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Bloggers Build A Following When They Lead The Way

Bloggers Build A Following When They Lead The WayBloggers Build A Following When They Lead The Way.

That’s why people read blogs to begin with.

Not to get the same info-spin that they get everywhere else.

Most of all, they are looking for someone to lead the way.

And bloggers need to lead the way in order build a following.

Follow The Leader

You see, if you’re a blogger, you need a following.

You need to have a distinct crowd of people who follow what you do.

It doesn’t matter what niche you’re in.

If you have a Yoga blog, you need to have a “following.”

Same thing if you blog about electronic gadgets, website hosting, horse racing or anything else.

You need to attract a “following.”

Bloggers Build A Following

Read more…
The Complete Guide To Building Your Blog Audience
by Neil Patel + Aaron Agius (Quick Sprout .com)

That means, you need to have people anxiously waiting to see what you have to say about some aspect of your topic.

But they won’t care what you have to say if you’re just telling them what they hear from everybody else.

And they certainly won’t care if they get the sense that you’re just trying to sell them something.

You need to present a unique position, or better way, or a more interesting, spirited or entertaining presentation style.

Be a leader.

People want to follow a leader, not another follower.

Who are the Followers?

There are many people who would want to follow you if you are giving them quality information, inspiration and leadership.

Special: (Get My Free Guide) How to Build Your Audience with FB Live

So who are your prospective followers, and what do they want from you?

Well, people want to follow someone that can help them have a better life.

  • A happier,
  • more productive,
  • wealthier,
  • healthier,
  • satisfying,
  • meaningful life.

Now, they wouldn’t expect you to deliver on all those points all of the time.

But they’re not going to follow you unless they see you as someone who can help them have a better life in some way.

Who are the Leaders?

The leaders are those bloggers who demonstrate that they KNOW what their readers want.

They know what their challenges, struggles and pain points are.

And they actually demonstrate ways that they can help alleviate those things.

That’s what leaders do.

They help their followers by their example much more than by their words.

Now, here’s where a lot of bloggers get this wrong.

They think that “leading the way” and being a “leader” is about them.

If you think your readers care all that much about you, or your great achievements and qualifications, think again.

They care much more about what you can do for them… not what you’ve done for yourself.

Case Study

I remember once, a client of mine had built an “authority blog” to promote his professional practice.

He did a wonderful job, with flashy sidebar widgets and beautiful photos and images.

Not only that, but he even an impressive slider that highlighted all the key features of his practice.

But he was dismayed that he only had a dribbling flow of traffic.

Even worse, that there was a very low level of conversion happening on it.

Not too many people were signing up for his email list, and even fewer for his “free phone consults.”

In other words, he wasn’t getting a lot of new business or even hot prospects from his beautifully designed blog.

The Trouble With Authority

But why?

It showed what a true leader he was in his practice, clearly pointed out all his extensive experience, impressive educational background etc.

Can you guess what the problem was with this “authority blog?”

Why it was not resulting in much business or attracting prospects?

It’s because this blog was blatantly self-serving.

This blogger focused almost entirely on how great he was at what he does, and how highly regarded he is in his profession.

He barely addressed the concerns and struggles of his readers and prospective clients at all.

The whole purpose and feel of the blog was that this guy was really great at what he did.

Sure, that’s nice.

But it didn’t make him a leader.

It only made him an authority.

Leaders Must Lead The Way

Experts and authorities don’t necessarily attract followers.

That’s because they’re not leading them to where they want to go.

They’re not taking the lead in showing people how to improve their lives, better their circumstances, overcome their problems or whatever.

They’re only trying to lead them to where they want them to go.

  • “Sign up here”
  • “Call me today”
  • “Get my free consultation”

There’s nothing wrong with these kinds of calls to action.

But people won’t take you up on them unless they first accept your leadership.

Special: (Get My Free Guide) How to Build Your Audience with FB Live

People who have come to trust you, will respond to those calls to action.

Because they’re interested in what you’re doing, and they want to get more involved.

That’s what a following is.

Give ‘Em What They Want

The key to building your audience is to give people exactly what they want.

This means you have to know who your audience is.

Bloggers Build A Following

9 Tips on How to Build Raving Fans for Your Blog
by Gary Dek (Jeff Bullas .com)

You have to know what they want.

And you have to deliver.

Try to be as precise and specific as you can.

For example, if your followers want to learn how to live a pain-free life, you need to find out exactly what sorts of things can help them.

So your blog might focus on exercising, nutritional supplements, good eating habits or mental attitude.

Your niche may be pain relief.

But you can’t just talk about pain relief in general.

You must give people something specific that they can do about reducing that pain.

Chances are, people are not coming to your blog because they’re interested in the medical history of pain remediation.

They’re coming to your blog because they want to know how to manage their own pain.

