Let’s start this discussion by understanding why building an audience is important. So for any business you need customers. Without customers there is no business. Let’s say you just opened up your business and you have a great product, well if nobody sees that product, then nobody can buy it.
On the flip side, if you have a product and you show it to an audience of 5,000 people; even if only 10% of people purchase your product, you at least have sales and a starting point. It’s the same thing with a blog. You might start a new blog and produce some great content, but if you don’t have readers, then it’s not really helping anyone. At that point it can be considered a private online journal because the only one reading it is you. It takes a mixture of good content creation and promotion of that content in order to build your audience. So even though what I will discuss here is about building an audience with a blog, it can be related to many types of businesses outside of blogging.
Derek Halpern, from social triggers, gave a great free video course on this topic from his experience. Which he was able to amass 26,778 email subscribers in 13 months before even selling his first product. So by the time he was ready to sell something, he had an audience. Spend 20% of your time creating content and the other 80% of your time promoting the content. Interested in the video he did on building an audience? Check it out by clicking here. He calls his strategy the T.A.P.P. technique.
Way #1: T – Target. Target a specific group of people FIRST and then create a piece of content for that specific group.
Way #2: A – Appeal. Create content to appeal to your ideal readers.
Way #3: P – Produce. Produce the content that’s actionable and makes people feel good.
Way #4: P – Promote. Promote your content.
The main points of his technique sound very straight-forward in the one sentence description that I’ve given, but trust me, you’ll want to listen to his video just to get a better sense of what most people typically do versus how things should be done.
Promoting your content is one of THE most important parts of this technique, but it depends on your ability to reach out to others that you don’t know. What’s a good way to reach out to someone that may be an influencer of many people that you feel may not even give you the time of day? Derek suggests that you get used to sending emails, but not just any email. The message and subject lines are important. You want to use some of the different content triggers that he describes in order to grab attention. But you also want to make sure the message you send is one that is mutually beneficial.
I also mentioned some possibilities in a previous podcast episode that I did on finding a mentor. One way that I think would be a great idea is to reach out to them and offer to interview them somehow. If you do a podcast, it could be a short recorded phone call. If you do a blog, maybe you could send them one or two questions on an important topic in your field or niche and coupled with the answers of a couple of other individuals, you could publish a post on what leaders in your field think about a certain topic. So that’s another idea if you’re interested. It gets the influencer more exposure and it gets you either the information you were looking for or that influencer will share your content and bring you new audience members.
Derek wrote a good blog post on why bloggers fail that I think you should definitely read. To give a very abbreviated summary, there is too much time spent on content creation and not enough time advertising that content. The lack of traffic tends to reduce motivation in the blogger.
At the end of the day, building your audience and eventually creating a profitable blog comes down to your ability to reach out to people that you don't know.