Blogging can be an excellent means to boost your business or it can be an end unto itself.
You may look at top bloggers and wonder what their secret is. They didn’t get there through luck or using a single approach to success.
Becoming a successful blogger requires skill, determination and using a variety of approaches to build an audience that will keep returning for more.
Our top 10 blogging tips will help you get started in building a successful blog and captivating and maintaining your audience.
1. Choose your niche. Whatever you choose to blog about, it needs to be something you are passionate about and for which there is a need. Depending on the topic, you don’t necessarily need to be an expert, but you do need to love the subject enough to learn about it as you blog.
Be sure that there is not already a glut of blogs about your topic; for example, if you want to write about movies or food, you’ll need to have a fresh approach and be insightful from a unique perspective.
A movie blog about how to become an independent filmmaker or a food blog focusing on cuisine from Africa would be interesting new takes on these areas.
2. Make a blogging schedule, and stick to it. Whether you plan to blog once a week, three times per week or three times per day, be consistent about when you do it.
Most blogging software allows you to schedule blog posts in advance, so you can write as many as you want ahead of time and set them to go live on a regular schedule.
3. Create an editorial calendar. In addition to planning when your posts will go up, you can plan what they will be about. About a month out is a good amount of lead-time to give yourself.
You should also have planned posts factored into your editorial calendar that can be delayed if necessary, in case something particularly topical arises during the month that you need to address instead.
4. Format your content for easy reading. Strong titles, short paragraphs, headings, bullet points and other formatting that make your content easily understandable, will encourage readers to stick around reading your content and return for more.
Make sure your formatting and layout creates effective chunks of information without going overboard into a busy mix of colors, random boldface and font changes. Think clean and professional.
5. Use keywords wisely. Google has tools that can help you determine the best keywords for your audience, and you can build titles and blog posts around those keywords. Be sure to use them naturally within your writing; don’t stuff your post with them.
Remember, your content should be optimized for the blog readership, not written for search engines. Recent Google algorithm updates will penalize over-optimized content, so using this tactic will quickly put an end to your blogging aspirations as blog owners and editorial teams will reject your work outright.
6. Use a variety of media to engage your audience. There’s more to quality content than just great text. If you are not comfortable with different types of media, you can set yourself a schedule within your editorial calendar to gradually integrate things like podcasts, video, infographics, images, webinars and more.
7. Optimize your website for viewing on all devices. Choose a designer or blogging software that uses responsive web design. Responsive web design is an approach that makes your site immediately conform in screen size and layout to whatever device the viewer is using.
8. Promote on social media. From placing sharing buttons on your site to setting up accounts with Facebook, Twitter and other platforms, make it easy for people to follow and share your content.
Be sure that you don’t just use social media to promote your blog; you need to engage with followers and promote the work of others as well. A ratio of one promotional post for every 10 posts total has been recommended by some experts.
9. Write in-depth blog posts with useful content. As Google’s algorithms become more demanding, there are no shortcuts around this one. Quality content will be ranked higher.
Even without taking SEO into account, quality content is also what keeps readers returning to your blog, so be sure that you are giving them the information they need whether that is product information, reviews, insightful tips or your very own set of actionable tips.
10. Use guest bloggers and pay for good content. It’s not always necessary or even advisable to create all of the content yourself. Guest bloggers can be a great way to drive more traffic to your site; it may be necessary to pay prominent ones, but the investment will be worthwhile.
Blogging can be a rewarding experience for those who show commitment and determination; however, it is very time consuming and should not be taken lightly. There are many examples around the world of successful Bloggers and business blogs who have built a massive following and loyal readership through hard work and dedication.
Have you built a successful blog? Are you a successful blogger? What tips and advice can you share with us outside of our top 10.