The past few weeks I have received numerous emails asking my advice on various blogging topics. Always very positive, some of the most popular questions are (1) how to grow my audience, and (2) how to be invited to more parties and event. So I thought to share with everyone my two cents worth of advice in case more people are curious.
Question #1: How can I grow my audience?
This is the most common question. There is no simple answer, but my advice is to always think first about making GREAT CONTENT that will appeal to YOUR audience. Think of it this way, videos like those on Andy Samberg’s The Lonely Island You Tube channel have more than one billion views for a reason – because they are appealing to a large audience. So if your content isn't appealing then face facts as to why would people bother reading your story, returning to your blog, or ever share your stories with their friends!
Question #2: Who is my audience?
This should be the Part B answer to Question #1, since to grow your audience you first need to identify who do you really want your audience to be?
Being technical, an important advertising and publishing term is “demographic”, which is defined as the statistical data of a population, especially those showing average age, income, education, etc. Citing the dictionary is boring (breaking Rule #1 about appealing content), so the short answer is that when deciding the audience you want to speak to – realize the more specific your audience – then the harder it will be to grow simply because you will be appealing to a smaller group.
Surely not so hard to grasp... think how much bigger would be for a Beer Drinking blog targeting college students versus a blog about Piano Lessons – there is an audience for both, but surely the audience is probably 100 times more for one versus the other!
Question #3: How can I receive invitations to events?
Public Relations companies (“PR agencies”) are often hired by companies to organize their events, and to write and distribute press releases, mostly to get as many free brand mentions in the “media” as possible. I receive 5-10 event invitations every week, mostly from PR agencies hoping that I will attend their events and publish an article on WithLoveGabrielle about their brand. Some events are definitely way better than others, and that usually depends on the brand, how much they are spending, and the quality of the PR agency.
So the short answer about how to be invited to PR events is, first to write a brief introductory email about yourself and your blog, and second to email it to PR agencies in the city where you live asking to be invited to their events to possibly write about their brands on your blog. Be sure to keep your email short and concise, and definitely spell and grammar check since a professional presentation is key to being taken seriously!
The most tedious step is searching for PR agency contacts to email. The best way to go about it is using Google search with keywords such as “PR agencies”. You can narrow your search by adding more keywords, but know there is no quick way to find the best people to contact - it takes effort to research for the best contacts!
Question #4: How can I receive products to review on my blog?
The easiest way is to buy the products yourself. But as your blog - and your audience and your influence grows - some PR agencies will send you free products to review. Again, Google search can be a huge help to find PR agencies who represent specific products or brands, and for a good example I just searched using keywords “Mascara Toronto PR” and my results included two of the bigger Toronto PR agencies Faulhaber and Paradigm - so from there you could simply search their websites for contact emails. And again, be concise when writing your email about what is your request, and be sure it’s professionally written (ie – no spelling or grammar mistakes).
Question #5: Why do I bother blogging? What’s the point?
The most important question! Only blog if you truly enjoy writing regularly! There should be no other motivation, period.
Image Sources: strictlyweddings.com; jakandjil.com; theglitterguide.tumblr.com; vanessajackman.blogspot.com