content secrets from experts

37 Blogging Gurus Reveal the Quickest Ways to Grow Your Readership from Scratch

Writing damn good blog posts isn’t much use if no one reads ’em,

The aim of the game is to grow a clan of content-hungry readers who will repeatedly share your posts and convert into paying customers somewhere down the line.

But if you’re at the dawn of your content marketing journey, you’re probably wondering this:

“How can I grow my readership – quickly – from scratch?”

Well it’s good you’re here, matey. Because I went out and asked 37 of the world’s most successful and influential bloggers that very question.

Their wisdom-dripping answers are listed below.

Read this till the very last word – and you’ll be an expert too…

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Pic of Ramsay Taplin, Blogging Expert#1. Ramsay Taplin

“In all honesty, the quickest way to do anything online is to pay for it.

Advertising on Facebook Ads or Google Adwords can bring crazy-fast results… if you have the budget. If you don’t have the budget, find some. Even if you’re just spending $2 a day it will bring you new visitors and teach you a tonne about internet marketing and how traffic behaves.”

~ Ramsay Taplin is known as The Blog Tyrant, a 20-something-year-old guy from Australia who has sold websites for huge sums of money and now shares his methods for growing your blog and dominating your niche. Follow him on TwitterGoogle+ or sign up for his email updates.

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Pic of Guy Kawasaki, Blogging & Branding Guru#2. Guy Kawasaki

“Writing good shit.”

Guy Kawasaki is the former chief evangelist of Apple and special advisor to the Motorola business unit of Google. He is the author of APE, What the Plus!, Enchantment, and nine other books. Kawasaki has a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA as well as an honorary doctorate from Babson College.

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Pic of Peg Fitzpatrick, Blogging Expert#3. Peg Fitzpatrick

“Build your email list from day one.

If people are notified each time you post something new, more people will see each post and hopefully spread your great content.

Make it easy to share your articles and easy to sign up for updates.”

Peg Fitzpatrick is Head of Social Strategy for Canva, an awesome online design tool. She is also the director of marketing and social media manager for Kreussler Inc. covering the online brand management as well as traditional marketing methods.

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Pic of Cindy Ratzlaff, Blogging Guru
#4. Cindy Ratzlaff

“The quickest way to grow your readership is to make the content you create work for you on multiple platforms.

My blog posts are shared on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. My pins are shared on Facebook and Twitter. My Instagram photos and quotes are shared on Facebook, Twitter and repurposed as images for my blogs (and then pinned).

And, monthly I create short how-to videos based on my blog posts which I share throughout the social platforms as well. So one concept hits multiple platforms and engages readers wherever they like to spend their time.

I’d rather authors spend their time writing rather than creating marketing content for 5-6 platforms. By using a cross-platform content strategy, one piece of content should always do the work of at least 3.”

Cindy Ratzlaff was named by Forbes as one of the “Top 30 Women Entrepreneurs to Follow on Twitter” for her sound advice on brand marketing. She creates award-winning marketing and publicity plans for publishers, authors, websites and individuals.

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Pic of Nate Riggs, Blogging Guru
#5. Nate Riggs

Going back to number one, be consistent over the long term.

Set up a schedule for when you will post and build that expectation among your readers. Sticking to this schedule helps your readers know when and where to look for new content and when to tell their friends about you.

If content is king, then consistency is queen…

Nate Riggs is the Founder and President of NR Media Group, a content marketing and social media consultancy that specializes in helping multi-unit restaurant brands and technology companies reach audiences and convert them into customers. Follow him on Twitter @nateriggs.

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Pic of Mars Dorian, Blogging Influencer
#6. Mars Dorian

Don’t worry about quick.

Make sure your content is based on personal experience, that it’s valuable and that you produce it regularly, especially in the beginning. You have to prove that you show up and are willing to pluck in the seeds before you reap the flowers.

Mars Dorian is a great branding expert and one of the most original bloggers in the world.

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Pic of Sean Ogle, Blogging Guru
#7. Sean Ogle

Guest posts.

If you do guest posts well, you can grow your blog extremely quickly.

Sean Ogle helps people build businesses they can run from anywhere in the world. Oh, and while he’s traveling around doing that, he also golfs as much as humanly possible in his quest to break eighty for the first time ever.

