Blogs are a powerful tool to reach a wide, global audience, but for those just starting out, it can be intimidating to get those first few readers and subscribers. We recently asked successful musicians, foodies, fitness instructors and fashionistas how they grow their blog followings. Here’s what they had to say.
Post regularly and be authentic.
The most common response we received from almost everyone we talked to was to post regularly. But about what? One strategy, according to queer, non-binary musician and lifestyle writer Rigel Gemini, is to answer common questions. “One of my top articles,” Rigel says, “answers the common question, ‘why are queer people creative?’ I wrote it without even realizing it was so heavily searched, but realized that as something that I have often wondered and thought about, so many other people have, too.“
And in addition to posting regularly, you’ll want to stay true to who you are. Fitness-focused parenting blogger Amy Jay of Go Fast Mommy adds, “It’s important to share the real you.” She says she makes sure to show her face and voice regularly on her Instagram stories, “so that my followers can relate to the real ‘me’ behind the pictures.”
Find your niche, but don’t be afraid to branch out.
Most creators build a following by carving a niche in one area, but they also shared that branching out can also help to reach new fans.
Rigel Gemini knows that the internet has always been a place to connect with people who have similar interests. It also offers a world of difference that can bring value to your blog. “I try to engage as much as I can across the internet and in my real community in the physical world,” he says.
Ana Snyder, fitness instructor and creator of Get Buff with Ana, began by sharing her bodybuilding experience and expertise. “In order for me to grow my account,” Ana shared, “It was also important that I expand my niche a little bit from bodybuilding to more generalized health and wellness.” Now her content includes tips about handling isolation, expressing gratitude and maintaining financial wellness.
Online, as in life away from the keyboard, one way to create a community and a career is to form meaningful relationships. Partnerships with brands and other content creators allow bloggers to blend communities, exchange ideas and reach new readers. Brand partnerships often pay influencers to promote their product. Ana Snyder, for instance, partners with a number of fitness and wellness brands and writes about them on her blog and social media. The products she promotes are ones she uses in her day-to-day life, and they allow her to reach fans of those brands.
But keep in mind: It’s important that brand partnerships be genuine and relevant to your content. “I only work with those [brands] whose message mirrors mine,” Ana says. “I often turn down partnerships with vegan companies. Although I eat vegan food occasionally, I’m not vegan, and I don’t want to give my followers a contradictory message.” Ana also writes bylined editorial content for a health and wellness platform. “This publicity has helped me get a lot of followers,” she told us.
Add events into the mix.
When the pandemic is over, social events will return to our lives, and these gatherings can be a powerful way to grow a following. Clarissa Mae of Clarissa Mae Yoga is a yoga instructor and mobility coach from South Dakota. She teaches yoga and social media branding classes both online and in person. These events drive deeper relationships with Clarissa’s brand — and when people bring friends to the events, Clarissa often gains new followers.
Rigel Gemini frequently attends events such as FABNORMAL, a queer arts showcase in Atlanta. Events like these help him network with other people with similar interests, and also give him compelling blog content that people are searching for online, such as written and video recaps.
These days, there are many ways to grow a blog. Try out the strategies we’ve shared, and learn what works best for you.