I'm calling it the 1,000 Blog Reader Challenge and it will change how you blog. The goal is to get 1,000 new blog reeaders to your in the next 90 days. This challenge is a "stretch goal". It’s designed to be scary enough to get your attention but just within reach.
You can join the challenge by adding your name and blog address in the comments. In a few days, I’ll work up a snazzy table showing everyone’s blog.
In 90 days, Saturday June 9th, come back to Pushing Social, read the “Finish Line” blog post and add your results to the comments. I'll also give away something snazzy and geek-a-licious to one of the Challenge participants.
I'm issuing the challenge because I want you to move beyond "collecting" techniques and tips. I want you to gain mastery and achieve tangible results from your blog. The 1,000 Blog Reader Challenge is a start.
But, I have to warn you...
Commit to the Challenge and Something “Weird” Will Happen
First, you won’t be able to get the challenge off your mind.
Your brain will begin devising a handful of ways to reach your goal. You’ll have crazy ideas, scary ideas, and boring ideas. Take all of them and write them, by hand, into a wallet-sized notebook, the kind that the old-time reporters used. You can use a moleskin too.
Once you write the ideas down, your brain will see your acceptance as permission to flood you with more ideas. Write those puppies down too.
Over the next 90 days I will show you more practical ways to stay on track with your goal. Many of the techniques I'll show you have been battle-tested on Pushing Social and other blogs. We'll get to the 1,000 reader mark together. All you need to do is -
“Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs.” – Henry Ford tweet
Consult your list and pick three of your ideas. I suggest selecting two scary ones and a boring one. Now take a small actions to get started on each idea. For example:
Scary Idea #1:
Write a complete blog post and offer it to the most popular blog in your niche.
Small Acton: Set a timer for 15 minutes and start writing the post. Warning - 9 out of 10 times you won’t want to step after 15 minutes.
Scary Idea #2:
Commit to hanging out on two discussion forums that are popular with your readers. Write at least 3 “epic” forum responses every week.
Small Action: Search Google for forums that cater to your interest group. If there aren’t any, you may want to start one. Quickly make a list of 5-10 good candidates. Register on 2 that are active and friendly.
Boring Idea #1:
Add just one extra post a week to your schedule. Decide to promote this extra post at least three times on Twitter and Facebook (LinkedIn for business folks) on the day you publish it. (I know...this one might be scary for you too!)
Small Action: Write an outline for your “bonus” post. I bet you won’t be able to stop with just an outline. If you feel up to it. Write for 15 minutes and put the post aside. Again, it’s almost impossible for most bloggers to stop.
Track Your Progress:
How many readers visit your blog every weekday? How about on the weekends? How long do they stay? What is your top blog post based on page views? You might be getting nervous - fearing that I’m going to turn you into a number-watching goal-driven machine. You would be right.
Anything worth doing is worth doing well. Tracking your blog’s “vital signs”, its metrics, signals that you're serious about achieving your goal. As your readership increases, the numbers will give you confidence to take bigger risks and step further outside your comfort zone.
On the other hand, if you aren’t getting new readers you’ll have some clues to analyze. With the right numbers you can put yourself back on track.
For example, I remember discovering that my traffic doubled when I wrote two weekly posts instead of one. I dug deeper and discovered that the extra traffic was coming from new readers! This information gave me the incentive to write a little more.
The easiest way to get started is to install Google Analytics on your blog. If you know how to install a WordPress plugin then just search for "Google Analytics for WordPress" and install it. Walk through the steps and you'll be all set in 15 minutes. Let me know in the comments if you need more help with this and I'll put together a list of resources for you.
Remember "The Dip"
Building your blog to 1,000 readers is the first test that all bloggers face. The valley between 0 and 1,000 is deep and meant to weed out the part-timers and the "experimenters." This is The Dip that Seth Godin talks about. The Dip is there to get you to quit or refine your techniques into a winning formula.
You will have to keep pushing forward even when everything seems to conspire against you. Stay committed to taking action and you'll break through and hit your stride. Ironically, going from 1,000 to 2,000 will be easier than the first thousand!
My Cheat Sheet
I wrote a special Report called "How to Get Your First 1,000 Blog Readers." In the report I show you how to use guest posts, forums and blog comments to attract new blog readers. I've used these exact techniques to quickly build Pushing Social to the 1,000 reader mark in just 45 days.
These techniques are easy, cheap (actually free), and work in almost every niche. If you want a to sprint off the starting line then get the Special Report here.
In the meantime, I have some awesome posts ready for you to give you more tips to power your 1,000 Blog Reader Challenge. Ready - go ahead and commit to the challenge by telling me your name and your blog address in the comments below.
This is going to be fun!