10 Ways to Grow Your Online Audience Organically

No matter whether you are a fellow blogger, an online small business owner, or maybe looking to grow your social media following, most if not all of the following tips can help you reach more people. Before we dive into the list, you might be thinking, “What do you mean organically?” I’ll give you a hint, I don’t mean without pesticides. 🙂 OK, all dad jokes aside, what I really mean is these are tips and tricks for growing your circle of online influence without advertising. We totally believe that advertising has its place, especially if you are an online business owner. But finding ways to organically reach new readers or customers is something that anyone can do, regardless of your budget or experience level. So let’s dive in.

1. Know Your Niche

Maybe you’ve heard the saying, “The riches are in the niches.” This is true whether you are a blogger, a business, etc. It’s important to know what you’re all about and how you want to communicate it. Any brand that is trying to be all things to all people will likely end up feeling watered down and uninteresting. You don’t necessarily have to make your niche super specific, but you want to spend some time exploring the idea of who you are and what you stand for. A good place to start is by forming a mission statement for yourself or your project.

2. Consistent, Quality Content

Offering consistent, quality content over time is exactly what you want to do to attract new readers as well as keep existing audience members engaged. Let’s break down these three words for a second. First, you want to do this consistently. If I blog every now and again but with no real pattern and never with any consistency, likely I will lose readers fast—like a leaky bucket! You can choose what frequency works best for you, but keep it consistent. Next, let’s talk about quality. You should be putting out quality work and not just fluff—smart audiences (which is the kind you want!) will know the difference. And last, what exactly do I mean by content? Well, it can be a combination of things or you can focus in on one area mostly. For example, a blogger is probably going to produce consistent, quality blog posts the most as that’s where they want to grow their audience and keep them coming back for more. It could be articles on your site, newsletters, micro posts on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, or a combination of all the above.

3. Connect With Your Audience NOW

No matter the size you are at right now, take action to connect with them. Our attention, especially online, is always being pulled in a million different directions, so finding ways to connect with your current audience is important. Don’t wait until you have a “big” audience, however you define that. Connecting with those who are there now and learning to do this well is an important step toward growth.

4. Use Other Channels To Grow

For bloggers and online businesses alike, this means using social media to point folks back toward your main endeavor and help them keep you in mind. Different people tend to hang out in different social areas, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. Meet them where they are and try to find ways to connect with them so they will follow you back to your blog or online business. There are SO many other articles you can find online (including our blog) that can help you utilize social media if you feel lost—so don’t be afraid to learn more.

5. Be Easy To Find

An alternative title for this point could be, Don’t Be Afraid of SEO. The Internet is HUGE and full of fun stuff to look at, read, buy, etc. So you don’t only want to stand out with your consistent, quality content (see point #2), but you want to make sure that content is easy to find and access! Make sure your site is easy to use and loads as fast as possible. Learn more about SEO and how you can boost your blog or business online so folks are more likely to find you. There are seriously about one million ways you can help make yourself more visible online, so don’t miss out by ignoring these options.

6. Connect & Network With Others

This is an especially useful tip for those who have already mastered the basics (see points 1-5). Find other blogs that are similar, and therefore attracting audiences that may also be interested in what you are doing. Connect with them and see if there are ways you can work together to benefit both parties. If your audience sizes are similar, this is a no-brainer, just mutually agree to promote each other in whatever way feels organic to both of you. So often I hear people tell me that networking makes them nervous because they feel like they are asking for favors, or they just feel generally awkward promoting themselves to others. But try to remember, putting out that consistent, quality content that you are takes hard work and guts—you should be proud to tell others about it!

7. Expand on Popular Content

Google Analytics can be a powerful tool for this. The goal is to find what your audience loves and to give them more content (or offer more products/services) like that. Of course, this also has to be something that you WANT to do. You can’t blog about or create a business around something you don’t believe in. But taking note of what your current audience is loving can help take your project to the next level.

8. Notice & Expand on Referral Sources

Not to be overly redundant, but, again, Google Analytics can really help here! If you notice a lot of traffic coming to your site from a specific source, think about if it’s possible to encourage more traffic from that area. If you see a lot of folks find you from Pinterest, then think about how you can make your content more Pinterest friendly and thereby attract even more readers from this source.

9. Join Niche-Friendly Communities

Whatever niche you are in, there is probably a community out there based around it already. This is a good thing! Get involved so you can meet other like-minded people. This is not only great for growing your audience, but it may also offer more networking opportunities from within the community you want to be a part of.

