You wake up one day and decided that you’ve got really great ideas to share. You want to write it down and tell the world. So, what do you do?
Why, you blog about it, of course.
Anyone can start a blog but not everyone is good enough to have a successful one. Here is a list of 7 tips that provide you with an edge over other beginners and turn you into a rock-star blogger.
1. Understand your target audience and what they are looking for
Now that you’ve decided to blog on a specific subject and have chosen your niche, it’s obvious that there would be some sort of a target audience that you would be aiming to attract. Unless you understand what type of people are going to consume your content, you cannot understand and consequently cater to their needs. The first step would be to understand these prospective readers and analyze the types of content that interests them.
Let’s assume for the rest of the article that you are blogging about pet health and care. Your target audience here are people who own pets or are looking to adopt pets. You can find them on Facebook communities and pages that randomly post cute pictures of pets. The analysis of the numbers is easily available there. Since this is one niche that may attract a large audience, you already have oodles of people to target.
Tip: To start, you will also need to research what’s been done so that you can gain valuable lessons about what to do, and what NOT to do. Useful links you can gather examples include:
2. Devise a flow to what you want to write
After coming to an understanding on who you are going to write for and doing your bit of research on what sort of topics you are going to write about, you know you have your first step sorted out. To move on to the next level, you’ll now need to build a flow to your post. No one wants to be inundated with walls of text or be attacked with a dizzying amount of information. You have to string your thoughts into a cohesive chain of ideas that will fall effortlessly one after the other. The whole post should read like it never was meant to break in between; like a whole story.
Tip: Don’t let other things come between you and your writing. Here are useful tools that will keep distractions at bay, and ensure smooth work flow.
Tick Tock Timer: This online timer will help you write more quickly, or at the very least track how much time you need to write a blog post. Set the online timer for 30 minutes and see if you can finish writing an entire blog post within this time frame. If you can achieve this, you won’t need to fear the procrastination demon again.
Dark Room: Want to write freely without distraction? The Dark Room software emulates the environment in a darkened room, letting you fully concentrate on your writing. It also comes with nifty shortcuts so that you can find your way easily around the dark.
3. Come up with a catchy and relatable title
The first thing your reader is going to relate with is your title. Even if you have good content and flow in your post, it won’t do you any good if your title fails to attract your audience. Make sure the title isn’t overtly fancy yet not as simplistic as a singular keyword (don’t be lazy). You need to coax the copywriter out of you to win over the title war. It is safe to say that most bloggers think that forming a title is the hardest part of publishing a post.
Tip: Use numbers in your post. Titles like “10 Reasons Why…” or “7 Tips to…” will usually pop out on the page and demand more attention. Sometimes, writing words not commonly used may attract attention, but be warned not to overdo it. Thesaurus.com is your best friend.
4. Concentrate on engagement while you write; you’re blogging, NOT writing a book!
Ideally, every piece of information that one tries to search for is present in some book or another. The reason why people look for content on blogs is because they are searching for a voice to interact with them, not a form of language that conveys information. You really need to be that interactive voice in your blogs. Write as if you’re in a dialogue with your reader. Have him answer back or take points while he reads through your post. It is this relatability and engagement factor that will make him a repeat visitor. It also will motivate him to share your content, which is great for virality.
Tip: How to be viral? Consider inserting an infographic into your post that supports or relates to your content. You may also want to be controversial and break away from the norm when it comes to discussing a particular issue. That way you’ll get a ton of comments that shows just how popular your blog post is.
5. Read as if you are the reader to analyze what’s missing
Once you’ve written it all and know that there isn’t anything else to add, read through the post again. This time, read from the perspective of a visitor and critique your work. Is it good enough? Does it cover each point? Does it answer everything you were looking for? If yes, you’re good to go, if not, do the needful!
Tip: Use SurveyMonkey and ask your readers what they like or don’t like about your blog. There’s always room for improvement, and you know what they say… “Ask, and you shall receive.”
6. Add artwork or pictures that define the subject of your post
Ever since Pinterest and Instagram’s popularity grew through the roof, pictures and art works have started to play a strong role in getting your content found on these platforms. Make sure to add innovative images along with your posts. Not only will it attract your visitor but it will also make it look better when shared on social networking sites.
7. End on a question or a poll and respond to commenters
Blogging entails a lot of communication with your reader. Most people like to leave comments and feedbacks on your post. Some have very serious questions from you while others like to just let you know that they read what you wrote. The whole give and take in form of comments needs to be maintained to make strong relations with these readers. Also ending your post in a poll is a good engagement activity.
These aren’t really any fixed rules to blogging but these can really work wonderfully if put to use diligently. Happy blogging!