This is the common dilemma that most bloggers face, especially those who are new to the blogosphere. I have personally experienced this when I started. In fact, I had no idea how to start my posts or how to gain an audience for them.
However, as time passed, I learnt about the ins and outs of the blogging industry—from the most effective writing styles to the most efficient techniques in engaging your fanbase.
To explain further, here’s a breakdown of all that I’ve learned:
1. Write about what you love
What are you blogging about? Fashion? Cars? Toys? College? Online games? Dating? Sex? Whatever it is, make sure that it is “you”.
Starting a blog may sound like an easy task, and it is!
However, maintaining it is where the real work begins since you got to have at least two posts each week, if not each day, to keep your readers interested. And if you have no real interest in the topic you chose, you will likely end up with either poor posts or a stagnant blog.
Personally, I have gone through this crisis. In the beginning, I found it incredibly tempting to write about so many things since my interests vary (something that I’m sure most of you are).
Nevertheless, stick to what you love talking about. Know your passion and blog about it. Don’t choose famous topics in an effort to gain readers quickly. Most importantly, don’t bait them into subscribing to your posts by promising them with prizes, freebies, and give-aways. That’s just a cheap shot and isn’t how you should gain an audience.
Ultimately, what you’re aiming for is to reach out to people who love what you love, and let them bask in your thoughts and insights while learning about what they think about your ideas.
Simply put, your blog should be a reflection of yourself.
2. Be original
The blogosphere is a rapidly expanding universe, with thousands of bloggers already established as “credible” and a thousand others who are gaining their own fanbase. With this kind of competition, it can be quite daunting to stand out, especially if you are just a beginner.
Also, it’s quite tricky to be noticed when your topic has already been discussed by a thousand others.
This is where your creativity and skill as a writer comes in. No matter how common the niche is, or how irrelevant it may seem (like two-ply vs. three-ply tissues), it all boils down to how you present it to your audience, how you formulate your ideas, and how you develop the syntactical structure of your posts.
So even if the premise of your blog is the same with others, you giving it a new twist may be enough to make it more appealing to readers.
3. Focus on the quality of your posts
A common problem for most bloggers is the fluctuating quality of their posts. In a week, one may write an interesting article, the next might be something okay, and the week after is a post that goes blah.
Yes, I’ve personally struggled with this. So, how did I cope? Simple: I didn’t force myself.
Although posting at least two articles per week may be ideal, it may not turn out as good if you’re only writing for the sake of having something to upload.
Indeed, never compromise the quality of your articles, even when you are chasing deadlines yourself. Write something that YOU would like to read and learn about and try to avoid what’s already obvious to your readers—they are not naïve. Often, worthless outputs may only sacrifice their loyalty to your blog, which basically means that you may lose your audience over irrelevant musings.
4. Enhance your photos and videos
One easy way to attract and keep readers is to entice them with creative and relevant images. This may mean that you have to improve your photography skills—that is if you are capturing pictures and videos yourself.
Now if you’re already thinking of high-end DSLR and tutorials, stop right there. You don’t have to become an expert photographer for you to present interesting images.
For one thing, there is Adobe Photoshop. I’m sure most of you are familiar with this software and many may even be using it right at this moment. Although it might take a little while learning the basics, once you get the hang of it, you can proceed with editing like a pro.
5. Develop your online credibility
Once you have gained a significant fanbase (10+ subscribers to your RSS feeds) you will know that your blog is gaining traction in the blogosphere. And to boost your reputation, you must develop an air of “authority” in your blog.
Present your ideas on a particular topic based on facts.
How timely are your posts? Are you merely offering your own insights to a common idea? Are you presenting your thoughts with regards to factual information?
Meanwhile, it also helps if you know how to verify facts for the topics you discuss. So even if you’re blogging about dating where it’s hard finding something “factual”, you can use statistics and university studies revolving gender and interaction. Moreover, when talking about pop literature, gather facts from different sources and synthesise your insights based on your researched facts.
In the end, remember that what you are saying influences your readers, one way or the other. Hence, it’s important that you give them relevant and credible ideas every time. Often, only through this can you build a thriving reputation in the world of blogging.
6. Promote through various social media channels
Jump on the bandwagon! Needless to say, it’s one of the best things you can do to tell people, “Hey! I have a blog. Come check it out!”
Now, if you don’t have Facebook and Twitter accounts yet, now is the perfect time to make them. These are certainly two of the best means you can use to access and interact with a global network of Internet users. But instead of just tweeting to people whom you share a common interests with, do follow them and read their blogs too to ‘return the favour’.
Also, each time you have a new post, try to tweet or post a status about it. At the same time, sneak in a link to your site. Undeniably, this is a simple but effective method of advertisement that will work wonders to reaching out to your fanbase.
However, be careful not to overdo this because your followers or friends may consider your posts “spammy” which is not at all good for your reputation.
As a last tip, be sure to have fun. This is what blogging is all about. It’s a way for you to express your insights on certain subjects, interact with people who share your interests, and be part of a community of writers. Stop worrying about gaining an audience; be patient because blogging certainly takes time. Remember: good things come to those who wait.