As someone aspiring to build a successful writing career, one of the best advice you’ll get from anywhere is to put in place a sustainable strategy to build and grow your audience as an author.
Although it’s never a piece of cake, growing your audience offers you a lot of benefits. For example, authors with a wider and effective social media reach can leverage their audience to promote their brands, sell their books and gain faster traction, compared to authors without any organic reach.
As an author, you don’t want to make the mistake of writing without an audience. So, for this reason, you cannot avoid building an audience unless you’re not serious about boosting sales and making more impact
That said, growing your audience requires you follow certain steps to identify, attract, nurture and grow the kind of audience you can harness to transform your career.
And in the following paragraphs, I’ll be sharing with you, the seven step strategies you can use to grow a powerful audience online, even if you’re just starting out
Have An Author Website And A Blog
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The first step to grow your audience as an author is to create your own author website.
Owning a website and regularly posting content on it can seem like a daunting task but, updating your website can be really effective in attracting a new audience and getting you to reach people who might not have heard about you or even read your books.
To start, ensure that you set up your website for easy navigation so your readers and followers can easily find what they want when they want to.
Once you have set up your website successfully, optimize it to advertise your books and services so your readers can make purchases directly from your website.
If you do not want to sell your books on your website, redirect them to a third-party site from your website.
And the best part about having a blog on your website is that you get to showcase your expertise by posting well-thought-out and engaging pieces to your readers. These readers might also be from organic searches on the internet- thus giving you wider coverage.
Additionally, owning a website gives you the opportunity to create a newsletter where you announce regular updates to your readers like when you publish a new blog post to keep them coming back for more. This is only possible with an author’s website.
Need some ideas? Explore the websites of other authors within and outside your genre so you know exactly what you want.
Explore Collaboration Opportunities
Another step to grow your audience as an author is to explore collaboration opportunities with other authors.
The thing about collaborations is that if you collaborate with another successful author, you might be 2x more successful within half the time you would have taken if you were to work alone.
Collaboration is an excellent way for you to expand your audience and grow your ROI as an author. From exclusive discounts to co-publishing, you can partner with other authors to showcase your experience.
Some other opportunities you can team up with other authors to create are using retreats, training, and also membership only programs.
By collaborating, you get to increase visibility for yourself as an author, and also build a database of connections and become more influential within and outside your cycle.
By partnering with other authors, you will be creating a new fan base for yourself, and also for the authors you partnered with, thus making it a win for both sides.
PS: You can also create opportunities for collaboration by leaving valuable comments on the posts of other authors and reaching out to them directly for collaborations.
Recommend Books By Other Authors
Recommending books by other authors is a great way to grow your audience as an author.
By reviewing and recommending the books of other authors, you will be making connections with those authors – which is quite crucial as seen in step 2, and you will also prove to your readers that you are also a reader- which is vital to becoming a successful writer.
Besides, you get to show that you are an important resource to your audience as most readers are constantly looking out for new books to read so by recommending books for them, you get to establish yourself as an effective go-to source for great info and materials.
You also get to improve yourself and your craft by learning more about writing and conveying thoughts to readers.
Build an E-mail list
Recently, there have been lots of social media accounts getting blocked and websites being hacked. Incidences like this have made building an email list, part of the main strategies to build and grow your audience as an author.
As an author, apart from owning a website and blog, one of your greatest insurance against such incidences will be to have your own email list. A social media presence alone isn’t enough as it can be lost at any time.
With an email list, you can regularly send updates to followers and over time, you get to build and nurture a closer relationship with them.
An email list will help you to create not only a growing audience but also an increasing fan base of loyalists.
Ensure you send those in your subscribers list valuable stuff, or else their itchy fingers are going to hit ‘unsubscribe’. People’s email inboxes are cluttered with a lot of sales-y and spam messages that go straight into the trash folder.
Make sure you send your emails out regularly so that your subscribers know when to hear from you, so they are always expecting your message.
Often, most authors’ books are first purchased via their e-mail list. Their subscribers are often the first to hear about a new book and the first to buy them because of the trust that was built over time.
Build A Community On Social Media
One of the easiest ways to grow your audience as an author is to create a social media community that is relevant to what you do and write.
This means that your group, as some people call it, should be tailored to what you do as an author and nothing else. You shouldn’t create a group for sharing memes and expect to grow your audience by sharing funny pictures alone…
It’s okay to share memes and other funny content once in a while but your community should be focused on your content goals – which in this case is to create and share content that can help your audience while projecting your brand rightly.
Once you are specific on what you want your group to be about, choose a social media platform and build it. Afterwards, start creating and sharing relevant content for your community.
Doing this, your group will begin to gain traction just as the social media algorithms will showcase it to people interested in such groups, under the ‘related’ category, giving you a much wider reach.
Additionally, you can use your community to test out topics within your genre to see what your audience resonates with the most, and then start creating content they love.
Make sure you create your community or group on a platform that you enjoy using but most importantly, go for a platform with a large number of your target audience.
You can use one of the popular social media platform like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, or even a combination of more than one.
Guest Blog Post On Other Websites
Guest blogging is a great way to showcase your expertise gain a wider reach and grow your audience as an author.
As a guest blogger, you have the opportunity to prove your knowledge on particular topics within your genres and get people wondering who exactly you are.
After you have written a guest post on another platform you will notice more people becoming interested in you, and begin to engage with your resources.
Once they see how much you resonate with them, they will most possibly start following you.
Make sure that you include your byline and pointers to indicate who you are and what you do so those who see your guest blog can easily get to know you,
Host Webinars and Conferences
What better way to showcase your take on topics that resonate with your audience than webinars? With webinars, you share your thoughts with your audience on a closer platform and you also give them the opportunity to share theirs by asking you questions.
Webinars are a great way to allow your audience the opportunity to express themselves, and most often – build their trust in you because they will be seeing your face quite often and you will have positioned yourself as an expert for them to look up to.
Additionally, you can also invite other authors to give talks during your webinar and kill two birds with one stone. In fact, it offers you three advantages.
Firstly, doing this; you will be building connections with other authors in your genre and even outside, and secondly, you will be able to grow your audience naturally as the other authors will invite their audience over join the webinars and finally, you’ll end up building trustworthiness and expertise with your audience.
Growing your audience as an author isn’t a difficult feat to achieve, but it also requires hard work and commitment and using some, if not all the strategies listed above, you can grow a loyal audience for yourself.
If you are a new author, try writing out your goals, and make sure they are achievable before you implement any of these strategies. It will ensure that you are on track and not just building castles in the air.
Also, ensure that you connect with your readers on a personal level. You can easily do this by fine tuning your language, creating useful content and enriching your books, using personal and relatable stories.
Now it’s over to you! Do you want to learn more on how to build audiences and publish more successful books? Reach out to us let’s guide you here.
Have any questions or thoughts? Share them in the comments below.