The biggest challenges new bloggers face is often not creating content itself; it is attracting enough readers to their site and determining if the content they make is shareable and interesting. You cannot expect to grow a mass audience overnight, but it is possible to grow viewers one step at a time. If you are looking for ways to gain or build an audience, here are five things you should do to make your blog successful.
1. Live, Breath, and Eat SEO
Without an audience your website will pretty much be obsolete. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is used to draw people to your site when they search for specific terms — terms you specifically discuss.
Although writing content for your site is important, you want to base what you plan to write about around specific keywords. You will use the keywords in both the title and body of your blog posts. Ideally, you want to keep your keywords in the front of your title. For example, “Christmas Gifts for Kids: The Top 10 Picks” will rank better than “The top 10 Christmas gifts for Kids” since the keyword “Christmas Gifts for Kids” is put first. Your titles should also never be more than 120 characters; it will not only help you rank better, but it will make your posts more eye-catching and share friendly. When you are discussing something, make sure you write enough on the topic and keep each post around 500-1,000 words. Doing so will help you rank in the search engines.
2. Don’t be a Soulless Robot
The more personal you can be with your audience, the better. Add your name and a picture on your blog to increase the credibility of your site. People will feel as if they are talking to an actual person, and are more likely to believe what you say and interact with you. Of course, ensure that commenting is enabled on your blog, and interact with your visitors as well. Be creative and think of things you can do to increase your blog’s activity. For example, you can guest blog on other related websites. The more you expose yourself and talk to people, the more people will reciprocate it back.
3. Success Without Work is Dead
Time and dedication are a must if your goal is to have a successful blog. Your goal is to put an effort in branding yourself to stand out from the competition. It will benefit you to step out of the box and mix things up a bit.
Even if it is once a month, you should do something that will pleasantly surprise your guests and returning readers. Keep in mind that you do not want to delve far from your niche; stay in the same branch. If you have a gaming review blog, for example, you can mention limited time discounts or bargains available on a particular game or write about equipment gamers would find useful. You should also post regularly and be consistent with it. There is a good chance you could lose your readers, and possibly your rank in search engines, if you rarely post. Aim for weekly posts; ideally 2-3x a week. As an added tip, the best times to post are on weekdays.
4. Make Social Media Your New Best Friend
Promoting your posts on sites like Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or other social sites will help your blog grow. The blog posts you create can be shared by readers when you add social media buttons like “Tweet this” or “Share this on Facebook.”
You can also enable “likes” on comments and articles and set up a fan page on social media platforms to increase the interaction you receive.
5. Have a Target Audience
Your blog should be specific to people you are looking to attract. The best way to identify who your audience is would be to determine who you want visiting your site.
Having a specific niche and audience will ensure there is a group of people that are interested in reading what you have to say. It will also make the promoting aspect of your blog a piece of cake. Your audience can be determined by looking at several things:
- Sexual Preference
- Relationship Status
- Geographic Area