How can you get better at blogging?
You won’t be a success over night because you have to build an audience, find your own blogging personality and spend time testing different approaches until you find the one that suits your audience.
It’s not. Here are 7 simple things you can do to help you build a strong, readable blog that people will find and fall in love with.
1. What do your readers want?
If you don’t know, find out.
There’s no point in writing loads of posts if your target audience isn’t interested in them. I love cycling, but that doesn’t mean my readers (who are generally looking for tips on marketing and copywriting) share my passion. If I started writing loads of posts about my pedal-powered exploits they’d soon get cheesed off and head elsewhere for the information they need.
When starting out, brainstorm every topic that falls within your niche and write about it. Some posts will do better than others and by analysing how they are received, you’ll be able to spot which topics your audience crave. You can do that by checking your analytics to see which get the most hits, shares and likes.
2. Mix it up
If you enjoy writing, it’s tempting to just put out loads of text posts.
There is definitely a place for them, but it never hurts to mix it up a bit with infographics, video, podcast, presentations and photos.
Talking of photos, it’s always a good idea to add an image to every post, just make sure it’s relevant.
Your headline will make or break your post.
It is the first thing that a reader will see and it will also be the deciding factor in whether the post gets read or not.
What makes the best headline? There are several types you can try: the “11 best…” type, or “how to”, or something that intrigues. Whatever you decide to go with, just make sure the headline directly relates to the blog post. A promise of one thing only to deliver something else will seriously damage your reputation.
4. Be consistent
The way you write will have a bit effect on whether someone continues to read your posts.
It’s important to develop your own style and approach so let your personality shine through and write from the heart. There’s too much stuff out there that’s corporate and starchy, so be different, show you’re a real person and have a chat with your readers.
5. Review everything
Blogging takes time and it’s tempting to rattle one off between other jobs and publishing it without giving it a second thought.
Always check it for errors before hitting send. The same goes for guest blogs. Just because someone else has written it doesn’t mean it’s a) completely clear of errors, and b) fits within the niche of your blog.
6. Optimise everything
Yes, search engine optimisation is a drag, but making sure your posts contain relevant key words will help you draw in traffic for those valuable long-tail keywords that bring in highly targeted traffic.
You must also have social buttons clearly visible to your posts can be shared easily and, if your post is linked to an older one in topic, make sure you link to it to help your readers expand their knowledge.
Timing is everything. There’s no point publishing your blogs when no one is around to read them, so think carefully about when they go out. Plus, to maximise the chances of them being picked up, announce their publication through your social media channels.
Another idea is to add a link to your blog to your email signature and to mention it in your newsletter and other communications (where appropriate).
The main think about blogging is don’t give up. It isn’t going to offer quick recognition, but over time you will build a strong reputation as an expert in your field that will draw people to you.