Getting a blog off the ground ain’t as easy as it sounds.
Sure, there’s a small tech hump to get over, but with the sheer amount of blogging platforms available to us today, you can have yours up and running inside of an hour.
Then there’s what to publish on your blog. You might be one of the lucky ones who has so much to say your question is – What NOT to publish on your blog.
Or like the majority of new businesses, you’re constantly thinking firstly; what’s going to interest my audience and the more challenging question; what hasn’t been done before!
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But let’s say you get over that and start to publish regular, quality content on your blog. Now the next challenge arises, how do you stop the lonely wind whistling through the pages? Where are all the people?????
Well before we get into that, know this. Starting and growing a blog is one of the best things your business can do moving forward.
You’re not too late, content marketing is THE biggest marketing trend and will be for a long while to come yet.
According to research by Social Media Today:
- small businesses with blogs generate 126 percent more leads than those without a blog,
- 81 percent of US consumers trust advice and information from blogs,
- 61 percent of US consumers made a purchase based on a blog post.
So, while there’s no doubt that blogs play a vital part in marketing a brand, there’s still a need to bridge the gap between starting a blog and getting it successfully off the ground.
Too many entrepreneurs start a blog with unconcealed glee, only to find themselves leaving it midway to pursue some other marketing tactic.
Why? Because they just couldn’t really get it going.
So, if you find yourselves in a similar dark and gloomy blog-marketing-ditch, then fear not; we’re here to save you.
THE 5-STEP PLAN TOWARDS BEING THE MOST POPULAR BLOGGER IN THE DIGITAL WORLD
Now that we’ve discussed the horrifying possibility of not being a successful blogger, let’s discuss the 5 steps that will see you to the other, more successful end.
STEP 1 – Publish Regular Content Consistently
People are creatures of habit. As much as we all dream of living life by the seat of our pants, the consistency of routine is what keeps us sane.
Our morning routine, our eating routine, our exercise routine, our work routine, we all tend to fall into habitual patterns of existence which fulfill the ‘certainty’ side of our most basic human needs.
If you publish content regularly say every Monday morning, your growing audience will come to rely on that content coming up on Monday morning and will look for it.
It gives people a sense of trust, of reliability.
If your content is erratic, then unknowingly you will send out a discomforting message of unreliability.
Marie Forleo, who now reaches people in 193 countries across the world with her TV Show Marie TV, started with a camera and her couch around 4 years ago and consistently published an episode a week every Tuesday and still does today.
That consistent message has resulted in millions of followers and a multi million dollar business.
Consistency is King!
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Decide which day or days each week you will publish content and stick to it. (Tip, don’t be too ambitious, better to publish less but stay consistent)
Step 2 – Guest Post
If you’re trying to get your own blog off the ground, what better way than to showcase your excellent writing talents on an already successful blog!
Obviously you need to approach blogs that have the same target audience that you’re looking for. But the benefit of a firmly established blog with a large readership is that you’re reaching that ready made community.
Make sure you place links in the guest post leading back to your posts on your blog and watch your audience grow.
However, there is one rule you MUST follow when guest posting. A splattering of relevant links through your post is fine, but don’t write the post with the sole purpose of getting people back to your site.
Blogging is a long-term game. To form a good relationship with the blog owner and their community, write truly valuable posts that help their community.
You’ll get more blogging opportunities and more loyal & active followers if you put the community first!
Google ‘your niche – guest blogging’ and start approaching blogs that accept guest posts. Just approach a few at a time and get into the habit of writing for them.
Step 3 – Create a Content Plan
Oh gosh I can’t stand this one. I’ve started so many plans only to completely abandon them hours after I’ve created them.
I’m just not the planning type much to my detriment I have to add.
A well laid plan and all that..
So if you’re a GREAT planner then happy days, go for your life. Create monthly themes, decide what subjects you can cover within those themes and schedule them into your blogging calendar.
If you’re more like me however and the thought of creating a blogging plan is akin to plaiting fog, then at least try to stay a week ahead.
Start by planning and preparing two weeks worth of content. Then every week plan the following week and so on.
Here’s an article I wrote a while back on Content Marketing Schedules, this will help!
Create your content plan whatever that might be – yearly, monthly or weekly. The key here is to know what you’re going to be publishing ahead of time so you’re not scrabbling around on publishing day looking for content.
Step 4 – Accept & Understand That Creating Content Is Only 20% of the Battle.
Once you’ve published your masterpiece now you have to get people to consume it.
Here’s where No 1 will help you so much. If your content is consistent, then the routine itself will go a long way to helping you grow your visitors.
Other than that I can’t say it much better than Kim Roach did recently in this post:
Just giving a few of these a try will see a dramatic increase in your blog visits. So get published then get busy!
For your next post, pick no less than five marketing actions to take to promote your post. Measure the impact of those five actions and pick the most successful to use for your next post.
Keep picking new strategies to add into your testing until you have a solid system for promotion which sees your posts reaching a huge audience each and every time!
Step 5 – Nurture Your Followers
Once you start getting those all important visits and comments, you have to make sure you keep them coming back!
As your blog grows, you’ll notice a good amount of loyal followers who not only engage with you over your blog posts but also share your content on different platforms.
These are your marketing army, so recognize them as such!
Firstly respond to all your comments. If someone has gone out of their way to comment on your blog, comment back! Even if it’s just to say thanks.
James Schramko is the man for this. He responds to every single comment on his blog without fail. He’s a great example of a man who really cares about his visitors and customers.
If you can send personal thank you emails to your loyal followers and build a nice, sturdy relationship with them. Send them a nice freebie if you can, or just find some other creative way of saying thank you. You could even write a ‘thank you’ blog post.
Another way of expressing your gratitude is by following your follower’s blogs. Comment on them, like their blog posts, and generally follow their blogs. And if you share their posts, then always give the writer his due credit.
Create a daily routine to check your blog for comments. Set up alerts so that you’re notified when comments are made. Make responding and conversing with your visitors a priority.
These few tips should be enough for you to launch your blog with gusto, but remember it takes time to reach a level of constant traffic.
The most successful blogs you see around you on the web today all started where you are and it was only through consistency and tenacity they are where they are today.
- Post Regular Consistent Content
- Guest Post Valuable Content Regularly
- Be a Step Ahead of Yourself and Have Content Ready to Go
- Promote, Promote, Promote
- Look After Your Followers
If you’re a successful blog owner, then fill us in with your success secrets. And if you’re still struggling in this dog-eat-dog blog world, then let us know where you’re facing problems! 🙂