If you’re a woman with something to say or expertise to share, blogging is a great way to go to build an audience and maybe even make it pay!
There’s been an explosion in blogs since the concept made its way into our collective conscious in the early days of the Internet. In the early 1990s, an online diarist talked about “Weblogs” for “logging the Web,” which would later be shortened to “blog” by a programmer.
As of 2017, according to Statistica, the U.S. is home to more than 30 million bloggers. The U.S., followed by the U.K., has more bloggers than any other country in the world, and it’s split pretty evenly between women and men.
As women bloggers continue to express their voices, they are writing about everything from branding and marketing to fashion and style and cultural issues. But a common concern is finding ways to grow their audiences, if not finding ways to monetize their content, directly or indirectly.
Here are five ways that experts suggest going about it.
Always remember that it takes compelling content – that’s engaging and tells a story – that is added regularly (at least once a week, not once a month) to get readers and keep them.
Start by building your network of bloggers with similar interests. This means engaging with them on social networks, whether Facebook, Twitter or other communities. Make helpful comments or compliments on their status updates or about their blog posts. For those websites that accept them, think about writing guest blog posts. And don’t forget the importance of social sharing. When you share their posts, they’re more likely to share yours.
Think about ways to promote your posts. Sharing on social media is, of course, one way to go. But you should be encouraging your readers and other friends to subscribe to your subscriber list in order to capture their email addresses. Send out an email to your list that has a headline, a description and maybe an excerpt and a link back to the post. Don’t forget to send a note to anyone you may have been quoted in your post. If you blog frequently, you may not want to send an email with every post. Consider a once-monthly email with a newsletter-like format that describes and links to highlighted posts. Take a look at services like Tiny Letter that can share your content with a minimum amount of work and no charge for smaller email lists.
Consider joining communities that will help you grow your audience and monetize your content. One of the first such services was ConnectPal, a content platform that allows users to set up a profile or ConnectPal page and then set a price that readers agree to pay to access your content. ConnectPal gets a small portion of the fee and you get the rest. (ConnectPal also manages other business aspects like credit card processing for members.) How much you earn depends on how aggressively you push it out in your networks.
Podcasts are growing even faster than blogs. Consider launching one to support your blog. You may not get direct income from it, but done consistently, it will be a great way to promote your blog and the content you’re creating.