – Rooted in Foods – so haven’t spent a great amount of time building much of an audience. A few recent happenings have inspired me to take it beyond hobby (and expand my topic a bit more) and these tips definitely help. Now, I’m off to sign up for your newsletter! :-)
Welcome to the newsletter! Nothing at all wrong with blogging as a hobby, but I think most bloggers do eventually want to go a bit further — best of luck with your journey. :-)
Good stuff here, Ali. I’ve been blogging for a few years and am currently in the process of spending focused time on growing my email list. It’s easy to get into the mindset that good content will drive people to my site – but with so many great sites out there, I’m going back to the steps you mentioned: being intentional about telling family and friends about my site; finding blogging peers; creating content upgrades; sharing other blogger’s great posts, etc.
I’m an inspirational author & speaker (I also write children’s books). Regardless of the age of my audience, my goal is the same: to share God’s truth and make an eternal difference.
*I’m working on getting 1,000 subscribers! And I’d love to meet other bloggers on the same journey!
Good content is vital, and you’re absolutely right to focus on it — but hopefully taking those steps to actively promote it will get it the attention it deserves. :-)
One other way to attract readers is to get your local (or other) newspaper to do an article that focuses on your blog. I have a blog that targets baby boomers and was included as a feature in the senior section of the Monday paper. Immediately saw an increase in subscribers. My blog is called Just a Geezer and I am slowly making headway with increased visitation. Would appreciate any comments or suggestions.
What a great suggestion, Dave! I think that could work very well for the right audience (sounds like it was spot-on for your target audience).
I’m so glad you wrote this post. I needed this! :)
I started my personal blog last year and only recently have really started working on building it. This is one of the most succinct lists I’ve come across on the topic of growing subscribers for new blogs, and it helped me see what I am definitely missing.
I already link to other blog posts and share content that I come across that I think is awesome (my blog is all about my quest to create an awesome life, so as I discover things, I pass them on after trying them out myself). My blog tagline is: “Be Awesome. Every. Single. Day.”
Anyway, I’ve already been sharing useful content, but I haven’t been letting the bloggers know when I link to their site. This may sound silly, but I felt a little awkward about emailing them and saying “Hi. I loved your info on X, so I shared it on my blog here..” I didn’t want to come across as spammy, especially as a newer blogger. But you’re right. I love reading blogs, and I’ve been more of a lurker than a commenter, so I will work on both of those points from now on. Thanks a lot for being so down to Earth. Mucho appreciated!
Yay, so glad this was useful!
It can feel awkward getting in touch with people, but I don’t think any blogger would mind a quick email to say, “Hey, I linked to you here”. Sometimes you might not get a response at all (a lot of bloggers are a bit overwhelmed with emails) and sometimes you might just get a quick, “Ooh, thanks!” — but you never know when you might spark off a new blgoging friendship. :-)
Thank you for this post as I work on increasing the reach of my blog. I can’t help but feel that I have wasted all these years of blogging (10 come July!) just blogging without working on its reach! Thinking that the readers will *just* come! How naive! Thanks again for the huge amount of info Problogger provides and for this timely post! Appreciate it!
But think of all the fantastic content you have in your archives just waiting for readers to explore — what a headstart on other bloggers! :-) Definitely time to start focusing on promotion, though (you might even want to dig out older posts, update them a little and republish, to reduce the amount of new content you need to write).
Useful tips! I have done 1 to 4. I am going to work on 5 and 6.
Thank you for sharing this post!