So the more specific information you can give them to help alleviate their pain, the more they will see you as a leader on the topic.

This is the sort of thing you have to do to build a great following.

Give People Needed Resources

One of the best ways to help people to get what they want, is to give them some of the top resources to help them out.

Now a lot of bloggers see this as an opportunity to sell products and services.

And certainly it is.

But don’t focus just on selling products and services.

Also link out to important and valuable resources that will help them to solve their problem.


to build a following, you need to be leading people.

They want to follow you.

Special: (Get My Free Guide) How to Build Your Audience with FB Live

But to where?

Well. the answer is… to wherever they need to go to get solutions to their problems.

And here’s one of the super ways to get them there.

Let them know what other experts and other leaders in your niche can contribute to their journey.

So don’t try to keep your audience all to yourself.

But share it with others who can also help them solve their problem.

Remember, the goal here is to build and help your audience.

If that means exposing them to other experts, in additionto products and services that can help them solve their problems… then do it.

Give & Sell

Leaders don’t just tell people about things.

And as I said earlier, they certainly don’t just tell people about themselves.

What they do is to

  1. give them things, and
  2. sell them things.

They give them things that can help them solve their problems.

And sell them things that can help them solve their problems.

In fact, everything leaders do is for the purpose of helping their followers solve their problems.

To build a following you must offer people assistance and solutions.

In order to be a leader in your crowd, you need to show them that you care about them.

This usually comes in the form of information, products and services.

So offer those things.

Special: (Get My Free Guide) How to Build Your Audience with FB Live

Perhaps you would create a

  • free ebook or
  • report or
  • even give them a video

to demonstrate something that helps them solve a key problem.

This is free assistance.

Even your blog posts are free information.

But don’t get caught in the trap of never selling things.

Don’t think that it’s a bad thing to offer people things that they can buy.

So many bloggers are literally afraid to sell things because they think it turns them into a used car salesman instead of a leader.

Leaders can be salespeople, too

But think of the leaders you follow.

Don’t they sell things to you?

Their course, their live presentation, their latest book.

And you are happy to buy those things.

In fact, you’re probably anxious to buy them.

You might get on the phone and tell your friend, “Hey I just picked up Andrea’s new book… I can’t wait to read it.”

Why are you so happy to buy something from the leaders in your niche, or in a topic you are deeply interested in?

What’s In It For Me?

Because there’s something in it for you.

Most likely, you’re being entertained, or learning to do something new.

It might be the solution to a problem you are having.

In some way, you expect that whatever you’re buying from your “guru” or leader, will help YOU have a better life.

So yes, leaders are also salespeople.

If you don’t have anything to sell, people won’t take you seriously.

And they won’t see you as a leader.

Just make sure that the things you are promoting are relevant to their needs.

Only offer things that will really help them to achieve their goals or solve their problems.

Bloggers Build A Following When They Lead The Way

To build a following that is responsive to your marketing, you need to lead the way.

Remember, people are willing to follow you, but only when you clearly lead the way.

Now, the first thing you want to do to be a successful blogger, is to have your followers get actively involved in what you do.

You want them to do things like

  • join your email list
  • visit your blog often
  • engage with you when they do by leaving comments and sharing your posts
  • follow you onto your social media sites
  • watch your videos
  • attend your webinars
  • tell you exactly what kind of content they want you to produce
  • tell you exactly what kinds of offers, products and services they are interested in


Bloggers Build A FollowingBloggers Build A FollowingRead more…
The Definitive Guide To Growing Your Blog’s Audience 3x Faster
by Adam Connell (Blogging Wizard .com)


To have people get involved in these ways, you need to build a certain rapport with them.

Most often, hat happens when you take the lead in forming the relationship.

Don’t expect your followers to take the initiative.

That’s up to you.

Remember, you’re the leader.

Your followers are… well, the followers.

So, for instance, if you want them to subscribe to your email list… ask them to.

Give them good cause for subscribing with a tantalizing lead magnet.

They’ll happily join up because they see you as a leader.

If you want to know what kind of content to write, or what kind of products to market to your followers… ask them what they’re interested in.

Give them a survey, or ask them leading questions in your blog posts, prompting them to respond with a comment.

This is how you can, and should, lead the way.

Create your own products for people to buy.

And by all means, offer your own services.

Make those things that your followers will resonate with most.

As you do, you will continue to lead the way and build a following among your target audience.

Learn More About Donna’s Top Tier Mentoring ProgramTop Tier Coaching

Do you lead the way for your readers to get more involved on your blog?

Do you invite them to get more engaged?

And have you built a blog around their needs instead of your own?

Are you attracting a following on your blog?

Bloggers Build A Following When They Lead The Way.

Are you leading the way for your readers?

Let me know in the comments below, and don’t forget to share this article on your social sites.


