A drawing of 3 women talking to each other - community growth goals

A Simple Framework to Define and Reach Your Blog Community Growth Goals

Have you ever wondered how you could grow the community around your blog? Maybe you’ve searched for “community growth goals” for your blog and felt overwhelmed by all the advice out there. If so, rest assured, you’re not alone! As a blogger, it’s natural to want your community to flourish. But where do you even begin, right?

The key is to start with a clear understanding of what “community growth” really means for your unique blog and audience. Then, you can set specific, achievable goals and put a plan in action to reach them.

In this post, we’ll break it all down into simple steps, so you can:

  • Define your blog’s community growth vision
  • Set SMART goals to measure your progress
  • Implement proven strategies to attract and engage your ideal readers

So grab your notebook, and let’s dive in together! By the end, you’ll have a personalized plan to take your blog community to new heights.

Understanding Your Blog’s Unique Community

To build a strong community around your blog, you need to know what truly resonates with your readers. That starts with getting to know them, your blog’s unique community.

Think of your blog community as a group of friends who share similar interests, challenges, and goals. Just like how you wouldn’t give the same advice around setting goals to your sporty best friend and your artsy cousin, you need to tailor your blog content to your specific target audience.

So, how do you go about understanding your blog’s community? Here are some key steps:

  1. Define your blog’s niche and topic. What is your blog all about? What kind of information, solutions, or entertainment does it provide? Having a clear focus helps attract readers who are interested in what you have to offer.
  2. Create an ideal reader. Picture your perfect blog reader. What are their demographics like age, gender, and location? What are their interests, hobbies, and challenges? Giving your ideal reader a face and personality makes creating content that speaks directly to them so much easier.
  3. Analyze your blog stats and how your reader behaves. Dive into your blog analytics to see which posts are most popular, how long readers stay on each page, and where your traffic comes from. This data gives you clues about what your community likes and wants more of. For example, if your top posts are all about healthy recipes, you know your audience is hungry for more nutritious cooking ideas!
  4. Engage with your community and ask for feedback. The best way to get to know your readers is to interact with them! Respond to comments, run polls or surveys, and encourage them to share their thoughts and experiences. A fun way is when you host a virtual “ask me anything” session to talk to your people and gather valuable insights. As Neil Patel suggests, “The more you engage with your readers, the more they’ll engage back.”
  5. Monitor relevant social media conversations. Follow hashtags related to your blog topic and join Facebook groups where your people hang out. Pay attention to the questions they ask, the challenges they face, and the content they share. Pinterest is also a great source to figure out what is on your readers’ minds. This “social listening” helps you stay on top of what matters most to your community, as Hootsuite explains.

By taking the time to really understand your blog’s unique community, you can create content that truly resonates with your readers. You’ll be able to provide the solutions, inspiration, and entertainment they crave, building a loyal and engaged audience.

Run out of time to read the blog post right now? Pin it to your favorite Pinterest board!

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The Community Growth Framework: Attract, Engage, Nurture

If you are ready to boost your blog’s community growth, I have a simple but powerful framework that will help you attract the right readers, keep them engaged, and turn them into loyal fans. It’s called the Attract, Engage, Nurture framework.

Let’s break it down step by step:

Step 1: Attract Your Target Audience

The first step is all about getting the attention of the people who will love your blog. Here’s how:

  1. Know your ideal reader inside and out. As I said before, this is important to know because only then can you create the content that draws them to your blog posts and blogging business. So get crystal clear on this. 
  2. Optimize your content for search engines. Most people discover new blogs through search, so content optimization is key. Research the words and phrases your ideal readers are searching for and naturally weave them into your posts. This will help your blog show up when they go looking for answers.
  3. Use other people’s audiences. Introducing yourself to new audiences is a great way to attract readers. Reach out to the bloggers you love and offer to write a high-value guest post. Another way is being a guest on a podcast of someone targeting the same audience as you do. Be sure to link back to your own blog to invite their readers to check you and your blog out. 

Step 2: Engage Your Growing Community

Once you’ve got readers coming to your blog, your next goal is to keep them interested and involved. It’s good for your blog to have them hanging around as long as possible. Give these engagement boosters a try:

  1. Craft irresistible headlines. Your blog post titles are like the hook that reels readers in. You want to spend some time brainstorming titles that spark curiosity, promise a benefit, or tap into emotions. Imagine your ideal reader thinking, “I’ve got to click on that!”
  2. Write in a warm, conversational style. Reading your blog should feel like chatting with a knowledgeable friend. It’s good to use simple words, short paragraphs, and plenty of “you” language. And you want to toss in stories and examples to illustrate your points. Don’t be afraid to show your unique personality and let it shine through in your work. I love to encourage people, teach them, and cheer them on. I hope that my posts are coming across like that. 
  3. Encourage comments and respond to everyone. End your posts with a question that invites readers to share their thoughts. When they do leave a comment, reply promptly to keep the conversation going. Interacting with your readers is one of the best ways to foster a sense of engagement and community.
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Step 3: Nurture Loyal Readers for the Long Haul