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Pic of Colin Wright, Expert on Growing your Blog Readership#8. Colin Wright

Be helpful and friendly. Don’t be afraid to talk about the things you’re passionate about. Produce great content, and don’t lose sight of why you’re doing what you’re doing (your readers will feel it and abandon ship).

Make your work accessible to your audience.

Colin Wright is an awesome professional author who starts and runs businesses and travels full-time. He also blogs and design things.

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Pic of Joel Runyon, Readership Growing Expert
#9. Joel Runyon

Master this combination – useful + interesting.

Be amazingly useful while simultaneously being unavoidably interesting. If you can master the merger of those two – you’re set.

~ Joel Runyon is the founder of IMPOSSIBLE and Impossible Ventures where he helps people & businesses push their limits in fitness, gritness & business.

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Pic of Chris Garrett, Expert on Growing your Readership
#10. Chris Garrett

Find an audience that gathers in numbers and will benefit from what you have to share and get in front of it.

There is no rule that will work for everyone and every niche, but public speaking, webinars/hangouts, having your content shared, all work well. The trick is when you DO get exposure, make sure you have mechanisms in place to keep people coming back (because they want to).

~ Chris Garrett is Chief Digital Officer at the legendary Copyblogger Media. He helps run Copyblogger’s educational programs like Authority, where he develops guides and tutorials to support Copyblogger customers in growing their businesses. Connect with Chris on Twitter.

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Pic of Ian Brodie, Social Media & Blog-Growing Guru
#11. Ian Brodie

For me, what’s worked well is to partner with those who already have an audience of the people you’d like to attract and write for them with a link back to your best stuff.

Don’t be afraid of advertising either. If your audience is on Facebook it can be quicker and easier to use FB ads rather than trying to bootstrap your way to more readers.

 ~ Ian Brodie helps consultants, coaches and other professionals to attract and win more clients. He works with busy professionals who are brilliant at what they do, but need help growing their confidence and competence at marketing and sales.

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Pic of Peep Laja, Master of Growing your Readership
#12. Peep Laja

1. Write amazing content. No substitute for it. No “growth hack” can help you if your content is mediocre.

2. Distribute your content to the right people and websites. Your content needs to be able to carry its own weight though. It’s not hard to put your content in front of people. But to get them to be excited about it and to share it is all about the quality of your content.

~ Peep Laja is an entrepreneur and conversion optimization expert. He’s been doing digital marketing for 10+ years in Europe, Middle East, Central America and the US. Today he runs a conversion optimization agency Markitekt.

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Pic of Jacob Cass, Branding Guru
#13. Jacob Cass

Having great content.

Great content promotes shares, which promotes traffic, which promotes shares which promotes… you get the idea.

~ Jacob Cass is a logo, Web and graphic designer from Sydney, Australia, who freelances under his business Just Creative Design, which doubles as a wildly popular design blog.

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Pic of Chris Guthrie, Blogging Expert
#14. Chris Guthrie

Spend less time writing content and more time promoting the content you’ve written.

Writing content over and over again without seeing any results is the definition of insanity (doing the same thing over and over yet expecting a different result). The other thing. Build an email list. I can trace over $1MM dollars in revenue from my email lists alone.

 ~ Chris Guthrie runs a blog at entrepreneurboost.com which covers all of his internet marketing super tactics, such as making money with Amazon’s affiliate program, buying and selling blogs and heaps more.

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Pic of Laura Roeder, Blogging Expert
#15. Laura Roeder

Be consistent!

Choose a blogging schedule that’s actually realistic for you and never miss a day that you were supposed to blog. Readers are trained not to come back when you let your blog go dead for months at a time. I’ve been sending out my newsletter every Wednesday for the past 5 years, and haven’t missed a week yet!

Laura Roeder is a social media marketing expert who teaches small businesses how to become well-known and claim their brand online. She is the creator of Edgar (her awesome social media scheduling app) and Creating Fame and author of Facebook Fame: The Facebook Marketing Bible For The Small Business.

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Pic of Greg Narayan
#16. Greg Narayan

Twitter. Easily Twitter.

