At a time when blogs are a dime a dozen, and people have attention spans shorter than a goldfish’s, what can you do to make your blog stand out? How do you grab people’s attention and keep it? You don’t just want your audience to read your posts. No, you want them to gush over your every word, to share it with their friends, and to use it as a conversation starter with strangers.
But, how do you do this? The answer is simple. Content! Everything revolves around content, simply to different degrees.
1. Stop selling
This is my number one. A huge part of blogging is affiliate marketing. Understandable since people do need to make a living. And running a blog costs money. But you have to be overt about it. There’s a reason brand name companies spend millions of dollars on marketing and advertising is as big an industry as it is.
Customers don’t want products pushed into their faces. They want to be wooed. The key is tact. Even if you’re trying to sell a product or promote a brand you cannot lead with that motive. You first need to offer your viewers something they want. How you choose to do that is up to you. Only once they are invested in your content should you present your pitch and try to sell them your goods.
Your audience is relying on you for good content, but also consistent content. What this means is that you need to post regularly. Some bloggers will post a great writeup once and then not post anything for 2 weeks. This is bad. But, equally terrible are the bloggers who post every day for a week and then nothing for a month. Remember consistency is not the same as volume. If you have a certain amount of content on hand, space it out!
The sign of a great blog is, their audience knows when to expect their content. So, post of fixed days. Maybe you post biweekly on Wednesdays and Fridays. This way your viewers know something is coming. They’re waiting for it. This creates an expectation. You can build on this strategy. Post sneak peeks or previews on the days between posts. The excitement of the build-up is as important if not more than the actual content.
The internet is a black hole. There’s so much content on there, more content is posted in a single day than any one human being can view in their entire life. This means there’s a market for everything. Your goal is not to appeal to all of humanity. If your target audience is too broad your content becomes surface level and lacklustre. The most important thing for a great blog is creating content that has depth and comes across as genuine.
To do this you need to target a niche audience. These are people with a specific interest in whatever it is you’re selling. So, make sure you’re genuinely passionate about your niche. As a general rule people flock to people with similar interests to their own. So, when you start building a fanbase in your niche it will rapidly grow as people refer their friends and coworkers to your blog. The key, of course, is having great content.
Because of the sheer volume of content out there, bloggers feel a need to churn out a lot of words at a fast pace. This mass production of content results in a factory line like set up where all originality is lost. In fact, most posts are simply replicated by one another. Bloggers aren’t even trying to be original. They just pick one headline and regurgitate the content. Before you know it 20 websites are telling you about that one time Kylie Jenner’s scarf didn’t match her shoes.
If you want to create a great blog, with a lasting fanbase you have to create original, interesting content. Talk about the things other people aren’t talking about. Let your voice be heard. Give opinions that differ from the popular. It’s a risk. But blogging cannot be solely a commercial experience. It is an art form and you are creating a narrative. Your viewers will come to you for that narrative.
This last point isn’t as directly related to creating content as the previous points but it is equally important. When you are writing within a niche you must treat it as a club. There is a limited audience within the niche. And a lot of blogs and websites will be courting that same audience. As a result, you will need to interact with other blogs that fall within your social circle so to speak. Because the online world is very small, despite all evidence to the contrary.
When you interact with other blogs you can feature each other or share links. This allows you to get access to their audience while giving them access to yours. Remember, someone who follows one makeup page will want to follow ten more. So, while there is an element of competition you don’t have to beat them out. Coexisting is key. Networking strategically can help your blog grow enormously.
You also get a good idea of what other people in your genre are posting and the kind of things your niche audience appreciates. Gain a certain level of traction and you’ll have more leverage in the field. Then other blogs will automatically want to interact with you. But, in the beginning, it will be up to you to take the initiative and make the first step.
To conclude, focus more on your content and its quality and less on network analytics paid promotions and other audience-building tools. Attracting first-time viewers is a very small part of building a great blog. Remember, what is more, important than how many people view a certain post is how many people stick around after. How many of them follow or subscribe to your mailing list? Who clicks through on the product links? How many people purchase products from your affiliate links? So on and so forth.
The first step is to post great content. Everything else will follow. For more tips, you can check out how top brands use social media to build a following.