Blogs are everywhere today, and they cater to a wide variety of tastes. Whether your preferences skew towards parenting, moto racing, video gaming, crochet, travel, and more, chances are there’s a blog out there you find interesting. If you’re a reader, it’s awesome, because you have a wide variety to choose from, which all but guarantees you’ll find something to pique your interest. But if you’re a blogger, especially one trying to make a living through your blog, it can be a real problem.
With more choices come harder decisions; with more voices comes more noise; with more blogs out there comes more competition. If you’re trying to succeed as a professional blogger, or even if you’re just trying to draw a larger readership to your personal one, you can’t afford to be just a face in the crowd.
With that in mind, let’s discuss five methods you can use to enhance your blog’s impact, and increase your longevity with your readers, and your income.
- Narrow Your Focus
Usually, there’s nothing wrong with being a jack-of-all-trades; the more skills you have, the more marketable and self-reliant you are, right? In most cases, that’s absolutely correct. In the world of blogging, though, it’s the equivalent of throwing balls at the wall and seeing if one sticks.
When people search online for information, they usually do so in the form of a question. “How can I fix my credit?” “Where can I buy a reliable used car?” “When are the best times to get pregnant?” are all common questions that people turn to the internet to answer. Blogs can be a great resource for answering these questions, but only if they’re a) specific in their niche and b) have high-quality content.
You may have many interests in your life, and that’s fine, but when it comes to blogging, you need to focus on one specific topic or theme that you’ll blog about exclusively, at least until your readership grows. It allows you to hone your writing craft since you’re only focusing on one topic you know very well, you’ll be able to gauge your readership and what they want more clearly, and you’ll improve your rankings through online searches. All of these factors are indispensable in crafting a popular, effective blog.
- Consider Changing Your Domain Name
Believe me, I understand: when you started blogging, the closest thing you could find for a domain name you liked was hawtmummytips4u.com. It may have worked fine when you were just starting out, and only had about 25 subscribers, but now you’re ready to step up, increase your readership and want people to take you more seriously. It all starts with how you market yourself, and your blog name can speak volumes about your level as a blogger.
In general, slang and abbreviations, while they can be cool to use in your own blog posts, and help give you a unique voice, are not a good idea for domain names. For one thing, dependent on the spelling, they can make you sound unprofessional or juvenile, which is what you want to avoid if you want to be perceived as an expert in your craft.
Additionally, and less subjectively, if people have a difficult time remembering or spelling your name, it will make it difficult for them to find you through an online search, dropping your ranking in search results. That’s only addressing people who have heard of you before: it will make it nearly impossible for complete strangers, the ones you’ll need to grow your blog, to find you in the first place.
If you’re using a poorly spelt, abbreviated, or juvenile sounding domain name, or even if you’re just trying to rebrand your blog’s image for your readership, you should definitely consider investing in a new domain.
- Improve Your Writing
“You started riting cause yuo wanted to make more good blog stuff that poeple could learn about what you like to rite about and that will make you’re blog really really good and who nose you might even makes lots and lots of money right?”
In case you were wondering: yes, that last sentence is intentionally painful. It’s chalk full of misspellings, bad word choices, poor punctuation, and that’s a run-on sentence if ever I’ve seen one. It’s meant to illustrate this point: blogging is a writing medium first, so if you’re not writing well, no one is going to stick with you.
Now I’ll admit, this was an extreme example, and I’m certainly not suggesting that you need to match Tom Clancy or Margaret Atwood with your writing before you can consider yourself a professional, but if you’re serious about blogging, you need to be, at the minimum, a ‘good’ writer.
What do I mean by ‘good?’ I mean you have a good grasp of grammar and punctuation, you have an extensive vocabulary to draw from; you know how to communicate information concisely, in easy to understand terms; most importantly, you know how to tell a story.
Start by analyzing two categories of blogs: your three favourite blogs, and the three most successful, in terms of revenue and followers. The first group you’ll want to study because that will tell you a lot about the style of writing that appeals to you, and will help you develop your own voice; the second you need to analyze to determine not only writing style, but how they present information, how they brand themselves, and the type of persona they project, against their readership. That will teach you a lot about how to create a blog that appeals to a larger demographic of readers.
Checking out other blogs is also a great way to generate ideas if you’re struggling with writer’s block. Just remember: use your own words and ideas, even if they’re not as good as they could be; you’ll improve over time, I promise. An original idea that’s okay is still leagues better than a great idea that’s plagiarized. It’s legal too!
Get to Writing
Hopefully, these four ideas will help you take a step in the right direction, or at least generate some other ideas, to improve your blog. The simple truth, though, is that no amount of strategizing will make up for talent, hard work and the pure grit you’ll need to separate from the crowd and draw readers to you. No matter what you do, growing your blog will take time and effort, but with a little forethought, and by focusing on developing your weaknesses and capitalizing on your strengths, you’ll find that you have a much better time with your blog, and so will your readers!
This is a collaborative post