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By now, everyone understands the benefits of a blog. A content creator can connect with readers on a personal basis while building organic traffic via search engine optimization. It’s one of the best methods available for sharing knowledge, wisdom, and experience while making money online. The problem is that millions of blogs exist, and many of them are frankly terrible. You want to differentiate your blog from the cesspool of generic, thoughtless websites that have saturated the internet. Here are seven steps for populating a blog the right way.
Image via Flickr user Petr Sejba
Look, a lot of other tips for building and sustaining a blog are important, but they pale in comparison to this one. Consistent updates are the most important aspect of running a blog. Without them, you shouldn’t waste your time.
Nothing dissuades readers from returning to a site like a lack of quality updates. It’s no different than not mowing your lawn or cutting your fingernails. It sends a distinct message that you’re apathetic about yourself and what you do. That’s precisely the wrong way to excite people about coming back to your blog.
Some bloggers feel like updates require a lot of work. While that is true of the highest quality updates, you should know that readers don’t expect a huge update every time. In fact, readers will dismiss lengthy commentary with the abbreviation of TLDR, which stands for “too long, didn’t read.”
Site visitors post TLDR as a flippant comment about blogs that require too much reader engagement. They don’t want to read exhaustive posts each day any more than you want to write them. The trick is to find that happy medium wherein your content feels relevant and important without placing huge demands on your audience.
With so much competition for eyeballs, you’ll never get ahead by saying what everyone else does. That’s especially true if you say it in the same way. One of the keys to long-term blogging success is to develop a memorable voice. Whether you choose to post analytically, humorously, or emotionally, you can and will find a receptive audience for your words as long as you can distinguish yourself.
Here’s a solid strategy to find your voice. Make a list of your favorite topics at the start. Some bloggers suggest saving your most passionate subjects until later, but that’s the wrong way to handle the situation. Instead, you want to talk about the subjects that matter most to you.
These discussions will function as an entry point for your readers. Use these early opportunities as a way to show where you stand on issues of importance. You’ll simultaneously display and hone your site voice. The process happens organically with subjects that evoke passionate responses.
No matter how strongly you feel about a subject, you’re still wasting your time if it’s something that few people will read. While the internet has a large volume of niches, you’re unlikely to find widespread success while prioritizing an unpopular subject.
Populating a blog requires a certain amount of cynicism. You have to organize your updates in a way that will guarantee site traffic. Otherwise, you’re writing your blog without a realistic hope of site growth.
Noted internet content analyst Neil Patel has identified 35 kinds of site updates that are likely to perform well. While you may not want to write a listicle about bacon memes, the underlying logic of Patel’s premise is sound. SEO experts have collated enough data to know which topics are most popular to the average reader. Even if you have grand ambitions about content creation, you should still sprinkle in some of these suggestions. They’ll give your readers additional reasons to return to your site.
This topic operates in the tandem with the above one. One of the best ways to identify a target audience is through keyword research. Once you’ve chosen your areas of focus for your first few articles, you’ll have a strong understanding of what you want to accomplish with your blog. Take this opportunity to learn about the competition.
No matter your chosen blog subject, many other content creators have already written countless updates on the topic. Don’t worry about the saturation in the marketplace. Instead, turn this situation into a positive. You have the ability to learn which keywords have performed well in this area.
With a bit of investigation, you can learn which topics are most interesting to internet users. Then, you can populate your blog with updates that better satisfy the needs of these potential site visitors. A bit of keyword research is oftentimes the difference in a successful blog and one that receives little site traffic.
Every field of blog discussion has a natural cycle. Television shows are more interesting as the season finale nears or a major character dies. Movie discussions matter more during the all-important summer and holiday box office seasons. Trashy book sales increase during beach season. Even politics works cyclically as elections approach.
When you choose an area of focus, you’re also tacitly accepting that you’ll update the most during the times when your readers are most engaged. Anyone running a retail business should prioritize updates in the weeks leading up to Black Friday, as an example. Someone in logistics should provide more content months earlier, the time when manufacturers are preparing to make and ship those holiday goods.
Timing is crucial to the appeal of your blog. You want to use all available data to learn when your readers are most interested in updates and populate your site accordingly. Also…
The call to action (CTA) is the most important part of what you do. You want to engage your readers in a way that they don’t simply read what you write. They also respond to it through interactions. You want to write a CTA that encourages this type of user response.
Even if you aren’t selling a specific product, your blog qualifies as a product on its own. You should follow that old business staple of always be closing (ABC). You want to use the current thing, a blog update, to sell the next thing, a future blog update. Also, you can leverage your forum to sell other things, prior blog updates that have some connection to the current one.
The way you end your post should encourage the reader to do what they came to your site to do: read! And on a seemingly unrelated note, this is the moment when the author directs you to all the other great blog updates available on CopyPress.