No matter whether you are a fellow blogger, an online small business owner, or maybe looking to grow your social media following, most if not all of the following tips can help you reach more people. Before we dive into the list, you might be thinking, “What do you mean organically?” I’ll give you a hint, I don’t mean without pesticides. 🙂 OK, all dad jokes aside, what I really mean is these are tips and tricks for growing your circle of online influence without advertising. We totally believe that advertising has its place, especially if you are an online business owner. But finding ways to organically reach new readers or customers is something that anyone can do, regardless of your budget or experience level. So let’s dive in.
1. Know Your Niche
Maybe you’ve heard the saying, “The riches are in the niches.” This is true whether you are a blogger, a business, etc. It’s important to know what you’re all about and how you want to communicate it. Any brand that is trying to be all things to all people will likely end up feeling watered down and uninteresting. You don’t necessarily have to make your niche super specific, but you want to spend some time exploring the idea of who you are and what you stand for. A good place to start is by forming a mission statement for yourself or your project.
2. Consistent, Quality Content
Offering consistent, quality content over time is exactly what you want to do to attract new readers as well as keep existing audience members engaged. Let’s break down these three words for a second. First, you want to do this consistently. If I blog every now and again but with no real pattern and never with any consistency, likely I will lose readers fast—like a leaky bucket! You can choose what frequency works best for you, but keep it consistent. Next, let’s talk about quality. You should be putting out quality work and not just fluff—smart audiences (which is the kind you want!) will know the difference. And last, what exactly do I mean by content? Well, it can be a combination of things or you can focus in on one area mostly. For example, a blogger is probably going to produce consistent, quality blog posts the most as that’s where they want to grow their audience and keep them coming back for more. It could be articles on your site, newsletters, micro posts on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, or a combination of all the above.
3. Connect With Your Audience NOW
No matter the size you are at right now, take action to connect with them. Our attention, especially online, is always being pulled in a million different directions, so finding ways to connect with your current audience is important. Don’t wait until you have a “big” audience, however you define that. Connecting with those who are there now and learning to do this well is an important step toward growth.
4. Use Other Channels To Grow
For bloggers and online businesses alike, this means using social media to point folks back toward your main endeavor and help them keep you in mind. Different people tend to hang out in different social areas, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. Meet them where they are and try to find ways to connect with them so they will follow you back to your blog or online business. There are SO many other articles you can find online (including our blog) that can help you utilize social media if you feel lost—so don’t be afraid to learn more.
5. Be Easy To Find
An alternative title for this point could be, Don’t Be Afraid of SEO. The Internet is HUGE and full of fun stuff to look at, read, buy, etc. So you don’t only want to stand out with your consistent, quality content (see point #2), but you want to make sure that content is easy to find and access! Make sure your site is easy to use and loads as fast as possible. Learn more about SEO and how you can boost your blog or business online so folks are more likely to find you. There are seriously about one million ways you can help make yourself more visible online, so don’t miss out by ignoring these options.
6. Connect & Network With Others
This is an especially useful tip for those who have already mastered the basics (see points 1-5). Find other blogs that are similar, and therefore attracting audiences that may also be interested in what you are doing. Connect with them and see if there are ways you can work together to benefit both parties. If your audience sizes are similar, this is a no-brainer, just mutually agree to promote each other in whatever way feels organic to both of you. So often I hear people tell me that networking makes them nervous because they feel like they are asking for favors, or they just feel generally awkward promoting themselves to others. But try to remember, putting out that consistent, quality content that you are takes hard work and guts—you should be proud to tell others about it!
7. Expand on Popular Content
Google Analytics can be a powerful tool for this. The goal is to find what your audience loves and to give them more content (or offer more products/services) like that. Of course, this also has to be something that you WANT to do. You can’t blog about or create a business around something you don’t believe in. But taking note of what your current audience is loving can help take your project to the next level.
8. Notice & Expand on Referral Sources
Not to be overly redundant, but, again, Google Analytics can really help here! If you notice a lot of traffic coming to your site from a specific source, think about if it’s possible to encourage more traffic from that area. If you see a lot of folks find you from Pinterest, then think about how you can make your content more Pinterest friendly and thereby attract even more readers from this source.
9. Join Niche-Friendly Communities
Whatever niche you are in, there is probably a community out there based around it already. This is a good thing! Get involved so you can meet other like-minded people. This is not only great for growing your audience, but it may also offer more networking opportunities from within the community you want to be a part of.
10. Ask Your Loyal Followers for Help
Loyal readers/customers can be the best evangelists for you. This is why you want to start connecting with them NOW (see #3). Those folks who have been with you for a while and dig what you are doing are the most likely to help spread the word about your latest project or post. And they are also the most likely to offer you real, useful feedback. Finding and utilizing your loyal followers is invaluable to any blogger or small business—so be sure to thank them when you do!
We hope this article has been helpful to you, and if you’re looking to learn more or feel like some of this might have been over your head, good news—we have more for you! We have lots of FREE blogging and business-related articles on our site.
Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photo edited with A Color Story Desktop.
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