Millions of eyeballs reading your content, that is. While I’m sure if you own a business, you’d want to make millions of dollars, you need to first focus on winning friends who believe in your brand. That is the idea behind social media: to engage your audience by giving them something they can use. You’re going to need to abide by a few very easy and simple cardinal rules of blogging in order to be effective and show your craft-mastery.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
1)Keep it simple: The web is full of white noise, you need to keep your message simple so it does not get lost in the frey. Be suscinct, don’t be overly wordy. If you’ve already written blogs, go back and edit to be more concise. Don’t feel bad, everyone makes this mistake.
2)Be Relevant: Don’t use your work blog as a soapbox to spout your views on topics that are totally unrelated. Make sure you stick to the subject at hand, and only stray from the pertinent subjects if you are extremely clever or witty and can find some way to make it relevant. This is a word of caution, not everyone can pull this off.
3)Use Keywords: Tag your blog articles with relevant tags. For example, if you are writing a blog about medical device measurement, make sure you are tagging the posts with “thickness measurement,” “medical device,” “medical device inspection,” etc. This will increase your visibility on the web.
4)Be patient: You are not going to be an overnight success. Do not expect it. It will take weeks, maybe months, maybe even years to get to the “millions.”
5)Participate in a meaningful way: Find other blogs that are either industry relevant, or geared towards success in business and start following them. Subscribe to other blogs. Comment on posts. People want to receive comments, just like yourself. In this case, one hand washes the other. DO NOT leave spam comments with links to your site. Think about what you are going to say first, and make it relevant, ask a question that provokes an answer from the author.
6)Post regularly: You’ve worked hard to gain the readers you have thus far, you don’t want to lose their interest. Update frequently to give them the content they want. Also, if you are posting regularly, the search engines will crawl your pages regularly looking for new content to index. Again, this circles back to the whole concept of increasing your visibility on the web.
7)The More The Merrier: Quantity does matter, when it comes to increasing your web presence. However as a word of caution: don’t post just for the sake of upping your post count. Make sure your articles are relevant and remarkable. Keep the quality standard high so you don’t lose credibility in the eyes of your fans.
8)New information matters: You don’t want to post about topics that are outdated. If you do post on an outdated topic, it needs to be relevant to something that is going on right now. Your readers do not want to read old news.
9)Encourage participation: Always make sure your articles call your readers to action. Ask for their opinion, their resources, or even just feedback on what types of future articles they would like to read on your weblog.
10) Research everything: The quickest way to lose credibility is to publish misinformation. You want to make sure you have your facts straight, or you won’t be seen as the master of anything. Also, cite your sources- you want to give due diligence to the professionals whose work you use for your information.
11) Have a voice: Give your weblog a personal side. You want your readers to feel as though you are speaking directly to them. It’s okay to have opinions, so long as they are industry relevant. Do not be afraid to write about controversial “hot topics” in your industry, as this is one of the best ways to inspire participation from your audience.
12) Use different posting styles: It’s a good idea to mix up the styles of your posts- you can post “How To” articles, like this one. Post video interviews, transcripts of real life interviews (always get permission to use these first), white papers, or business best practices such as “10 ways to increase your sales.” Do not bore your readers with continuous long research style posts.
13)Titles matter: This is the first thing your readers will see when gauging if they want to continue on reading. Make sure it’s catchy. This becomes even more important if you are blogging in an industry where your audience will not have long periods of time to read long articles- and if they do have time for one, they will be drawn in by the post title. Know your audience so you can tailor your weblog style to meet their needs and time constraints.
14)Get your blogs out there: Use these articles in the rest of your social media and your other marketing strategies. Make it known that you have important information to give to your fans. Make sure you have the option to subscribe on your blog- RSS or other types of subscription services will work very well.
Remember, this is not the final say on what will help your blog gain readers. The main thing to keep in mind is that you need to be patient. If you are doing these things, along with incorporating your blog into your other social media and your existing marketing strategy, you will definitely see your numbers increase. Be consistent with your work on your weblog, if you cannot meet these requirements, consider hiring someone to do it for you.
You may wonder if a blog is the way to go with your business. Trust me, it is relevant for any business regardless of industry or size. You want your customers, contacts, industry partners, competitors to see you as someone who really knows what they are talking about. You want to be seen as someone who cares about your industry as a whole. These articles will help your customers feel like more than just a number. They give your audience a sense of importance, it gives them information that is useful to their own agenda, and ultimately becomes the gold standard of customer service.
If you blog, what are your strategies to increase your readership? If you already have lots of readers, what have you done in the past that has worked really well?