With so many different and creative blogs out there, it can be really daunting to try to break in. You need to find a way to be different and make yourself stand out. But, how do you get people to come back for more? How do you increase your numbers and build a loyal group of followers? In order to try to figure out how to make your blog stand out, here are a few tips that can help get you going.
The first thing you need to do is choose a blogging platform that you are comfortable with. There are a lot of free options out there like WordPress, TypePad, and Blogger. All of these options offer free design themes so you can make you blog your own, and it is really easy to get started. Plus, if you are unsure about how to use these platforms, there are plenty of Youtube tutorials and other options to get things sorted out.
Integrate with current sites
If you already have an active website, it is important to get your blog integrated with it as soon as possible in order to build content and get your search engine optimization (SEO) started. SEO is all about content at the end of the day. If you are unsure about how to integrate your website, or how to customize your SEO plans, there are plenty of affordable SEO options out there to choose from. If, for some reason, you are unable to utilize any of the options, start with a free blog and ensure that you include links back to your main site. That way, your site and blog can both gain visibility.
Find your niche
When you are choosing a creative topic to blog about, it can be really helpful if you are able to find a niche. Make your blog about something specific. This will not only help your SEO, but it will please your readers and give them consistency. It is important to not be too general, and to stay on topic. So take some time to find your own niche and stick with it. A helpful way to do this is to write about things that you love. Doing this will not only keep you on topic, it will show more passion within your writing – which equals authenticity. If there is no passion in the writing, your content will inevitably suffer. This is not incredibly difficult, but it is important if you want to stand out from the crowd.
What do they want?
If you do not provide the public with something that they want, your blog will likely struggle to be successful. Give your audience what they are after, and offer value to their online experience. Value is most demonstrated in the content that you publish. If your content is not valuable enough, people will not read it or come back to read more in the future.
Utilize marketing skills
If you simply launch a blog and hope that people will show up eventually without much marketing effort, chances are pretty big that you will struggle to gain a following. You have to market your blog actively and often, and this can be done through a variety of different ways. Go to other bloggers’ pages and leave valuable comments on their posts; this will help draw people back to your site to check you out. Or you can take advantage of search engines and write about topics that have appeared the most often in searches. There are a lot of options for how to market your blog, and they all work, but you really need to make sure that you are doing something in terms of marketing to get your name out there.
Interactions are important
You really want to get people talking and interacting on your blog. Ask them to add comments on multiple different articles. This will help encourage interactions whenever possible. Ask your audience for feedback, respond to the comments that are made, and most importantly, be nice. People crave interaction with one another, so make sure that you are friendly and welcoming to everyone. There are a lot of reasons that people may choose not to comment on your blog posts. This could really be anything from not having easy access to provide feedback or comments to writing content about negative things people might not necessarily want to interact with or be a part of. Either way, make sure that it is easy for people to leave comments and feedback and write about things that can spark positive conversation. If people can interact with each other on your blog, they will likely come back for more. It is also important to understand that people may leave negative feedback. Do not let it scare you away from blogging. If there are comments that you are not happy with, delete them or respond to them positively. Facing negativity is fairly rare, but it does happen and it is important to be prepared for that.
People love pictures
People love seeing images. Some of the most popular art and creative blogs out there include a lot of imagery. This can be partially attributed to the fact that people love to scan quickly through web pages and enjoy the fact that photos and images can break up some of the text and provide visual interest. In any blog really, images are essential, so add as many as possible to give your audience a lot of things to enjoy. No one wants to sit and read a post that is made entirely out of text, so break it up a bit for them.
Make it easy for them to read
There is a lot of research that backs up the idea that people view and scan web pages rather than read every last word on the page. Keeping that in mind, try to keep your blog posts easy and quickly readable. Adding lists into the post can break up the text a bit. SEO research suggests that you should avoid posting articles that have less than 250 words in order for the post to mean something. But, if you’re going to make it long, break it up with bullet points or lists to make the reading easier on the eyes and more appealing.
Make it personal
As time goes on, reveal more and more about who you are in your posts and your audience will love you for it. People are on these sites to follow people, not brands. If you have the option to, provide and “about” section with a photo of yourself. With that personal element included, you are encouraging people to like you. Tapping into their emotions this way will encourage loyalty, and happily returning visitors. This does not mean that you have to expose the darkest parts of your soul to the internet, but make it authentic and give your audience someone to relate to on a more personal level.
Analytics are important
You need to keep track of how people are finding your blog and how they are landing on your page. You can use that to tailor your blog posts to what your readers need and wants as well as making the best use of those external sources that are bringing people in to see your page. If you choose to invest in any online advertising, your analytics will help you determine your ROI (return of investment), and whether what you are doing is working or not. It is important to keep an eye on your web analytics to make sure your blog is working as well and generating as much traffic as it should be.
Stay consistent in your posting
A blog is very similar to an online journal which suggests that there will be a regular schedule of posting. Try to keep your blog updated with at least two articles each week. In an ideal situation, you should be posting something every single day, especially if you are utilizing SEO practices as a key priority. If that is not the case, just try to keep things going consistently. Even when on vacation, it is important to have access to whatever tools you may need as to not “ghost” your audience. The last thing you want is for your followers to think that they have been abandoned or that you are an unreliable source for them to come to.
Whatever you choose to write about, make sure that you are providing your audience with content that will keep them coming back to you. Audiences follow consistent and relevant information, so keeping yourself in a niche may actually help you a lot. Spend some time trying to figure out exactly what you want your blog to be, and then go crazy. Nothing will work if you don’t try.