5 Ways to Build an Audience for Your Blog

Written by Dr. Doni Wilson | August 15, 2013

Slide19Whether you are a beginning writer looking to build a platform as a writer, or an experienced writer maintaining connections with your readers, blogging about writing may be part of getting readers to read your own writing, or inspiring others with their own projects.  But in a world over saturated with writing advice, how do you get readers to read a blog about writing?

  1. Figure out your Core Audience.  Are you giving nuts and bolts writing tips, or are you addressing writers in a specific genre?  When you decide on a name for your blog, make sure it is clear what kind of writer you want to reach.  For example, Charlotte Rains Dixon’s site at www.wordstrumpet.com focuses on inspiration and improvement for all kinds of writers.
  2. Develop Street Credibility.  You don’t need to have a Masters of Fine Arts degree from Iowa before you can blog about writing. You need to demonstrate to your readers that you have something valuable to offer them. What unique perspective or experience do you have? You can draw on teaching experience, membership to  a writing group, a degree related to writing, or some record of publication to demonstrate your real-world experience. Gain the trust of your readers by sharing your experiences with them, and the lessons that you have learned along the way.
  3. Check out the Competition, both in Print and Cyberspace.  WordPress alone has a myriad of blogs on writing, so make sure you can contribute something new, or that you can write about old news in a new way.  Make sure you are not replicating the title of another blogger, as there are more and more blogs on this subject.   Subscribe to such blogs as the Best Damn Creative Writing Blog so that you are abreast of developments in the blogging world, and don’t despair if someone has written on something you wanted to address.  Your readers will appreciate helpful links, and you can extend conversations about writing in your blog instead of merely parroting them.
  4. Have Visuals, No Matter What.  Even though lovers of the written word might be your target audience, we live in a visual world, and your blog needs to reflect that reality.  There are free pictures on the Internet that are readily accessible, or if not free, available for a modest fee, so there is no excuse for not breaking up the text with a memorable image.  It is simply required no matter how entertaining or useful your prose happens to be.
  5. Incorporate Opportunities for Your Readers.  Unless you are doing highly literary prose for a narrow audience (and there is nothing wrong with that), you need to give the reader a call to action or some kind of payoff for reading your take on the writing life.  This could be in the form of a contest, useful links to other sites, opportunities for your readers to be guest bloggers, or even some kind of open forum for discussion so that the reader can participate in your blog about writing, rather than just passively read what you are thinking.  This practice will create more of a two-way relationship with your readers, and increase the chance that they will come back to your blog on a regular basis.

Bio: Dr. Doni Wilson has a doctorate in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and teaches literature and writing at Houston Baptist University.  She is a regular blogger for Reflection and Choice.