I have officially been blogging professionally for 4 years now, dabbling for a few years prior. And after 3 different rebrands and still having a few people following along, I have found effective ways to build a loyal following.
Because in the end, it’s not about impressive numbers.
You can be 100% successful with a small group of engaged and loyal fans. But it’s leveraging yourself and harnessing the power of the tools you have on hand to make it work.
Affiliate link included to put dinner on the table and go on dates with my husband. Thanks for purchasing through my links.
In 2012 when I was pregnant with my first, my husband and I decided I was going to stay home. But I knew, well before my child was born, that I was the type of person that needed to do something.
And by that I mean produce something creative, be engaged with other people, and impact lives.
The impact lives was important since I had been a teacher to teenagers before.
So I decided to take my interest in being online to turn it into something that would impact lives, but also help supplement family income. So I started blogging. And little did I know the world of opportunities it would open for our family.
I started with this itty bitty blogspot blog called ALLterNATIVEliving. I thought it was cute. And I had ideas on how to live more sustainably. It morphed into ALLterNATIVElearning as my daughter grew and could become involved. Then my name just wasn’t keeping up with the changes in our family so I rebranded to my own name. And now, finally, I have also added Extremely Good Parenting to the mix.
Today all of it’s morphed into something even more as I have self-published books on Amazon, a parenting podcast, have been invited on multiple paid trips, and have more than 7 diversified streams of income to support my family.
But I don’t have the highest page views out there…far from it.
I do have an engaged and loyal audience.
So much so that when I rebranded this last time my traffic initially plummeted and fell off the face of the earth. But my income remained steady and even rose!
I have one person in particular that has been following me since two months into my blogging journey. She sent me a photo of her own k-cup seed starting pods based on my idea. And through the years she’s still followed me even as a parenting blogger.
So what am I using to build a loyal following?
You do actually have to have an audience.
I know. It’s the hardest part. Building that first group of loyal people. And you’re pounding the pavement daily trying to get foot traffic to your site.
You’re sharing on relevant facebook pages, joining networks, establishing tribes, and networking the best you can.
Keep doing it. Keep searching for other bloggers with the same vision as you and strive to meet the needs of the audience you have. Not the audience you wish you had.
Then, snatch a copy of Skyrocket Your Pageviews with Google Analytics and do the challenges to make your site really capture your audience, engage your readers, and start growing your website with the stats, people, and content you already have and love.
The book is worth every penny.
Get personal and establish a newsletter.
I get vulnerable.
This doesn’t mean I am giving out the nitty gritty details of my family’s life. Actually, I don’t use my kids’ names on my website, nor do I talk about the specifics of where we live, and I haven’t included embarrassing details about our lives. AND there have been many occasions I have run posts by my husband before deciding to publish.
But I do make my writing relatable. And in doing so, I also connect with my readers in an intimate way.
Through my newsletter, I talk to every single person that replies to my welcome email. In fact, I set up a “Welcome to my Home” email campaign through ConvertKit that has been so successful. When I sat down to write the email, I wrote it conversationally and like I was disclosing something special to the subscriber.
Over half of my subscribers reply to that email and thank me for being so warm and welcoming.
And now, I have been getting really personal by having a voicemail service that people can call in to leave a message. There is nothing quite so powerful as the spoken word. So since I branched out to let my voice be heard, I am letting my audience do the same through my voicemail service.
I lure them in with compelling headlines & keep them with compelling content.
I look back at some of my original blog posts and think, “Wow, that was really long-winded and raw”.
As I learned more about SEO and keywords, I started ditching my former ways. And then I look at the ones in the middle and think, “What was I thinking? I am so cold and uninspiring!”
Lately though, I have been melding it together into some sort of beautiful, concise storytelling that is compelling, captivating, and real. Because while I want to be on Google’s radar, I also want to find a place in the home of readers and their routines.
In the fall I took this great course called Sticky Blogging. I was excited about it because it was taught by a blogging friend and it sounded interesting.
IT ROCKED MY WORLD.
I had been so focused on trying to rank for google, that I left behind the art of writing. That beautiful love of mine that I held so dear in the beginning that was like a lush green garden has turned to cold pavement over the years.
And the sticky blogging course reignited my spark for writing.
It taught me how to write clickable and compelling headlines that my readers would gravitate towards. And when I coupled the SEO part of me with what I learned, something beautiful blossomed.
My readers were clicking more, new readers were flooding in, and I was seeing growth in my writing and my audience.
That’s the trifecta of audience building and maintaining a loyal following for me
I have seen great results from all three tips, but together they work like magic. And I know that if you stay consistent with each of the three for 30 days, you will see incredible results too.
And since blogging is a marathon, take every baby step as a huge milestone!
Affiliate links to other blogging resources I believe in & that have helped me:
Online Photography Course & Book
The Genesis Framework
Servously Premium Web Hosting