In a sea of thousands upon thousands of bloggers, it is seemingly getting more and more challenging to draw in a loyal fan base, especially for new bloggers. With so many good blogs out there to read and so little time, YOU want to be one of the blogs on everyone’s “must read” list so you have to think about setting yourself apart from the many blogs that are already out there…
Here are the five rules I live by since I began this blog that seem to be the necessary elements consistent with maintaining a successful blog:
The Five B’s of Blogging:
1. Be relevant: We have all heard from the pros that it’s important to find your niche and know your audience. I think the more critical aspect of this idea is to be relevant. Who wants to read about topics that are clearly not interesting or posts that have no meaning or purpose? Keep content placed in an authentic context for your readers. This is a great way to bring readers back as you write about topics that they can relate to. Blog about ideas that will create meaning for your readers; you want your posts to resonate with your audience and keeping the content relevant will help you to achieve that.
2. Be original: Nobody wants to read a blogger that appears and sounds like an already established blogger. Everything should be unique from blog design down to the core of the writing. Keep your blog authentic and original. Don’t ever try to be like another blogger – it.just.won’t.work. Original bloggers are successful because they are original. Make your own mark in the blogosphere and make it count. Nobody likes a copy-cat.
3. Be thought-provoking: Whether your writing is rich with sarcasm, filled with humor or dripping with raw honesty, stick to what you know and do it well. Know your own voice and make it work for you. You want readers to walk away thinking about your post. Some of my best posts have come from thought-provoking ideas that generate discussion in the blogosphere and these are the kind of posts that have made an impact and gave first time visitors a reason for returning.
4. Be engaging: Stay active in conversation with your readers. Constantly make connections and make yourself available through social media. Ask questions within a post or encourage readers to begin a dialogue about the current discussion. Strike up conversation on Twitter and reach out to your audience. Showing your readers that you are available and that you want the interaction will keep them engaged as well.
5. Be yourself: Own your content. Be confident in yourself and what you publish. Know who you are and what you stand for. Set your own ground rules and live by them. Don’t ever compromise your integrity as a person, writer or blogger just for the sake of a post. Maintaining your readers’ trust is everything, so continue to define your own space and blog about the things that you are passionate about. Stay true to who you are throughout this process and this will easily translate to your readers.
Do any of these strategies make your list? As a blogger, what advice have you found to be useful?