10. Ask Your Loyal Followers for Help

Loyal readers/customers can be the best evangelists for you. This is why you want to start connecting with them NOW (see #3). Those folks who have been with you for a while and dig what you are doing are the most likely to help spread the word about your latest project or post. And they are also the most likely to offer you real, useful feedback. Finding and utilizing your loyal followers is invaluable to any blogger or small business—so be sure to thank them when you do!

We hope this article has been helpful to you, and if you’re looking to learn more or feel like some of this might have been over your head, good news—we have more for you! We have lots of FREE blogging and business-related articles on our site.

And you can check out our best-selling blogging e-course, Blog Life, or its companion Blog Life Pro, or our course focused on IG called Up Your Instagram Game. Thanks for reading! xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photo edited with A Color Story Desktop.
  • Thanks for this post. Attempting to grow my blog’s audience organically has been difficult (I’ve considered investing in paid ads, but since I am not allowed to monetize my blog due to a conflict of interest with my job, I feel there would be no ROI). These steps actually don’t seem like anything I can’t handle even though I only dedicate a “part-time” schedule to my blog, so I’m already partway there!

  • Yes Emma,

    Actually you shared great information about how to grow our online audience. All the steps are really amazed. I read all of that. Great hope you shared similar tips in future

  • Loved reading this, it is so lovely to hear you being so honest with your tips & pointers, and I cannot wait to try some of these out. I am definitely going to start with forming a mission statement & focus on creating content around that! Thanks so much!

    Holly from The Art of Being Holly xo

  • The last one really stood out for me in fact I have been implementing it in the recent past, and have seen it bring in really results. Thanks for sharing these insights, I believe they will be of great help to many bloggers out there.

  • Great blog post. I wish I knew this while blogging a few years ago. I had quite a few followers but blogged about real things. A couple of years later I found my niche and I would love to blog about our first home and really doing everything our selves. A cute little diy home. Your blog and Instagram are so beautiful and inspiring. My old Instagram account has about 1k followers but I am trying to get them to follow my new account. Is there certain hashtags or things that people look for to follow?

    • I am not sure there is any one (or even a group) of hashtags that will necessarily help you grow, but they can help people discover you OR get your work featured on bigger accounts (which helps people discover you). I discover new people I like to follow this way all the time, so it doesn’t hurt.

      We’re actually working on our IG account a bit right now too, always trying to grow, improve, and stay excited—I think keeping that enthusiasm for what you’re creating is key.

  • HA. This gave me an epiphany: I’ve spent the last few years trying to appeal to EVERYONE I know and I’m reeeally hesitant to be myself (like, maybe a little salty and cynical) because these wonderfully sweet, mostly conservative older women have been so encouraging to me and love what I’m doing. I didn’t really realize this until now. Once again, ABM kicks my butt to the next level (YAY, I used the word “butt!” Progress!) 🙂

  • So inspiring as ever!! thanks for sharing these are great tips! You guys always give great guidance and this is just the motivation I need!!! xxx

  • Really useful tips! I’m always looking for ways to divert more readers to my page, thank you for sharing. Chelsea x

  • Excellent tips! #2 (consistent, quality content) is so important. I get so frustrated when bloggers I love go dark out of nowhere and then reappear, post a few times a week for a month and then disappear again. If we’re serious about our blogs, I think it’s really important to let readers know what to expect and then deliver.
    https://www.ouiinfrance.com

  • Thanks so much for the tips! I need to get better at #8 I’m totally useless at understanding referral sources and google analytics but I know it’s a really useful tool.

  • Thanks alot mate you just make my doubts clear… Your way of explanation is so simple, i couldn’t understand how to grow my audience but here in your post i found my answer. Keep posting such kind of stuffs …

  • Thanks so much for sharing. I especially loved the part of capturing your audience’s attention, no matter the number,
    You should have to wait or decide to put you’re all into something because a lot of people aren’t watching. Quality over quantity!
    -Milli Stephania
    https://millistephania.com

  • Great tips! I am a new blogger, I have 2 blogs and I am trying to grow my audience. I will apply your tips in my blogs 🙂 Thanks for your sharing.

  • I agree with all these points, especially #2 – always providing consistent, quality content – you wouldn’t want to have a reputation for having bad quality content and #6 – connecting + networking with others.

    I wish I networked more when I first started blogging back in 2012, but I was anonymous and scared of letting other people know about my blog.

  • Gosh, I wish I read this 3 years ago when I started Juju Sprinkles! Thank you so much for sharing these wonderful tips. I am definitely going to work on more networking with other bloggers =)

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