There are so many blogs around – last Google count was in excess of 150 million – to say it’s hard to make your voice stand out is an understatement. So how do you make your blog be heard above the digital chatter?
Here’s five things to consider before embarking on your next blog:
1. Find your niche and your voice
Everyone has something to say, but not everyone says stuff that others want to hear. Equally, there are some things that need saying but for some reason just aren’t (or at least not in the right way). Is there a gap in your market? Defining your niche with your blog is a way to narrow your blog’s focus and differentiate yourself from competitors. Love cooking on your Aga, but can’t find a blog with recipes for it? There’s your gap.
If you don’t know what your blog’s focus will be but you need to have a blog for business purposes, try reporting relevant timely news and developments in your industry with your opinions about what’s going on. Readers will know you’re the go-to source for update and best practices for their industry. That’s niche.
Once you have identified your niche, think of your perfect reader. Then, imagine your blog to be the start of a conversation with them. OK, so it might be a little one-sided initially but hopefully if you provide enough interesting information, readers may start to interact with your blog. Thinking about this reader will help you refine your voice, too.
2. Craft content for humans
Once you’ve found your voice, it’s time to craft your content. Think about your market and write specifically for your audience to produce something that you would want to read yourself. While it’s important to bear search engine optimisation in mind, Google algorithms recognise content that is merely stuffed with key words and actually punish these kind of blog posts. In addition, writing for your audience means you’ll be (hopefully) creating something that is useful to them, which means they’ll be regular visitors to your blog and may well comment or even share content, all of which are better for your search engine rankings than just making your content sure is full of key words. Which means that if you write for humans, you’re automatically writing SEO-driven posts.
3. Post regularly
Not everyone has the resources to post daily, but that’s ok; not everyone has the time to read a blog post every day. It’s definitely better to post less frequently but with higher quality posts. Equally, it’s good to post regularly, scheduling your posts on a specific day of the week or to a time frame (fortnightly or monthly). Erratic posting can damage your blog traffic and put readers off. Once you have found your niche and your voice, consistency in posting means your readers know what to expect and when to expect it.
4. Build meaningful relationships
Building relationships not just with your readers, but within your industry or blogging community strengthens your own brand or blog. Engaging on other blogs or social media platforms such as Twitter or Instagram is a great way to get your voice out there. If you comment on people’s feed, then not only do they see the comment (and, in most cases, interact with it) then all their followers do too. Respond to any comments left on your blog – readers will move onto the next blog if you don’t answer their comments.
5. Break up the text and be visual
Now, Monika admits that as a writer and journalist she struggled with this initially. But no-one wants to be faced with a giant block of text on screen. Try breaking up your text with sub headlines, images, photos and lists. People naturally absorb more information visually and in short format so this strategy makes your posts more digestible.
If you don’t have a budget for a professional photographer, try to learn how to use your smartphone camera properly and start taking some images with it. Go on course to help you. And if at the end of the day your images are still below par, check out some of the free image libraries available online. Try not to be obvious: not every image accompanying a post about blogging needs to have a laptop and a coffee in it!
At Individualise we love blogs and blogging. Contact us if you need help with yours.