You’ve attracted the right people, kept them engaged, and they love your message. The last step is turning those excited readers into loyal subscribers who keep coming back. Here’s how you do that:

  1. Offer a useful incentive for joining your email list. Email is hands-down the best way to nurture your readers over time. Create an irresistible freebie, such as an ebook, checklist, or video training, and offer it in exchange for an email address. Your readers will be excited to sign up, and you can nurture the relationship by showing up in their inbox. 
  2. Be consistent with your publishing schedule. Let readers know what to expect by sticking to a regular posting schedule, whether that’s three times a week or twice a month. This builds trust and gives them a reason to keep coming back. I usually post on Tuesdays and Fridays, so you know when to expect new content here on the blog.
  3. Show your appreciation. Your loyal readers are the heart of your blog’s community, so make sure they feel valued. Give them a shout-out in your posts, ask for their feedback, or even host a giveaway exclusively for subscribers. Little gestures of loyalty will go a long way.

So there you have it – the Attract, Engage, Nurture framework for unstoppable blog community growth. Focus on drawing in your target audience, keeping them interested with stellar content, and rewarding their loyalty.

a notebook on a wooden table surrounded by a little succulent, a cup of coffee, an analog clock and some paint. In the notebook is an drawing of a woman surrounded by flowers and the words Smart Goals. A woman's hands are working on the drawing - community growth goals

Setting SMART Community Growth Goals

Alright, let’s talk about setting goals that will actually help your blog community thrive! The way to do that is to make your goals SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

Here’s a quick breakdown of what each of those means:

Specific: Your goals should be clear and focused. Instead of saying, “I want more readers,” try “I want to increase my blog traffic by 25%.”

Measurable: You need to be able to track your progress. Saying “I want a higher engagement rate” is good, but even better is “I want to increase my average engagement rate from 2% to 5%”.

Achievable: It’s great to dream big, but your goals should be realistic. If you’re currently getting 100 page views a month, aiming for 10,000 next month might be a bit of a stretch.

Relevant: Your goals should line up with your overall blogging strategy. If your main focus is SEO, setting a goal to start a loyalty program might not be the best use of your time.

Time-bound: Give yourself a deadline! Instead of saying, “I want to increase my blog traffic someday,” try “I want to increase my blog traffic by 25% within the next 3 months.”

Now, let’s look at a few examples of SMART goals in action:

  • “Increase organic blog traffic from Pinterest by 30% in the next quarter by creating 20 new pin designs per week and pinning 10 pins every day.”
  • “Improve my blog’s average engagement rate from 3% to 7% by the end of the year by writing 8 interactive posts per month and responding to every comment within 24 hours.”
  • “Grow my email list from 500 to 2,000 subscribers in 6 months by offering a free ebook on ‘DIY Home Decor’ and promoting it through weekly blog posts and social media.”

See how specific and actionable those goals are? They give you a clear target to aim for and a plan to get there.

So take a few minutes to brainstorm your own SMART goals. What do you want to achieve with your blog community, and how can you break that down into concrete steps? Write them down and post them somewhere you’ll see them often. 

And if you want more information on SMART goals specifically, go read my post A Practical Guide for Setting SMART Goals for Blogging Success

A drawing of 3 women talking to each other - community growth goals

Proven Tactics for Achieving Blog Community Growth Goals

Now that you know exactly who your readers are, they are enjoying your content, and you’ve set some SMART goals, we need to have some strategies to reach those SMART blog community growth goals. I have a few ideas on how to do just that.

Create SEO-Optimized Content That Matches Search Intent

First things first: to draw in your ideal audience, you need to create content that answers their burning questions, right? That’s where SEO comes in. Do your homework and find out what your target readers are searching for. Then, craft blog posts that match that search intent like a glove.

For example, if you have a cooking blog and people are searching for “easy weeknight dinners,” whip up a post with your top 10 quick and delicious recipes. When your content lines up with what people are looking for, search engines will reward you with higher rankings and more traffic.

Promote Your Blog Posts on Social Media

Next up: getting the word out! Social media promotion is a powerful way to put your blog in front of new people. Share your latest posts on platforms where your ideal readers hang out, whether that’s Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram. 

But don’t just drop a link and run! Craft engaging social media posts that tease your blog content and make people excited to click through. You could share a juicy quote, ask a thought-provoking question, or give a sneak peek into what readers will learn.

I love to share my content on Pinterest, which is not exactly a social media platform but great for attracting interested readers as well.

Encourage Comments and Engagement

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again. Once you’ve got readers on your blog, your next mission is to keep them engaged. One of the best ways to do that is by encouraging comments and discussions. At the end of each post, ask your readers a question or invite them to share their thoughts. When people do leave comments, jump in and reply to keep the conversation going.

You can even take it a step further and create a dedicated community space, like a Facebook group, where your readers can connect with each other. By fostering a sense of belonging and dialogue, you’ll turn casual readers into loyal community members.

