How to Build Your Online Following from Zero

building an online following from zero

How do you grow your online following from zero?

It’s not as hard as it seems. The process itself is simple, but it does take time and energy and effort. It also takes time. But if you know what you’re doing and take a strategic approach, it will happen and sometimes faster than you imagine.

So much of your brand is how people respond to you. Share on X

To help you become known and loved by your ideal reader or fan, I have recorded a masterclass for the Writing at the Red House Podcast. In this podcast series, I walk you through the process of growing your audience from start to finish.

In this podcast series, we’re going to cover understanding who your audience is, building a compelling offer that is tailored to your ideal reader, and then I’ll teach you how to create a content strategy and calendar for social media. Finally, we’ll talk about building collaborative relationships with power partners to reach even more followers!

your brand is how people relate to you


Episode 221: Understand Your Audience

The first step in building your online following is understanding who your audience is.

This episode will walk you through the process of thinking like your reader, so you can align what you offer with what they most desperately desire.

Since recording this episode, I’ve worked with several clients who have struggled in this area. Knowing who we want to help is one thing, but figuring out what they think, feel and do is another. The best place to start is by asking. If you want help in doing that, you can borrow my brain. A free 20-minute session could help you identify the best questions to ask to get to the heart of your reader’s deepest needs.

audience beliefs tonya kubo

Episode 222: Create Your Compelling Offer

Once you’ve established your ideal reader and their needs, it’s time to create a compelling offer.

Making an offer compelling is less about the features you provide and more about the way you position your message.

In this episode, you can learn:

  • How to know what to offer your people
  • How to find your giant BUT
  • Discover a great framework to build from

No. 1 mistake communicators make on social media

Episode 223: Create a Content Strategy and Editorial Calendar

Now that you’ve created your offer, it’s time to put together a content strategy.

In this episode, we’ll go through how to plan out your content in advance so you can steadily grow an audience by inviting followers to develop a relationship with you.

You’ll learn:

  • The different between a strategy and a plan
  • How to start developing a strategy of your own
  • The two mistakes most communicators make with their content

be a good follower Tonya Kubo

Episode 224: Build Collaborative Relationships

The final step of building your online following from zero is to develop collaborative relationships with peers and mentors who can become power partners.

You might not think you have much to offer if your audience is small, or you’re just starting out, but that’s not true. We all have something to offer if we take the time to think it through.

In this episode, you can learn:

  • How to be a good follower
  • Why you should want to share
  • How to approach collaboration
Want great followers? Become a great follower. Share on X

In just about an hour, you can listen to the masterclass and be well on your way to building your online following — even when you’re starting from zero. This four-part masterclass is free and available online, and on your favorite podcast apps. The editorial calendar and posting prompts mentioned in the series are available for free in my private Facebook group, Tonya Kubo’s Secret to Thriving Online Communities.

Writing as Worship: What Makes Christian Writers Different

Are you struggling to get your words on the page?

Do you feel torn between the competing priorities of writing, work and other obligations?

Bobbie Ann Cole has been there. When COVID-19 shut down most of the world in 2019, the author of Being Lena Levi, She Does Not Fear the Snow, and Love Triangles thought she’d have all the time in the world to finish her latest book.

But try as she might, the words wouldn’t come. Digging down, Bobbie interviewed other writers to figure out what was holding them back. In surveying the results, Bobbie realized time was never the issue — it was much deeper than that. So much so, she published a report on her findings titled, 10 Reasons Christian Writers Don’t Write and 1 Compelling Reason They Do.

Prayer can accomplish what striving cannot. — @cole_bobbie Share on X

If We are Called to Write, Why Don’t We Write?

In most cases, Christian writers aren’t much different than secular writers when it comes to what holds them back from focusing on their writing. They get too busy, they worry about rejection, and they aren’t sure anyone actually cares about what they have to say.

However, they also have some big differences from secular writers:

  • Christian writers pray — Prayer can accomplish what striving cannot.
  • Christian writers have faith — They might have wavering belief, but they have faith.
  • Christian writers write truth — They don’t write their own version of truth; they write God’s truth.

How to Make Time to Write

Though being a Christian writer means you are called to write, you might still have a full life that makes finding time to write difficult. In cases such as this, Bobbie encourages you to consider that each of us experiences different seasons in our lives. In some seasons, we can sit down and write hundreds of words in a day. In other seasons, though, we might need fit our writing into small fragments of time. In those more hectic seasons, Bobbie suggests doing what you can when you can, even if it’s just for a few minutes a day.

Practical ways to get your words down, even when you don’t have time to get them all down at once include:

  • Para-writing — Jot down phrases or ideas on sticky notes, so that you have your ideas gathered together when you can focus on your writing.
  • Journaling — The practice of getting your thoughts on paper, even if it’s not in a publication-ready fashion, still moves you toward your goal.
  • Record your ideas — Several people talk faster than they can write. Using a voice notes app on your phone, or a messaging app like Voxer can help you to record ideas for later transcribing.

How to Write When Life is Hard

All stories have dark parts, Bobbie says. Having a difficult season doesn’t mean you can’t write or shouldn’t write. It might mean, however, that you’re not in a place to write for publication. Time adds perspective. In many cases, you need to write to process through your emotions but that doesn’t mean that writing serves readers.

When God calls you to write, it might not be to write a best-seller, blog post or even a book. But, the call to write is powerful and profound — and it’s one all writers of faith are compelled to answer.

The difference between Christian writers and secular writers: They pray, they have faith and they have missionality. h/t @cole_bobbie Share on X

Help in Answering Your Call as a Writer

If you’re feeling the pull on your heart to write, but you don’t know where to begin, Bobbie can help. She offers a short Bible-based course, Eating the Scroll, which offers two weekends of inspiration, encouragement and support in responding to God’s call for you.

Eating the Scroll will give you the tools you need to write with confidence and joy. Find out more at

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