Think of how annoying it is to get a random email then picture the TOTAL opposite. Everyone likes having a discussion on Twitter – especially if it’s focused on their niche topic of choice.

Greg Narayan is just a 26 year old guy who answers about 150 of your blog questions each morning over a coffee.

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Pic of Zac Johnson, Expert on Growing your Blog Readership
#17. Zac Johnson

This again can go back to creating quality content that is given away for free.

Instead of just creating text based posts, add video or create an infographic. Another great way to get attention is to interview other popular names and brands in your niche and feature them all in one article (like this one).

Once the post goes live, then the hope is that at least half of the people you interviewed will then share the content on your site to their audience and social following.

Zac Johnson is a savvy online marketer with 15 years of experience and a big-time blogger at ZacJohnson.com, as well as the founder of BloggingTips.com. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

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Pic of Sunil, Blogging & SEO Guru
#18. Sunil

Promote your content through outreach / networking

~ Sunil is the author of ExtraMoneyBlog.com. He maintains a portfolio of profitable online and offline businesses and blogs about how successful individuals can expedite wealth building through multiple streams of active & passive income. You can connect with him on Facebook and on Google+.

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Pic of David Meerman-Scott, Blogging Guru
#19. David Meerman Scott

Give gifts. The more you give the more you get.

David Meerman Scott is a best-selling author and popular keynote speaker on the topics of viral and online marketing as well as the convergence of web marketing, digital media and online PR.

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Pic of Michael Chibuzor
#20. Michael Chibuzor

On growing readership, there are many  ways to go about it. Personally, I grew my readership via guest blogging.

~ Michael Chibuzor is a creative Freelance writer and the editor of content marketing blog. If you want to grow your business, make good sales and generate buyer-leads, hire Michael to write quality and persuasive content for you.

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Pic of Paul Biedermann, Expert on Growing your Readership
#21. Paul Biedermann

Writing good stuff and publishing it on a consistent basis is key to growing your own community of readers.

When people comment, it is wise to show as much interest in them as they did in you by taking the time to read your piece and make their presence known.

~ Paul Biedermann is creative director/owner of re:DESIGN, a boutique agency specializing in strategic design, brand identity, and visual content marketing. Named one of theTop 100 Influencers in Social Media, Paul is also managing partner and editor-in-chief of 12Most.com.

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Pic of Thanh Pham, Content Marketing Guru
#22. Thanh pham

Write a really good post and get it republished on one of the bigger websites in your industry / space.

Those websites are always looking for articles that they can republish (and link back to you). Look at them, ask what they are looking for, see what type of posts succeeded and write one yourself. Then submit for republication.

+Thanh Pham is an obsessed productivity geek, systems thinker, blogger, avid reader and a world traveler. He specializes in time management for organizations and personal productivity for executives. Read more about him over at Asian Efficiency.

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Pic of Farnoosh Brock, Content Marketing Expert
#23. Farnoosh Brock

There is no quick way to grow a sustainable readership.

You grow it over time with consistency, with great content, with smart strategies and with learning from those who are doing it well and with pouring your passion into it.

~ Farnoosh Brock  is an entrepreneur, published author and yoga devotee who helps people find their passion and live their dreams at ProlificLiving.com. Check out her brand new blog: http://www.fasttrackpromotion.com/blog which teaches you how to advance in your career, the fast way!

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Pic of David Cain, Content Marketing & Social Media Expert
#24. David Cain

I can’t say much about the quickest way… I took my time and the growth happened on its own.

It certainly helps to put out content more often, but the more you produce, the more difficult it is to keep the quality level up. I would focus on connecting deeper rather than wider — if you find fans that really get what you’re saying, they won’t be able to stop themselves from sharing it with everyone.

Your readers will grow your readership for you if your stuff is any good.

~ David Cain is the author of Raptitude, a blog for getting better at being human. You can follow him on twitter @DavidDCain.

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Pic of Eric T. Wagner, Blogging & Social Media Master
#25. Eric T. Wagner

Guest Blogging + Landing Page Opt-in: Because your new blog is without traffic, the smartest thing a new blogger can do is figure out where their audience already hangs out online.

