Everyone wants readers for their blog. Not everyone realises that it takes a good deal of effort. The key to grow your blog audience and turn them into loyal followers and readers comes from following certain important strategies.

Editor’s Note: Today, I have the pleasure of hosting one of the most prolific and long-term bloggers and brilliant writer and author, Damyanti Biswas.

She explains exactly what she did to grow her audience to 40,000 subscribers and sustain their interest over a decade of blogging. Over to Damyanti.

This post contains Referral/Affiliate links. What that means is if you click on any of the links and make a purchase, I get a commission at no extra cost to you. Read my complete disclosure policy here.

Woman wearing a red top and holding a laptop. Text overlay reads 'How to grow your blog audience the organic way'

Table of Contents

16 Compelling Ways to Grow your Blog Audience the Organic Way featuring @damyantig Click to Tweet

In my eleven years of blogging I’ve discovered that blog audiences want two things and this is what you need to give them.

Information that will give them value

They would like information that they are searching for.

In an internet awash with articles, they are looking for fresh, useful content–something they can use or put into action, from a person who has knowledge in the subject.

Information that will get them talking

Most bloggers like to weigh in, and share their expertise. They love a good discussion, a safe space where they know their opinions are valued, respected, and protected from trolls.

Emotional resonance is important. If a blog speaks about struggles we all face, audiences react by providing advice, sharing their own struggles. This leads to the creation of a strong blogging community.

For all my blogging life, I have devoted attention to these, so I’ll divide the rest of the article under these two headings.

How to Provide Value on Your Blog

Write Good content

This is the backbone of a blog. If you want to be read, you must respect the time of those who read you, and provide value.

I’m a fiction author, so some of my efforts are to help those who are on the journey of writing. Writing advice is not my forte, so on my blog I interview and host established authors and publishing professionals who share their wisdom. Quality guest posts are a great way to curate good content.

Other author-bloggers share their own expertise, as does Shailaja here, on this blog.

I love her site because it has helped me with blogging-related information, more than once.

Newsletter for subscribers

I also run a writing gazette, where I send out collated resources: writing craft advice, call for submissions, articles on the writing life and building an author platform.

Give away resources and information

Whenever possible, make posts on your blog that lead your readers to good information on the internet.

Besides my newsletter, my effort has always been to post a few blogs a month that provide value in terms of the writing craft.

How to create a Blogging community

Create emotional resonance

This means being vulnerable. In today’s day and age of photoshopped images and lives on the internet, the genuine, the unvarnished, lands a connection.

This may or may not be for you. On my blog for instance, I don’t write about my personal day to day life, but I do share my honest opinions, my ways of thinking, my voice.

None of that is fake. This has led to friendships that are more than a decade old now, because my readers connect with me, and become friends.

Have a Consistent Blogging Persona

“Choose your Niche” is an opt-repeated mantra in the blogging universe. This helps in two ways: it showcases your passion, and it helps the search engines give due importance and placement to your blog.

I must admit I have ignored this excellent advice.

My idea is to connect with readers of fiction, and I’ve chosen to do that–they come to my blog to read me, my writing, my struggles, travels, causes. My blog is an expression of my brand as an author.

Interact with Your Followers

This is big. I’ve often visited blogs where the blogger does not respond to comments. On days I’m overwhelmed, I guess I miss out on a few, but I try to respond as much as I can.

For me, community is conversation, and conversation, community.

Visit other blogs and leave comments

I’m genuinely interested in my readers. I will go back to those who leave likes and comments, and have discovered some great friends that way.

Some days I can only leave a Like, or a social media share, but I try to keep up with as many friends as I can.

Give support wherever possible

In the blogging world, community support is a good way to get to know others, and to strengthen the following of your blog.

Support other bloggers on social media without any expectation of return—share content that is relevant to your platform, but sometimes those that are not entirely relevant, as long as it does not go against your blogging persona.

