“A good teacher, like a good entertainer first must hold his audience’s attention, then he can teach his lesson” (John Henrik Clarke).
For my 50th blog post, I wanted to do something special and share a little bit of how I have obtained a small but visible audience.
Of course there are much more who have had greater success in very little time, but for someone like me who had no idea how to even start to grow an audience, I found these few techniques brought some active readers to my posts.
My goal was never 100% to have an audience, but trying to grow one for fun ended up actually teaching me a few things to do to keep an audience, no matter how small it might be.
And for those of you who have been here for a while and have followed me, thank you for giving me the motivation to keep going.
As most bloggers and overall media sharers know, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, but search engines aren’t the only thing it affects.
SEO is the capability to make what you post online more accessible for people who have not chosen to follow you on a certain platform and instead stumble upon your content some other way.
Even though search engine is in the name, the aspect of SEO is affected in many more ways that aren’t confined to Google.
Using blogging as an example, you may have titled your article something closer to what people might be searching for. It will appear higher up on whatever it is posted on, even if it doesn’t appear when searched for in Google.
Keywords play into this because using words that people are searching for help bring the ability for readers to see it and the platform it is on will place it higher if the keywords coincide with searches.
What I mean by this is if you were to title something “Using Meditation And Candles To Make Your Workload Feel Smaller”, this might be hard to be searched for if in general people aren’t searching for mediation or workload. And in that case, they won’t be typing those words into the search bar.
However, something like “How To Remove Stress In 5 Steps” is much more likely to be searched for it someone were to type in “stress” or “how to remove stress”. In this case, they are much more willing to click on your post and see what you have to say.
Google Trends is also a good way to see what words trump other words when searched for. This does not necessarily mean you are striving to be the top result on Google if you use Google Trends, but you can see what words come to peoples minds quicker when searching for something.
Here’s an example using some of the words I mentioned.
You can see that even though you might be talking about fixing your workload, that might not be the best word to use when trying to attract people’s attention. Mediation is steadily search for, but is beat by simpler words like stress.
Even though these words might not co-align with each other and can be completely different depending on the context, you can see my point with using Google Trends for finding out what word is the best to us.
Come up with a few titles, try them out in Google Trends and see what will have a higher chance of grabbing some viewers.
This type of sharing is more strictly referring to Medium but if you don’t already cross post your content to Medium, I would highly recommend it.
Medium has publications which can invite writers to post their content on their publication. Or if you believe your content is good enough, you can send them a piece of your content and apply to become a writer in specific publications.
The reason publications are good for growing an audience is the people who don’t follow you or don’t look for exactly your content can still discover your content through this.
Readers that are subscribed to a publication get a wide variety of what will show up on their feed which means they are the type of readers who don’t follow strictly popular individuals for their content.
Publications can also be marketed specifically for certain types of written pieces making it much more likely that the people who follow those publications will see and click on your content.
Creating your own publication is not always the best route as the competition in growing a publication is harder to get into than allowing your content to be shared through an already existing publication.
Publications have already established readers so getting into one is a great way to gain parts of their audience.
The best part is you are not limited to one specific publication. If one publication rejects your content, you can always submit it to another publication that will. Being part of multiple publication is perfect for this reason that you can most of the time always expect one or the other to accept you.
More Platform Sharing
Like I said, if you don’t already cross post to Medium, you should greatly consider it. Nonetheless, sharing on other platforms will always benefit you and your content.
Getting a share from someone or sharing yourself on another platform such as Twitter or Facebook is almost like posting all over again doubling the chance for people to see it depending on where it is posted.
If you think about it, other platforms have loyal audiences that might stick to that platform, but if you post to two or more platforms, you can gain an audience from all of those platforms gaining frequent readers.
Everyone is always online so increasing the area that your content covers and where it appears will greatly increase the number of people that will click on it.
There’s always the ratio of viewers and readers, but if the ratio is close to constant, than increasing one number (viewers) will increase the other number (readers).
If you aren’t sure where to cross post or share your content, you can always look to where people share similar stuff.
Reddit is a great way to get exposure if you find a subreddit or two that is catered to that type of content and will be accepting of your post. An example of this would be cross posting a story titled “Aristotle’s Overlooked Philosophies” to http://www.reddit.com/r/philosophy.
There’s always an audience looking for content similar to yours, so exposing them to what you have to offer is the way to go.
A lot of people are often scared of criticism or rejection on what they have to offer, but the number of people that will be accepting and applaud what they have written overpowers that number immensely.
Your content may be great, but exposing it to those who will find it useful is what will actually make the impact you want to see.