If recent statistics are any indication, each new blog that launches online encounters a lot of competition. With an estimated 152+ million blogs already taking up space in the blogosphere, no blog today is able to justify its readership based only on its existence.
But none of this is any consolation when the planning phase is done, the domain name chosen, the blog populated and finally launched, and all that occurs is..silence. In this post, learn five key tips to start a blog and ensure it gets the attention and readership it deserves!
1. Focus is King
It can be a sobering thought to realize more than half of any blog’s visitors won’t even stay for 15 seconds before moving on. But sobering or not, this is the truth of just how tough it has become to stand out in the crowded blogosphere today.
To keep visitors in place, a blog must be focused. Here is how to do this:
- Pick a topic or area of expertise and blog on that…and only that.
- Make sure to blog about breaking news related to that topic.
- Write a descriptive motto, slogan or sentence that describes exactly what the blog is about – then compare every new post against that sentence to stay on track.
A focused blog is also a well-branded blog that maintains its consistency from post to post and across the blogosphere. Anytime there is a reference to a particular blog, that blog must be recognizable. Its logo, slogan/motto, color scheme, font, layout and every single element of that blog should be seamlessly consistent in any place where that blog is mentioned, referenced or shared.
2. Blog Like Clockwork
Whenever a blog does catch a visitor’s attention, there is always a slight chance that visitors may like what they read enough to sign up for updates. So then what happens if an enthusiastic visitor enters their email address to get notified of new blog posts and no new blog posts ever arrive?
Of course they will forget all about that blog, and when a new post is finally generated and they receive an email, they will assume it is spam and delete it (or even worse, report it as spam).
Any blog that wants to grow readership must blog frequently. There is no one single strategy that will fit all blogs well. But the general rule of thumb is to blog at least once per week, and even more frequently if that works for the topic and audience.
3. Serve Readers’ Needs
Useful blogs are successful blogs. The more useful the blog is, the more successful it has the potential to become. A blog that is very useful, extremely focused and posts frequently has the potential to become incredibly successful.
But very few blogs become incredibly successful, and those bloggers tend to end up earning hundreds of thousands of dollars per year trying to teach other bloggers how to do the same.
Yet most students never become teachers. Here is what needs to occur to start a blog and ensure it truly serves its readers needs (as evidenced by becoming incredibly successful):
- It identifies and addresses pressing reader needs with practical solutions.
- It offers valuable free content upgrades with every post.
- It sticks to a per-blog word count length that its readers find most digestible.
- It gets shared and shared and shared…! (see Tip 4)
4. hare And Share Alike
There is no shortage of tools available to ensure any blog post gets its 30 seconds of fame at the very least. Just making full use of social media and email management tools alone is sufficient for many bloggers to begin building their readership rapidly.
But one of the best ways to quickly build a loyal readership is to work with fellow influencers in the blogosphere to leverage the combined reach of both sets of followers to double the potential reach of each post.
Here are some of the most trustworthy methods for sharing posts for quick readership gains:
- Select an email management tool to build an email list group that can be segmented and used to build loyalty and increase the shareability of all blog content.
- Commit to at least two social media channels and invest into those channels to build readership (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, et al).
- Use social media scheduling tools to ensure posts are always getting shared with as wide an audience as possible.
- Connect with fellow influencers with guest posting and post sharing opportunities to collectively reach a greater audience.
5. Analyze And Re-Analyze
The only way it is possible to know whether a given blog is performing up to expectations is to analyze results after each blog post.
But even more importantly, careful analysis is the only way to determine where or how a blog is failing to perform up to its own potential.
The most basic benefit of reviewing blog analytics is to identify which blog posts are experiencing the greatest response (measured in terms of hits/views, likes, shares and comments). Then, these blog posts can be replicated in terms of structure and focus to improve responses still further.
Blog posts must also be reviewed and analyzed across the blogosphere, including their performance on social media, in email newsletters, in trackbacks and as guest posts. This continual analysis will support construction of a bigger picture plan to build that blog’s readership to its full potential.
These five tips can support a dedicated blogger to build a blog readership that in time takes over much of the work of keeping each post visible and alive in the greater blogosphere. While every blog requires its share of initial sweat equity just to get it up and running, a blog that adheres to these five tips will eventually owe its entire success to its loyal readership.