Growing pains – my views on growing an audience

I don't remember what this is

I have noticed that a lot of people have been asking for advice on how to grow their blog over the last few weeks. I am not sure why that all of a sudden people seem to be asking me this.

Maybe I have passed a certain threshold of followers that has given me blogging credibility and people now see me as someone who knows what they are doing?

What I think has happened, is that many people have started blogs in January and seen that it is very difficult to actually get anyone to look at your work. So, they have started to do what any practical person would and are trying to gather information as to how to build an audience.

Well, I will address this again, but only briefly as I have addressed it many times. The first thing you need to understand is that after you put up your post on WordPress or any other platform, there will be a brief window of time where it is visible in a public space – e.g. reader. After this, it gets buried by everyone else posting stuff.

If you are writing about stuff that is of general interest, a post about how adjectives work, for example, there is a chance of getting some traffic via a search engine, but it will be tiny. I wrote about nouns once and now if you type ‘thematically meandering’ into google on the first page is that post – I have no idea why.

Presumably, if that post is high on googles rankings you would expect that post to be viewed more than others: it isn’t.

So, you’re not likely to get many people who stumble upon your blog; you’re going to have to go out and get people!

Marketing isn’t a massive Industry by happenstance. Read their work, comment on it, like and share etc. They may do the same for you, and you can grow from there. What I am trying to tell you is that it is a lot of work to build an audience, and you should probably spend a decent portion of your time marketing.

I attended a course once that was part of a scientific program, it had a lady there talking about social media and influencing – so we could better communicate our work. She said you should spend around 10 % of your time on marketing, and after this year of blogging, I tend to agree.

The Utopian dream of writing a blog post with your coffee in the morning, posting it online and having everyone read it and even make money from it is an utter fantasy! And we should all be embarrassed to have even thought like this.

It is no less passive than any other form of employment, and it is a lot of hard work! Sorry to ruin your fantasy, but isn’t that always the way?

Normal programming will resume next week.

Update: I will add useful links here as and when I find them.

19/8/19 – I have realised that people have been re-posting their old posts. When they appear in the reader feed they often have hundreds of likes and comments. I had no idea how they are doing this until now. They use a plugin for WordPress that automatically re-posts for them. However, there is a way to do this manually. If you look at any of your posts and then click on the ‘document’ tab and look at the bit where it says ‘status and visibility’ you can see when it was published and change it to a time in the future. Then it will be re-posted at that time. Here is a link as to why you might want to do this.

Go here for all your WordPress search engine optimization needs

Author: Louis

Spend less than you earn, Invest the surplus, avoid debt. Eat food, not too much, mostly plants

72 thoughts on “Growing pains – my views on growing an audience”

  1. I agree with all you say here. I would add that the use of relevant tags can also assist in bringing your work to the attention of those with an interest in it. For example I, as a poet always use the tags k morris poet, poems etc. Of course there are many people out there posting about poetry, however the use of tags and categories does help. Best – Kevin

    Liked by 11 people

  2. “It is no less passive than any other form of employment, and it is a lot of hard work!” Lol so true Louis. But you did do really well marketing your blog. Hence, I found it (by your liking some of my posts, whether you read them or not — and thank you, by the way, for enlightening some of us naïve neophytes, in an earlier post of yours, that this is actually a thing, where people like posts without reading them. I take “likes” with a bigger grain of salt now ;)). But, I keep returning here, because your content is good, i.e. interesting and honest. And it’s consistently so, and “brand-recognizably” so as well, with its theme and repeating post image. All reasons why it’s ultimately popular and keeps growing. I admire your efficiency 👍

    Liked by 12 people

    1. Truth coming from your corning concerning the” Like” field, but no readers #Nadine Lol, I share because of my of faith and days surrounding us in fulfilling prophetic events, which this may not be either of your interests? I don’t do it to gain likes, although it helps if someone passes by now and then to read some of my posts. I Love writing, its part of my life! I have started to pop by a read a couple of Louis’s shares due to his loyal likes to myself without no comments or interaction, Bless you Louis, Thankyou

      Marcia 😉

      Liked by 5 people

  3. Thanks for the advice, friend…I recently decided to start my blog/website and incorporate my articles from LinkedIn, where I have posted historically. I got some encouraging traffic for the first day and then it died off. I suspected it was because of what you said – now I know for sure!

