How do you quickly grow an online audience? Here’s how I’ve helped folks do it. It’s a mix of writing, marketing, and startups:
One audience building approach:
Twitter gets the word out. Newsletters keep people around. Podcasts help them better know you.
A question to ask when building an audience: Are they following you for your mind or your labor?
Mind-followers are extra loyal. They’re with you no matter what you do in the future.
One way to measure the value of an audience:
Audience value = Size * Affinity * Goal fit
How to grow a YouTube channel:
How to grow a podcast:
Podcast interviews are boring by default.
I’m guessing 99.5% of podcasts are listened to by no one? The holy grail: Unfiltered conversations between charismatic storytellers. Listeners stick around when it feels like they’re catching up with interesting friends over dinner.
How to improve newsletter growth:
Common newsletter formats:
Choose whichever format you can most consistently generate high quality content for and that serves your target audience.
What’s the benefit of starting a newsletter?
PSA: You don’t have to send your newsletter every week.
Send it as often as it’s actually interesting. I haven’t seen evidence that you must “stay top of mind” at a high frequency. In an era of content saturation, quality—not frequency—keeps you relevant for the long-term.
Instead of just giving newsletter subscribers the option to fully unsubscribe, you can also offer to reduce email frequency. For example, let them click a link to go from weekly to monthly. Now they might stick around.
How to grow a personal blog:
How to grow a Twitter audience:
Maximize retweets. Retweets put you in front of non-followers. A percentage of them then follow.
What people retweet:
A simple Twitter growth tactic:
Be quick to respond to viral tweets with insightful and actionable advice of your own—add a complementary perspective.
People will see your thoughtful responses and follow you too. Happens all the time.
People often use Twitter bios to describe their identity. But, most people don’t care if you’re a “2x founder” or “Ex-Google.”
To increase follow rate, you can rewrite your bio to explain WHY ppl should follow: which topics you cover and from what perspective.
Image credit: Julian Shapiro