Overcoming the challenges of reaching your audience

Publishing a blog, a news site, or a hybrid of the two is no easy task. In addition to the great content you’ll need to create regularly, you’ll multitask gaining and expanding your brand’s network to gain more followers. Eventually, you’ll even want to make some money!

Let’s talk about some of the basic challenges and solutions of reaching your audience as a small publisher.

Challenge #1: you’re struggling to increase readership

If you’ve read this blog enough, you’ll know our standby advice: create good, original content consistently. You want to post something regularly, whether it’s every day or three to four times a week. An editorial calendar can help you plan this out.

Once the content is out there, you’ll need a community of fellow content creators and readers to help promote your content. Start by analyzing the big profiles, bloggers, and publishers who create content similar to your own. Follow them. Interact with them and what they post on the big social media sites, like Facebook and Twitter. Cross-post it to your site and social channels. Continue making great content. Rinse and repeat.

Slowly and surely, you’ll begin to count more followers, and loyal  (and engaged!) ones. Followers who share your articles on their social networks and sites. It’s a beautiful sight to behold, but you’ll need to be patient.

Challenge #2: you don’t know how to write for them

This is a nice problem to have, honestly, so bask in it for a moment. Now get back to work. Examine your brand and your audience. Why do they read your site? What do you offer them? Look at your site’s analytics: what’s working, what isn’t?

Once you have an audience, you need to keep them. Learn to write for your audience, whether it be keeping your laid-back tone or writing about what’s interesting to them—try to determine exactly what value you add and what differentiates your content from the rest of the internet. Actively ask them what they like about your publication. You may not always want to write about celebrity baby bumps or football players, but at least keep it in the mix.

Challenge #3: you aren’t standing out in a sea of content

The simplest solution? Find your voice. Of course, it’s definitely easier said than done. It will take a lot of work and discarded drafts, but the more and more you create content, the easier it will be to find what exactly you’re saying about it. Why are you writing/creating things about this topic? What’s your angle? How can you make this more personal?

The content on your site will be better for it. Take a look at your publication’s mission statement. Don’t have one? Write one. Find your site’s tone and you’ll find you are not alone.

Challenge #4: you’ve lost a chunk of your audience

This is probably not a good problem to have, but an incredibly important one to solve. Why are people flocking to sites that are not yours? As a content creator, you’ll need to self-evaluate frequently. Are you up to date on social channels? Are you writing about the same thing in the same way?

Go back to your editorial calendar and strategize. Get some fresh ink by asking a fellow community member or friend to write for your blog, or even just get them to review what you’re writing objectively. Interview an expert. Mix up where you find content inspiration.

If you feel like the work you produce is under-appreciated or moving from a different direction from your audience, you’ll need to solve problem one again. Sometimes our work evolves from what it used to be. That’s okay.

Challenge #5: AdBlock is killing your revenue stream

According to The Guardian, almost 150 million browsers are using some form of adblocking. Adblocking does exactly like it sounds: it blocks intrusive, disruptive ads and has been nicknamed the “Napster of the advertising industry.”

Advertisers aren’t the only ones in jeopardy: smaller publishers and bloggers are in trouble too. The best solution to keep making money and keeping your audience? Ask them. In an onscreen message, emphasize how it hurts your business that they are using AdBlock. Mention this statistic: up to 50 percent of ad impressions are lost using AdBlock. Ask them to support good content and small businesses and publishers.

Without an audience, are you really a publisher? It’s along the same lines of “if a tree falls in the forest.” The answer is, yes, but it’s still a lot more rewarding to overcome the challenges of finding an audience and keeping it.


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