According to the WordPress Blog there are currently 57,316,676 blogs (and counting) that have been created just on their platform and that number is continually growing. Add in more huge numbers of blogs built on other platforms, and you begin to understand the level of competition you're faced with. If you are a new business and are considering starting a new blog, one thing's for sure, you never want to be the only one visiting your own blog.
Once you say YES to blogging, be ready for an exciting sometimes arduous journey. I'm not going to lie to you, having a plan, creating a schedule and sticking to a specific campaign is not easy. But it's definitly worth it.
There are many good reasons to blog. Perhaps you're looking to creatively market your brand or your business. What a better way than committing to writing a blog. Imagine the possibilities of adding keywords, that flow naturally. Having the ability to build your content to be organic and SEO friendly. It's a place where you can engage your readers, build client relationship, and most importantly, a place to start a community. No matter what your purpose, you'll definitely want people to read and share your blog in social networks.
But before you get started, let me share with you the seven essential steps you'll need to take on your marketing journey of creating a popular blog.
Choose a good domain name
Securing a domain name that includes your business name or words that describe what your blog will be about is a must. Make it easy for users to find your site by choosing a domain name that they will naturally associate with you. It's also good practice to use a short domain name when possible, make it something that can be remembered easily. Don't use an obscure name or an abbreviation because users may not find you when searching for your content, products or services. It is also good practice to determine the availability of the name in advance. You don't want to waste time and money because you were so in love with a name that's not readily available. I recommend using namecheap.com to search for and register domain names.
Choose the best theme for your blog
Once you've secured your domain name, the next step is to envision the type of content you'll be creating. Why is this important? This will help determine the type of design you'll use for your blog. There are many ready-made WordPress themes available today, both paid and free. Make sure you plan ahead so you can customize your theme based on the type of content you'll be publishing. If you plan on using images, then make sure the theme is image friendly and highlights your photos well. We recommend you also keep your overall design simple and clean. Some bloggers tend to overdo it, and the result is a cluttered and confusing looking site. People will not come back to your site if it is difficult to navigate.
Exra tip: Stay consistent with your main site if you already have one. Nothing worst in online marketing than confusing your readers. Keep the same colors, flow, and icons if you already have them.
Tell them who you are
Users like to interact with real people. Successful blogs tell a story and visitors like to know who is telling that story. Tell them who you are by ensuring your "about" page contains the following:
- A photo of you - Get a good head shot taken of yourself. By adding your photo, your readers will be able to connect with you on a personal level.
- A description of who you are- Write a short bio of yourself. Include your achievements, education and life experience and anything that you deem important for people to know about you.
Content is still key
No matter how beautiful your blog is, if the content is crappy, no one will visit your site. Share information people will find useful or entertaining to encourage your readers to come back for more. Make sure to research your material, and when possible, invite experts to collaborate with you on certain articles. Always make sure to check your spelling and grammar. A well written article can catapult your blog from a mediocre to popular in no time.
Consistency tends to be a key area bloggers tend to forget about. Be consistent with your posts and decide on the number of times you will update your blog and stick to it. This will make it easy for your readers and visitors to know when you are coming out with fresh content. It's always good to sit down and analyze your time availability and determine the number of posts you'll be able to write. Commit to that number. Once you have determined what you can do, write several posts in advance and have them ready before publishing your first article. That way you'll have several in your queue in case you're not able to write on your normal schedule.
Make it easy to engage with you
Make it easy for your readers to give you feedback on your articles. Set up a good commenting system. If you want your site to be popular you'll need to set up a system to allow people to engage with you. One way is by adding plug-ins to your site. Some of the more useful ones include:
- Top commenters - Reward the top commenter by adding a leader board on your site.
- Subscribe to comments - Give your readers the option to subscribe to comments. They can choose to be notified when someone replies to a comment, which encourages them to return to the site, and add a new reply. These return visits help to create more buzz for your content and engender loyal visitors.
Make it easy for people to share and subscribe to your site
If you want your site to be popular, you will need to make sure your articles are easily sharable in social. Adding social media buttons to your site makes it easy for your visitors to share your posts on their favorite social media networks. It is also important to make it easy to subscribe to your site via email and RSS subscription. Use call to action buttons that are easily recognizable. User experience is key. Just adding buttons is not enough. Test them to be sure they work.
You may think that these steps are too tedious or time consuming, but making the effort to implement the above recommendations will go a long way to ensuring your success. As the saying goes, Rome wasn't built in a day. Did we miss anything? Let us know your thoughts by leaving us a comment.
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