We live in an age where pretty much everyone divulges their life story all over the internet, from epic tails of our latest adventures to what we had for dinner last night and everything in between. There are two main forms of which we like to share such details – either on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc…) or via blogging.
The smart blogger picks a niche in which they consider themselves an expert in with just the right mixture of a good audience and lack of competition. Upon finding such a gap in the market, this is where a blogger can begin to build an audience and gain a following – both for their blog and social media channels.
Consider Your Interests
The best blogs are those written by authors with a genuine passion for their area who produce quality and valuable content for their audience to consume. Do not try and force something that you cannot offer any authoritative views on – this will do nothing to grow your audience and those that do find you will immediately bin you off.
Keep clear of broad interests. For example, sport is an interest for many but is a generalized interest with a vast amount of sub-categories. Do not create a sports blog looking to cover everything and think for one second that your blog is going to be insightful and valuable.
Pick a niche within this interest, such as a particular sport or, better yet, a specific league or team. The more exact your target audience, the better chance you will have of building an audience that can view you as an authoritative source as you build your blog.
Content does not exclusively mean page after page of text. Break things up on your blog and consider the user journey – would you want to spend your free time reading through text-heavy pages? Or would you rather browse pages with a mixture of appealing graphics and images breaking up text?
By breaking up text with rich media such as images and videos, the design and layout of your blog immediately improves, which will do wonders for decreasing your bounce rate. You can also share images and videos on your social media channels, but more on that a little bit later.
When your posts are the perfect blend of text and graphics or videos, and the content is quality, all that is left is to optimise. Research keywords that you want your blog to rank for and carefully ensure that they appear in your posts – do not overdo this, though, otherwise, you run the risk of becoming blacklisted by Google.
When you have the blog, you want to reach out to an audience to read it. Now begins the marketing aspect of your blog – this will take up more time than actually writing your articles.
One of the fatal mistakes that many bloggers do when utilizing social media for their blog is posting nothing more than links back to their articles. Stop.
For a user to click your link you have to give them a reason to – and this is all before giving that user a reason to include you on their screen in the first place. The majority of social media users browse their timelines on mobile devices. This means that you are competing for space on a screen that is probably around five inches in size.
So why should your social media account warrant that precious space? You’re not going to earn it by simply posting URL’s to your latest blog post, that’s nothing special. Regardless of how big or small you are branding is what sets you apart from the rest.
Make your account stand out with a unique design, perhaps make your own poster and use as your social media banner. Anything that reflects your brand’s image and sets you apart from your competition is good.
Connect With Influencers
The power of the influencer is not to be underestimated. According to Forbes, 92% of customers trust influencer marketing which, when you consider that 47% of consumers utilise ad-blocking technology, that’s a lot.
Influencer marketing is built on an element of trust because influencers are just other human beings like you and me – there are not big brands looking to shove their latest corporate message down your throat. By connecting with influencers in your niche, your blog will gain an amount of authority off the back of such a recommendation.
In order to connect with an influencer and for them to share your content, it has to be high quality and it has to serve a clear purpose. If your content does not answer any questions and is nothing more than a few hundred words of fluff, the relationship is over before it even started.
When your content is shared, be sure to engage with your new audience – they have bought into the reason to come to your blog, now give them a reason to stay. Hopefully, you have gauged your influencer’s audience perfectly and what your blog offers is exactly what they are looking for. If this is the case, then pat yourself on the back, you have a new reader.
But the work isn’t done. The work is never done.
Measure Your Results
For any marketing strategy that you implement, you must always measure its results. No matter how good and, especially, no matter how bad. It is by doing this that you learn what works, and what doesn’t.
With any new blog and social media account, there is going to be an element of trial and error involved. By measuring your results, you will soon notice trends, and it is from this that you can formulate long-term strategies that will help your blog to grow organically.
If you are ever unsure of where to start, look at what other bloggers are doing and gain inspiration. The chances are that, if you found them, they are doing something right making them a good starting point for your research.