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Friday, July 27, 2012

How to build a following for your blog

 As bloggers we all do different things. Some of us do pop culture, some of us do movie reviews. Others use their blog to promote their work, be that writing or motivational speaking. Others just blog about life, their everyday life or their families. Some, like me, like to mix it up and do a bunch of different things. One thing we all have in common though, is that we want to be read. If we take the time to blog, for seemingly very little to no money, we want others to read what we write. 
How do we get that traffic and interaction that we all want. I will give you my thoughts on this. You will note though, that while I think I know how to do this, I don't bother currently. Blogging is just sort of a hobby and medium for me to keep me sharp when I write my script work, which is my main focus. As well, since I am very opinionated, I have found  blogging a good place to channel that. Nevertheless, I have some ideas on how to get attention and keep it, something I am also pretty good at doing.

Here we go.

First off. Ask yourself this question:

Why would anybody want to read your blog?

 Is it interesting? Do you offer information they can't get elsewhere? Are you funny, witty, thought provoking? You have to be different and stand out in some way. There are millions of blogs that anyone can choose from and maybe only time to read and follow 3 or 4 for any given person. It is extremely competitive in the world of blogging so you better be good and you better stand out. As well, you likely only get one chance with anyone. If they don't like the first blog they read from you, they are likely gone for good.

 Would you want to read your blog?

The answer to that better be yes. If you aren't captivated by what you write, others wont be either. You can't be mediocre if you want to gain and keep a following. 

 The number one way to increase traffic to your blog? Find people who are already interested in what you write about.

You are on facebook. Find groups that have people who are interested in what you talk about. If that is health, start typing health related words into the search engine. Find those groups. Join them. Friend those you can friend. Maybe even post your blog there if they allow that. People always will at least click on your blog if they are already interested in the topic. That is the place you start from. It is then up to you to bring to them more than they already know. If and when you do that, they will do a lot of the networking for you. They will post your blog on their own page and others of their friends will also start following your blog. It is a snowball effect that can go both ways. If your quality suffers at some point, you can also lose them all just as fast. These people are already telling you by their participation in any particular group that they are interested in what you are selling. Facebook has done the target marketing for you. You just have to take advantage of that.

What are the reasons anybody reads a blog?

Don't tell people the obvious. They already know that and can go to Wikipedia if they really want to.  Bring them something fresh, interesting and attention grabbing and keeping. They have millions of blogs to choose from, so yours better be great if you want them to notice you and keep coming back to you.

Use your friend list to leverage your blog.

You have friends already on facebook. Try to get them to notice what you write in your blog. If they aren't,  then you might have to get some new friends.  

Be different

Don't do what others do. Give people something different so they are compelled to come to your blog. Information is great, but if they are already getting that elsewhere, they will stay elsewhere.

Be thorough and complete.

If you are going to tackle a subject, be very thorough and cover everything that needs to be covered. But, condense it down so the reader doesn't need to spend 20 minutes reading it.  That is not a blog,  that is a story, article or novel.

Make it personal

Bring something extra to your blog. Make it relatable in a personal way. Tell a personal story, or anecdote. That makes the blog more you than anyone elses blog.

If you do all of these things, and do them well, you are certain to increase the traffic to your blog. There are other factors which can also influence the traffic, but these are the most important,  according to me anyway.

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Daily profile about a specific artist,their life, their work and their impact