Whether you’re running a blog to help promote your business or doing it to make a little extra money on the side, you’ll likely want to get as much relevant traffic as possible. With millions of blogs out there covering just about every niche imaginable, it’s often not easy to stand out among the competition and get the recognition you need to succeed. However, the following 10 tips should improve your chances.
#1. Be Authoritative.
As a blogger, one of your primary goals should be to get recognised as an expert in your field, and this means providing authoritative content. However, if you want to have any hope of becoming a thought leader, you’ll need to carry out research and cite sources to prove you’ve been looking in the right places. Linking to authoritative and relevant websites will also help improve your search engine visibility.
#2. Be useful.
Think about why people would want to visit your blog. Your target audience will either expect to be entertained or helped in some way. Whether they’re turning to the Internet in search of something to amuse them or something to answer their questions and concerns, the content on your blog needs to serve one or more of those goals. In other words, write for people and not for the search engines.
#3. Be relevant.
Relevancy is one of the core pillars of modern search engine optimisation. If the content you provide on your blog is not relevant to the audience you’re trying to target, your bounce rate will increase and your search engine ranking will go down. The same applies to backlinks to your website. For example, a backlink placed on a completely unrelated website can have a negative effect.
#4. Follow industry trends.
If you want to become an authority in your niche, then you need to show that you’re very familiar with the here and now of your industry. You’ll need to keep up to date with current trends concerning the subject matter of your blog and be among the first to talk about them. There are many websites, such as Google Trends and Buzz Zumo, that can help you track popular trends based on certain keywords.
#5. Listen to your readers.
A successful blog is never without its strong social elements. Building up a community of followers is an important part of blogging, so you should always be present to listen to your readers and respond to their queries, praise or even negative feedback. Comment sections on blogs are also highly valuable for gaining audience insights and improving and adapting your content accordingly.
#6. Be consistent.
Almost nothing will make you lose your readership quicker than a lack of consistency in your posting schedule. For example, if you’re in the habit of posting a two new articles per week, yet you end up skipping a couple of weeks, many regular readers will start to think you’ve given up and will quickly forget about you. A lack of consistency and frequent content updates will also hurt your search engine standing.
#7. Share your secrets.
Do you have a revolutionary idea or some secret knowledge that nobody else seems to be talking about? If there is anything unique that you have to offer, then you shouldn’t bottle it up for long only for someone else to eventually discover it for themselves. Sharing unique and insider knowledge is a sure-fire way to create viral content and build up a reputation as an expert.
#8. Be unique.
Perhaps you don’t already have something truly new and revolutionary to discuss, but that doesn’t mean your content can’t be unique. Blogging is also very much about sharing your opinions, particularly if they tend to spark some controversy or at least inspire some passionate discussion. It’s a great medium for telling your own stories or those unique to your business, so don’t be afraid to adopt a little creativity.
#9. Be professional.
Just like any other website, your blog needs to be presented in a professional and modern way, otherwise you’ll rapidly lose your credibility. A quality website will instantly make a positive first impression while also providing an optimal browsing experience on all Web-enabled devices. For best results, consider paying for a premium theme or having one designed by a professional.
#10. Connect with experts.
Again, it cannot be stressed enough that blogging is also a social platform, so it presents a great opportunity to connect with other experts and get on board with new ideas. By surrounding yourself with other industry experts and linking to their own blogs and websites, you’ll be able to build a collaborative and mutually beneficial atmosphere that will also help boost your reputation in the eyes of your audience.
Becoming a thought leader will lend enormous credibility to your brand, but it’s not something you can expect to happen overnight. Blogging is time-consuming and requires long-term commitment, hence many businesses shy away from it. However, the return on investment of an expert blog can be very high in the longer term, and there are few more cost-effective ways to build up and manage your reputation.