How would you like to gain at least 100 readers for your blog every day?
How about 200?
There’s really no cap to how many readers your blog could attract on a daily basis, as long as you provide unique, interesting, useful, timely, and relevant information. All indicators point to the notion that blogging continues to gain in popularity and shows no sign of slowing down.
Why? Sure, Facebook-ing and micro-blogging with Twitter are hot, but a lot of people still prefer the meatier stuff that only blogging can deliver.
Blogging has all the benefits that every Internet marketer could ever want:
However, it’s not enough just to set up a blog to attract readership. There are best practices and guidelines every blogger should follow for success. Let’s take a look at each important facet of making a blog a worthwhile and profitable endeavor in your greater marketing campaign.
Preparing Your Blogging Platform
Choose the best blogging platform for your needs. There are several out there, and they share certain common features, but some are highly preferred and recommended by the most knowledgeable members of the blogging community.
If you are just starting out, check out Blogger.com, a blogging platform owned by no less than Google. Blogger.com seems to be a popular choice among newbie bloggers for its ease of use. You can also give Tumblr and WordPress.com a try.
However, if you are looking for some serious blogging features in terms of flexibility and extensibility, WordPress is the top choice. WordPress serves as host to millions of blogs and is the most popular option for most bloggers. It offers a wide range of features and plugins that make a blog powerful, user-friendly, and attractive to search engines.
Choosing the right plugins
This especially applies to blogs hosted in WordPress. WordPress offers bloggers extremely useful and powerful plugins that automate some of the most crucial aspects of blogging.
There are plugins for design and layout. There are plugins for automating internal linking such as popular posts. There are also plugins to integrate your social media efforts into your blogging. And then there are plugins for properly optimizing your blog.
When hunting for the right plugins for your needs, don’t choose on your own. Pick those that come highly recommended by other bloggers such as the ones suggested here.
Preparing your blog for RSS
RSS is one feature that every newbie blogger should take advantage of for better exposure. That’s because a lot of readers today still check out updates from their favorite blogs through RSS readers, which provides a convenient method for them to track topics under one roof.
Enabling RSS aggregator for your blog helps readers follow it conveniently. Most blogging platforms have a built-in RSS feature. If you are using a blogging platform that does not have this feature built in, however, be sure to instruct readers on how to include your blog into their favorite RSS feed reader.
Preparing Your Blog’s Content
Choosing the subject of your blog
The chances of your succeeding in blogging will depend on the demand for the subject you choose to blog about. Finding a niche about which to blog is crucial if you are to corner a segment of the online crowd.
One way to figure out what people are interested in is to study trending topics via Google Trends. Google Trends lets you “listen in” on certain topics to figure out people’s relative level of interest — based on country, the type of content they are looking for on a given subject, and even a list of terms that relate to the topic.
There’s also Google’s AdWords Keywords Tool, a tool that allows you to search for keywords with the most number of searches.
But perhaps the best way to start blogging is just to talk about stuff you are highly passionate about or are already an expert on. This provides an easy way for you come up with a list of subtopics that you can feature in the coming days without the trouble of having to do much research on them.
Writing about topics that are controversial and very timely, such as the presidential election, seems to guarantee massive readership. In fact, if you inject your own opinion on certain topics, people of a similar mind will like you. You should also encourage them to interact even more with you by posting their comments and arguing with your views.
Don’t forget that people’s interactions and comments add weight to your blog, which allows it to get noticed by the search engines even more.
Spreading the Word about Your Blog
Virtual word of mouth via social media
Now it’s time to market your blog. And one of the swiftest and most powerful ways to do that is via social media. Social media is where the people are. It’s become the primary tool for people to follow and consume news and topics that interest them.
Set up social media pages around your blog. Create pages on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. The purpose is three-fold:
1) to engage your followers where they are already spending a great deal of their time
2) to increase the chances of your content going viral, and
3) to create backlinks for your content.
Social signals such as Facebook Like, tweets, and +1’s are exerting a growing influence over SEO. The more you engage your followers on social media, the better for you in terms of ranking in search.
Reaching out to other bloggers
Be sure to participate in blogging communities, especially where your topic would be of interest. By networking with other bloggers within your niche, you will build strong relationships with people that could provide value to you and for whom you could also furnish value.
Guest posting is more than just a powerful SEO tactic; it’s also an excellent way to gain exposure to your blog from other bloggers’ audience pools. When choosing whom to guest post for, be sure to reach out to bloggers who are already influencers within your niche.
If you are in the Internet marketing industry, for example, connect with bloggers who are authorities in affiliate marketing, SEO, social media, and video marketing to increase your chances of putting your content in front of white-hot leads.
The amount of traffic that guest posting can gain you access to is tremendous, and the audience that this tactic delivers tends to be high quality and highly targeted.
Measure your success
It’s all about the numbers. Be sure to measure your blogging success using analytics tools that will provide you with the numbers you are looking for, such as traffic, demographic reach, most visited content, and social media interactions.
One such tool to help you figure all this out is Google Analytics. It’s imperative to use this tool not only to measure your success, but also to help you spot blogging opportunities in terms of keywords that people are using to find your blog.
That way, you can tweak your blogging strategy to attract an even bigger audience.
The blogging community has yet to reach its saturation point, and there’s much you can do to increase your piece of the action.
If you need help in setting up a blog for your business, let’s talk, and we’ll show you some great strategies that will help you get right in front of your target audience.