11.2.14

BLOG ADVICE 101: #2 HOW DO I GROW MY BLOG AUDIENCE?

In the first of my blog advice posts I covered the top tips for setting yourself up as a beauty blogger. If you've got your site and it's full of great posts, you've got all your social channels manned and branded, then how do you actually grow an audience of people who will engage with you and read your content? Without an audience your blog could just sit on the internet becoming another unloved site that's yearning for attention. Although there's no magic formula or way of becoming the Next Big Thing, there are a few things you can do to make an impact and to set yourself up to win. Here are my top tips for growing your audience...


Produce Good Content 
Although this technically isn't directly related to growing an audience per se, without great content that is sharable and provides insight or opinion, you won't get very far. If you just wack something up on your site for the sake of it, or swatch a new lipstick and say 'oooh pretty' then your readers will get bored very quickly. Ensure every piece you write provides something worth reading: whether it's an opinion piece on what's going on in the industry, an explanation of the latest trends, or five different ways you can wear the new MAC eyeshadow. If you're writing about the same product as 50 other people, how can you make your piece different and how can you find a unique angle? Making your content great will naturally make it shareable, which in turn will bring new readers to your blog.

Use Social Platforms Regularly
Twitter, Facebook and Instagram should be used, without a doubt, as an extension of your blog. Readers don't just want to read your posts; they want to know and understand the person behind them. Tweeting what you're doing on the bus may sound boring, but it provides commentary and insight behind the blog and makes you more relatable. Snapping pictures of your beauty collection, what's new in Boots or your Starbucks provides a conversation starting point too - give potential readers something to question you about or to get involved with. When starting out it's best to adopt a few social networks that you can utilise and manage effectively, rather than trying to run seven at once. This will also allow you to dedicate more time to them, getting involved with conversations, rather than panicking that you haven't uploaded anything to Google+ in three days.

Become An Information Source 
One of the easiest ways to grow an audience is to become an information source that people go to for advice and support. Maybe you want to become an expert in hair, or the one that knows about what the celebrities wore to the latest film premier. Perhaps you want to have all the news on what product launches when and where you can get it from... What you're an information source in doesn't matter, as long as you continue to push it out to people that want to see it. (I like to talk about new products, celebrities that have been signed by brands, offers, events and beauty news.) Sharing photos and links also encourages people to like, favourite or retweet your content too. Your social channels shouldn't be completely self-indulgent, so make sure you're giving something back and giving a reason for people to follow.

Monitor And Use Hashtags 
Hashtags aren't just for Twitter anymore - they're used across other social platforms such as Facebook and Instagram too. Monitoring hashtags that are used will give you an indication of what conversations are happening, what people are searching for and what can open doors to new fans. Popular twitter hashtags include #bbloggers and #fbloggers, which readers and brands often search to find new and interesting content. If you're on Instagram, search for popular topics such as #TBT (Throwback Thursday) which encourage users to upload different types of content and discover new accounts to follow. If you share a photo, make sure you hashtag it with around five different descriptions, (i.e. #makeup #nailart #LFW) to enable your content to be discovered. Twitter parties or chats also open a lot of doors to other bloggers and brands, so keep your eyes peeled for scheduled slots where you can take part.

Offer Competition Prizes
It's a cliche, but it works. People love winning things and it ensures your site is extremely shareable. Offering a handpicked selection of goodies or something limited edition will get your audience excited and keen to share. There are plenty of handy tools, such as Rafflecopter, that help you run competitions and can also encourage people to follow you on multiple social platforms as an entry mechanic. Although competitions are a great way to get attention, the key is not to turn into a spammy site that's just offering free stuff for the sake of it. It may be that you tried a new mascara that you loved and therefore want to give five away; it may even be that you've collated your favourite products from the last three months into a hamper for a reader to win. A lot of brands are also willing to offer competition prizes free of charge to support a review, so why not ask one of your favourites if they'd be willing to donate something that can be given away to a reader?

These are just a few ways in which you can grow an audience, but there are so many more. Do you have any top tips on growing a blog audience? Next in the series: Managing Your Social Media.

