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I was 17 when I started my first blog. My first visitors were local, but as it grew I started seeing visitors from the USA all the way to Australia. I closed my first blog and started this one a few years later. Now with my blog growing and my biggest audience living outside my local area, I often get asked how I started and tips for how others can. Even when they live on a small island in the Caribbean Sea. So, I’m taking the moment to explain how to grow a blog outside your local audience!
Blogging was brand-spanking-new when I first started. My tiny little island-world knew nothing about the blogging world, but just like that, I felt like the world was at my feet. I started writing more, photographing more, closed one blog, and started another. Now here we are. Blogging pushed me to start my content creation company and now I’m working part-time on my blog. What first seemed like a foreign subject has become part of my DNA and has allowed me to feel close to the rest of the world because of my audience.
I wish I can say that blogging is easy, but running a blog takes time, patience, and hard work. Not to mention that running and grow a blog outside your local audience brings challenges on its own. The tips mentioned below are for those interested in starting, growing, and eventually monetizing your blog. If it’s just a hobby with no intention for it to become a side-job or fulltime job, then you can just take it slow and keep it simple.
Tip 1: Choose your Niche
Finding your niche is crucial, but also one of the most difficult things to determine. Your niche might change/evolve once you start blogging but having a clear niche before you start will make the whole process easier. So, you might be thinking: what in the F is a niche? A niche is a small section of a market. Food blogging is a blogging topic but entertaining at home is a niche. The topic is much more specific, which helps with narrowing your audience.
Tip 2: Know your Audience
So, once your niche is determined the next step is to know those people behind their laptop that are visiting your website. When your audience is not your neighbor, it’s difficult to really know if they have a dog or not. Are they the Netflix-and-chill kind of people or more life-of-the-party-types? Often when you choose a niche it’s a niche that fits your own personality, so you have an idea of how someone acts. Plus, a niche already says a lot about the type of person that interacts with that specific content. You know a Keto Food Blog attracts the healthy types of individuals, while a mommy blog often attracts mothers with young children.
It also helps to know the environment of your audience to be able to describe them more deeply. While I never lived in the USA, I know enough to be able to make a general assumption of their behavior and character. How did I get this insiders-knowledge? Hollywood, duh! Okay, I know movies and series are fiction, but they do help to understand the pop-culture of the country. Look at other bloggers in your niche and look at what they are talking about. Who do their followers follow on Instagram? Who do they follow? This will help you understand your audience and the way they live. It’s an important step to grow a blog outside your local audience.
Tip 3: Make your Content About your Audience
When I started, I was making content that spoke to me personally. Once I nailed my niche and knew my audience, I started creating content that was targeted to them and their needs. I know that their interest overlaps my taste, but I also know that I can’t recommend a local brand if most of them live in California (hi Cali peeps). This is also important when monetizing and partnering with brands. While I’d love to feature local brands on my blog, it brings no added value to my current readers.
If you look around my website, you’ll see the word ‘entertaining at home’ often. My blog has pretty much become a person on its own, with its own look and characteristics. I niched down my content to the T. All my blog posts are formed by this topic, every page talks about entertaining, even my sidebar leads you to a freebie about entertaining at home. When my readers lend on my website, they know immediately: this is where I belong. When busy college students land on my website they immediately know that they won’t find recipes for Jello-shots on my website.
Tip 4: Sharing is Caring
Posting a blog is just half the work. You need to share your work as well. Social media channels, like Instagram and Facebook, are always the first platforms you can use, but every niche has specific-niche platforms you can use. For certain niche, one platform works better than the other. For my food blog, my main traffic comes from SEO because it attracts the people who are actively searching for my type of content. Pinterest and Instagram are also a very good platform for a blog like mine. Then there are the niche specific websites, the referrals. These are websites like Foodgawker, Yummly, and Foodyub, where I can submit my recipe for people to see. All these websites are mainly used by people in the States, which is exactly where my audience is. If my audience was local then Pinterest wouldn’t make sense, but thankfully they’re not because I love Pinterest. Since you want to grow a blog outside your local audience, you need to figure out where they are.
Tip 5: Use Social Media Wisely
They say social media is your tribe and I can’t imagine anything more embarrassing than standing in the middle of the jungle and screaming to the wrong tribe. When interacting on social media, speak to your audience, be mindful of time zone differences, and don’t get caught up interacting with just people in your immediate circle. We’re going global, baby. You want to grow a blog outside your local audience. So, think global!
PS.:Thinking about starting a blog but don’t know where to start? Here a guide to the first steps with my recommendations:
- Buy a hosting through GreenGeeks with a 3-year plan and receive your domain name for free.
- Apply for the free SSL certificate (the https://) through their live chat. Wait until approve.
- Install wordpress.org though GreenGeeks cPanel. Insert your domain name/website name starting with https://.
- Choose a free or premium WordPress template
- Add your website to Google Search Console and install Google Analytics
- Install Yoast SEO plugin into your website
- Food bloggers: Install WP Recipe Maker