1. Get ideas from your audience
Create blog posts that answer the most interesting questions from people you engage with on social media.
Dave Larson, founder of @tweetsmarter
This can be a great way to gather ideas of what topics people would most like to read about, which will help your blog grow! One of the best ways I’ve seen this in action is through blog comments or Tweets. In one example, here on FastCompany a lot of people requested a post that features more women entrepreneurs:
2. Understand your audience Understand your audience better than they understand themselves. It takes a lot of upfront research, and often means being a member of the very tribe you’re trying to lead – but it pays off. Brian Clark, founder and CEO, Copyblogger Understanding your audience better means you’ll have a better idea of what blog content will resonate with them, which is a good start when you get to writing blog posts.
3. Write for yourself first Write for yourself first & foremost. Ignore the fact that anyone else will read what you write; just focus on your thoughts, ideas, opinions and figure out how to put those into words. Write it and they will come. Adii Pienaar, founder of PublicBeta Adii’s experience in writing for himself firstly has made a difference to his blog in ways he didn’t expect:
4. Build your email list Start building your email list from day one. Even if you don’t plan on selling anything, having an email list allows you to promote your new content to your audience directly without worrying about search rankings, Facebook EdgeRank, or other online roadblocks in communications.
5. Love your existing readers Love the readers you already have. A lot of bloggers get quite obsessed with finding new readers – to the point that they ignore the ones they already have. Yes – do try to find new readers but spend time each day showing your current readers that you value them too and you’ll find that they will help you grow your blog. Darren Rowse, founder of ProBlogger Focusing on your readers is a great way to get to know them better (see tip #2). I love the way Daniel Burstein describes blog readers’ expectations of you as a blogger:
5-. Focus on building an amazing call-to-action I screwed up for years. I’d blog and blog. Some of my posts were doing very well on places like Hacker News, but I had such hard time getting return visitors. And very few people bothered to follow me on Twitter. Don’t rely on people to do the work to find your Twitter account. Don’t rely on them to do the work to find your details in a sidebar. People are blind to sidebars. Thanks banner ads! Finish your blog post with some kind of call to action to signup for an email list or follow you on Twitter. When I started doing this, I immediately increased my Twitter followers by 335% in the first 7 days. Nate Kontny, founder of Draft