Go to those existing platforms with a built in audience, establish solid relationships (see #1) with the owners/editors, and do whatever you need to prove yourself worthy of contributing content. In your byline, drive readers to a landing page where you promise more good content in exchange for an email address. It’s silly to just create content, get eyeballs and not build an email list in the process.

~ Eric T. Wagner is the Founder and CEO of Mighty Wise Academy: A Virtual Academy For Entrepreneurship. He is also a mentor and advisor for multiple startup companies.

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Pic of Tyler Tervooren, Content Marketing Guru
#26. Tyler Tervooren

Build relationships and get your work in front of new audiences.

I’m not the smartest guy in the room, but, as far as I know, that’s the only way to grow a readership.

 ~ Tyler Tervooren is an independent entrepreneur and founder of Riskology.co. He has started 7 businesses and traveled to more than 20 different countries.

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Pic of Adrienne Smith, Social Media Expert
#27. Adrienne Smith

Commenting on other blogs.

It’s actually how I got on everyone’s map.  I started commenting for the traffic but I was actually learning more and became so inspired by other bloggers.  I was very consistent in my commenting efforts that people started seeing me everywhere and their curiosity got the best of them.  They had to stop by my blog to see what I was all about.

Adrienne Smith is an entrepreneur whose passion is to help others achieve success online through sharing her own experiences using her blog.  She loves building relationships with her readers and was even named the “Engagement Superstar” in 2011.

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Pic of Barron Cuadro, Content Marketer
#28. Barron Cuadro

Write incredible, useful, thought-provoking, entertaining posts. Share them. Share them some more. Ask your readers to share them as well.

Do that every day, every week, for one or two years. You’ll grow a readership.

Barron Cuadro designs and builds sites for bloggers, entrepreneurs, and small businesses. He is a Founding Editor of Effortless Gent, a site dedicated to men’s style, and Co-Founder of Fifth&Brannan, a menswear label based in San Francisco.

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Pic of Daniel Sharkov, Blogging Guru
#29. Daniel Sharkov

Email marketing.

From day one you need to sign up for an email marketing service (I recommend MailChimp, because it’s free, which is important for starters plus it offers all the important features), place subscription forms on your blog and work on converting visitors into subscribers.

That should be your top priority.

And while a list can make you money, don’t ever spam your subscribers with offers, just for the sake of making a buck. Think it through and create a strategy first.

Daniel Sharkov is a student, marketer, blogger and a social media enthusiast. Make sure to check out Reviewz N Tips – the place, where he shares his awesome insights and experience!

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Pic of Caleb Wojcik, Content Marketing Guru
#30. Caleb Wojcik

Care.

If you can out care about everyone else in your niche, the rest falls into place.

~ Caleb Wojcik is the co-founder of Fizzle.coThe Sparkline, & The Fizzle Show. He also writes and podcasts super-useful tips on video-making at CalebWojcik.com.

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Pic of Celestine Chua, Content Marketing Expert
#31. Celestine Chua

There are various very effective methods to grow readership, all of which I share in my blogging course Blogging Success Program.

If your blog has low traffic (100-200 visitors/day) to moderate traffic (1,000 to 2,000 visitors/day), I would definitely recommend guest posting as a top tactic. I personally focused a lot on guest posting in my second year of blogging — I wrote over 40 guest posts that year (among other things I did to build my traffic) — and subsequently achieved a 600% traffic growth by the end of the year.

~ Celestine Chua is a life coach and founder of Personal Excellence, #1 site for people passionate about achieving excellence in life. Celes grew her blog from 0 visitors to over a million page views a month in less than three years; she has since created Blogging Success Program to teach bloggers how to get their first million page views online.

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Pic of David Risley, Blogging Expert
#32. David Risley

Quickest? Paid native advertising.

Write a post which would work in social media, then pay to get it out there with Facebook sponsored posts and paid Twitter promos. Of course, when you’re dropping money on it, you need to have a way to earn revenue, too.

And if you’re not willing to pay any money, then realize everything is slower. From there, you’ll need to find creative ways to tap into other people’s audiences and bring them over. Kinda like what you’re doing with this interview. 😉

~ David Risley is a professional blogger, entrepreneur, and online marketer. Having generated over $1.3 million online as a blogger, today he teaches bloggers how to turn their passions into a solid, profitable business through a combination of blogging and internet marketing. He is the the founder of the Blog Marketing Academy.

