A blog can help you make affiliate sales, sell more of your own product, and even open the door to publicity opportunities.
In other words: No matter what type of business model you’re using to make money online, you should have a blog. You can use it to attract new customers to your site as well as use it to communicate with your existing prospects and customers.
The key, of course, is to have a blog your customers and prospects love visiting. Here are ten ways to help you build a popular blog.
1. Encourage Discussion
Unless you’re a late-night TV talk show host, you shouldn’t be delivering a monologue. And that means you should encourage your visitors to post replies and join the discussion. You can do this by posting about topics that typically get a strong response in other places (like on niche forums). Be sure to specifically tell your readers to post their opinion.
2. Optimize for the Search Engines
One way your blog generates traffic is via the search engines. And you can ensure you get search engine traffic by optimising your content for the search engines.
It’s simple: Use a tool like WordTracker or your favourite keyword tool to find out which phrases (also known as “keywords”) your market is using to find information in your niche. In particular, search for longtail keywords, which are low-traffic yet also low-competition words (meaning you have a good chance of ranking well). Next, write articles using these keywords. For best results, use your keyword in your article title and sprinkle it into the article two or three times for every 100 words of content.
3. Create Content Ahead of Time
A successful blog means you need to blog consistently. However, it’s easy to fall behind if you’re not used to blogging regularly. You can avoid this by writing five, ten or more articles at one time – then upload them to your blog and set them to publish on a future date.
4. Vary Post Length
To keep people interested, post articles of varying lengths. Sometimes you might post a regular 400 to 600 word article. Sometimes you might post something that’s 1000 words or more. And at other times you might just post a 50 word tip.
5. Use Multimedia
Another way to keep people interested is by using a variety of formats, such as text posts, video posts and audio posts. You should also regularly include pictures, screenshots, charts and other illustrations that keep your blog visually interesting.
6. Post Regularly
If you post regularly, people will come back regularly to see what’s new on your blog. At a minimum, commit to posting once a week. Depending on your niche and the goal of your blog, you may post daily (or even multiple times per day).
7. Give Your Readers What They Want
When you see your readers responding to a particular topic or style of posting, feed them more of the same. If you’re not yet sure what your readers enjoy, then take note of what your niche responds to on other blogs and niche forums.
8. Give People an Incentive to Subscribe
Most people who visit your site will never return. That’s why it’s a good idea to get these people to subscribe to your newsletter (as well as your RSS feed). Offer valuable free bonuses to “bribe” your prospects to join your list – that way you can follow up with them and remind them to visit your blog again.
9. Create Regular Features
Another way to make your blog sticky and encourage repeat visitors is by creating regular weekly features. These regular features might include things like:
- A weekly product review.
- The “tip of the week.”
- An interview with a niche expert.
- The top ten blog posts elsewhere in the niche.
- A feature where you answer readers’ questions.
10. Take a Stand
If there’s a hot, maybe even controversial debate going on in your niche, don’t be afraid to take a stand and post about it. Doing so “humanizes” you and draws your prospects closer to you. From time to time, you may also posts “rants” or other passionate posts. Many readers will find it a refreshing break from the typical “how to” posts.
There you have it – ten ways to grow your blog and become a better blogger. But remember this: Your blog won’t grow on its own, which is why you should take action on these tips starting right now!