If you want better results from your blog, this post is just for you.
I was prompted to write this, after receiving an email over the weekend, from a reader with a question. Here’s what he wanted to know:
“I started blogging 2 years ago, but have very few readers. I think my blog is as good as many in my industry, but I only get around 25 readers a day. Why isn’t anyone reading my blog, Jim?”
Because the mistakes he’s making are common to lots of blogs, I thought I’d answer his question here, via 7 blogging tips. In no particular order, here are 7 key areas to focus on, if you want to build a great blog with a hugely valuable readership.
Blog Tip 1: Have something to say, which is worth reading
People have never been busier than they are today. Equally, there has never been so much choice regarding what they can read. For a blog to attract readers and then retain those readers, it needs to offer something, which is meaningfully different. The majority of blogs don’t do this. They are predictable. They have no distinct voice. They offer no motivation to read them.
The key is to tell us what you think. Give us your opinion… not an echo of what everyone else is saying. Allow your personality to shine through your words. Only by embracing your unique perspective can you hope to stand out, grab people’s attention and then inspire them to keep coming back.
Blog Tip 2: Turn up regularly
The guy who emailed me hadn’t published a new blog post for over 4 weeks. Here’s the thing: We can’t expect people to return to a blog, even a well-written blog, if there’s seldom any new content for them to read.
If you want people to visit your blog regularly, publish new content regularly. Keep your blog fresh. The more often you publish useful content, the faster your readership will grow.
Blog Tip 3: Create the right impression
The guy who emailed me was using a very tired looking, poorly designed blog theme. It created a terrible initial impression, which told me lots about his attitude to his blog.
It has never been easier or less expensive to have a professional looking blog. Despite this, many small business owners use ugly, dated blog themes and as a result, look amateurish. People tend not to treat information on amateur looking blogs very seriously. We expect professionals to look professional.
Think about it, there are only 2 reasons why a business would operate behind an amateur looking blog:
- They think it’s OK to allow poor quality work (design) to represent them and their values.
- They can’t afford a professional looking blog.
Neither of those options reflect well on the blog owner!
If your blog looks dated, invest in a new, professional blog theme. This allows you to create a great first impression and sets a professional tone for what your visitors are about to read.
This leads on nicely to the next point.
Blog Tip 4: Be visible on mobile devices
An increasing number of people view the Internet using their phones or tablets. If a site is hard to read on their mobile device, they leave. Despite this, an alarming number of blogs are not mobile ready. In other words, they are hard to read or navigate when using a mobile device.
Would you like to see what your blog (or website) looks like on various mobile devices? Then use this free app – Screenfly by Quicktools. It’s extremely easy. Just enter the address of your site and then click the various options in the menu bar, to see what your site looks like on different, popular phones and tablets.
If your blog doesn’t perform well on mobile devices, you will lose visitors before they even start reading what you have to say. Depending on your industry, you could be offering a bad user experience to 50% or more (and growing), of your readers!
Blog Tip 5: Stop selling
Most small business bloggers turn almost every post into a sales pitch. Instead of being interesting and offering useful information, these posts read like a series of thinly-disguised advertisements. The challenge with that approach is that people are not interested in reading ads, linking to ads or sharing your ads with their friends.
Focus instead on using your posts to position you as an expert in your field. Provide valuable information, which people will want to read, link to and share.
This is the exact approach I use with Jim’s Marketing Blog. I share my ideas and expertise, for free, with the intention of being as valuable to my readers as possible. Then, when they decide they need expert marketing help, a hefty subset email me or give me a call. Readers also share my posts and link to them, allowing me to reach new readers every day.
Blog Tip 6: Make blogging a high priority business activity
A successful blog can be an exceptionally valuable asset for you and your business. So, give it the investment it needs.
For instance, my blog has provided me with opportunities I could never have imagined, prior to blogging. It has allowed me to attract the interest, and custom, of some of the world’s biggest brands. It has also allowed me to build a fantastic network among my readers, eliminating the need for me to have a Linkedin account or do any form of networking.
Give your blog the time, effort and money it needs and you can build an asset, which grows in value every day.
Blog Tip 7: Play the long game
Even if you are doing everything correctly, it takes time for you to attract (and keep re-earning), the attention of a sizeable readership.
Once a reader has found your blog, the key to motivating them to hire you, buy from you or recommend your work with their valued contacts, is for you to demonstrate your reliability… over time. This is how you go from being yet another blogger, to a professional who they feel they can trust.
Those are just some of the main areas to focus on, if you want to get the best results from your blog. I hope you find them useful. More importantly, I hope you do something with them.