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Pic of Yaro Starak, Content Marketing Guru
#33. Yaro Starak

I would argue a better question is “what is the quickest way to generate an income”, unless of course you just want to blog as a hobby, not as a business.

Right now the quickest way to get traffic, including finding customers, is to buy it. Facebook ads, AdWords, Banner Ads, Email ads – if you have the cash, you can have visitors coming to your blog within minutes.

If you don’t have money then the quickest free option is come up with something people want so badly that others will share it for you. This is the reason why so many of the most popular mobile apps spread so quickly, it’s so good people are compelled to distribute it for you.

~ Yaro Starak is the author of the Blog Profits Blueprint, a report you can download instantly to learn how to make $10,000 a month, from only blogging 2 hours per day. You can find Yaro on FacebookTwitter and Google+.

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Pic of Jenny Blake, Social Media & Blogging Guru
#34. Jenny Blake

Build trust (and organic social sharing) through vulnerability, consistency, and adding insane amounts of value.

~ Jenny Blake is a bestselling author, career and business strategist and international speaker who helps smart people organize their brain, move beyond burnout, and build sustainable, dynamic careers they love. You can find her at JennyBlake.me where she explores systems at the intersection of mind, body and business. Follow her on Twitter @jenny_blake

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Pic of Steve Scott, Blogging Expert
#35. Steve Scott

Pick an ultra-specific niche and write about topics that solve problems that readers face on a regular basis.

From there, create a free report that offers a detailed solution to one particular problem.  Then encourage people to sign up for your email list in order to download it.

After a subscriber has gone through your email sequence, you should regularly email him or her to check out your latest blog post.  While this is a slow process, it will build up momentum over time as you add more subscribers.  Eventually you’ll reach a point where you’ll have a large audience that’s ready to check out your most recent blog posts.

~ Steve Scott is a world traveler and has been a successful affiliate marketer since 2006. He regularly blogs on Steve Scott Site where he reveals every secret he has learned to become a successful authority affiliate marketer.

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Pic of Pamela Wilson, Content Marketing Guru
#36. Pamela Wilson

Several things have worked really well for me.

First off, focused writing on a specific topic helps. Your site visitors need to understand in a split second what your blog offers. If it’s what they’re looking for, they’ll stay on to read.

I have regular guest posting gigs on some big blogs — Copyblogger, the Constant Contact blog, Boost Blog Traffic. Every time my work appears on one of these sites, dozens of people visit my site and sign up for my free Marketing Toolkit, and continue to read my blog.

And creating free “events” occasionally works well, too. I have a monthly webinar series — Brown Bag Webinars — which are free, fast-moving educational events. My readership expands every time I create one of these, because readers are attracted to the topics I cover.

~ Pamela Wilson believes your business may be small, but your brand can be BIG. Get her free Marketing Toolkit here.

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Pic of Joseph Archibald, Online Marketing Guru
#37. Joseph Archibald

Tough call! I’d not suggest relying on Google search rankings for this, even though that’s generally why I’m somewhat recognized in the make money online arena – for SEO in Google.

Really, it’s something that ought to be considered carefully, even prior to starting your blog. For me, I  try to “work-in” a number of different angles. I’ll think about the potential in Google search, yes, but would never now be solely-reliant on this method for traffic generation.

I’d also consider a variety of social media channels, and how they could be instrumental in my task. However, perhaps the key piece of advice I’d give, which does not fit into every market it should be said, is to figure out how to go about utilizing other people’s blogs to generate traffic to yours.

Reaching out to other bloggers such as you are doing here Konrad is an excellent method to build relationships. I would suggest this is the fastest way to grow a readership online. As an example of just how powerful this is, one of my own blogs, which is entirely unrelated to make money online and was a mere couple of weeks old, started to see traffic in the range of about 3,000 unique visitors per week. That was purely down to “bouncing” off other blogs within the same niche.

~ Joseph Archibald lived in the UK for most of his life, but now he lives in the tropics of Malaysia. His main blog is at http://josepharchibald.com.

