Blogging has become remarkably popular with millions of blogs in existence, both personal and business related. In order to develop a blog that can be found in this busy blogosphere, you will need to create original, high quality content that people will want to read and share. For a successful new blog, start out with some planning before publishing your first post.
Define your goals.
Before you begin your blog, create a list of what you hope to achieve through it. While you may be anxious to get your ideas out there, taking some time to evaluate your objectives can help you direct the tone of your blog. Do you hope to inform, create a discussion, or increase sales? Determine what defines success for your blog before you begin.
Define your audience.
Once you have set objectives, it should be easier to define your target audience. Beginning a blog without thinking about who will be reading it is simply writing for your own benefit. A blog should be written for the benefit of the reader, so it is vital that you define who that is.
Your style and complexity of writing should be customized for the target reader. For example, you will write differently if your target audience is middle school science students as opposed to graduate level English professors. Your topics will also be chosen based on what will most interest the readership that you hope to attract.
Choose a web host and domain name.
Determine whether or not a free web hosting platform will suit your needs. For personal blogs, free web hosting may be appropriate. For beginning business blogs, free web hosting is not recommended. Though they fit into everyone’s budget, free sites often add their domain name to the one that you choose, limiting the professional appearance of your site.
When considering domain names, you will want to make sure that it is easy to spell and remember. Avoid using symbols or misspellings in your domain name that will make it awkward to share and memorize.
Before you begin blogging, determine how often you will be willing and able to publish new articles. Set a schedule and stick to it. Reliable frequency of new posts makes your blog more professional and lets readers decide when and how often they should visit your site for new information.
When you have a posting calendar, it will allow you to pre-write posts and plan article series and specials. This enables you to build an inventory of articles ready to post along with related images. Customizing articles for specific seasons, events, or holidays increases the likelihood that they will be read and shared.
Start a conversation.
A blog that is a one sided discussion will only take you so far. Include a call to action in each of your blog posts that encourages the building of an online community surrounding your blog. Ask readers to share similar experiences or answer questions about the topic of the article. Ask for feedback on the blog or for suggested future article topics. Once you get people commenting and sharing your blogs, your readership will increase as people see your site as a place to discuss and learn about a topic of common interest.
Use your voice.
While you will want to customize your message to your target audience, you will still want your personality and voice to shine through. Let your passion for the subject matter get your readers as excited about the topic as you are. Your creativity and personal take on blog topics will be what makes your blog original and attracts readers.
Develop a blog content strategy.
Developing strategy for your blog content will help you organize your posts and stick to activities that work toward your blog objectives. Your content strategy will take into account your goals, target audience, and reader feedback in order to plan future blog articles. While your blog objectives may stay the same, the strategy you enact to meet your goals will be ever changing as you utilize blog statistics and comments to determine what is working best.
Beginning a blog will require more than writing great posts. You will need to market your blog through social media profiles, guest posts, and other online discussions. Think of your blog as an online community where you will need to continuously interact and contribute in order to generate traffic.
Plan to share each of your posts on social media and respond to each comment, retweet, and new follower. Make it easy for readers to share your posts with social media sharing buttons at the top and bottom of each post.
Take advantage of the opportunities to provide guest posts to related sites and allow guests to provide articles for your site. By reaching out to blogs that your target audience is already reading, you can quickly increase your readership.