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Harness the Power of User-Generated Content

Want to know a secret? Some of the best content for your blog might not come from you at all. It could come from your readers. User-generated content, like guest posts, interviews, or reader stories, not only takes some of the content creation burden off your shoulders but also makes your community feel valued and heard. Besides, it’s fun for others to learn how your content helps some of your readers. 

If you have readers who love to write themselves, you could run an event or challenge that encourages your readers to submit their own content. You could ask them to share their favorite tips, stories, or photos related to your blog topic. Then, showcase the best submissions on your blog and social media channels. It’s a win-win: your readers get their moment in the spotlight, and you get fresh, engaging content, that is very valuable.

Offer Rewards and Incentives

Everyone loves a good reward, right? To keep your community coming back for more, consider offering incentives for engagement and loyalty. This could be anything from exclusive content and resources to special discounts or freebies.

For example, you could create a loyalty program where readers earn points for actions like commenting, sharing, or subscribing to your email list. Then, they can redeem those points for rewards like e-books, courses, or one-on-one coaching sessions. By making your readers feel appreciated and valued, you’ll foster a sense of commitment and excitement around your blog.

Measuring and Refining Your Blog Community Growth Efforts

You’ve been working hard to attract and engage your dream audience, but how do you know if your efforts are paying off? That’s where measuring and refining those SMART goals come in.

Think of it like baking a cake. You follow a recipe, mix the ingredients, and pop it in the oven. But the real magic happens when you taste the cake and make adjustments for next time. Maybe a little more vanilla extract or a slightly lower oven temperature will take it from good to mind-blowingly delicious.

Growing your blog community works the same way. You implement strategies, track the results, and then use those insights to make your approach even better. Here’s how:

Dive into your blog analytics

Your blog analytics are like a window into your audience’s behavior. They show you which posts are hitting the mark and which ones are falling flat. Some key metrics to watch are:

  • Page views: How many eyeballs are actually landing on your content?
  • Time on page: Are readers sticking around or bouncing away quickly?
  • Engagement metrics: Are people liking, commenting, and sharing your posts?

Take a regular pulse on these numbers to spot patterns and trends. Maybe your how-to posts are consistently outperforming your opinion pieces, or your audience seems to love anything related to a certain category topic on your blog.

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Get friendly with A/B testing

Want to take the guesswork out of optimization? Enter A/B testing. This is when you create two slightly different versions of a piece of content, show them to different segments of your audience, and then compare the results.

For example, you could test two different headlines for a blog post – one that’s super witty and one that’s more straightforward. Or you could experiment with placing your call-to-action button in different spots on the page. The possibilities are endless!

The key is to change just one element at a time so you can pinpoint what’s actually moving the needle. Over time, these small tweaks can add up to major growth.

I love to create multiple pins for one blog post, experimenting with pin headlines, descriptions, and design. Sometimes, I gravitate toward one or two pins, but the third one is the one that is shared most. That’s fascinating, right?

Turn data into action

Measuring is just the first step. To see real results, you need to take those data-driven insights and turn them into an action plan.

Let’s say your analytics show a big drop-off in readership halfway through your posts. You could experiment with shorter paragraphs, punchier subheadings, or more visuals to keep people engaged.

Or maybe you notice that your posts with personal stories get way more comments than your purely educational content. That’s a clue to infuse more of your unique voice and experiences into your writing.

The key is to stay curious and keep iterating. Every “failure” is really just a lesson in disguise.

Don’t forget the human element

At the end of the day, your blog community is made up of real people, not just data points. So as you’re measuring and refining, don’t forget to actually talk to your audience.

  • Respond to comments to spark conversations
  • Run polls or surveys to gather feedback
  • Hop on social media to chat with your followers

The more you engage with your community, the more you’ll understand what makes them tick. And that, my friend, is the most important insight to unstoppable growth.

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My Final Thoughts

Wow, we’ve covered a lot of ground in this post about setting community growth goals for your blog! Let’s do a quick recap of the most important points:

  • Understanding your blog’s unique community is essential. Get to know your target audience inside and out.
  • The Attract, Engage, Nurture framework provides a simple roadmap for growing your community strategically.
  • Setting SMART goals is crucial for success.
  • There are tons of proven tactics you can use to achieve your community growth goals, from SEO to social media to rewarding loyal readers.
  • Measuring your progress with the right metrics will help you continuously improve and adapt your approach.

At the end of the day, building a thriving blog community is all about putting your audience first. Focus on providing genuine value, fostering meaningful connections, and staying responsive to your readers’ needs and interests.

So here’s my challenge to you: Take some time to reflect on your own blog community. What are your biggest growth opportunities? What SMART goals could you set to take things to the next level?

Pick one tactic from this post that resonates with you and commit to trying it out this week. Whether it’s optimizing a post for search, starting a conversation on social media, or brainstorming a loyalty program, small steps can lead to big results over time.

Bear in mind, blogging is a journey, not something you do and be done with. Embrace the process of experimentation, learning, and growth. Stay curious, stay connected to your community, and most importantly, have fun with it!

I’d love to hear how it goes. Feel free to share your experiences or any other community growth tips in the comments below. Let’s learn from each other and celebrate our progress along the way.

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