What is a business blog without a loyal readership? Cultivating a blog that your audience will actually want to read is just the first step – now you need to attract users and incentivize them to keep up with your blog.

“If you build it, they will come,” isn’t always the case with a business blog. Many of the most successful bloggers today had to work their way up from the bottom. Follow the steps and advice in Part 3 of this blog series to water the seed that you’ve already begun nurturing in Part 1 and Part 2 – and watch your blog flourish!

Attract Targeted Traffic

Building an audience ultimately comes down to driving targeted traffic to your blog. Targeted traffic isn’t just anyone – it’s an audience that is the most likely to purchase your products or services. These are the people at the center of all your marketing efforts. Once you know who your targeted traffic is, attract this audience to your brand-new business blog using the following tips:

  1. Network with other bloggers. Don’t see your competitors as enemies – instead, use them to boost your blog’s success. Fellow bloggers can be your ticket to reaching targeted traffic. Develop relationships that will give mutual benefit to you and the other company in your niche. For example, leave helpful comments on their blogs or work to build a community of thought leaders. Then, use their network to help grow your own.
  2. Guest post on prominent sites. Research some of the most well-known blogs and sites in your industry using a tool such as BuzzSumo. Then, reach out to these sites through the appropriate channels to see if you can become a guest blogger. Publishing guests posts on websites that already have large readerships can drive targeted traffic to your newly created blog.
  3. Use keywords. Keep track of the latest developments, events, and news stories in your industry. Then, publish timely posts about them. Monitoring important topics with tools such as Google Alerts can keep you on the cutting-edge, adding to your blog’s relevance. Use trending keywords to increase your blog post’s visibility to targeted users searching for more information on that topic.

Letting people know you started a blog is an important step. Spread the word with help from already-established blogs in your industry. Reach out and make a connection with other brands and site owners in your niche. Develop a symbiotic relationship (one involving mutual benefit to both parties, for those of you who blocked out science class) with other bloggers, guest post regularly, and stay hyper-relevant to drive targeted traffic.

Pro Tip: Think twice before you buy targeted traffic. Purchasing your traffic instead of earning it organically could be setting yourself up for disaster. Earning your users might seem like the “long way,” but it’s actually the cheaper, more rewarding way. Don’t waste your money on purchasing visitors. Instead, follow the proven path toward genuine blog success.

Get Users to Agree to Blog Updates

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Building an email subscriber list for your blog is a great way to keep your audience hooked and involved with your brand. Creating a mailing list and convincing users to sign up, however, can take a careful strategy. Being someone who just started a blog for the first time actually works in your favor in terms of an email list. Ask your readers to sign up for updates right from the very start to quickly and easily grow your audience.

Aren’t convinced on the power of email marketing? Think again! Eighty percent of retailers say emailing is the greatest driver of customer retention. Using email to market your blog is one of the most direct, effective ways to reach the readers who are most interested in seeing your content. The question isn’t whether you should employ email marketing – it’s how to do so to promote your blog.

You have to give users a reason to sign up for your blog. (Preferably, many reasons.) For example, offer insider perks and exclusive promo codes or discounts for people who sign up for your blog updates. Another way is to host a contest using email addresses as entrees. Keeping your blog content highly relevant and engaging is always a good way to prevent the dreaded “unsubscribe” notifications.

Pro Tip: Get more subscribers to your email list using guest posts. Link to an opt-in landing page on your author bio to make the most use out of guest posting!

Try Paid Search Advertising for Your Blog

Paid search advertising through platforms such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, or Yahoo: Search Ads can help you cultivate a blog following in no time. Paid search advertising works by putting links and landing pages to your blog on the first page of search engine results when users perform searches for your keywords. You have to bid for relevant keywords through the paid advertising system. If you win the bid, your blog will pop up at the top of the search page for that word.

The most popular form of paid search advertising is PPC (pay-per-click). PPC advertising makes sense for most small businesses because they do not have to pay a flat fee or for an ad that users never noticed. Advertisers will only pay when a user clicks on the advertisement. PPC providers use advanced technologies to prevent “false” clicks from hackers, so you don’t have to worry about robots racking up your clicks. PPC is a safe, highly effective way to get your blog seen by the right people.

Practice Patience – Results Will Come!

Don’t let low or no audience engagement at the beginning of your blog get you down. Every famous blog started somewhere. Stay consistent with your blog strategy, and, over time, you will start to see the audience engagement and results you want. The key to your business blog’s success is longevity. Get the secrets to this part of blogging in the next article – Part 4 of the series!