[guest post by Colin Matthes]
Here are three things to keep in mind to help you take your blog to the next level, according to Matthes.
Find your niche
Finding a niche is essential for the success of a blog. There used to be a day when blogging could be very vague and jump around topics to be successful, but the new rules of blogging require you to write about specific topics that answer specific questions. For example, at SpinGo, we write about event marketing. We don’t just talk about marketing, but we have narrowed our niche to talk about marketing for events. The more targeted we are with our writing, the more likely we are to find the exact type of people that our products can help. If you aren’t selling any products, you will still see a benefit by finding a niche topic because again, you will find the diehards who are interested in specifically what you have to say. The internet has evolved into a much more personal level, where you can find any information on any topic, and people want content catered to them.
Finding a niche is simple if you are selling a product, because you should write about information that your audience would be interested in. That’s the simple part. If you sell shoes, you should probably talk about different styles for shoes, products that protect shoes, etc. If you don’t sell anything, then finding your niche is much more up to you. You need to find what you like writing about, and what you are good at writing about. If you are good at writing about fashion, you could focus on luxury brands, or color coordination. But if you write about clothes in general, you will find yourself writing to a general audience, yet nobody will read it. If you write detailed blogs to a niche audience, you will find that you are actually connecting with people on the internet.
We set ourselves apart from others on the same topic by going into detail on our posts. We don’t keep any secrets, we share openly and give information liberally to our customers. We talk about our personal experiences, we get event organizers to share their experiences with us, we do our research and make sure our articles are well crafted and thought out. We take the time to make sure they are going to be helpful.
Use images whenever possible
Images are incredibly important for your blog, but the most important image is the one you post on social media. If you choose the right image, you will get more clicks and shares , meaning that more people will read your blog if you use the right image. In the blog post itself, I always find myself enjoying articles that are split up and enhanced through the use of images and graphics. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so adding in three pictures to your post is equivalent to writing 3,000 words. I like to add charts and graphs that help explain my posts as well as quality images that can give readers a visual that makes the words on the page more understandable. Images are great for breaking up text, it makes the paragraphs easier to read, as well.
I select quality images from flickr, from a variety of free stock photo sources, or from images I have taken myself. If you have money to spend, it would be worth it to purchase stock photos. I always look for images that have a lot of white space. A clear, simple look usually gets a lot more clicks, as well as images that have blue backgrounds as opposed to red ones. These little things make a difference when selecting images for the blog. Never post an image that doesn’t look professional.
I would recommend blogging at a minimum of twice a week. One of the biggest factors to a successful blog is to post frequently and consistently. The charts and numbers show that the more frequently you post, the higher your numbers and views will rise. When you start writing a blog, things will begin slowly. You may be discouraged that you aren’t getting very many views even though you are doing everything right. But you can’t give up, because it takes time. The truth is, that the more often you post, the more chances you have of having one of your blog posts make it big.
If you don’t have time to blog twice a week, there are a couple different options you could do. You can go back and reshare content that you have already written. This is a good way to draw people back in. But one of the best ways to keep up on your blogging schedule is to find guest posters. This may seem hard, but if you have email subscribers you can send out an email to get guest bloggers, or you can use social media to ask for content from people, or you can simply find writers you enjoy who write about your topic and ask if they want to write a guest blog for you. Many will be thrilled to. Some will decline. But guest posting is a great way to always have content to post.
If you are just starting a blog, or you don’t currently have any traction, I would recommend doing this:
- Write 3 months worth of blog posts before you start publishing.
- Once you have the three months of content, start publishing your posts.
- Then try to keep on a schedule of writing so you can stay ahead of the game.
This will help you out as you try to find guest bloggers as well, because it gives you time to do it.
How do you make your blog posts stand out? Share with us in the comments or on Twitter at @flow_reader!