    Liked by 6 people

  4. Well put. I’ve removed the Like button from my posts as I found I was Liking others’ rather than commenting, and I need to know what it is that readers like about my posts. I also need to think about what I can comment on others – ie. why I like a post (otherwise how can I judge what to put in mine?). But then, I’m not expecting to make money from my blog. I’m rather enjoying ‘meeting’ people (virtually speaking).

    Liked by 12 people

  5. I mainly blog as a diary of my life. Me and a friend have done it for years. I started again last month after taking a break from it for a while.
    Unlike some I’m not bothered by the views j get or the likes/comments. But my friends can see what’s happening / how I’m feeling etc if they want. I prefer to share on a blog then on Facebook / twitter.

    Liked by 6 people

  6. Ways to get people to look at your blog that i have found successful are: catchy title, max of three words, at least one interesting pic related to the topic embedded in the post; post of no more than 200 words if it is a meta post IE about stuff, and no more than 1000 words if it is a fiction excerpt.

    Liked by 8 people

  7. As a writer who is teaching during the day, I find the whole marketing thing so frustrating. I don’t have time to do all the memes and all the twitter and yet, to sell books to a big publisher, you need a certain amount of followers. So it IS important. I am relieved to see that 10% is marketing only. I do this on weekends and on breaks. Thanks so much!

    Liked by 8 people

    1. I know very little about the publishing Industry, but I know a bit about agents and they are mostly looking for people have already done 99% of the work. Basically you already have to have a following and be semi-succesful already and then they pick you up and try to take it further. It is a hard business so they want to publish people that are already sucessful in some way — the music Industry is exactly the same.

      Liked by 4 people

  8. A useful point, Louis. Also it takes time, doesn’t it? Another thing is that not necessarily everyone is blogging to get followers. I mostly do it to discipline myself and motivate myself to have a consistent writing practice. I’d rather have 5 people actually reading what I wrote than 500 liking it automatically just to be liked or followed back. Not that it is a problem I have at the moment 😀 But then I don’t intend to make money out of it. I can only imagine the hard work it requires if you do!

    Liked by 11 people

  9. Nice post! I’ve found that even as your audience grows only a small percentage will read your work and give a thoughtful comment. Everyone is busy, and there are millions of blogs and websites. A lot of beautiful writing out here. I’m happy making some solid connections with a few people. And I love the reach of this community – people all over the world.

    Liked by 7 people

  10. Interesting topic (and as a tip to any newbies, if you write about blogging/followers etc and wp-tag it correctly, it’ll probably get quite a few views). Good points here. After a couple of years of pondering something similar, I’ve come to the conclusion that there are two completely different types of blogging out there: commercial blogging and hobbyist blogging. They are not to be confused. Hobbyists are creative people who want to share their art in whatever form it is (writing, photography…) and they seek feedback and a community. Commercial bloggers aim to become influencers, celebrities of the blogging world, and they’ll do anything: sacrifice original content for clickbait, buy followers, like-for-likes, and write sponsered posts which are really just ads. Which type are you? 😊 You have managed to gain a good amount of followers in just one year! Was your growth organic? I think these are good questions to ponder because they help relive the stress of trying to match influencers and comparing yourself too much to them. Real interaction is often enough to keep us hobbyists going, we don’t need fame and fortune. (Well, fortune would be nice, but… what would happen to MY content? Why am I even blogging if I just go and turn my blog into advertisement space?) Keep in mind that influencers often strike deals with large media agencies and automatically gain exposure that way. Knowing the ”right” people in the real world help. Their follows aren’t earned with the hard work and LOVE than hobbyists’ are. These are two completely different things. 😊Peace and happy blogging! 🌷

    Liked by 10 people

    1. I haven’t paid for any interactions and I have actually paid to remove adverts from my site. I treat this as more of a career/personal development exercise. I guess that seeing as I am doing it for personal developemnt reasons that it straddles both the hobbyist and commercial sides!