(Missed the first post? Check out 'How To Start A Beauty Blog'.)

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24 comments

  1. Loving your blog advice 101 series. So many helpful tips thank you
    Sophie xXx

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  2. Great informative post :)

    I'm hoping to do a competition next month but am nervous about asking a brand to be involved as I keep thinking they must get so many requests of peoples with a much larger audience.

    It's very new but I love preparing my blog, I hope people enjoy reading it too.

    Chloe x
    www.chloeandhernotes.com

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  3. Thanks for the advice. I definitely think that using all sorts of platforms will help expand readership. As for giveaways, I think it's best to do them once you've already got a larger readership (in the 100s).

    I’ve written a post on room decor for a clear mind over on my blog, check it out!

    www.sophschoices.co.uk

    Sophie

    x

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  4. Great post, I also think replying to comments helps grow your audience. I'm still getting my head around the # thing though!

    www.ninegrandstudent.wordpress.com

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    Replies
    1. The more you use it the more it becomes second nature!

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  5. This is such a useful post! Thank you!

    Jenn | PhotoJennic

    x

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  6. that was helpful again like your last post...since i am new into blogging and still building it up .i personally dint use twitter at all..but since my blog i have started to use it intially i just wrote about the post updating since a week i guess i have started to write about what i am doing i makesure atleast 1-2 things apart from blogging i tweet there :)

    http://sarazbeautytonic.blogspot.co.uk/

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  7. Great post... one of my biggest issues is using twitter, I know how usefull it can be but I seem to get writers bock every time I go near it! Thanks for sharing, really helpfull post

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  8. Loving this series! Its really helpful to me as I'm still starting out!

    www.cupcakesandskirts.blogspot.co.uk

    xx

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  9. Such a fab post and all so true, especially the bit about #hashtags x
    Www.beautyqueenuk.co.uk

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  10. I have recently got Twitter (today) and I'm loving it for my blog!!

    xxx | daisydaisyxxo

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  11. Another great post. I'm planning to do a giveaway when I reach 100 followers on bloglovin. Just under half way to go. 2 questions... How could they enter and how do I generate a winner?
    Rachel xx
    http://heartoceansecrets.blogspot.co.uk

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    Replies
    1. You need Rafflecopter - google it and it will enable you to run, manage and execute a competition completely.

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    2. Just a note (though I know it doesn't apply in this situation) that if you are using wordpress.com you can't use Rafflecopter, and there's no alternative. This is what has led me to decide to go self-hosted in the next couple of week!

      http://ninegrandstudent.wordpress.com/

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  12. Thank you for posting this! I'm going to look at your other blog now for some more tips! I'm just finding the customisation of the blog hard! Like where to find a good template or should I pay someone to do it for me etc.

    Anyway! Thanks so much!

    http://blessedbymeow.blogspot.co.uk/

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    Replies
    1. My blog was designed by Magic Feather (link at the bottom) and she's very reasonably priced - less than £100.

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  13. This was a great post to read as somebody who hopes to get back into blogging. Looking forward to your social media post as I have to admit I am rubbish at the likes of twitter but near obsessed with instagram. x

    whatsonyourtulips.blogspot.co.uk

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  14. Nice advice i really enjoyed reading this, thanks for the tips much appreciated :) xx

    http://chrisseytina.blogspot.co.uk

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  15. I just started blogging and so far loving it, really useful posts thank you xxx

    http://thebeautyintel.blogspot.co.uk

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  16. These posts are really helpful, thanks for sharing!

    http://lifebyemmy.blogspot.co.uk

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  17. Great post! Love reading the blog tips, your blog is stunning presentation wise and seems to be popular so I'm sure you have great advice to give!!
    Cocktail blog:
    http://sipprokate.wordpress.com

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  18. This is such a good idea, I have never seen a blog with a 'Blog Advice' category. So helpful :) www.daintythingsandme.co.uk

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  19. Thanks for this, I've also started blogging recently (about cruelty free beauty) and you have some sage advice especially about social media. I'm still sort of scared of twitter for some reason...

    vivi // sammysanscruelty.wordpress.com

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