When I started blogging I was stabbing in the dark. I didn’t know who I was writing to or if I’m honest – why. I had a passion for writing and spending time online, the two combined perfectly with the idea of a blog and so I ventured out on my way with nothing more than a domain and a blank WordPress installation.
My blogs now enjoy established audiences and a loyal following. When asked by budding bloggers for advice, I offer the following seven tips as a starter:
1. Find your niche
In February 2011 there were 156 million online public blogs in existence. Need I say more? People need to be grabbed within a few seconds of landing on your site – what makes your blog different? Why should they keep coming back?
Identify what makes your blog unique and stick with it.
2. Read other blogs
As with anything, it’s important to do your research. Not only do you get to experience a variety of writing styles from reading a range of blogs, you will have up to date knowledge of the blogging community. By commenting on other blog posts you also have the opportunity to leave links back to your own stuff.
3. Write to your audience
Identify exactly who it is you’re writing to. Ask yourself the following questions:
- When do they read?
- What do they like reading?
- What is important to them?
- What are their beliefs?
If you can identify your readers as one single person – name them, draw them… get to know them better than you know yourself.
Once you have become acquainted, every single thing you write should be written for their benefit.
4. About page
The second most visited page of any website. The about page on your blog is no exception. Keep it concise. Link to other significant posts or information within your blog and give a behind the scenes view as to the reason you started your blog in the first place. Allow your audience to identify with you.
5. Get seriously social
If you have a blog and don’t have a Twitter account you’re missing out on a huge potential reader base. Facebook is great for keeping regular readers up to date but if you want a continual source of new readers, get or start using a Twitter account effectively right now.
It is easy to find your side bar filled with links, badges and other ‘useful’ gadgets. Be aware that much of this eye candy only serves as white noise and can leave visitors confused as to how to navigate your content.
After spending so much time and effort attracting your visitors, you want to keep them as long as possible. Review your sidebar elements and ditch anything that is more than necessary.
7. Spring Clean
Once you have a bank of content, it pays to plan time into your schedule to review older posts. Check for broken links, missing images or out of date information. You have a reputation to protect now after all
That should be enough to set you off on the right foot. Don’t forget to sign up (top right!) to make sure you receive my soon to released comprehensive guide to blogging (it’s FREE!).
I Would love to hear in the comments below what you think.
Do you have any blog tips you would like to share? PS – remember the final sentence of number 2