Guest post contributed by Peter Nevis, on behalf of Orangeline.com.au.
Setting up a blog is simple, but making a success of your blog takes hard work. By doing a little planning before you write your first post, you can increase the chance of your blog attracting a large following of loyal readers. Choosing your topic, knowing your audience, creating a consistent brand, and networking are all important parts of the blogging experience. This guide aims to help you effectively carry out these steps and create a successful blog.
1. Passion – Are you passionate enough about your chosen subject to blog about it at least once a week for the foreseeable future? Many promising blogs are abandoned after a few weeks because their owners simply lose interest and run out of things to say. Choosing to blog about a topic that is an important part of your everyday life makes it easier to keep coming up with fresh, relevant content. For example, a blog about gardening will work well for you if you spend every weekend in your backyard or at the garden center, but it is not such a good choice for someone who has only a passing interest in gardening. If you are not passionate about your chosen topic, you can’t expect to evoke a sense of passion in your readers.
2. Target Audience – Your readers should always be at the forefront of your mind when you blog. Without an audience, a blog is little more than a private diary. Besides, if you want to monetize your blog through advertising or affiliate marketing, attracting an interested audience will be essential. Before starting your blog, decide on your target audience and get to know your potential readers through market research. What types of people are likely to be interested in your blog? Are you targeting men, women, or both? What age range are you hoping to attract? Is your typical reader more likely to be a professional or a stay-at-home mom? These demographic details might seem unimportant, but knowing your audience allows you to address your readers appropriately, offer them the content they want to read, and schedule your updates so that they appear at convenient times for your readers.
3. Branding – Creating a consistent brand across multiple platforms is essential to establishing your authority as an expert blogger. Your blog should have its own Facebook page and Twitter account, which you can use to alert your fans to new content on your blog. Don’t adopt a different username for each account; keep it consistent to strengthen your brand.
4. Networking – If you see other bloggers purely as competition, you’ll miss out on the opportunity to learn from them. Aim to spend a few minutes each day networking with other bloggers by commenting on their blogs, adding links to their posts in your blog, and following them; you may be rewarded by having them recommend your blog to their readers.
5. Guest Blogging – Updating your blog every few days can become a drag, and you may find yourself rehashing old content to fill the space. To inject some life back into your blog, consider inviting guest bloggers to write about particular topics for you. Many bloggers will be happy to write a post for your blog as it is a good opportunity for them to publicize their own blogs. Once you’ve established some contacts in the blogosphere, you could consider writing guest posts yourself on blogs that you enjoy.