The Surefire Way To Attract New Readers With Every Blog Post You Write

    Would You Like to Attract New Readers with Every Blog Post You Write?

    How many blog posts have you written?

    And how many email subscribers do you have?

    Sure, when you’re starting out, you’re just learning the ropes. There’s a lot to think about, and getting great results early on is unusual.

    But if you’ve been writing for months or years, and still feel you’re not getting the audience you deserve, read on.

    Sharing your posts in all the social media won’t do you much good. Learning a new headline formula can help, but it’s not key to success. Not even “writing better” will make a big difference (though this definitely helps).

    Yes, growing a significant email list quickly with blog posts is possible.

    Just don’t waste your time writing your own blog.


    Writing a blog is not a good way to build an audience


    What happened when you hit “publish” the very first time?

    If you’re anything like me, nothing happened. Not even after you tweeted, liked, stumbled, digged, plus one’d, and pinned the post.

    Maybe around post number 10 you saw someone sign up to your list. But the celebration was cut short when you noticed it was your best friend, with whom you had talked about your blog earlier that day.

    The problem is that when you write a post, no matter how great, where no one’s going to read it, nothing will happen.

    When you write to your own blog before anyone’s there to read it, nothing will happen. And that won’t change no matter how great your content is. “Build it and they will come” is not how things work, unfortunately.


    Go where your future audience is


    As long as only Google bots read your writing, your email list won’t grow. Not fast, anyway.

    So instead, go where your audience is already. Write guest posts  on blogs read by the people you want to attract to your blog.

    The difference in results is big. Thousands of people read what you have to say.

    And if you play your cards right, you’ll get people to subscribe to your updates.

    But many people have tried guest blogging only to find it a huge waste of time. They might get a couple of subscribers. Or none at all.

    Actually, guest posts fail in only two ways. If you avoid these pitfalls, you’ll see significant results.


    Consider—really—the audience you write for


    This should be obvious. And maybe it is.

    But still, people rarely get it right.

    You have to find the overlap in the interests of two audiences: the one where you want to guest post, and the one you want to attract to your blog.

    If you pick a topic that doesn’t grab readers by their throats and make them practically glue their noses to their screens to read what you have to say, your post won’t succeed.

    But your topic should also be interesting to your target audience (the people you want to attract to your site), or even the best writing won’t help you achieve your goals.

    So think of the readers of the site you’re writing for. Identify their most pressing problems and most important goals. These are the only topics you should even consider; any other topic is likely to flop completely.

    Then narrow down the list to the ones even your target audience is deeply interested in.

    Finally, see which one feels best. At this point all the ideas should be really good, so you can quite comfortably pick the one you know best and feel most comfortable writing about.

    A great topic alone isn’t enough.


    Give them something valuable and offer even more


    The problem with most guest posts is that readers don’t want more at the end.

    Because they have no urge to take action or to learn more, they won’t visit your site.

    You have to make people want more. And then offer them a way to get it.

    The post may give people the “now I know what to do to get better results” feeling, but they know they could get even better results if they learned more.

    And then you offer to help them more.

    The simplest way to do this is to mention in your byline a free offer related to the topic you’ve written about. When people read to the end, that offer is the easy next step that will help them get even better results.


    The offer needs to make sense


    The typical byline reads “Jack Jackson is a blogger who loves traveling. Download his free ebook about backpacking”. This won’t work if the post is about the best 5-star hotels around the world.

    If the offer isn’t relevant, few people find it interesting. Does this mean you can only write about backpacking if that’s the topic of your freebie?

    Yes and no. Yes, people have to want to learn more about it. No, you’re not limited to one topic.

    If the topic of your guest post isn’t directly related to your free offer, you need to find a way to connect the two topics.

    For example, if you write a post on how to pick the right dress for various body types and your freebie is an ebook about dieting, the connection could be that the best dress for any body type would look even better if the reader lost a little weight.

    Or if you write a post about three ways to save on taxes, your offer can explain how to save even more.

    In other words, you create the desire to learn more about whatever it is your freebie teaches.

    When you make that connection—in a way that moves people to action—people subscribe to your blog not only because they see the value of your post, but because they want to learn how to make the most of what you’re telling them.


