It’s been eight months since I first created Connected Comedy and I’m thrilled with how the site and its community has grown. Connected Comedy’s success up to this point has come as a direct result of my implementation of the same strategies I recommend to my readers and today I want to illustrate exactly what I’ve done and what’s resulted from it.
Of course, Connected Comedy serves a different purpose than your own creations as comedians, but the general principles of how I’ve grown a fanbase and audience are very much the same. Here’s a breakdown of some of these core principles and how they’ve impacted Connected Comedy.
You Have To Create A Lot Of Content
One of the main things I stress to comedians is the importance of regularly creating content and posting it online. Every piece of content you create is an opportunity for somebody new to find you, and an opportunity for somebody who already likes you to engage with you or introduce you to their friends. It’s important for your content to be good, but it’s also important to produce a lot of it.
On Connected Comedy, I have published 145 articles so far (an average of 18 articles per month), most of which are around 1,000 words long. This means I’ve created and published roughly 145,000 words of content about the business and marketing of comedy – the equivalent of multiple published books – and posted it all on this website for anybody to read for free.
This is a lot of content and is without a doubt the single biggest reason Connected Comedy has attracted an audience.
This volume of content has not only given my readers a reason to keep coming back to the site and plenty of things to share with their friends, but it also has given Google and other popular search engines plenty of content to feature for people looking for the kind of information I write about.
As a result, I’ve had 4,800 people visit Connected Comedy from searches they typed into Google – this is all essentially free marketing that has helped to grow my audience.
You Have To Promote Your Content
Creating content may be the most important thing, but that content won’t find its audience without a little work promoting it as well. Just like I recommend to readers, I’ve employed a variety of social media tools to help ensure that the content I create gets seen. The traffic to my site reflects that.
I’ve had 12,000 people visit this website from links on Facebook, 7,765 visit from links on Reddit, and 3,265 visit from Twitter, among countless other blogs and websites who have linked to this site. If you want to grow your audience, you have to be willing to (and understand how to) promote your content.
You Have To Consider Curating Content
I talk a lot about the importance of curating content in addition to creating original content and this belief is also reflected in the success of Connected Comedy.
Despite all the valuable content I’ve created on this site, do you know what the most viewed post on Connected Comedy is? It’s my post about Kevin Smith’s Secrets To A Successful Life, which is essentially a curated post featuring a rant Kevin made on Twitter.
That post has generated almost 27,000 visits to my site and it didn’t involve me doing anything other than noticing what Smith was saying, recognizing that it was interesting to me and would probably be interesting to my readers, and taking a moment to share it on my site.
You Have To Enable Your Community
Content and promotion can help you attract an audience, but it’s just as important to find ways to build community around your creations. I’m very proud of what Connected Comedy has become, but I’m most proud of the way my readers have united to form a community in which they participate and add to the Connected Comedy experience.
This is reflected in several ways.
On the Connected Comedy Facebook page, more than 5,000 comedians have joined the page and regularly comment and help each other through things like our Follow Friday roundups and Free Tip Tuesdays.
More than 1,000 comedians have followed Connected Comedy on Twitter and regularly interact with me there.
The recently launched Connected Comedy Forum on this site has already become the third most visited page on the site, and there have been more than 350 comments posted on articles on Connected Comedy.
No matter what you’re creating, your audience is ultimately going to be interested as much in themselves and each other as they are about you and your creations. Find ways to allow them to be involved and you’ll reap big rewards.
You Have To Build Your Email List
I keep telling you how important it is to grow your email list and people still keep thinking I’m crazy. I’ve made a real effort to grow my mailing list for Connected Comedy by offering my Free Tips Newsletter and I’ve found it to be an incredible asset in connecting with my audience – much more so than any other social media platform.
I’ve repeatedly tweaked my Free Tips Newsletter signup page, and have now gotten it to the point where 40% of the people who visit that page actually subscribe to the email (which is a pretty big number in case you don’t know anything about email marketing).
Nearly 800 people have subscribed to that newsletter (and 15-20 new people subscribe to it every day) and it’s become a great source of traffic, business leads, and conversation between myself and my audience. I can’t stress enough how effective a tool an email list can be in growing your fanbase, if you do it right.
You Have To Be Patient
Even if you’re doing everything right, you have to be patient and understand that whatever you’re doing is going to be for the long haul. You want to focus on seeing continued growth of your audience and not beat yourself up if that growth comes slowly.
Connected Comedy has grown in audience at a steady pace and I expect that it will continue to grow as such. For example, here’s the number of visits I’ve had to the site over the last five months:
• January: 2,876 visits
• February: 4,658 visits
• March: 5,994 visits
• April: 5,744 visits
• May: 8,172 visits
Would I like to have more visits? Sure, everybody always wants more. But I’m thrilled with the growth and most importantly happy that the readers I get on the site are the exact kind of readers I want. I don’t need to reach every audience, I just need to reach my audience. And to see that audience continue to grow. I’d recommend you think about your own fanbase in the same way.
You Have To Provide Value
Finally, I just want to mention that the most important thing when it comes to trying to build an audience is to understand that the more value you provide, the easier it will be to attract an audience.
I try to provide a ton of value to readers through regularly updated content, an opportunity to connect with a community that has shared goals, and frequent chances to connect with me and get some advice about how they grow your own career.
It’s because of this value that Connected Comedy has gotten to the point where it’s at right now. And this is only the beginning so stay tuned for bigger and better things to come…