How To Build A Following For Your Blog
Whether you’re maintaining your blog for pleasure or profit, chances are you’d like a following, a loyal group of readers who always reads what you write and is interested in what you have to say. Building a following can be difficult, and even good blogs sometimes fail to develop one, despite following all the best advice and offering great content. The internet is a cruel, cruel place. But your chances of building a following are greatly increased by having a plan and following these tips.
1. Find your niche.
It is true that choosing a focus for your site that has broad appeal will give you a wider pool of potential readers, but it also means you will have more competition and a more difficult time establishing yourself. Your best bet is to either choose a more esoteric subject to focus on, or come at a more mainstream topic from a unique angle. There are thousands of sites about makeup, but fewer that focus on environmentally green makeup, or makeup for specific ethnic groups. Counter-intuitive though it may seem, narrowing your focus can actually draw more readers to your site.
2. Fill a gap.
This goes hand-in-hand with finding a niche. For your blog to gain a real following, you have to fill some kind of gap or need, some lack you’ve noticed. In some cases, the gap might be your niche, in which case this tip might seem a little redundant 😉 But in other cases, the gap isn’t the subject but the type of site. Imagine that you have a hobby and visit many sites that focus on it, but notice that many of the sites are old, with outdated links and difficult navigation. In that case offering the same information on a more modern site provides a service, a reason for visitors to prefer your blog over others.
3. Update regularly.
Despite the fact that the internet is basically infinite, with all of the information in the world just a few keystrokes into a search box away, people are always hungry for new content. It’s important to determine the highest number of posts you can consistently make per week and then stick to it. Even if your content is better than that of other, similar sites, if they’re updating every other day and you’re only updating once a week, they will have a following. You will not, or at least not as much of one as you could. Be very sure that whatever number you choose, you can maintain it. Whatever following you develop will get fed up if you don’t post when they expect you to.
4. Be accessible.
As you develop fans, it’s important that you make yourself available to them. Interact with them on your blog, answer all of your Emails, always be kind. Use your site’s Facebook page (oh yeah, you need one of those) to develop a real relationship with your followers. This is time consuming, yes, but it encourages loyalty, and adds a real depth to your content. When you really get to know your readers, you’re better able to serve them and present them with content that will keep them coming back for more.
5. Don’t take it too seriously.
Even if you’re running your blog for profit, even if you want it to be your only source of income, don’t let it become a job to you. Remember that you started blogging because you felt strongly about a topic and wanted to share your thoughts with the world. Remember that you enjoy it. If you’re only posting blogs out of a sense of obligation, that will come through in your writing and your attitude. Keep it fun, and remember that the best way to build a following is to not worry so much about having one. Just be genuine, write from the heart, and remember it’s supposed to be fun for YOU, not just your readers.
Courtney Holmes is the marketing director at Talk is Sheep Marketing, a sacramento web design firm that specializes in inbound marketing. Inbound marketing uses content like blogs, white papers, webinars, and video series to build high quality leads for thier client, on their clients website.