If you're thinking about blogging right now, you may have a few mindset gremlins to deal with. One of the biggest is that no one will read your content. I understand that. The first time someone picked up the phone and called our business thanks to a blog post… Well, it freaked me out. It was 2007 and I'd started blogging 3 weeks prior to the call. I'd heard it could take 6 months. Who was this person calling us 5 months too soon? I thought no one would ever read what I'd written…
There are a few circumstances that that means no one will read what you write:
- You leave all your posts in drafts
- You don’t complete your posts and publish them
- You password protect every post so the internet Grammar Nazis can’t find you
- You make your site noindex and set the search settings to private
People will read what you write.
Maybe not as many as you’d like, but they will read. It may be your mum or your old high school teacher, your sister or a blogging buddy. And that’s more than no one. Very few sites have zero readers.
It may be just one reader returning week in, week out encouraging you to write on. You are being read.
You might think you are entitled to more readers because you are the world’s most brilliant writer or because you simply love what you do.
Whatever reason you have for wanting more readers, you have to work to get them.
Make sure Your Potential Readers Know The Content Is For Them
Start by writing down your ideal reader. If you have a business, the ideal reader is exactly the same as your ideal customer. Make sure you know how your reader identifies themselves. Teachers? Carers? Homemakers? Christian homemakers? Muslim entrepreneurs? When you know the label someone identifies with, then you can call them in via your headlines.
The next step is to make sure your content talks to one of the stages of their journey. Here's my ideal reader's journey map:
Create one of these for your business. You can use the template provided here. Just share the post from the box below and you will be able to download your printable.
Customer Journey Map <—– right click and “save-as” to your desktop.
Once you've identified your ideal reader's label and completed a journey map, the next step is to start blending in what you know about their emotions (how they feel about something) and what they need to know to make a decision.
Now you need to look at your existing content and see where you can breathe new life into the posts. As you go through your content you will start to notice the gaps you have. You might find that you don't have enough consideration content – content that helps make a buying decision. You can now create this content to meet the needs of your readers.
Most people find that these simple adjustments to their content increase their audience size.
Promoting Your Posts
The next stage to getting your content read is promoting your posts. To start with it can just be adding them to your Facebook stream and inviting people to comment. You might decide to share with some relevant groups on LinkedIn. If you can find place where your ideal readers are (groups, communities, forums) then your content will be read.
Remember you don’t have to go at it full tilt whilst you are finding your feet. You can choose to promote as little or as much as you like.
You can use Missinglettr to schedule your posts on a regular basis. You can also add your content to a tool like Promo Republic. Here you can take quotes from your posts or make images with Canva and share them via your social networks.
At first, it might feel strange to promote your posts like this, but as time goes on you'll start to make connections through your blog. You'll reach out to other bloggers to help promote their content and yours, but it all takes a little time to grow your confidence to do the things you need to do.
Finding Your tribe
When you find like-minded people, more people will read what you write. Join and participate in Facebook and LinkedIn groups. Don't spam the group with “look at my post” but get to know people by making comments. You can then share their content and strike up a conversation that way. You'll find when you do that people are receptive to seeing your posts. You have to give a little in order to get a little.
Finally, continue to create the content that your ideal reader needs on her journey. As you do this you will get more people reading your content. They'll know that you understand them and can help them. In turn, they'll share and talk about your content and this means even more readers loving your content!
Ready to do more with your content? Join the 30-Day Blogging Challenge. You'll love it!