Blogging can be a rewarding hobby, a fun passion project and a great place to share your most pressing thoughts with the world.

However, if you’re blogging your heart out with no readers to show for it, you might start to feel like all of your hard work is pretty thankless. No matter what you try to do, your blog still looks like a ghost town.

So what can you do?

If you want to grow your blog’s readership like a pro, here are five simple tactics to start growing your audience once and for all.

1. Research your topics

Before you start your blog or publish your first post, it’s essential to understand what kinds of posts you’ll need to write to compel your audience to look your way.

Start researching your competitors to find out what they’re doing right, so you can immediately build off of their success. You can leverage premium tools to help you determine the competitive landscape of your niche. Next, you can focus on analyzing the data and turning it into actionable items that will help grow your blog traffic.

You can start by using ContentIdeator, a tool that lets you research for content about the topics you want to discuss on your blog. The tool also allows you to review discussions about your topic on popular sites like Reddit and Quora. This can be a major step towards finding new and useful content ideas for your blog.

Search engine optimization is one of the most efficient ways to drive traffic to your blog. By ranking on top of search results for your target keywords, you can increase your online visibility and get more users to read blog content about your business.

In a 2013 study, the top result on Google receives 33% of clicks from users. The percentage decreases as the position drops. This study serves as an example of the importance of ranking at the top of search engines, and also the amount of traffic you can receive every month.

While SEO is a very technical website practice, you can start by reading Brian Dean’s excellent guide about on-page SEO, which should help you become more aware of the variables that can affect your search ranking. It’s important to build an understanding about how off-page SEO works as well, which you can learn about in this Neil Patel article.

To help you make better sense of every facet involving SEO and get your blog to the top of search results, you should use a premium tool to help you track your rankings and uncover keywords to optimize for. Among the many SEO tools available in the market, you can start with comprehensive tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush.

If you want to produce the best content, you’ll need to learn how your top-performing competitors do it. There are many factors involved that comprise the “best” content and trends, but a metric you can focus on are social shares. With more people using social media and sharing posts, you want to understand why some posts get shared more than others.

You can start by checking topics on Twitter and social media, or start using tools instead. A tool that can help you uncover the most shared content is BuzzSumo, a content optimization, and research tool. From here, you can manually review the content and identify factors that make these posts shareable. You can then replicate their content strategy and implement them on your blog posts to maximize shares and engagement.

Lastly, BuzzSumo tool is an integral part of a successful blogger outreach strategy. My design company uses this tool to analyze content based on who shared them on social media, which will reveal Twitter influencers and blogger that you can build connections with and reach out to with your content.

4. Choose a framework

Writing a blog post is a science. Since you want to write content that will attract the most visitors, you want to develop a solid strategy for crafting compelling content in a deliberate and repeatable fashion. Taking all of the tactics mentioned above, you need to use them together to form a content framework that you will implement on each of your posts for maximum engagement. You can start by reading up the best content frameworks in this post from Buffer.

Keep in mind that the framework you’ll end up using depends on the kind of audience you have. It’s important to have a good grasp of what your audience wants first, which you’ll discover during your research phase.

5. Have patience

Developing and designing a successful site from the ground up will take patience, hard work, and creativity on your part. Since you are going up against established blogs in your niche, you need to carefully plot out your plan to earn trust and eventually get on their level. Hopefully, the tips and tools mentioned above you equip you with the knowledge and know-how to take your blog to new heights.

This article was originally published on