7 Ways to Find Readers and Subscribers When No One Knows You Yet

7 Ways to Find Readers and Subscribers When No One Knows You Yet

Reader Comments (25)

  1. Hi Sonia!

    I’ve found being a little bombastic and outrageous works. I once wrote a crazy opinion piece on my very honest feelings about my student loans for The Huffington Post and went viral, landing me in USA Today online. My women’s health blog (now defunct) discussed excessive hair growth on women and I was pretty raw and honest with that too. I was interviewed for story in New York Magazine online, which was shared on Yahoo, Women’s Health, and other top online publications.

    Used responsibly and in moderation, being a wee bit controversial can produce great results for your website and yourself as a brand! Thanks for this article!

    • My friend the orthopedic surgeon does really well with YouTube — explaining procedures and helping to inform potential patients. Might be a good option?

  2. In the early stages of a blogger’s careers, it can seem almost daunting to get eyeballs on your website. Especially today, where there’s an unprecedented amount of content being created and distributed throughout the world wide web. This blog post effectively shows you 7 ways to help you stand out and make a “wave” in the digital ocean. I especially liked #5 in regards to taking a controversial stand. It’s too easy to be that person that blends in and adopts the status quo. However, you run the risk of looking and sounding just like everyone else. Better to ruffle some feathers and not be afraid to polarize your market. That way, the people that resonate with your message will draw that much closer to you and you can focus on serving them to the exclusion of everyone else.

  3. I appreciate all your suggestions! I started my blog to share my art & crafting with my sisters, nieces, & friends. Although the more I blog – 18 months now – the more I want to do with my blog. Thank you!

  4. Hi Sonia. They are excellent ideas for people just getting started, or even for experienced. people.

    From my experience, the biggest thing people need to know when they are just getting stated is to write. Like you said, you don’t have an audience when you start out, so don’t worry about what people think. Just write. You can always fix it later when you know more.

    The more you read about how to blog, the harder it gets, so stop reading and start writing.

    Just my thoughts.

    • I love the advice, Wayne. The hardest thing I had to do so far was to stop reading and start writing.

      Sonia, thank you for the article. #1 made me realize how much I can get done now, before I’m even ready for traffic.

  5. Thanks for this article. I’m bookmarking it to reference. I’ve been working this year on being more consistent in my publishing. My biggest challenge is that I’m not clear on my target audience. I have a sense of who they are but finding it difficult to pinpoint who really resonates with my work the most.

    What’s the best way to narrow that?


    • That’s always an interesting question — my recommendation is to focus carefully on who you want to attract, and specifically, the values that matter the most to you. The demographics are somewhat secondary.

      For example, on my personal site, I’m only interested in attracting folks who think “social justice warrior” is a compliment, not an insult. 🙂 But I’m not trying to appeal to specific traditional demographic frameworks (gender, race, age brackets, etc.).

      As it happens, I wrote a post on that site (so many moons ago) that spells out how I see it: http://www.remarkable-communication.com/design-your-perfect-business/

      • Yes, a lot of people get caught up in demographics, but there’s also psychographics: what kind of mental place are they in? Eg if you write about the problems of stay-at-home mums, that’ll cross ethnicities and a couple of decades of age range.

        I’m perennially hung up on target audience/ideal client myself, and being a natural generalist doesn’t help!

        • Something that helps me is to visualize a single, well-defined person, realizing that other folks can show up as well.

          I went into this topic more on the podcast (that one will publish this coming Monday) — if you get the core values right, the rest of it is just a question of details. But I do like to be able to visualize a precise individual so that my content speaks to one reader, rather than pontificating from the balcony. 🙂

  6. Solid advice! Being controversial seems to get all the eyeballs these days… I like your advice on “do one epic thing” – definitely something to try more often!

  7. Hi Sonia,

    Goodness I would have a pop up form, sidebar opt in, half page opt in pop out – small, unobtrusive – and a PUSH box on my blog from day 1. Because I see how those forms make all the difference on earth now. The pop up happens once in an eon for new users. But the PUSH box pops up frequently, the sidebar is always there and the sliding small form on the 1/2 scroll down pops out ever visit. Gotta have all, but you need to have posture and not get terrified of annoying folks.

    Why have all the forms? Be ready to gobble up subscribers and service traffic when it flows in. As you said. Attract return readers. Boost your traffic. Boost your sales.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂


    • That’s an approach. It works for a lot of people, for sure. More specifically, it works well for your “Who.”

      Decisions about who to attract and who to chase away always need to be grounded in your “Who.”

  8. All great points. With the internet becoming like showbiz, there is nothing quite like creating controversy. It may work even better if you have some audience already.

    We manage dozens of websites and our experience with guest blogging hasn’t been all that good, though. You do get some visitors through guest blogging, but it almost never leads to sales in most niches. And the reason behind that is because when someone is seriously looking to make a purchase, they almost always “Google it”.

    Guest blogging used to offer considerable SEO value and then it started getting abused. Its no longer trusted by Google and one can keeping building backlinks from guest posts, but it would only have a little change in their rankings.

    • Well … it’s not actually true that guest posts “aren’t trusted by Google.” 🙂 Junky guest posting is a problem, but you shouldn’t create junky content for any reason, it wastes everyone’s time.

      Matt Cutts created a dust-up several years back about crappy guest posting, but he quickly confirmed that he wasn’t in any way talking about high-quality multi-author sites.

      Trying to place guest posts for SEO without thinking about the actual audience is definitely not a smart strategy. It’s not a particularly good technique for finding ready buyers either, in most cases. Guest posting is an audience-building technique, and it has to be approached that way.

  9. Thanks for another great post. Copyblogger really helps me refocus and deliver better and better content to my readers. Every time I read your site I’m inspired.

  10. I’m in the very early stages of my blog – I just started in late April. My traffic is slowly growing. And, I’m a data geek, so I love analyzing traffic patterns and sources (which will help me in the long run). These are all really great tips, so thank you very much for sharing!

  11. Thank you for writing this post. They are all really good tips for all whether you are a new blogger or not. I wanted to ask your opinion on commenting on other people’s blogs and whether a new blogger should turn comments on or off?

    I have noticed that more and more bloggers were turning comments off and wonder why?

  12. Thanks for another great post. Copyblogger really helps me refocus and deliver better and better content to my readers. Every time I read your site I’m inspired.

  13. Oh, geeeez, folks, between Sonia’s post itself and the reader comments, this constitutes one of those ‘go-to’ pieces to return to weekly. Quality stuff. Sonia, you could create another good post just out of the discussion. [I’m sure that’s been done before, but just cushioning my point.]
    Resonating with me: 1. Tim Gray’s point–“psychographics: what kind of mental place are they in?” [Very solid first name, by the way.] 2. Sonia’s point–But two well-planned, 10-minute [social media] sessions every day can do you a world of good. 3. Wayne’s point–The more you read about how to blog, the harder it gets, so stop reading and start writing. [Amen to that, so I’d better practice what Wayne is preaching!]
    Thanks, Sonia and audience.

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