So, you’ve decided to start a blog. If you’re anything like the average beginner blogger, then you probably don’t know where to start. Blogging is one of the best ways to reach a broad audience, connect with people and make your mark in the online community. However, starting a blog can be overwhelming. What should you write? What should your blog look like? How can you make your audience keep coming back to your blog? These are all valid questions. To help you answer them, here are some key questions to ask yourself and a few top tips for beginner bloggers:
What are you aiming for?
Before you even start writing and envisioning your blog, it’s essential that you define your goals. If you don’t have a goal, you’ll end up posting without any purpose. Don’t make that mistake, because your readers will notice it immediately. Therefore, make sure you know what you aim to accomplish.
Do you want to offer your expert opinions on a specific subject? Perhaps you want to highlight your expertise to promote your services. Or, maybe you want to interact with people and discuss ideas and views. Those are all solid goals. But, you need to pick one, so you don’t aimlessly wander and post unrelated articles. To determine your goal, ask yourself what you want to gain from starting a blog. What do you expect your blog will achieve in three months? In a year? In three years?
Once you determine the answers to these questions, you can design your blog with those goals in mind.
Who are you writing for?
While you’re asking yourself the questions we mentioned, also think about who are you doing it for. Who is your target audience?
Once you know who you are writing for, you can figure out what their expectations and needs are. And, of course, deliver accordingly. You have to meet the expectations and needs your audience has, and even exceed them. Your blog has to offer value. That’s the only way to gain a loyal following. And, in addition to having the right content strategy, matching your tone of voice is important. For example, your blog will crumble and perish if your target audience are teenagers and your writing is too formal and technical.
Don’t drift off topic
You have to present a consistent image to your audience. Your blog is the representation of you. Therefore, it always has to deliver the same message: who are you, what are you offering, and why should your readers stay with you.
Your content needs to communicate that every time. Consistency is a sure recipe for success. That way, your audience will know what to expect from you, and you’ll always deliver.
Don’t get discouraged and give up
If you’re imagining thousands of people visiting your blog on a daily basis in the first month, you’ll be hugely disappointed. However, that doesn’t mean that you should give up. The way to achieve that great following is to be persistent and consistent. Keep posting regularly, and often. If you only post from time to time and when you feel like it, your audience will lose interest. Therefore, it’s crucial that your blog is busy. Always provide your readers something new, exciting and of value so they keep coming back.
Welcome them with an approachable attitude
For your blog to be successful, you have to make an impact on your audience. You have to be memorable and inviting. If your blog gives an impression of you talking to yourself, not many people will read it. Therefore, you have to make it inviting and engaging.
Engaging your audience means writing for them, asking them for their opinion, and generally making your posts a two-way conversation. You might think that asking your audience to leave a comment on your post won’t do much. However, the truth is much different. When you write with your audience in mind, it will make those people feel like you are writing for them individually. They will feel valued and, therefore, they will want to keep talking to you. Not to mention, interacting with your readers makes them feel appreciated. It gives out the impression that you’re always there for them, and it evokes friendly feelings, as well as feelings of loyalty. Those feelings are your way to success.
You can also interact with people on other blogs. Don’t constrict yourself. Reach out, and invite people that visit other blogs to come and check yours out, as well.
Make sure you’re visible
Designing and writing for your blog takes a lot of time and effort. However, you should also put in efforts outside your blog. Namely, you need to interact with other bloggers, the visitors on their sites, people on social media, etc. You can’t rely solely on compelling content. While that’s a must, you still have to network and promote yourself and your blog on every available platform. And, think about using keywords that will drive traffic to your blog through search. What is your audience looking for and how can you write about those topics in a valuable way and use terms they will use to search for that information?
Don’t be afraid to try new things
Your blog should never go stale or fall behind. That means you need to introduce new things regularly, to keep the interest of your readers. Don’t be afraid to take risks. Try out new tools and features, and keep your blog looking fresh.
That should also be reflected in your content. Always think about how you could engage and involve your audience more. If you stagnate, you’ll alienate your readers. Include contests, Q&As, and other fun opportunities for interaction in your content strategy.
However, think thoroughly before you introduce anything new. Each new feature has to be a positive change for your readers. If there are too many of them, you’ll lose the consistency. It’s a slippery slope, so be careful.
Don’t be afraid to reach out
Simply put, if you don’t know the answer, there’s someone on the Internet who does. What that means is that you shouldn’t wallow in your despair if you get stuck and don’t know how to move forward.
The blogging community is very tight-knit. If you haven’t figured that out already, other bloggers will be happy to help you out. No one is born with the perfect knowledge of how to get things right on the first try. Therefore, all those successful bloggers that might intimidate you all remember what the beginning looks like. It’s daunting and hard. So, don’t be afraid to reach out to them. Chances are, they’ll assist you with your problem and maybe offer some additional advice. Talking to seasoned bloggers with years of experience will prove helpful and inspiring. Don’t shy away from it.
Don’t get stuck in a stagnating circle
When you have a blog, you need to keep an eye out for new stuff all the time. You need to reinvent it, add to it, enhance it. More importantly, you have to keep an open mind and keep learning. Tools, features, and algorithms change at a fast pace. Make sure you keep up with it.
Don’t present a false image
This is our last tip, but perhaps the most important one. Be yourself. When you envision your blog, make sure you sprinkle your lovely personality everywhere. Make your blog approachable and relatable. You can’t do that if you’re faking it and presenting a false image. Readers will catch on to that very quickly, and you’ll be left with a wasteland of a blog.
Pick a tone and stick to it. Of course, if you’re running a finance blog, keep the personal touches to a minimum, and make them relevant. However, always make sure that your reader can recognize your posts as you own.
We hope these tips help you on your blogging journey! Enjoy your blogging adventure, and remember – don’t give up!