When you’re a genuine giver, people tend to take notice, and help comes your way even when you don’t ask for it.

Take part in the Occasional Blogging Event

I was one of the co-hosts of the A to Z Blogging Challenge for a few years, and that has created lasting connections in my life.

I run We are the World Monthly Blogfest, and take part in the Insecure Writers Support Group–both have led to close relationships, on blog, and off.

Too many can be detrimental to your search engine ranking, but having a positive community behind you is worth a few group events once in a while.

Make it easy for your audience to engage with your posts

  Many bloggers ignore this, at their peril.

Sign out of your blog, and visit it like your audience would–on a desktop, on a mobile, attempt to leave comments when signed out of your blogging platform, and try and share your posts on social media.

When you see your blog the way a visitor does, its shortcomings will become obvious.

No faster way to kill organic reach than have a blog that makes the reader jump through hoops to leave a comment or share a post.

Posts need to be in your voice

Voice is an elusive thing–but it is important. Talk to your audience the way you’d like to be perceived: solemn, funny, indignant, formal, informal.

Of course there will be tonal variation, but unless you’re writing a technical blog (and even then) let some voice creep in.

Get guest posting gigs on quality blogs

Invite guests who can provide value to your audience.

Once your blog is established, you can begin pitching guest posts to other blogs, and also host established bloggers.

This helps in many ways , not the least of which is exposure to a new and wider audience, exchange of knowledge, and building a bigger community.

Search Engine Optimisation

This can be as easy as getting a plugin and following rules, knowing your niche to finding the right keywords. This is an entire universe unto itself, but if you take the time to learn it, it helps increase your reach.

Speed and Appearance of Your Site

If your site does not load fast enough, audiences will click away–we are very used to instant gratification, so anything longer than a few brief seconds will lead to loss of readers.

Same goes for the blog appearance–an established blog will look professional, easy to read, no flashy gifs or images, no strange fonts.

More the white space and the better the sitemap, the longer you can persuade a visitor to stay.

Check your blog today to figure out whether you are doing enough to increase its organic reach—in the long run, it is more effective to have a community of committed followers than thousands of page views without the engagement.

All of this leads me to why organic blogging reach is important, certainly for authors, but also other niche bloggers.

If you have managed to create a blogging community, it supports you in times of need.

My debut literary crime novel You Beneath Your Skin releases on the 17th of September 2019.

The blogging community came together to do a cover reveal, and over the next two months I have many posts lined up on different blogs, so that my book is seen by all audiences.

The author proceeds go to Project WHY and Stop Acid Attacks, so all of it is for a good cause, and the blogging community understands that.

An author explains how to grow your blog audience PLUS :Presenting the debut novel of @damyantig #YouBeneathyourSkin from @SimonSchusterIN All proceeds go to @projectwhydelhi @stopacidattacks Click to Tweet


This post contains links to the Amazon affiliate program. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. You can read my complete Disclosure policy here. 

Click here to place an order for your copy of ‘You Beneath Your Skin’ in India


ABOUT THE GUEST AUTHOR

Damyanti Biswas lives in Singapore, and works with Delhi’s underprivileged children as part of Project Why, a charity that promotes education and social enhancement in underprivileged communities.

Her short stories have been published in magazines in the US, UK, and Asia, and she helps edit the Forge Literary Magazine. You can find her on her blog and twitter.


woman wearing a red top,holding a laptop and looking at it

*Featured & pin images courtesy Avantikaa M/Shutterstock

Categories: Blogging

20 Comments

Anindya Sundar Basu · September 16, 2019 at 8:49 am

Thanks for compiling this through Damyanti. Really helpful and loved reading this.

    Damyanti · September 16, 2019 at 9:41 pm

    So glad you found the post useful, Anindya.

