Blogging has transformed how we share information, and it's a tool that many have taken to using to promote a certain product or service. Let's be realistic here, doesn't everyone have a blog? Almost. According to statistics delivered by Pingdom, there were over 70 million WordPress blogs on the Internet as of the end of 2011. That's not even including the 39 million Tumblr blogs or those on any other content management systems or web platform. That offers up some stiff competition for bloggers who are just trying to be heard.
It can be a little disconcerting at the best of times, which is why you need to be armed with an arsenal of tips and techniques that will boost your blog to online stardom.
Pick a Subject and Stick to it
You need to be specific in your subject matter to the point where your blog becomes a go-to source for something unique. Perhaps you're the fountain of endless fitness knowledge, but you're finding it incredibly difficult to compete with the hundreds of thousands of fitness blogs on the web. You might never get up there with the big dogs, but what you can do is specialize in a topic within your niche that doesn't have as much coverage as it needs. Use Adwords to find out what people are searching for and perhaps you'll see that injury prevention in fitness is a far more tangible option than the general realm of fitness as a whole.
Make your Content Enticing to the Media
If your content is rich in information that's valid and share-worthy, you might find that media houses will cite your words in an effort to elaborate further on one of their stories. To identify what sort of content you need to post in order for it to be mentioned by media gurus, do some research into news articles within your niche. Determine what content they link to and aim to be the blog behind that content.
Consistency is Key
Post regularly, if not daily. Not only does it benefit your SEO efforts, but it also gives your readers something to look forward to on a daily basis. Set up a publishing schedule for yourself that is practical and doable. Once you've set it up, make sure you stick to it by scheduling posts in advance to help with the workload.
Make use of the social media platforms at your disposal to drive traffic to your blog and get your name out there. You'd be better off choosing one or two platforms to start with, perhaps Facebook and Twitter would be good options, maybe even YouTube? Focus on those platforms and master the engagement there before adding any new channels.
A Picture Speaks a Thousand Words
Use imagery or video content to further expand on what you're writing about or to solidify an emotional connection with your readers. Your video content can be there for entertainment or educational purposes or it could form the basis of an entire post. You need to create your imagery as you go along, and perhaps even as you write. Find or shoot something that's relevant to what you're writing about and add that final touch to spark engagement.
Ensure Your Content is Always Inspired
You don't want to get to the point where you start writing for the sake of writing; everything needs to be inspired in order to keep your readers coming back for more. One stale blog could potentially bring about the exact opposite of what you're trying to achieve. Use online tools to find inspiration for your posts or take some time out to think about what it is your readers are actually here for. Some great online tools that'll help stir the creative energy:
• Google Insight
Try and break your readership into personas and highlight what each individual would hope to gain from your online space. In doing so, you can start asking yourself questions that they would ask. Look at the who, what and why. Who is the reader, what are they looking for and for what reason? In answering these questions for all of your personas, you can grasp a better idea of what content to offer.
You can start constructing a list of content ideas related to the groups that would be searching for them. Keep this handy and continually add to it as and when you come up with new ideas. When in doubt, clear some space, grab a pencil and paper and start doodling. It's a fantastic way to get the creative juices flowing and will hopefully lead to some concrete ideas... or some really great illustrations. Win-win!
Image courtesy of: bill37mccurdy.wordpress.com