Last time I checked, 3.75 million blog posts were written today.
Now how many of those were read today? Your guess is as good as mine. A very teeny tiny minority, if you choose to rely on the most basic 80–20 Pareto’s Principle. But have you noticed the number of views, shares, and comments when the post is written by people like Seth Godin? Or Neil Patel? Or Arianna Huffington?
So what are the qualities or distinct characteristics that mark these super bloggers, setting them on a plane higher than us lesser mortals? I am inclined to think that entry to this rarefied region is free, as long as you get these three steps just right. Read on.
In a Curata study of over 400 business bloggers, they found that the best bloggers—one’s with over 10,000 page views or more per month—shared some similar traits. Being regular and keeping that blog fresh is one thing that nearly every successful blogger did. According to Curata’s numbers, over 90% of the top bloggers publish at least one or more posts every week (highlight to tweet).
I am itching to use a gym analogy (primarily because I finally got back to working out regularly again), so please bear with me. Notice how you discover a whole new set of achy, creaky muscles and bones when you first start working out? Over time, as you keep at it, the aches and pains vanish, and you get a tangible spring in your step. Writing regularly is exactly like that.
The more you write, the better you get at it. Invest time in blogging often, as that’s the only way regular readers will have an incentive to keep coming back to get their fresh fix of your awesome writing. Take Richard Branson’s personal blog for example. Clocking in at a minimum of one post per day, the guy is prolific to say the least. And the results are there for all to see. Each post, however good or bad, is rewarded with thousands of likes and shares—certainly something to emulate.
Promote Your Writing
We have heard this line. We have also talked enough about it. But at the risk of sounding repetitive, here goes.
If you want people to read your blog, you need to first tell them that it exists, and then, where to find it. From sharing your latest post on social media, to sending out new posts via email to your newsletter subscribers, to setting up RSS feeds for your blog, there are umpteen ways to bring your blog into the public eye. Jeff Bullas’ excellent piece “50 Ways to Promote Your Blog“ is a must-read for bloggers who haven’t gone the blog promotion route yet.
I may not be Jeff Bullas, but here are my two cents on writing a blog that draws in readers like flies to honey:
- Promote your posts on social media. Offer a little snippet or quote as a hook within your post to build curiosity, and people will be eager to click through to your site to read your blog.
- Build your email audience from Day 1. Every time you publish a new post, or each time you want to share with your readers, put those fears aside and send out emails to your opted-in base, and let them soak in your wisdom.
- Attend local events in your industry, and meet thought leaders in your field. Invite them to write for your blog, and promote it among your audience to instantly grow your numbers.
- Sponsor local events, and find a way to publish your blog’s URL on the event merchandise, decor, uniforms, and more.
- Take up speaking assignments in your niche. By building your own reputation as a subject matter expert, you’ll automatically attract quality readers to your blog.
- Use paid advertising via social media or PPC marketing to promote your blog and make it surface on any newer search.
- Interact with readers who leave comments, compliments, and criticism. The more you engage with your audience, the more word spreads about your hands-on treatment of your work, leading to a virtuous cycle of events.
- It’s OK for users to disagree with your opinions. When someone goes on a tirade about something you blogged about, the best bloggers don’t shout over them—they diffuse the situation by explaining their side of the story as succinctly as possible.
- Before you attempt to write a whole blogpost on, say, “10 ways to soundproof your home,” visit a few contractors and have a quick chat with them. The insights you’ll glean will be irreplaceable by any other source of information.
Don’t Forget About The Bots
Whether you are just starting out with your blog or are a seasoned pro, there is no getting away from optimizing your blog for search engines.
The how-to of SEO differs hugely depending on the type of infrastructure you picked for your blog. If your blog’s on WordPress, Devesh Sharma from WPKube offers an awesome, step-by-step post on creating an optimized blog on WordPress. If your blog is a free-floating piece of driftwood on the stormy seas of the internet, you definitely need to roll up your sleeves and make it more welcoming for search bots.
Here’s a few tips that Google and friends like about any blog:
- Stick to one central theme per post. This way, your entire content is rich in the keyword that’s been your focus all along.
- Think of headlines that are relevant to your topic. Pick the one that is most optimized for keywords you’re targeting and can bait clicks as well.
- Remember those relationships you built at conferences and events? Now is the time to milk those relationships by offering to feature these thought leaders on your blog and have their SEO traffic spill on to your site!
- Get your on-page SEO elements right. Include your keyword in your URL, title tags, alt tags, H1 tags, and meta descriptions.
Picking up a good idea where you spot one is no crime. When those good ideas come from the best in the business, at least you know that you’ll not fall flat on your face trying them out. Try these pointers out, and tell us how they worked for your blog. We’re all ears!