OK, so you have a new blog. Now what?
Well, you need a plan for publishing content.
After all, getting traffic to a blog is challenging enough. So the first thing you need is a plan to make sure that when you do get visitors coming to read your blog, they’ll want to stick around.
Here are seven vital ingredients for building a loyal following.
1. Stay on Topic
This is a mistake I see a lot of bloggers make. They stray far off the topic of their blog.
You need to remember why people came to your blog in the first place — for specific information about a topic that interests them.
So when posting at your blog, try your best to stick to your niche. If your blog doesn’t have a niche, give it one. If you have no main topic and just post about anything, then readers are less likely to start following your blog.
2. Get Personal (Sometimes)
While you should stick to your niche when posting, it’s also a good idea to let your readers get to know you over time. You do that by sharing personal details of your life occasionally.
Some of my most popular posts have been personal in nature. For instance, this recent post about bucket list destinations generated more than 30 comments. People love to get to know the bloggers they follow. Which leads me to the next tip…
3. Interact With Your Readers
Think of your blog like a conversation. You post. Readers comment. Be active and be positive as you interact and converse with your readers. It’s OK to ask readers to comment. People love to share their experiences and their knowledge with others.
4. Use Intriguing Titles in Posts
I’m sure you’ve heard of the term click bait. Basically, it’s the act of using shocking or controversial headlines and subjects to get people to click. I’m not suggesting you go this far, but you DO need to use intriguing titles in your posts.
After all, which one of these two headlines would you click on…
“How to get more website traffic”
“17 uncommon ways to get free website traffic”
Probably number two, right?
It not only announces clearly what the post is about, but it will pique their curiosity, and that is an important strategy to use when blogging. There is just so much information online you need to find ways to stand out, and this is one proven strategy.
5. Link to other popular posts within your posts
If you help people find the key pages within your blog, their visit will be a much more enjoyable experience. Plus, linking your posts together is a great way to increase the search engine ranking of your posts.
6. Encourage readers to sign up for updates by email
The best way to get people back to your blog is to email them whenever you add a new post. So it’s important that you have opt-in forms at your blog where readers can sign up.
You can use a free plugin to start getting new signups. It only takes a few minutes to setup. See the bottom of this post for an example of what a signup form from a free plugin called Optin Forms by Fancy Themes looks like.
It is also a good idea to offer an instant follow button using a free web push service such as Onesignal.
7. Publish Regularly
As your readers become familiar with your blog, they’ll come to expect regular content. If your readers know that you post fresh content every day, they will probably come every day to read it. If they know you post on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, that’s when they will come. At a minimum, you should post once a week.
Conversely, if someone visits your blog and discovers that the last post was three months ago, they will probably be disappointed. They may lose quickly if you fall out of your regular schedule and stop posting for long periods of time.
There you have it. Seven little tips that will make a big difference to your blog’s readership. It’s not rocket science. It’s just using some common sense when posting and interacting with your readers.
Good advice. Appreciate the mention of the free plugins. It’s always good to know what leaders use as tools.
Very few bloggers talk about themselves but the ones that do seem to be the most popular. and the ones that are not afraid to give their own opinions will most often attract more loyal followers. It’s hard to remember that we can’t please everyone.
Content is great but it is not the answer to everything. Everything else mentioned here is crucial too.
Good quality info Jim that will help with my Professional Looking Blog http://www.AllAboutPLR.com that you and your daughter were kind enough to setup the right way.
Thanks for this helpful article. All 7 tips are good points, but if I had to pick just 1 to go with, it would be #7, publish regularly. In my view at least, nothing will cause a blog to die on the vine quicker than lack of attention by its owner.
Thanks for a very useful and informative post, Jim.
Appreciate all of the information you provide Jim.
Have been following you for over 15 years and am finally “getting off my hands” to start working online.
Good reminders, Jim. I have been very inconsistent with blogging at my main website (epicureandigest.com)…and feeling guilty about it. Guilt feeds the procrastination. Have to just get on with it!