    Write posts that grow your business or blog


    If you’re going to write blog posts, make them count.

    When you have a few thousand people on your list, or even a few hundred, you can write to your own blog and get good results. But until then, guest posts will get you to your goals much faster.

    Each post might take a bit more work: you need to find a blog where you’ll get good results, pick the right topic for their readers, write the post so it will drive visitors to your site, and get it accepted.

    But it’s worth it.

    If each guest post builds your email list more than writing 50 posts on your own site, you’re achieving your goals, and won’t lose your passion and drive to write.

    So the next time you start to write a post to your blog, consider if it should be a guest post instead. You could probably use your time more effectively by writing for other sites.

    If you have any questions, experiences or thoughts about guest posting, leave a comment below.

    About the author

      Peter Sandeen

      Right now, Peter Sandeen is dodging icebergs while sailing with his wife and dogs on the Finnish coast. But you can download the short ebook that shows you how to get 100+ subscribers from every guest post you write.

    • If im spending time posting on soneone elses blog where is the tine to build my own content?

      I get the whole post on sites already getting traffic but what about dedicaticating your content to your own site i juat feel consistency is important for your own site

      • Nycole, I think I should use an analogy to butress what Peter has been trying to make you understand. Though I could quite be described as a novice.
        I hope my advice would be helpful.

        Just imagine you are one heck of a grand writer shouting off your praise on the back of the best local station in new mexico.

        Now compare that with one heck of good writer shouting off his praise on CNN. Now tell the difference.

        The good writer who has an audience with CNN would be considered better than the grand writer in New Mexico. The whole essence being that guest posts gives you the opportunity to have the attention of a wider audience especially if your audience is targeted.

        What would you give to have 100000 targeted visitors having a view of your site as against the one thousand visitors on your site.?

        Or to conclude-what will you do to have an interview with Oprah Winfrey as against having it with 5 local station?

      • Hey,

        As Peter below pointed out, the difference is in how many people you can reach.

        The point I was trying to make was that you should focus on reaching more people when you don’t have a huge audience already. And to get people to your list, you only need one piece of content (an opt-in incentive). Then you can focus most of your time to guest posts and only write a few short emails to your audience here and there (instead of full, long blog posts).

        Maybe that wasn’t clear in the post…


    • johnw says:

      This is such great post to attract new readers with every new blog post. I think every bloggers should follow this guideline while there are posting any articles or blog post to their site.

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    • Very true, Peter. The ideal model is to grow your own email list then periodically alert your list to your latest blog post or guest post. I love guest posts because you’re not preaching to the converted: you’re attracting new traffic and sign-ups to your list as well as providing a benefit to your existing list.

      That said, a really good blog post can generate signups simply from organic traffic. When I ran a post ‘The Scandal of Creative Writing Tutors’ it went viral and some 1500 folk hit my site in a few hours. Maybe we should all put the term Scandal in our headlines? 🙂

      • Hey John,

        That’s a good point. Though I don’t usually tell my list of guest posts (I only share them in social media, which I don’t use for much else).

        And yeah, a great post can get a huge number of visitors to your site pretty suddenly. It’s just really rare for a post to “go viral.” Then again, maybe it’s just that I haven’t used the magic word 😀


    • Don Bates says:

      I think Copblogger has a great USP, at least as I interpret it. To wit: How to market blogs and websites for fun and/or profit. Subtext: Use WordPress.

      Maybe the name Copyblogger name is too general for what it does, but it’s a brand at this point. Google doesn’t really say what it does, but the name certainly stuck.

      What do others think? Is there an official Copyblogger USP?

      • Hey Don,

        I agree; they have a great USP. But I think they’re not getting their value proposition across as well as they could (which is more than just a USP).

        And yeah, the name isn’t ideal. It worked in the beginning, but with the current focus something else could be much better. But it doesn’t make sense to try to rebrand at this point 🙂


    • Alicia says:

      These are really great tips. I’ve recently realized that the content you write isn’t quite as important as how you market it.

      • Hey Alicia,

        Thanks 🙂

        And yeah, that’s really true. Many people just refuse to admit it, so they just focus on creating content (that then doesn’t get any attention)…

        Let me know if you have any questions I can help with 🙂


    • Peter, read one of your post on firepole today, can see you work the talk.