      Liked by 7 people

      1. That’s why I’m doing it too, Louis. Trying to see how many followers I can get organically. Testing different ideas and writing styles to see what works, connecting with other writers (got offered my first guest post gig), etc. It is a fun hobby because as a bonus you are exposing your writing to other people.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Love this post. I’m still working my way around blogging. It is a peace of mind for me, though making money is always an added bonus if someone gets so lucky. I look at it more of a I wish I could make money at it so I’m doing something better than what I am.

    Liked by 5 people

  12. Wise advice, I’m new to this world and I’m hoping to turn my hand to writing more honest content. I continually strive to grow my knowledge and improve my reach. I have just discovered the reader and hoping to engage as you have advised with other folks on here. Thanks for the tips.

    Liked by 5 people

  13. A man can dream, can’t they? Hitting that “publish” button and having “everyone” see their content… yup. A dream.

    Teach us your ways, master! 😀

    Yes, I agree with all the work needed to be done when one wants people to read their blog posts. It is a lot of marketing, network of bloggers, following blogs of similar interests, and if you even want to get down and dirty… the dreaded SEO (search engine optimization). *gasps*

    Thank you for your thoughts on this. Have a nice day.

    Liked by 6 people

  14. I often wonder about this … why people care so much about followers… and what this means .. does it mean that they are really writing not for themselves but for others and if so… how did they end up there. I find those questions interesting x

    Liked by 7 people

  15. Good post. I think the problem is our lives are busy anyway and we don’t have the time to keep on posting and marketing. I would say regular well written articles with some consideration to key words should be enough.

    Liked by 5 people

  16. Marketing! – my Achilles heel (or at least one of them) – I have no problem coming up with material – whether it’s for my fiction or blog postings, or even around the water cooler. But getting (and even ASKING) people to read my stuff – well, it’s contrary to my nature. You’re right, though – they won’t come if you just build it. If I want an audience, I need to put up billboards and tell people I’m out there. Everything takes work to be successful.
    Thanx for the post!

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Yeah I guess like anything its effort equals everything. You need to interact with others and you need to keep writing and publishing. For me I feel if you have come across a good article mention them in your post, that way you also helping your fellow bloggers. If the see you are linking to them they might come across to you and find value in the things you write and link back to you, now its not just yourself you have 2 now, and if this carries on then your following can grow.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I’ve been doing a personal study on growth lately and have found your advice to be true. I went from 1-2 views A WEEK when I just posted my own articles and never commented or looked around. Now that I’m more active in the community I get about 15 a day which isn’t mind blowing, but I just started so I think that’s pretty good.
    My thing is I want it to be genuine. I’m not trying to spam random people whose blogs I don’t care about. I do still try to read and comment on as many blogs I follow as possible but the volume is going to be too much soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I have found this to be true. Marketing doesn’t seem to work because those readers don’t visit more than once. All you can do is write something you think will help you stand out and grab peoples attention. Writing about something a lot of people already know and have read too many times won’t bring in traffic. Write because you love it and see where it goes. If you make money, that’s great. But it won’t be consistent. I use the free site because of this.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I started blogging in order to have a place to put my stuff in case it all burned in a California wildfire.

    I follow other people’s blogs (like this one). However, I get so behind in trying to keep up with what people are presenting. In addition, I recognize those people who follow my blog in order to try and get me to follow theirs. 🙂 I’d rather have fewer followers than likes and followers who are just trying to get something out of me. I really want to know when my writing and art touches someone.

    I count on God to bring people to my blog.

    If you’re new and don’t see traffic then check your tag count. Anything over 15 tags and categories will not be posted in the reader. Less is more.

    Liked by 2 people

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