07 Jun So You Want to Start a Blog
You’ve decided to create a blog, or maybe you already started one, but you’re not quite sure how to get people to pay attention to it. Most bloggers struggle with getting their content in front of as many eyes as possible. So, how exactly do you get people to pay attention to your blog?
Although I’ve learned a lot about blogging over the years, I’m sad to say there is no easy answer. There is no special sauce when it comes to blogging.
What works for one type of website, will never work for another. In terms of audiences, certain industries can only reach so far regardless of what they do, while there is no ceiling for others. Plus, we are all at the mercy of many uncontrollable components. The fads, tastes, attention spans, and technology in our ever-evolving culture make many of the so-called “tips and tricks” obsolete or inconsequential in the blink of an eye.
This isn’t to say that everything comes down to dumb luck, or that there’s nothing you can do to gain a bigger or more consistent following. Although dedication, hard work, and the ability to evolve are incredibly important, I’ve found that the following simple guidelines can help bring your blog to the next level, regardless of industry, scope, or focus.
- Write for yourself – This has been my number one guiding principal when I’ve done any type of writing project. You absolutely need to know who your audience is and listen to their feedback, but don’t forget that you are also part of that group. You have tastes, preferences, likes, dislikes, and opinions too. So, think – are you creating something you would like to read? Would you be entertained by what you are posting? Write for yourself first and foremost. If you like what you are writing/creating, it will likely be reflected in the end result. I’ve found that audiences like when bloggers are genuine and it’s clear the writer loves what they are doing. If you like what you created, chances are many others will too. You can always edit and fine tune after, so write for yourself first.
- Interact with your audience – You need to be more than a brand. Social media and the internet are meant to be social. People like when their comments or questions elicit a response. It shows you value them. It can add another level of entertainment for the viewer and usually results in repeat visits. Interacting can add a human element to your avatar or logo and people will be more likely to support you. You’d be surprised how a simple “Thanks for commenting” can earn you a fan for life. Interacting with also helps you better understand your audience, which can be invaluable as you move forward.
- Be consistent – Audiences dislike blogs and brands that disappear for long periods of time or stray from what they believe their content should be. There are so many other blogs and different types of entertainment out there and your followers can quickly forget about you or move on. However, if you keep putting out content, you’ll stay in their rotation. It’s up to you to decide how often you should post. Some blogs are not suited for constant updates, so don’t think you have to post every single day. Decide what’s appropriate for your brand and stick to it.
Consistency also relates to what you are posting. If you have a food blog, your followers probably don’t want to read your political opinions. If you run a blog about your corporation and the goings-on within your industry, your audience likely isn’t foaming at the mouth to know about your last Tinder date. It’s ok to try new things, but it’s likely not a good move to stray too far from what your audience likes.
- Content is still, and always will be, king – Flashy websites with beautiful photos and cool features are obviously awesome, but if they are not bringing anything of value to the audience, they won’t be coming back. Believe it or not, it’s perfectly fine to start out with a humble-looking blog. Make it easy to understand, simple to navigate, and full of useful or entertaining content. There is always time to upgrade your site’s capabilities and improve its aesthetics, but if the content isn’t worthwhile, people won’t be returning regardless of how pretty your blog looks.
There is certainly a lot of good advice out there, but I’ve found that the guidelines mentioned above are valuable regardless of what stage your blog is at. From there, each brand will require much more specific advice, but I believe these will get you started on the right foot and will help you to remain relevant as your journey continues.
Written by Christian Senger.