Shilpa Gupte · September 16, 2019 at 11:26 am

Thank you for this list, Damyanti!
With traffic to a website getting so much importance, every blogger seems to be in this race, of getting more numbers–followers, likes, page views. Rarely do we remember the important part–the content that can and will bring in organic traffic, even if it doesn’t run in tens of thousands! 🙂

    Damyanti · September 16, 2019 at 9:42 pm

    Content and interaction, both things lead to lasting friendships, Shilpa.

    It is better to have a smaller but more engaged audience, than a large audience we don’t connect with.

Rajlakshmi · September 16, 2019 at 12:36 pm

Excellent points. This is another reminder for me to engage more in comments. I loved the idea of writing relatable content that readers can comment on. Thank you Damyanti for sharing these insightful tips 🙂

    Damyanti · September 16, 2019 at 9:44 pm

    Over the years, we all develop our voices, and the audience comes to expect good content, but with the blogger’s voice. I try to engage with comments wherever possible.

Shweta · September 16, 2019 at 2:05 pm

That was a great compilation Damyanti. I am subscribed to your gazette, and can vouch for their usefulness.
Good luck for your book.
Cheers!!
Shweta

    Damyanti · September 16, 2019 at 9:45 pm

    So happy my gazettes are useful. That warms my heart, because I put a lot of time and effort into them–they’re my way of giving back to the community.

Bhuvana · September 16, 2019 at 9:41 pm

A very good post and a reminder on what’s important and what to prioritise in terms of the blog growth. Thank you and wish you all the best on your new book!

    Damyanti · September 17, 2019 at 6:31 am

    Thank you so much, and I’m glad you found these useful.

Roshan · September 16, 2019 at 10:14 pm

I miss out on so many of this to be frank.. After all these years, I’ve still not mastered so much of this. Not even basics like newsletters. Then comes the dreaded SEO.

    Damyanti · September 17, 2019 at 6:33 am

    You have an awesome blog with a fab reach–so you’re obviously doing things right, Doc Roshan.

    Each of us works in our own ways to increase organic reach, and I’m pretty sure I can learn a lot from you.

Priyanka Nair · September 16, 2019 at 10:54 pm

Thanks for sharing your insights, a very useful post.

    Damyanti · September 17, 2019 at 6:34 am

    Thanks so much, Priyanka. I’m so glad the post helped.

Modern Gypsy · September 17, 2019 at 10:38 am

Thanks for these excellent tips, Damyanti. In our race for page views and a large audience, a lot of us forget about the importance of a close group of loyal readers!

Ashvini Naik · September 17, 2019 at 11:22 am

This is a wonderful post, Damyanti.

I so agree with your point when you talk about maintaining a conversational & candid tone throughout our posts for the reader to be able to connect with us better.

And true, SEO, Pinterest & other methods/platforms may help us get readers to our blog but being able to retain them to keep reading, coming back for more or converting to a subscriber/ social media follower all depends on what value we provide to them through our writing.

Thank you, Shailaja, for hosting such an insightful post from Damyanti for all of us!

Unishta · September 17, 2019 at 1:06 pm

Excellent advice with appropriate images. For the life of me I can’t understand how to do a key word search though I’ve read many SEO articles. I also don’t really know my niche since I don’t really have any expertise on anything as I am a jack of all trades. I like to write a whole load of stuff – fiction, poetry, non-fiction, opinions, memoirs, just generally share my thoughts……

Ramya Abhinand · September 18, 2019 at 11:04 am

The tips have got me thinking with respect to my blog and content creation. Makes so much sense. Need to re evaluate certain areas and work it the right way to be able to reach a larger audience.

Rachna Parmar · September 19, 2019 at 12:14 pm

This is an excellent post, Damyanti. Well thought out abs each point is so valid. While so many of us are rushing in to do a lot with our blogs and social media, often we don’t pay enough attention to content.

Obsessivemom · September 19, 2019 at 12:56 pm

Great tips Damyanti – I’m going to use it like a checklist for my blogs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

error: Content is protected !!