Social media has turned blogging from a keyword generator into a truly magnificent marketing machine. Today’s blog writers spend as much time crafting their content as they do interacting with their readers; a vital ingredient in building consumer trust.
They allow a webmaster to educate potential consumers on the issues surrounding their service whilst subtlety drawing them towards their own.
But you already knew that.
What you might not have known, however, is that a successful blog can even bring its writer a stream of regular income on its own merits. It’s a simple formula really.
Good blogs attract a lot of regular traffic. Advertisers like traffic. You like extra money. Kerching!
A blog will offer you a limitless pot of marketing potential. If you are yet to set one up then you are seriously missing out. Not sure where to start?
Try following these five simple steps:
1. Select an audience and stick to it
Before you write a word of content you need to decide who you are writing for, and what kind of content they will want to read. Many first-time bloggers make the mistake of producing broad, generic content that fails to attract attention.
Although focusing on an ‘in’ subject might narrow your potential audience it will give your blog a much greater chance of attaining a following.
For example, if you own a business that sells shoes don’t write blogs about general styles. Instead opt for something more specific such as the development of a new brand or the benefits of a new material. You can expand your ‘in’ group of followers when your blog has some authority.
2. Find a gap in the blogging market
Now you know who you are writing for you can empathise with their needs. Do a quick few searches on news related to your industry and work out what your readers might be missing out on.
If you fail to attain a decent following then you are throwing away a huge chunk of a blogs potential. If you write on the same issues as a thousand other bloggers you will have no chance of building a following.
3. Be bold and brave with your first few posts
You should now know who you are writing for and what you need to write about.
Although the content in your first post will inevitably be unique and different it will still fail to attract much traffic.
This is because your blog has no authority in the online world; it is new and unknown. To combat this problem, you should strive to make your first few posts as strikingly bold as possible. Say things that you might not truly believe in and make claims that will create interest. A study on listeners of The Chris Moyles show revealed that those that liked him tuned in an average of 3 hours a week, whilst those that hated him tended to listen for 5.
If somebody disagrees with your first post the odds are that they will feel compelled to read your second.
4. Interact with your readers
Once you have sparked some debate with your first few posts you will undoubtedly find that your readers want to communicate their feelings across to you.
Whether they agree or disagree with you it is vital that you offer them a response. Once you create a personal connection between you and your readers they will be more inclined to read your next post. Why? They’ll feel like they know you.
5. Always be honest and write from your own experience
Hopefully by this point you have attained a small following that is interested in what you have to say. You may at this point be tempted to pull out a link to your website and start smothering your content with keywords.
It is vital that you resist this urge because as soon as you do this your blog loses its authenticity and originality. Strive to only write honestly and from your own experience.
Play to your own strengths and don’t be afraid to admit your weaknesses if appropriate. A personal blog is a real one. Don’t let your commercial ego destroy this.
The steps above are obviously not gospel as there is no ‘one way’ to build a successful blog. However, what I have tried to highlight throughout them all is that a blog is at its most effective when it is personal and exclusive. Being different, unique and heartfelt through your blogs will provide a much better advertisement for your business than any generic article ever can.
Robert is a Copywriter with a Cape Town based Copywriting firm called – Copyandco . With a degree in English, he takes an interest in range of topics including online and content marketing.