So you’ve finally joined the new age of digital media. Bravo! Blogs are fast overtaking traditional media as the best type of medium to communicate with the outside world and get your views across.
Never has it been so easy to build a readership and be accessed by millions everyday who surf the ‘net. Blogging – though inherently simple – can be challenging in the beginning as you try to build your readership and raise your online presence.
Here are a few simple tips to get you started…
Choose a Clear Topic
Something made you begin to blog in the first place, whether that was just writing about your daily endeavours or answering a lack of available expert or informed opinion. Once you have that topic or germ of an idea, stay true to it as your readership will be built up around it. My personal blog is about writing and spirituality so I stick to that.
If you do choose to cover two or three topics, have clear categories at the top or in a sidebar so visitors can filter your articles and see just the ones they’re interested in. Treat a blog like a book – you don’t want it changing suddenly in between chapters.
Invite Guest Blogging
This is a great way to reach out to new readers. You may already have read blogs from others and enjoy their style, so why not invite them to do a guest blog spot on your site?
If they agree, the guest blogger will highlight your blog to their readers (who may then become loyal readers of your blog too) and may in turn invite you to do a guest spot on theirs. This is also a good way to change tone and direction, and inject originality in your blog without straying from your main topic.
Check Out the Competition
There are thousands upon thousands of blogs out there of varying degrees of quality and relevance. Punch your topic into Google, filter by blogs only and see what comes up.
From there you can see what you are up against in terms of competition for your readership. You can pick and choose what you like about each blog and then take that back to base to work out a winning formula.
Pick a Style
Just as important as theme is style – for example, if you want to write a public diary then you may write informally with some humour. However this would not typically be suitable for a professional opinion based blog.
Your readership will build not just on theme but most importantly on content. Find out your writing style and stay true to it. Do you want pictures, videos or links? This is all relevant to what sort of tone you want to bring across to engage your readers and keep them coming back for more.
Make a start on understanding how blogs get ranked on Google, therefore pulling in readers ‘off the street’. Two basic tips are making your title as clearly relevant to your post as possible, and placing strategic key words that resonate with your title throughout the main text. SEO is complex but fairly logical, so make a start if you are serious about getting your blog out there.
Blogs are incredibly diverse and most of all, unless approached for purely professional reasons, they should be fun!
Above all else, whatever your theme or style, writing regularly on a blog will help you become a better writer. Remember to be patient. There are no right or wrong answers – blogging is a journey of finding what is best suited to you and your target audience.
Can you think of any other good ways to improve your blog? Share in the comments.
Michael Muttiah is a professional writer and blogger who, when not reading articles and Googling himself, writes for the GKBC Writers Academy.
Image by Isabelle J