Are you blogging away into what seems like a black hole? Do you spend valuable time on new posts, only to be met with no comments? Have you considered throwing in the towel and focusing your attention elsewhere?
Don’t give up just yet. In today’s world of information overload, it can be difficult to get attention with content marketing tactics like blogs and social media pages. But know this – it’s absolutely possible to build a successful blog. Use the following five tips to get yourself moving down the road to a loyal readership.
- Post like Goldilocks. When it comes to post frequency, there is such a thing as too much and too little. It’s important to find the frequency that’s just right for your specific blog. Unless you run a content aggregator website like Gizmodo or Lifehacker, don’t make a habit of posting more than once or twice per day. Likewise, don’t post so infrequently that your audience feels no need to keep checking back for new content. Try to post at least three or four times per week. To help you develop a regular posting schedule, consider creating theme days. For example, you might discuss a quote from an expert in your field every Monday or analyze a controversial topic every Thursday. Themes help you commit to a schedule and come up with ideas for new content.
- Be a person of few words. When you’re writing about topics that are interesting to you, it can be very easy to ramble on. Before you know it, your short post has turned into a 1200-word behemoth! Remember that most blog readers are pressed for time. They check in quickly before work or on a coffee break. To give them the most value in the shortest amount of time, aim for 300 to 500 words per post. If you just can’t cut your word count on a particular post, consider splitting it into two posts. If your readers like part one, they’ll almost surely come back to read part two.
- Encourage discussion. Blog writing is different from magazine writing in that inspired blog readers have the opportunity to respond in real time by posting comments. If your readers start commenting on your posts, you’re that much closer to an engaged and devoted audience. Do your best to stimulate comments by ending posts with a question for readers to answer or by posting thought-provoking images or videos related to your blog’s area of focus and inviting reader commentary.
- Do like mom says – be yourself. When blogging, especially if your brand is directly tied to your name, you should always do your best to present a professional image. However, don’t lie about your experience or knowledge in the hopes that your audience will see you as more of an authority. Bloggers who allow themselves to appear human – and who invite their readers to join them as they grow – are far more popular than those who maintain a cold distance from their readership and aren’t honest about who they really are.
- Let readers share your content. One of the easiest ways to pick up new readers is to make it easy for current readers to share your content with their friends and followers via email or on their favorite social media site. There are numerous social sharing tools available every blogging platform. Choose one you like, add it to your blog and watch your readership grow.
Finally, remember that building a successful blog takes time. It may not happen as quickly as you’d like, but if you remain committed to regularly posting honest, concise, high-quality content that encourages readers to comment and share with their friends, you will see your traffic numbers move in a positive direction.