Blogging is an ongoing venture that requires consistent attention, smart planning, and lots of effort. If you’ve taken a laid-back or haphazard approach to your blogging, you’re sure to see equally irregular results. Make this your year to shine by polishing up your posts and taking a smart, systematic approach to your writing. Turn these successful strategies into well-ingrained habits to revitalise your blog and finally get the response you’re after.
Identify Your Niche
What is your niche? If you can’t sum up an answer quickly, then take some time to identify your blog’s purpose. If you’re an established blogger, examine your statistics. Which posts get the most interaction? Who are your readers and what are they looking for when they’re surfing the web? If your blog consists of a smattering of diverse topics, it’s time to hone in on those that are really connecting with your readers and ditch the outliers.
If you’re new to blogging, pinpoint your niche before you begin so you can launch with a finely honed selection of posts that appeal to your desired demographic. Gather as much data as you can about what your target audience is interested in, and make sure your blogging plan always caters to that.
Develop Your Voice
Every blog has its own distinct voice. Whether you’re a single blogger working on one project, or you’re assigning posts out to a team of writers, it’s important to define the tone that’s best suited to your site. The light, playful voice that’s perfect for a fashion blogger wouldn’t suit a business-focused site. Maintaining a consistent voice will give your blog a distinct personality that’s more likely to win over readers.
Develop a style guide that clearly identifies the key elements of your voice. List key terms and phrases that you want to focus on as well as those that you should never use. If you’re writing a fitness blog, consider how your audience is best motivated. Do they respond to an uplifting and inspirational tone, or are they more responsive to a tough and commanding approach? Know what works, and use this information to forge a deeper connection with readers by using a voice with whom they’ll naturally connect.
Follow Your Industry
Once you’ve defined your niche, you can target the top influencers, professional organisations, and publications within your industry. Who has the most Twitter followers in your area? Make sure you’re following them as well. Which companies produce the most comprehensive studies in your field? Keep a close eye on their releases so you’re never behind the trends.
Get out and interact with your audience as much as possible. If you’re writing a fitness blog, hit the gym and strike up some conversations. If you’re marketing toward pet owners, participate in local dog walks and chat with everyone around you. Cultivate rich relationships and close connections with the most important individuals in your area, from other bloggers to news reporters, so you can produce content that’s unique, informative, and perfectly positioned to answer your audience’s needs.
Create a Calendar
The best bloggers are prolific and consistent. Avoid posting in big bursts, even if this is how you write. Blogs that are focused on current events obviously need to post immediately so you can ride the wave of interest while it’s strong. However, you can combine these types of posts with evergreen content that’s easier to schedule ahead. These types of pieces allow you more flexibility with your writing. Simply schedule your blogs to post on future dates so readers will find new content on a predictable basis regardless of when your prolific writing stint took place.
If you struggle with consistency, a blog calendar can serve as an invaluable tool for staying on track. Consider offering themed posts on a weekly basis to make it easier to ideate. If you hit on a popular topic, try expanding it into a series. Thinking ahead is key.
Blogging isn’t as simple as crafting unique posts and hitting the publish button. You need to actively promote your pieces with smart content marketing to make sure you’re reaching an ever-expanding audience of readers. After you’ve polished your post, craft smart snippets for social media. This may include engaging Facebook posts, clever Tweets, and Pinterest-worthy pictures. Create a checklist of social media activities that you want to produce for every post, and complete this important step consistently.
Remember that your initial share is only half of the equation. Check your social accounts regularly and interact with your audience. Reply to comments on your Facebook posts, retweet positive mentions, and answer emails with a warm, personal response. If your blogging efforts aren’t socially focused yet, resolve to reframe your efforts in the new year.
Analyze Your Efforts
Improving analytics is always a hot topic with bloggers and marketers, and for good reason. Proper analysis will help you identify your successes, pinpoint your failures, and continuously adjust your efforts to yield the best results. Make sure you know where your readers come from. What search engines and terms lead them to your blog? Which posts get the most shares, tweets, pins, and comments? When are your readers visiting the blog? Do you have a strong Monday morning audience, or late-night readers?
Even the smallest of details can yield interesting insights when you take the time to really analyze all the information available to you. You might learn that you have an abundance of afternoon visitors because your young mom followers are popping in during nap time. Taking this data from your blog, you can adjust the timing of your emails to better connect with your audience. Resolve to check in with your analytics often and continuously seek fresh ways to look at the data.
Updating your blogging approach for the new year can help you reframe your efforts and revitalise your online presence. Remember to stay flexible as you evolve, constantly responding to cues from your readers and making timely adjustments whenever you receive new information. With the right combination of consistent content and versatile strategies, you can make this a year to remember.
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