Whether you’re thinking about monetizing a personal blog, you’ve recently been assigned the “blogger” for your company or you just want an avenue to share your insights (and a few more comments to boot), it’s easy to get overwhelmed with blogging. Sure, it’s exciting in the beginning when you’re picking your WordPress theme and drafting your first entry which will surely go viral. Right?
The simple truth is there are so many blogs out there, it’s not as easy as many people think to get a successful one off the ground. However, there are some basics to remember—but so easy to forget. Here are snippets of insight that you may have forgotten, but can quickly boost your readership, comments, likes and shares.
Start with sharing
Blogs are all about sharing, including you sharing your talents with complementary bloggers and making your blog easy to share. For example, make sure you tap into the right social media markets that your audience is likely on. If your audience is probably on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, make those social media buttons easy to spot but not intrusive. Don’t include every possible social media platform because that looks messy, unorganized and simply like you’re taking as many shots as possible (which you are).
Simultaneously, reach out to other bloggers and blog site owners which may lead to symbiotic relationships. Share what you can offer as a guest blogger, such as a unique perspective and link sharing so that the two of you can quickly tap into new markets. Many blog owners will be happy to take on a guest blogger since it’s less work for them and something new and exciting for their readers. When pitching a guest blog, focus on what you can contribute, not on what you want out of it.
Listen and write every day
Depending on the type of blog you have, you might have a lot of material or just fragments. No matter where you stand, there will come a time when you run out of things to blog—and it will come quicker than expected. Listen to the people around you, read other blogs, check out the news and write down anything interesting. When pro bloggers say to write every day, they don’t just mean to blog but to actually write down things that can be helpful in the future.
When it does come time to write that killer blog and put it out in the world, a little incentive wouldn’t hurt. Giving things away increases the value of your blog and this doesn’t mean you have to spend money on marketing swag. White papers, high quality e-books and special how-to guides which clearly could be sold, but are offered on your blog for free, increases your creditability. Plus, nobody can resist a freebie and once you’ve built an audience, they’ll be thankful for that little something extra.
Keep it going
Embed a call to action at the end of each blog, whether it’s to coincide with a sale at your company or simply to subscribe to your newsletter. Yes, some people read blogs solely for the entertainment but they might just “do” something if you lead the way. Collect those email addresses, build your database and synch your company’s sale cycle to your blog. That’s what it’s for.
Finally, make sure you actually engage with your audience. Of course you should reply to comments regularly, but go beyond that. Ask them what they think, don’t get defensive and help build up that community. Whether you’re blogging about the future of how people connect or the latest political scandal, your audience should have a vested interest in what you’re saying; you just need to pull that feedback out of them.