      Have just done a single guest post and hope to do a couple more in a within a few weeks.

      Now I have a little issue, and it’s focus and determining my USP. I know you do point this out well when you critqued copyblogger on having less than an impressive USP and since this is a challenge I have am hoping you could nudge me in the right direction like a mentor would do to a mentee.

      Hope I could be that if you could take me under your wings.

      Sometimes the difference between good and exceptional is having focus which you can easily get when you have a mentor. May be am rabbling but I think this is what I need to get right before getting my own selfhosted blog.

      Peter, Hoping to get an awesome feedback from you that will redirect me. Thanks in anticipation

      • Hey Peter,

        I’ve had quite a few posts go up this week 😉

        As for your USP, I usually talk about “value proposition” because the way I define it makes it more useful than “just” a USP.

        Have you checked out the system for finding the core of your value proposition? You can get it here: http://www.petersandeen.com/value

        When you’ve gone through that, you can ask for feedback to what you came up with it 🙂


    • Harry Kingaby says:

      Ok . . . I’m new to blogging. Forgive my ignorance but how do I convince the owner of a blog to let me do a guest post? I’m assuming that that is what needs to be done.
      Cheers, Harry

      • Hey Harry,

        Yeah, you need to do that.

        It’s generally fairly straightforward. You send them an email telling them you want to write a guest post for them, propose a a couple of possible topics, and ask if they’d be willing to look at the post if you write it.

        If and when they agree to do it, you write the post and send it over. And if you did a good job, they’ll be happy to publish it 🙂


    • I totally agree but haven’t been doing it. Thanks for the reminder. If you post to the right blog, then you will attract the readers you want. It definitely gave me the biggest visitor/subscriber boost. It’s time to get at it again!

      • Hi Marci,

        Yeah, it’s difficult to get the same level of exposure in any other way. Not impossible, but difficult 🙂

        Let me know if you have any questions I can help with.


    • Thurman says:

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    • Katherina says:

      Fine way of telling, and pleasant article to get facts about my presentation focus, which i am going to present in college.

    • Don Bates says:

      Peter, this is one of the best posts I’ve read on this subject. Most important, it gave me a real kick in the ass — a reason to act.

      I’m going to do what you say and see what happens. I’m guessing I’ll write you again to say, thanks for taking me to the next level.

      While I’m at it, what do you think about creating a full-blown website that includes a blog instead of just writing a blog per se? I have a small-change blog and have been thinking about centering it on a website rather than off by itself on tumblr.


      • Hey Don,

        Great to hear that, giving that kick was the point of the post 🙂

        As for blogs, I’d definitely have it as a part of a site, not on its own. When it’s alone, especially on a site you don’t control, you won’t get nearly the same benefits as you could get if it was a part of your site. If you only have central website, it’s concentrated. You can then use all kinds of methods to build that site.

        Using Tumblr or other blogging sites (or social media) can work well, but basically you’re renting an apartment rather than building your own house 😉


    • Jovell says:

      Right on Peter! Just in time now that I’ve finished repackaging my blog and making a guest posting strategy. Thank you!

      • Hey Jovell,

        Sounds great 🙂

        Let me know if you have any questions I can help with.


    • Bliss says:

      Good post, the only point I could possibly contest is the one regarding “build it and they will come” not being a thing that happens. It does, although along with building your blog, you need to effectively market it, promote it, talk to people about it, get a readership base through your excitement in spreading the word. It definitely can happen, and has happened with my blog.
      I have an average of around 80 views per post with only 15 posts so far. Some of my tips include reading and commenting on other people’s blogs, effectively sharing the love in the blogging community, using social media such as Facebook or stumbleupon to promote your site and of course, good old word of mouth!
      I guess starting with the blog before the business per say, I have tried things the other way around. However when you have a thriving business and attach a blog to that, well that’s bound to be awesome!

      Just some thoughts 🙂 Thanks for the post!

      • Hi Bliss,

        You’re right, “build it and they will come” is true if you promote your site well. I guess the connection wasn’t clear, but I meant that people often think that building it is enough (even without any promotion) to attract readers.

        And great to hear you’re making good progress 🙂

        If you have any questions I can help with, just let me know.


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