Donna Merrill
Donna is a well known blogger and creator of "Blogging Magic" - an intensive guide to blogging. "Blogging Magic" is for beginners who are trying to figure out how to bring their blogs to life with tons of visits, comments and social media interaction. It's even for advanced bloggers looking to reach new levels of authority and engagement with their audience.

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23 Responses to Bloggers Build A Following When They Lead The Way

  1. Monika July 27, 2018 at 2:32 pm #

    These days blogging is easy but it is hard to gain actual readers and followers, this is the main difference between bloggers and influencers because influencers are the ones who has the power to influence and change peoples perceptions by gaining hard core followers and that is where the future lies

  2. Donna Merrill June 16, 2018 at 2:25 pm #

    Hi Vish,

    Indeed, to be successful in blogging we do have to understand our readers needs. Being helpful and kind to our readers will make one gain authority.

    Donna Merrill recently posted..How to Turn Facebook Live into a Sizzling Marketing ToolMy Profile

  3. Vishwajeet Kumar
    June 8, 2018 at 1:35 am #

    Hello Donna,

    Building Authority and adopting a leadership style definitely helps to build up huge followers. To become successful in blogging, you have to understand the needs of your readers or target audience. This is where people not paying attention. You have to be helpful and friendly with your audience and provide them rich and helpful content that helps them. It will build trust and thus makes you an authority in that particular niche. Thanks for sharing these helpful tips here.

    Have a Great day 🙂

  4. Janice Wald
    May 27, 2018 at 12:09 pm #

    Hi Donna,
    You make important points. This point is downright philosophical: it covers the difference between an authority and a leader. I want to be both.
    For example, I’m trying to be a thought leader on Instagram. Still a work in progress. I’ll keep your ideas in mind. Thanks.

  5. Chris DeeWaard
    May 27, 2018 at 1:40 am #

    Hi Donna,

    Thanks for this informative post
    We definitely need to be leaders in order to gain followers.

    Sure, we can toot our own horn when we achieve any success. The key, however, is to then share what we did to accomplish the feat. That’s how we help our readers. To just talk about the achievement alone is doing nobody any good.

    For example, a blogger hits the 100 comment level on a single post. Yes, he/she should mention it in a blog post. Then, explain how he/she went about getting those comments. Blog commenting, social media sharing, etc. The explanation will help others who are struggling to get comments on their posts.

    Solving problems for others should be our only reason to be a blogger. Anyone who doesn’t get this should not even attempt to blog. Period.

    Great post, as always.

    Have a good one……Chris
    Chris DeeWaard recently posted..How to Develop the Pro Blogger MindsetMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill May 27, 2018 at 10:30 am #

      Hi Chris,

      We can toot our horn all day long, but it will never gain a good follower. You nailed it when you wrote that we can share what we did to accomplish fears. Solving problems for others is our only reason to be a blogger.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Why Video is so Important for BloggersMy Profile

  6. Emenike Emmanuel
    May 26, 2018 at 6:23 pm #

    Nice one Donna,

    Bloggers who work hard enough to lead the way will always get appreciated for it.

    Leading the way and telling people that it is possible will always make one phenomenal and thus increase following.

    Recently, I got a huge following in my Facebook community but I was not surprised because I had a move some years back to lead the way.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Emenike Emmanuel recently posted..Startup Vs. Franchise – Pros and Cons ExplainedMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill May 27, 2018 at 10:26 am #

      Hi Emenike,

      It does take a while to become a leader. It doesn’t happen overnight, instead it takes time and persistence to do so. A true leader has been through the hoops and knows what problems and concerns their followers have.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Why Video is so Important for BloggersMy Profile

  7. Cori Ramos
    May 23, 2018 at 1:50 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    This is awesome stuff you shared!

    I agree with Lisa, with more people blogging we can’t afford to be self-serving. Sure it’s good to toot our own horn every now and then because we want to be know as an authority figure in our niche but first and foremost we have to show our audience what we can do for them.

    I’ve definitely made sure to build my blog around my audience – I just relaunched my site with a rebrand for this reason. 🙂

    And I hope that I’m leading the way for my readers – that’s the ultimate goal. 🙂

    Thank you for being such a great leader!

    Cori Ramos recently posted..12 Warning Signs Your Website Is Poorly OptimizedMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill May 26, 2018 at 3:31 pm #

      Hi Cori,

      I love the changes you have made with your blog. I can see how you are building so well for your audience. I’m sure you are leading the way for your readers.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Why Video is so Important for BloggersMy Profile

  8. Moss Clement
    May 22, 2018 at 12:38 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Who is an expert and authority? Who is a leader? It is that person who identifies the needs and wants of his target market and addresses them accordingly. He knows his audience and pinpoint the problems and issues they’re dealing with and then provide solution. This blogger is a leader and authority and will certainly achieve success.

