You know that blog you just started? Your attempt to keep to industry standards and expectations in the twenty-first century? It’s cute. Really. Your blog is an adorable little thing compared to all the others out there. It fits right in—which is why it’s dying—which is why you might as well stop now.
It’s time to be painfully honest with yourself: your blog just doesn’t have what it takes. You’re best off if you stop now and get back to whatever it was you were doing before, because the amount of time and effort you’re putting into your blog just won’t pay off in the long run.
Unless… you learn to work smarter, not harder.
You can write blog articles to your heart’s content. You can have dozens of little blogs around all linking to each other and spend a fortune on a professional web design and layout scheme and then not go anywhere at all or flounder around the Internet without a clue how to get any further.
Blogs are not meant to be solitary endeavors. They need to spread in other ways—they need social media accounts, email lists, and search engine optimization. They need to be pushed into the social sphere, because if they’re not, no one will ever discover them. It’s not that your content isn’t good. Each of your posts might be completely brilliant and groundbreaking. But if people need to go to a specific URL to read any of it, no one will ever be able to find it. And that’s a shame.
Most bloggers agree that blogging frequently and regularly is vital if you want to build an audience. That much is common sense. People know that five days a week you’ll have new content. They can stop by your site during a lunch break and catch up on the day’s content without missing a beat. But how will they even be able to do that if they don’t know your blog exists?
Here’s a list of vital steps to increase your visibility and findability and give your blog a solid shot at success.
- Have your own domain. If your only targeted audience is your mother and some friends from college, a free domain like blogger.com or wordpress.com is fine—but the added wordiness makes those URLs harder to remember and less distinctive to prospective readers. There are lots of inexpensive hosting services online. Moving your blog to one of those will give you more customization and easier visibility on the web.
- Know your keywords. What industry does your blog engage in or support? What kinds of people do you want to attract, and what will they type in a search engine if they want to find your blog? On your settings page, you should be able to add some quick keywords to let others find you more easily.
- Use social media. You might not want to open a bunch of new accounts and manage them all in addition to your blog, but linking the two together is much easier than you might think. You can automate the process so that as soon as you publish your posts, they are instantly blasted around the Internet for others to see.
- Build an email list. You might think that your blog doesn’t need an email list—you don’t have anything to sell people directly and don’t have any desire to sit down and plan out an email series when you could focus on writing more blog posts or getting other parts of your business better underway. But if you don’t act now, you’ll regret it. You’re missing out big time if you don’t have a list! Put a simple signup form on your blog, and you can let it do the work. Don’t worry about planning an email campaign or selling. Just let people sign up.
- Watch your content. If your posts get too repetitive or similar to each other, you’ll need to shock people to get their attention. You don’t need to use clickbait titles and controversial ideas, but consider doing a video post or infographic. You could also look at the latest news in the field and take a side on your blog. Stay up to date, and stay engaged.
- Check out other blogs! Just because they’re your competitors doesn’t mean you can’t work together and learn from them. Look up other blogs in your niche and see what they have to say. Leave (helpful) comments and ask considerate questions, or engage in current discussions. People will come to recognize you as an authority and then find your blog to see what it has to say. WORLD TEACHER – OTHER WORLD STYLE EDUCATION & AGENT
Having a successful blog doesn’t mean putting in the extra long hours or hundreds (or thousands) of dollars it might look like it needs. Take a strategic approach instead—engage with your readers on other platforms and in other ways. Find out where they are so that you can find them and they can find you, and optimize your communication. Your blog will return to life before you know it!