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Share the Love!

You and I both know how valuable this blog post is. So don’t keep it to yourself.

Click those round social media buttons below and share it with all your awesome followers!

And if you missed my 5 other ‘ask the experts’ posts, they’re right here:

– 22 Content Marketing Experts Reveal the Secrets to Writing Killer Blog Posts!
– 18 World Experts Reveal the Biggest Blogging Blunders for Newbies!
– How to Find Inspiration for Your Blog Posts (38 Blogging Experts Reveal Their Secrets)
– 18 Content Marketing Gurus Reveal the Secrets to Making Blog Posts Go Viral!
– 38 Blogging Masters Reveal Their Number One Tip For New Bloggers!

Love you,

Konrad x

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About the author

Konrad Sanders
Creative Director & Copywriter at The Creative Copywriter

Hey you. I’m Konrad. An SEO and sales-savvy copywriter with a pretty darn creative noggin on my shoulders. I run a team of word-slinging cowboys who go by the name of The Creative Copywriter. Let’s connect!

Comments

  1. Hi Konrad,

    I came across many interviews and lists but to be really honest, this is plain awesome. Trust me.

    The most striking thing is the colour of the site and hey, you nailed it.

    Guess what? Shared around and added to my Pocket for future reading.

    Thanks and keep up the excellent job!
    ~Reginald

    1. Why thank you Reginald – I appreciate the compliments. Keep ’em coming!

      Oh – and if you think this site looks nice, wait till you see our new one – which is launching in just a couple of weeks.

      It’s going to be downright awesome. So watch this space 🙂

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  3. Thanks for compiling this awesome list Konrad (should have taken quite some work, I can see)!

    I love what everyone has said. Especially, I second this – forget “quick”; taking your time and giving your best works. I personally grew my readership via blog commenting and guest blogging.

    1. Thanks Jane, glad you liked it!

      Yes, it took a bit of work. But to be honest, it really wasn’t that much – comparing to the awesome results I achieved for the blog. These 6 ‘epic posts’ definitely helped put me on the content marketing map.

      So much so that other bloggers are now asking me to contribute to their list posts!

      I’ll soon write an article on exactly how I did it.

      Cheers for commenting!

  4. Hey Konrad,

    Another fabulous line up you have here and thank you for including me among them. Very honored indeed.

    Yeah, quick and what works don’t always go hand in hand so I say do what you know will work. I love how everyone had something different to share which just goes to show once again that what I feel is the best way might not be what others feel is. Oh, I do love blogging though.

    Yep, great share and I’ll definitely be sharing as well. Thanks so much again and you have an awesome week.

    ~Adrienne

  5. Very nice! I’m trying to get traction for my website (http://www.stepjumpr.com ) and have started a blog there (http://blog.stepjumpr.com). I used listly as well to embed some content on the blog. But I found out (from other blogs that I maintain) that creating original content allows much more control over the brand of the blog. Its interesting that many recommend paid promotion using fb and google. Iv tried to stay away from it – primarily due to budget constraints- but I saw that a @2 contribution to promotion also seems to be make a difference. ill definitely try that!

  6. When I started blogging in 2009, I connected with Jacob Cass (listed above). He suggested reaching out to Smashing Magazine, which then led to them tweeting an article of mine, which led to guest posts, which led to consistent traffic on my site. Later, I became an editor for Smashing Magazine, and launched a couple very successful products for designers (a typography book and app). It’s all about connections. I’d suggest the same to anyone: reach out, comment, talk, be known, and have good content. The rest is a footnote.

  7. These are great ideas. I’m particularly intrigued by the “one size does not fit all” impression I take away. It encourages me as I am experimenting with avenues to grow my list that haven’t worked as well as I had hoped. I have to use a strategy that works for me as I write vulnerably about marriage, even though it may not be the strategy that would work for someone writing objectively about growing a business.

  8. Excellent article and thanks for sharing. A lot to take in but for me to start with are content quality, build trust, consistency and reach out to influencers. I am definitely going to share this one – well worth.

  9. This is a very good article. I have developed a blog recently and facing the problem visitors. This article gave me varied approaches to increase your readership. One message is clear. One has to work consistently till results,

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