Almost weekly something “big” happens in the blogging world that triggers a “the sky is falling” response from most people.
I don’t know about you, but I find that exhausting.
There is enough stress in just being a human being these days that I just can’t seem to find the energy to care about all the social media and Google changes on a daily basis.
That’s not to say I don’t keep up with them and make adjustments as I’m able…
But the information that something has changed doesn’t fill me with dread the way it does others.
Because I know who my people are, and I talk to them often.
Bottom line, this is what it’s all about and ultimately how you find success online.
Find your audience, serve them well, and they will come to you regardless of what Google… or Facebook or Instagram or YouTube… says about you!
These are the people who will type your domain into the address bar instead of searching a topic on Google or Pinterest. They want to know what YOU have to say on a subject.
These are the people who will find you even if you are completely BANNED by Google or Pinterest.
You want these people…
In fact (and I’m sure you’ve heard this SO many times before) you only need 1,000 of these true fans to make a living online.
Without ads, without Pinterest, without Google rankings… just 1,000 who are willing to spend at least $100 a year with you.
That’s $100,000 a year. That’s pretty do-able in my opinion.
It’s taken me a while to figure out HOW to find my people, so I wanted to give you a few ways to find and connect with your own audience.
1. Stick to one thing and do it well. I’m not saying you can’t write about gardening AND cooking, but don’t start suddenly writing about how to build computers. Those are two completely different niches!
You want people to know exactly what to expect from you. And yes, this means that you won’t capture everyone (gasp), but if you are really just looking for your 1,000 true fans, then you should be ok with that.
2. COLLECT EMAIL ADDRESSES. I have to put this in all caps because some people are almost morally opposed to collecting email addresses, but it’s that important.
I wasn’t morally opposed to it, but when I first started I just felt super awkward about it. And maybe that’s you.
Well, get over it (I say that with all love). But if you don’t collect email addresses, then you are leaving yourself and your business (and your income) at the mercy of someone else.
Namely, if you don’t collect email addresses then you are at the mercy of social media and SEO algorithm changes.
You are relying on them to rank you highly enough that people can find you again.
DON’T DO THAT.
Take control of your audience and collect those addresses! This gives you the power to contact them again. They enjoyed your content once and enjoyed it enough to sign up for your newsletter. USE THE POWER.
(I keep using all caps in this section, I’m sorry. But it really is that important)
The best way to get AND KEEP people on your list is to create freebies that are for email members only. Make sure the freebies fit what you will be talking about consistently, or you will lose subscribers in high numbers.
3. Actually email your audience. It doesn’t do you any good to have all these email addresses if you don’t do anything with them. At the very least, set up an “onboarding” sequence for new members.
This will introduce them to you, your site, your content, and get them used to opening emails from you.
I use ConvertKit for my emails and the process for setting up an onboarding sequence is pretty simple.
(Let me know if you’d like to hear more about this and I may write a more detailed explanation of onboarding and set up.)
In addition to an onboarding sequence, it’s very simple to just send out a “new post” notice when you create new content.
If you’re creating new content regularly, this could mean you’re emailing your audience multiple times a week, which is great!
I do 3 new posts a week and each one has a newsletter blast that goes out once the post is live.
4. Don’t be afraid to pitch products. I think this is the biggest thing that most people are missing out on with their audience.
It’s ok to sell things or let them know about products!
If you right now sent me an email about a program you used to increase your SEO traffic by 200% this year, you can bet your booty I’d be thrilled to receive that email.
Why should we think any less of our own audiences?
If you have created (or are an affiliate for) a product that will help them towards the goals or ideas that your site talks about, tell them!
For A Modern Homestead I recently wrote a post about the best pressure canning supplies based on my 30 years of pressure canning experience.
You know what happened? I made $400 in Amazon commissions based on my recommendations.
That was valuable, REAL information for my audience. Keeping it to myself would have been selfish.
It’s not a bad thing to help your audience, and if you make money in the process, that’s not a bad thing either!
Just remember to be genuine, if you start selling or recommending products that are crap you will lose their trust.
Once again, the bottom line is: Find your audience, serve them well, and you will be successful (and algorithm proof).