So, You Want To Start A Blog But Have No Audience, Now What?
You have been working on a business strategy, and you decide on blog marketing so you work really hard in putting together a communications and marketing strategy that aligns with your overall goals. But , wait, you stop and think “who is my target audience you’re communicating to”?
You know with some of today’s myriad of digital tools, resources, and communities, it’s easier than ever to find a target audience who wants what you’re providing… whether or not they know it yet. One of the most sustainable ways to build and connect with this audience is through content marketing, and this is where your business strategy of having your own blog comes in.
So, how do you start a blog when you don’t have an audience?
You start with the 7-step approach from Shannon Byrne (the Content & PR Manager for Mention) that will help you to start your own blog when you don’t have an audience, yet.
Step 1. Define The Problem You’re Solving
- Write that problem down.
- Before the solution you developed, what were the first steps you would’ve taken to solve it?
- What language would have you used to describe it?
- How would you have searched for a solution on Google?
- Take these terms and plug them into a media monitoring tool or conduct an Advanced Search on Twitter.
- Pay attention to who the people are that are looking to solve this problem.
- Get to know them better.
- What are they really looking for?
- What terms are they using when discussing the pain point your brand solves, or your brand in general?
- These are the terms you’re going to use in your blog posts—the terms you’re going to choose your first post topics around.
Step 2. Do Your Market And Keyword Research
- Your problem has been defined, you’ve begun to identify who your first audience members are.
- Now it’s time to dig deeper.
- First, take the problem-solving terms you’ve identified and plug them into Google Trends to identify other related search terms used.
- Monitor these conversations to see who the existing thought leaders are.
- Reach out, and build a relationship and what else they’re talking and writing about.
- What seems to be resonating with their audiences?
- Look at comments on the blogs of these thought leaders and your competitors.
- What are people asking?
- What do they want to know more about?
- With your list of key terms and key people, keep a list of these topics and questions.
- With this exercise, you’re building a library of subjects that people are already searching for and interested in; i.e. you’re writing for an existing audience who will be more likely to discover your content.
Step 3. Identify Your Distribution /Amplification Channels
- When doing your market research, make a list of where the conversations take place around the pain point and key terms you’ve identified—which blogs, forums, social channels.
- This is where you’re going to hand deliver your content.
- Become active in these spaces before publishing content to them.
- Keep an eye on what type of content is trending.
- Comment on different posts, answer questions, introduce yourself to fellow community members.
- This is the most effective way to build a repertoire—to build relationships.
- Then, when they see a post from you or your business, you’ve already built credibility with them, so they’re much more likely to click through and read.
Step 4. Define Your Unique Voice
- As you begin producing your content in whatever medium, you should be defining your unique voice.
- When you tracked the problem your brand solves using a media monitoring tool earlier, you probably identified a few competitors working to solve the same problem.
- Look to see the type of voice they’re using.
- What tone and language is resonating with their audiences?
- How can you be unique and stand out among them?
- Your audience is made up of humans—don’t forget that.
Step 5. Scout For Community Members
- Identifying thought leaders and influencers via media monitoring in step 2 is a great starting point for flagging your first community members.
- You can even go a step further by joining relevant Twitter Chats, Google Hangouts, going to events.
- Get out there, talk to people, tell them that you’re building a blog.
- Ask them if they would read your first few posts before they’re public, and give them credit for their input.
Step 6. Build Relationships With The Pros
- You should build relationships with top-bloggers in related industries and spaces for guest post opportunities.
- That is, both for them to contribute to your new blog, and for you to contribute to theirs.
- Feel free to get creative here.
- These blogs don’t need to necessarily be directly tied to what it is you’re offering, but need to reach your target audience, and be relevant enough for them to want to learn more about what you’re working on then and there.
- To identify top blogs, do a search on buzzsumo.com using the terms identified in step 2.
- Start these relationships by commenting on their posts.
- Don’t hesitate to reach out and ask for a quick conversation, but be ready to explain how you can add value to their audience.
Step 7. Have A Plan, Have A Schedule
- You have your topics, you have your audience, you have your influential guest contributors.
- Start putting these topics into an editorial calendar for a holistic and birds-eye view of your publishing schedule so you can easily spot any holes and start building consistency, which will help strengthen reader loyalty by making their reading habits of your blog a ritual.
- This is also where building an email list and distributing your content on a consistent and regular basis will become effective.
You’ll be surprised how quickly an audience starts to gather around your content as long as what you’re saying provides value and is being delivered to the right people at the right time.
If you enjoyed this post and found TONS OF VALUE, please take a moment and share….Thank you 🙂
Sharing Is Caring!
To Your Success,