With so many successful blogs on the internet already, it can be tough to work out how to make yours stand out. How do you encourage readers to keep coming back, increase your visitor numbers, and build a loyal following?
There are lots of tips and tricks to get your blog going, raise your profile, and get more business through your blog.
Choose a blogging platform for your blog. There are plenty of free options, including WordPress, Tumblr, and Blogger. All of these options have free design themes you can use, so you can get started very easily. There are also lots of online video tutorials that you can find to help you work out how to use these platforms.
On an SEO level, integrating your blog with your existing business website can help to build your content and improve your SEO. SEO is all about content. If you can’t do this or don’t have the budget to hire a web developer to do this, start a free blog and include plenty of links to your website, podcast, or your portfolio.
Find A Niche
When you choose a topic to blog about, try and find a niche. Your blog should be about something very specific and you will please both search engines and your readers. Try to avoid being too general or vague, and focus in one specialist topic. Find your own niche, and stay on topic.
Write About What You Love
Write about something that you love, so you will sound passionate and excited in your writing. If there’s no passion for your topic, your content will suffer. Find a topic you love and write about that. For example, if you work as a museum curator and love it, you could write about your industry, trends in museums or exhibitions that you love. If you love theatre, write about shows you’ve seen or behind the senses. Make your content even better with great photography. You can take really creative pictures with a drone (read reviews at DrDrone).
If you don’t provide something that the reader wants, then your blog won’t be a success. Give people what they want and offer some real value. Value is demonstrated in the content that you publish. If your content isn’t valuable, then nobody will want to read it or come back to your site to read more. Think about the content you create and give people what they want.
Focus On Marketing
You won’t get anywhere if you just launch a blog and hope that people will find it without you making any marketing effort. You will need to actually market your blog. You can do this in a few different ways. Start by chatting to other bloggers. Leave valuable comments on other people’s blog posts to draw people back to your site. Make use of search engine tools, and write about topics that you know people are searching for. Offer to contribute to other blogs to help grow your profile. However you decide to do it, just get out there and market yourself as much as you can.
Get people talking on your blog. Encourage them to add their comments to the articles that you publish. Encourage interaction wherever you can. Ask your readers for feedback, respond to their contributions, build a community, and be nice to people. People like to interact, so be sure to be welcoming and friendly.
Make Commenting Easy
There are lots of reasons why people might not want to leave comments on your blog posts. This could be anything from there not being easy access to leave a comment, or because you’re writing about something negative that people don’t want to get involved with. Make commenting as easy as you can, and write about subjects that encourage people to get talking in a positive way. If people can easily interact with your blog, they will keep coming back.
Don’t Worry About Negativity
Sometimes, you might get the odd negative comment on your blog. Try not to let this put you off, or make you want to give up blogging. If you’re not happy with a comment, you can respond to it positively, or you can just delete it. It’s very rare that you will face real negativity, so try not to worry about it much.
Don’t Get Stage Fright And Beleive In Yourself
Once your blog starts to get a lot of monthly visitors, you might start to feel nervous, and lose some confidence in your writing. Try not to get scared off and keep at it. There is a reason why you’re getting so many visitors, so believe in yourself and keep on writing.
People like pictures. Some of the most popular blogs include a lot of images. This is partly because people like to scan over web pages, and pictures help to break up the text and add some interest to your posts. When you’re writing a blog, images are essential, so use as many as you can.
Provide Easy Reading
People tend to scan over web pages rather than read all of the copy. This means you should try and keep your articles simple and as quick reads. Write lists where you can, and use them to break up your text. For SEO, you want to have at least 250 words of copy. Shorter articles can do well, so break them up with bullet points or lists, as these will hold people’s attention more.
Give Your Posts Catchy Titles
When you’re coming up with ideas of what you can blog about, make sure you write articles that have catchy titles. Choose titles that people are searching for, and that are appealing and punchy. Draw people in and set off their curiosity.
Keep It Regular
A blog is a bit like an online journal and needs to have a regular focus. Try to keep your blog updated with at least two posts a week. If SEO is one of your major priorities, you could try blogging every day. If you can’t blog daily, at least keep things going. If you’re going to be away, make use of scheduling tools on your blog, so you can post content automatically, even while you’re not there.
When you design your blog, whether from scratch or using one of the free blogging platforms, make sure you keep your layout clean, fresh, and free of clutter. Don’t add loads of unnecessary features. Keep your blog visually appealing, and you can appeal to your site visitors and encourage them to come back.
Don’t neglect social media like Twitter and Facebook. Make sure you connect your social media accounts to the RSS feed of your blog, so you can update your followers every time you post. Twitter is a great tool for this, as it can automatically publish your posts to Twitter and Facebook. Test out the automatic posts and make sure you’re happy with how they look and that you like the tweets you’re sending out.
Keep An Eye On Analytics
Keep an eye on how people are finding their way to your blog. You can then use this information to tailor your blog posts to what your readers are looking for and make some good use of any external sources that are pulling in readers for you. If you invest in any advertising, your analytics can also be used to determine what your return on investment is and whether or not your adverts are working. Your analytics can make sure your blog is working as well as it can be.
Make It Easy To Follow
Put follow CTAs and badges wherever you can on your blog. If you use blogger, you can add a widget that encourages your readers to follow your blog in their own Google readers. Tumblr has a similar integrated option. Whichever platform you use, make sure you provide an easy way to follow you, even if it’s just a link to your RSS feed.
Try to reveal something about who you are in your blog posts to build connections with your audience. People want to follow people, not a brand. Add an about section to your website, with a photograph of you. By being a bit personal, you can encourage people to like you. If they like you, you’ll be better able to turn them into loyal, returning readers.
Use Spell Check and Proof Read
Finally, before you hit publish on any of your posts, make sure you take the time to carefully check your spelling and grammar again. You can use a tool like Grammarly to help you, but make you read through it yourself to make sure everything makes sense. Proofread your posts more than once. Bad spelling and poor grammar can damage your credibility. It can also hurt your SEO, as search engines won’t be able to follow or appreciate a poor-quality copy. Make sure you carefully check everything before your posts go live.