While the key to operating a successful blog is more art than science, there are basic strategies every would-be blogger should know before pouring out their observations and sharing their expertise with a global audience.
ONE: Know Why to Blog
What is the purpose of your blog? Is it to tell people about your new product? Is it to share your customer experiences? Is your goal to generate enough readers to pay yourself to blog fulltime? Is it just a hobby? Once you conclude why you want to author a blog you can customize the other strategies to fall in line with your ultimate goal. Every blogger should know why they’re doing it.
TWO: Be Informative
Most bloggers post their insights and expertise online because they want to share what they know with others and they want readers to participate. We all know from attending after work cocktail parties and networking events that unless we feed the conversational fire, there is no reason the fascinating colleague in front of us will continue to engage. Blogs present the same dilemma. Every good blogger should know that the blog must be entertaining enough to hold readers’ interest yet informative enough to keep them coming back again and again.
THREE: Don’t Spend More Than You Have
While blogs are practically free to start-up, whether or not you’ll have the discipline and wherewithal to regularly contribute articles and generate interest will remain to be seen over time. Every blogger should know that it’s not a good idea to spend any money on driving readers to their blog until they know they can keep up the good work, or have a targeted audience in mind.
FOUR: Keep Readers Engaged
Every successful blogger updates their websites regularly with fresh, compelling content. A specific technical reason for this is that search engines favor pages with fresh content. Blogs that have old or irrelevant content are pushed toward the bottom as newer pages surge to the top. A practical consideration for new content is reader interest.
Think about how many times you visit a website and expect to see fresh content. Every blogger should know that if a reader goes to a website for a second time after seeing old content (and that’s a big IF since most of us have the attention span of a five year-old) and don’t get anything new, they’re hitting Google search again and guess what? Your would-be loyal reader is exposed to newer, more relevant websites (that don’t you) all on page one.
FIVE: Every Blogger Should Know They’re the Expert
If you’re blogging about a specific topic, you want the reader to know that you’re the expert. No one wants to take advice from someone who just graduated with their MBA and has no real-world experience or doesn’t have the confidence to fake it until they make it. If you are passionate about a topic but know you lack in-depth knowledge, put those years of academic research training to use or plan on getting cocktails with someone who can enlighten you.
SIX: Every Blogger Should Know How to Get Readers
A blog will not advertise itself. Post blog links on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, anything and everything. Get your friends to re-tweet links to your posts, create a fan page on Facebook, ask more established bloggers to let you guest host a post on their page. Every blogger has to learn how to network whether the goal is to inform already loyal customers, monetize their blog, or use it to teach.
SEVEN: Every Blogger Should Keep it Short
We would all like to think people will listen to us for hours on end (because we’re so darn articulate) but the truth is most people have limited time to read-up on blogging strategies. Resist the urge to treat your blog like the online journal it was originally intended to be. Keep it short.
EIGHT: Why Just One?
Every blogger should know that they’ll gain a more loyal following, get better monetizing opportunities, and build higher content credibility by having several niche blogs rather than one, comprehensive blog. Think about one of the fundamental principles of marketing: always send a consistent message. Don’t let people get confused and lose the association between your blog and the niche topic.
NINE: Every Blogger Should Choose a Growing Topic
You’re not going to show-up on a search result page anywhere near the top if you’re writing about the origin of Hobbits. Below are two factors to consider before choosing a topic:
-Would I be a small fish in a big pond with this topic? It can be advantageous to be a big fish in a small conversation pond: less competition, more specific blog sponsors (with their cash), and more loyal readers.
-Is my content easy to Google? Every blogger should know that if it’s not a question people might Google, it might not be a growing topic.
Related link: 4 Ways to Make Your Blog Go Viral
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