Blogging is tough, to say the least. But, like all other tough things on Earth, it comes with a marvellous return. Whether you are blogging for a business, trying to build your own community, or simply taking it as a part-time job, the foundation of any blog is a loyal community that listens, thinks and appreciates your work.
That being said, there is a lot of hard work, dedication and sleepless nights that have to be invested before you can start seeing any return. So, here are the main 5 things you should consider when building up your blog from the ground.
1. Understand your audience
Before marketing or even starting your blog, it is important to understand who is your target audience. What is your niche? What are those people searching for? If you take this part as simply flipping a coin, your blogging journey will not last for long. Therefore, consider choosing a subject that you are knowledgeable in, enabling you to really target a specific audience.
It is crucial that you know who you are reaching out to, and once you understand that, you can tailor the content to meet their needs. This will then enable you to create an effective content marketing strategy, as well as understand the services and products your readers may be interested in.
2. Offer value to your readers
Understanding your target audience will mean that you can provide content that is valuable, relevant and useful. You will need to offer content that is not only helpful to your current readers but also potential users and clients. Make sure you follow the latest content marketing trends to avoid being left out.
If your readers are freelancers or passionate bloggers, then your content strategy would probably include tips, how-to guides and top-10 lists. This is where you need to be as specific as you possibly can be because you are addressing their needs, questions and any concerns that they may have.
When the time comes for you to offer a service or a product, your readers will have the confidence in you to give them the value that they need, and this will lead to them making a purchase of an item that you endorse, whether it be your own product or an affiliate deal.
3. Clever headlines
A catchy headline will capture your audience and make them want to read more, that is, if you get it right. Getting it wrong will turn your readers away, it is as simple as that. If the headline does not interest the reader or the content itself does not deliver on promises, they will sail on by and never return.
You will have to put a bit of effort into the title, so do not use the first one that comes to you. Write it down, think about it and play with words until you find something that works. You may write amazing content, but if the headline lets it down, then it won’t get any traction.
It is also vital to have an “Under-promise and over-deliver” approach with the content you write. Fat too often, bloggers make use of catchy headlines, while content is of very poor quality, leaving users with a bad association with a brand (unless you are BuzzFeed).
4. Build a relationship with readers
You are providing content to your readers for them to use, enjoy and benefit from, but, your work does not stop there. You have to create a direct relationship with your visitors by interacting and listening to their thoughts & opinions.
If your blog has a comments section, this will give them the opportunity to engage with your work. There, you can reply and discuss topics with readers, helping you to build a long-lasting relationship. If they value your work and your blog, then they are likely to listen to what you have to say. Take negative comments and thoughts with a grain of salt – don’t take them personally.
5. Show some passion
To create a good blog that retains readers and attracts new visitors, you have to show your passion for blogging. You have to love what you write about, and that has to come across in what you say and what you write. If you try faking it, your readers will find out the real intentions behind your posts. It is always more effective to write about the topics you have knowledge and experience of.