Starting a new blog is a relatively easy thing to do. Get hosting, add WordPress, tweak some blog settings, and start posting content. Easy, right? But how do you get your blog off of the ground? How do you go about getting traffic? Where do you get ideas for content? These questions are very important and should be answered before launching your new blog (which is something that I really should have done, but I didn’t…I chose the crash course path).
When you start a blog, you should already have a plan in place that defines a few critical elements of your business plan. Sure, you need to know what niche you will be blogging about…but these elements are even more important than deciding on a niche. With that in mind, let’s look at four awesome blogging tips that will help you jump start your new blog.
Define The Goal of Your Blog
The first step is to define the goal of your blog. What is it you are trying to accomplish with it? Who, specifically, are you trying to reach with your writing and what value are you bringing to them? These steps may not seem like major hurdles, but finding the answers to these questions will help you build your blog to fit your marketing efforts and help keep you on track to reach your goals.
Find Out What Content Works and What Doesn’t
Next, you should put some effort into researching other sites that are targeting the same audience and learn from them. What are they doing right? What mistakes are they making and how can you keep from making the same mistakes? Are there things they are overlooking that would benefit your target audience? If so, what can you do to bridge the gaps between the two?
Find High Quality, Shareable Content
The third step comes when you start adding content to your blog, and yes, it requires more research. You will want to find viral content in your niche that has a high number of social shares. What will this do for you? Well, it will show you exactly what kind of content that readers in your niche want to see, and will give you insight into understanding the needs of your reader. Also, since you’ll want to pattern your content around these highly-shareable posts, it’s more likely to gain traction with your audience and be shared. More shares = more traffic.
As for which blogs have the best content, you simply have to look for the leaders in the niche…these people usually have a pretty big following on social media. If you’re working in a niche related to blogging, affiliate marketing, or copy writing, you’ll probably recognize industry leaders like John Chow or Darren Rowse. Study the content that they put out…what kind of topics do they show a passion for? Articles by these dudes are a gold mine of information…but sometimes you have to take a step back and read between the lines to really see what they are doing. Either way, you’ll gain a ton of information and insight by following these people and reading their content.
Once you’ve determined what kind of content they are putting out, you’ll want to pattern your content ideas around theirs…but you don’t want to be a clone. This goes back to something that I mentioned earlier in this post…see if you can fill in the gaps, share a slightly different view on the subjects, or create controversy (believe me, this is NOT a bad thing usually). But no matter what, make sure your content is relevant to the needs of your audience above all things.
Build a Content Distribution System
The last step that you’ll want to do is to start building your own system of social content distribution. This isn’t nearly as difficult as it sounds, really. Basically, you’re going to want to establish a social media presence and then work on building your audience. Probably the two best social networks for building a following are Facebook and Twitter.