6 Things I Wish I Knew Before Creating a Blog
First off, blogging is an extremely valuable tool for building a loyal following and ranking a website higher in the search engines.
At the same time, blogging and content development is a lot of work.
Because blogging is such a big investment of time, money and effort, it is important to get the best results on your blogging initiatives. I know the challenge here because I have been blogging for over a decade. I say this not to brag but to assure you that I have made plenty of mistakes and had numerous epic failures along the way (yes I used the “epic” buzzword here).
All of those days and nights I spent trying to connect with new fans and existing fans have taught me a lot about what actually works with blogging. I would like to share some of those tips with you so that you can save yourself the frustration of creating a lot of blog posts that will never get read.
Creating a Blog
Here are a few of my favorite and simple insights that can help you attract an audience and keep them when creating a blog.
Make Your Blog Social
Back in the early days of blogging, there were very few tools for being social online. However, this has changed dramatically and the social channels that are now available can be leveraged to make your posts skyrocket with traffic. By using social media, you can drive a ton of traffic to your blog posts. Think about how you can leverage Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, and Pinterest to drive traffic to your blog. Sometimes it’s as simple as sharing the link to the blog post. Most blog platforms allow for automatic posting to these channels so any additional manual distribution you do can double-up your efforts. If drawing traffic is one of your goals, then consider these social outlets.
This is a huge factor that hardly anyone considers when blogging. It’s not that you need to be constantly posting — but posting in a consistent and predictable manner retains readers over the long-haul. You see, once you gain a much sought after fan, they will come back to your blog looking for new content. This is the key to retaining an audience that you have worked hard to get. Give them a consistent content feed and they will make your blog one of their scheduled reading destinations.
To truly create compelling content that wins the hearts and minds of readers, it takes time, effort, and money. First, the time element. It takes time to research blog topics and provide quality information. It takes time to write a compelling and readable post. There is a difference between sharing a short thought or a compelling piece of content. Save the short blurbs for social media and use the blog to provide real valuable information to your readers. Second, there is the effort factor. Blogging is not just about creating content, but it is also about connecting with your audience. This requires two-way communication, typically in the form of comments and responses. When people engage with your content and provide feedback, you must be available to connect with them. This is how things are done now and people expect this kind of accessibility and communication with the blog author. Finally, blogging can cost a lot of money. These costs can start to add up as website development and design costs are incurred. In addition, hiring qualified writers as contributors can be very expensive.
Blogger Voice and Tone
People prefer conversations over school lectures. Blog posts are not engaging when they are in a formal tone. Readers respond better to a conversational tone and spend more time reading something that has some character and personality to it. Simple concepts like the use of “you” and “I” provide a conversational tone. Using italics or bold words can provide some character to the post. Generally the rule is to keep from being too formal. Be accessible and use a voice that speaks to your target audience.
Social Participation and Activity Really Does Matter
Your blog will be similar to a retail storefront. Here’s why — remember the last time you went to a restaurant and there weren’t any people eating inside? Do you remember the dance club you went to that didn’t have anyone waiting in line? Or what about the retail store that you look through the windows and see tons of people shopping? Social proof is huge with online media. If your target audience sees that their peers are involved with your blog, they will be more likely to get involved too. This means it is wise to provide ways for the audience to engage and share. You can do this by creating compelling content that people are happy to pass along — you can also provide tools that make it easy for your audience to interact like social sharing buttons.
Utilize SEO For Your Blog
The use of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) on your blog post can mean the difference between getting readers and having the post disappear into the dark abyss of the Internet. Use page titles, keyword rich content, and interactive media to spruce up your blog posts. This extra effort is worth it especially when search engines put your post on page one of the search results.
So there you have it — some blogging insights that have served me very well that I pass onto you. Perhaps you can take one or two ideas and put them to work for you. The way I see it, if you are investing in your blog and business, then take the time to create compelling content while keeping in mind that marketing the blog is just as important. Volume Nine can help you scale and succeed at content marketing!
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