Writing a blog is easy. Insanely easy. In fact, there are an estimated 150 to 170 million blogs online, right now. That’s a lot of words. Billions of articles have been written for them. Writing a good blog – now that’s a different story.
The good news for you, is that most of these blogs are boring or abandoned. Despite the overwhelming number, most will never gain any type of popularity and will simply exist in the background. This leaves the door open for you to step into the limelight and assume your rightful place at the top of your niche. You just have to work for it.
What do you need to do to get people to love your blog? How do you keep readers coming back for more? The answers are surprisingly simple – they’re just not always easy. It takes a little personality and a lot of hard work to be a great blogger. Here are a few things that will help.
Post Relevant Content
This is extremely hard to pin down without knowing exactly what your blog is about. It can be narrowed down into two types though: subject based and personality based.
Subject based blogs focus on a topic, or niche, like technology, boating or dogs. Personality based blogs are more about the person, family or company writing the blog. Essentially, they are the subject.
Relevant content means within the focus of your blog, and what the audience is expecting when they visit. If your blog is about dogs, posting a pizza recipe – even if it’s the best pizza recipe in the world – is not relevant. Unless it’s a dog pizza recipe, or the dog helped you make it, or the dog ate it, it’s absolutely not relevant. Your visitors expect dog related hi-jinks. Give the people what they’re looking for and they’ll keep coming back for more.
Make It Original
This is a pretty basic principal, but people still seems to think they can cut and paste their way to fame. It may work for the occasional visitor, but to make people truly love your blog, you’re going to need to be original.
Think back to your college days (or English class for you youngsters) and all essay writing you had to do. It all needed to be original or you’d lose marks. The same is true for your blog. Except your grades are your visitors. You don’t want them going down.
You can actually take a lot of the principals that go into improving a college paper, and apply them to your blog. Make a plan for the content, research it, determine the voice of the piece, and proofread! Original work goes a long way to making people love your blog. If your website is the only place to get that type of info, they’ll come back for more.
Give Them a Unique Perspective
This ties in quite a bit with being original. If you have the same story as every other blog, you need to find a way to make your story stand out. The easiest way to do this is to change the perspective.
If your blog is about traveling, your readers may have read a dozen articles about exploring Venice the same way. You need to take them on that journey using a different perspective. Maybe it’s a food tour, or Bed and Breakfast tour, best places for 20-somethings to hang out, the best places on the canal tour, places you can only visit by boat tour, etc.
Use different mediums to show the travel destination, like pictures from the streets, from balconies, a drone shot, snapchat, Instagram – whatever – just make it different than the 3 billion other photos of Venice. If your travel blog can show a unique angle on an old destination, you’ll have more visitors than you know what to do with.
Communicate with Your Audience
Blogs are not a one-way street. At least not with your most loyal readers. A lot of traffic may just be a quick in-and-out, but your most loyal readers will leave comments, send you mail, and offer opinions. They want to engage with you. If you really want people to love your blog, you need to engage with them.
If someone emails you or leaves a comment, you’ll want to write them back. At the very least it acknowledges you read their message. That’s all they’re looking for, just a little validation.
They want to feel like they’re a part of a community. That community is your site! That may scare you, but being a community leader is really just about fostering community growth. As your blog gets larger, you can assign moderators to help you out.
If you ignore them, they’ll look for a community they feel they can belong to. Why not let that community be yours?
Have Readers Contribute
This takes communication to a whole other level. It also helps with creating original and relevant content.
Now, I’m not suggesting you let them write articles, although that is a possibility. I’m talking more about if you run a car themed blog, why not do a poll about cars and then an article about the result. Maybe the top 5 cars of 2015. You can ask readers to submit pictures of the best roads to drive on. Have them plan out the ultimate road trip on google maps. All of the above examples can be made into articles for the site, and allow members to feel involved.
Fostering a love for your blog is really just about making people feel welcome in your community. It’s about being personal and making a connection with them. Whether the blog is about you, or a subject you enjoy, it’s mostly about including people. Once you do that, you’ll have fans as long as you keep posting content.