A few weeks ago, Sharlyn wrote a post about blogging as part of your overall unretirement strategy. I thought I would add my suggestions about what blogging can (and can’t) do – with a focus on growing your audience.
There are many different reasons to blog. But, if you ask just about any blogger, they do it because they have something to say. Don’t assume, however, that having something to say is the goal of the blog. That may, or may not be the case. Some people blog just for fun. Or maybe they want to make people aware of something they enjoy or believe in.
People also blog for profit.
Regardless of the goal for a blog, the typical measure of successful blogging lies in its audience. Whether it’s quality in terms of loyalty or engagement or just a large quantity of readers, your audience is often what makes or breaks your blog. And the one key to building an audience for your blog is marketing.
No, you don’t need an MBA from Wharton to market your blog. If you’re just starting out, you should focus on two important things:
Letting people know about your posts. Trust me when I say that “Build it and they will come” only works in Kevin Costner movies. After you write a post, you need to tell people there’s some new content to read. Social media is a great place to start, so fire off a quick note on Facebook or Twitter. Some readers will want to get your posts emailed to them so they can read it when it’s convenient. Giving them a place to sign up to receive emailed posts is an important part of blog marketing. Be sure to put it in a highly visible part of your blog.
Learning as much as you can about your audience. Successful blogging means giving your readers what they want to read. Makes sense, right? Initially, you attract an audience because they generally enjoy what you have to say. Now the goal is to get more. Any marketer will tell you, that means finding out what you’re doing well, and doing more of it. Google Analytics is a great place to start. Just a few of the basics at first – how many visitors, where do they live, popular pages and posts, and how do they access your blog.
Blogging and unretirement can be a dynamic combination. Successful blogging can give you the freedom to enjoy all aspects of your unretirement. That’s why we will talk about it a lot here. All it takes is a little creativity, some basic marketing know-how, and a lot of patience.
Out of curiosity, what do you find are the easiest (or most challenging) aspects to marketing your blog?
Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby after attending the Great Place to Work Conference in Austin, TX