Thursday, July 28, 2016
Are you thinking about starting a blog? Or have you started a blog already but it’s not taking off? With several free blogging platforms available, it’s now easier than ever to publish your own online content. You don’t even have to know how to code. But where do you go from there? How do you grow your visitor numbers and encourage them to share content?
Look And Feel
Blogs are like any other channel such as websites, brochures, or books. They need to look the part in order to elicit interest. We’re told never to judge a book by its cover, but the reality is that we do this all the time. If your blog looks less than presentable and inviting, it’s unlikely visitors will venture beyond the home page.
Is it time to revamp your blog? If so, there are several ways you can go about this. Most blog platforms allow you to choose from a template. And there are more than can be purchased at a small additional cost. You can then customize the template to fit in with your own preferences. It’s worth taking some time over this and researching other similar blogs for ideas.
Once you have the template nailed down, it’s time to think about the content. Photographs are important. They convey information quickly and attract attention. Rather than relying on stock photo websites, take your own pics. This will provide you with content that no-one else has. Become familiar with your camera and learn how to manipulate and edit images. Training Connections Photoshop courses and other course will teach you the basics and beyond. You will be able to create your own Instagram-style filters and add slogans and icons. You can crop to size and add layers etc.
The most popular bloggers have their own personality and style. This is something that is hard to teach and tends to take a while to build. We all have something to say, and we all have a voice. You have to dig deep and find the things that only you can offer. This could be specialist knowledge, or it could be your own unique take on a subject. Whatever it is, nurture it and find ways to project it.
One of the traps that new bloggers often fall into is to write without feeling. They appear distant from their writing as though they are reporting. Blogs work best when the subject is close to your heart and you can offer your thoughts and opinions. Personal insights and stories always work well.
Make It Easy To Share
Make it as easy as possible for readers to find your content and share it. Learn some basic SEO skills and optimize your blog posts. Blog platforms such as WordPress have useful plugins that allow you to update metadata. Make sure you have the ability to do this on your blog.
Carry out some keyword research relating to the topics you discuss. Find out what readers are searching for. This can then be incorporated into your posts.
A lot of blog traffic comes from social media sharing. Encourage people to share your content by including share icons on your website. But don’t just do what everyone does and add them at the end of posts. Incorporate them into the content itself. So, if you are sharing tips, allow readers to share individual items from the post.
Of course, for people to share content you need to write something that is interesting, entertaining, or useful in some way.
There are many ways to increase visitors to your blog. But it’s important to cover the basics first. Once you have got this right, you can take your marketing to the next level.