    But how about the blogger who focused almost entirely on how great he was at what he does as you mentioned?

    “He barely addressed the concerns and struggles of his readers and prospective clients at all.” Your followers are not getting anything of value from you . it is obvious they will leave you and run for cover.

    Thank you for sharing this insightful post.

    • Donna Merrill May 26, 2018 at 3:27 pm #

      Hi Moss,

      What an awesome comment! The “leader” who knows their target audience well and gives to them will win over the one who is all concerned with himself.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Why Video is so Important for BloggersMy Profile

  9. Enstine Muki
    May 22, 2018 at 4:14 am #

    Hey Donna,

    That’s powerful!

    That’s everything about becoming a successful blogger summed up on one page.

    In those early days, blogging was simply about personal updates. It was simply about the blogger and his daily journal. But this has drastically changed in recent times.

    It’s about leading from the front. Not from behind and that’s why we fail. Some bloggers don’t show people the way forward. You are very correct about Expertise & Authority. When people hear about your expertise, they run to you. But if you don’t give them what they want, they run away.

    People may hear about you being an expert but the only thing to make them recognize your expertise is when they find solutions following you. Trust me they will stick around for a very long time.

    Lead the way from the front line. Not from behind 😉
    Enstine Muki recently posted..Make money online with google (Forget about Adsense and SEO)My Profile

  10. Lisa P. Sicard
    May 21, 2018 at 9:33 pm #

    Hi Donna, I think we really have to stand out today with so many people blogging away today. I have to remember to write for one person on my next posts. I sometimes do forget that one and write for than one person (not good!). Thank you for that reminder and nudge!
    I think readers also like when leaders respond and help them along the way. There are some leaders out there that never respond….
    By the way I’m loving all of your hats via Facebook live Donna. It sure does give you a personality 🙂
    Thanks for the advice here and I hope you enjoyed some sunshine up there today!
    Lisa P. Sicard recently posted..10 Steps to a Kickass Project Kickoff: A Checklist for Project ManagersMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill May 22, 2018 at 9:17 am #

      Hi Lisa,

      So true…we have to write for that one person all the time. That’s why I have my avatar I made on my desktop. She has changed as she grew into a wiser marketer and blogger lol, but she reminds me of all the things she needs to keep on going.

      Oh those hats he he…my secret weapon for a bad hair day!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Why Video is so Important for BloggersMy Profile

  11. Ryan Biddulph
    May 21, 2018 at 7:38 pm #

    Some bloggers get so caught up in trying to prove they are authorities Donna that they give all their attention and energy to speaking of themselves, and none speaking of their readers, and how to help them. Like your one client who no doubt saw the light 😉

    I figure, if I write something, it should be with my experience but through the eyes of my readers. Otherwise I am writing a cyber diary just for me.

    Followers seek out those who lead from a generous energy of service. They want folks who inspire, entertain, who solve and who inform, so they too can empower themselves as leading bloggers have done for months and years.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂


    • Donna Merrill May 22, 2018 at 8:57 am #

      Hi Ryan,

      You said it my friend! We, as bloggers need to always be writing for others. If we experience something, we do need to share it because there are so many who will resonate with it. The best of all is when someone can take something we have written and apply it themselves with a great result. We have to always be thinking of who is reading our blog because it is our job to be the “leader” teacher, friend to others.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Why Video is so Important for BloggersMy Profile

  12. Marquita Herald
    May 21, 2018 at 2:16 pm #

    What an inspiring post Donna! I was especially interested in the story about your client’s lackluster response to his blog. A fellow blogger has repeatedly complained to me about nobody signing up for their list. I’ve tried (and failed) a few times to point out the topics this person writes about are all over the map and even the title of the blog gives no clue to what it’s about. I knew it was time to give up when I asked if they’d created a profile for their target reader and the response was, “What do you mean? I write for everybody!”

    Outside of my articles, the most important way I stay in touch with my followers is through my newsletter. I encourage my subscribers to hit that reply button and contact me directly and I love it when they do. Thanks for the great advice!
    Marquita Herald recently posted..Conquer Self-Doubt and Learn to Trust AgainMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill May 21, 2018 at 2:40 pm #

      Hi Marquita,

      Oh dear…those complaints! Usually it is because of the fact like this blogger that “I write for everybody” We have to fine tune our niche and write for those who have a specific problem and we can help them by leading the way. But at the end of the day, it is up to everyone to take the advice given and put it into action.

      I know that feeling when you get in touch with your newsletter. I do it with my emails and do encourage my subscribers to hit that reply button to contact me directly also. When they do it is such an incredible feeling!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Why Video is so Important for BloggersMy Profile

  13. Adam Connell
    May 21, 2018 at 1:09 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Some great food for thought here!

    Thanks so much for including my guide in your post – much appreciated.

    (Btw – there is a typo in my surname).


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