I’ve heard blogging referred to a couple of times recently as a mixture between an art and a science. If this is true (and I think it is), there’s no ‘right way’ to approach blogging if you want to be successful. There are plenty of people who’ve done a great job of it though, and I thought it would be useful to learn from them.
These 16 bloggers shared one important tip each for blogging beginners. No doubt, even if you’re not a beginner these tips will probably prove to be useful.
1. Get ideas from your audience
Create blog posts that answer the most interesting questions from people you engage with on social media.
This can be a great way to gather ideas of what topics people would most like to read about, which will help your blog grow! One of the best ways I’ve seen this in action is through blog comments or Tweets. In one example, here on FastCompany a lot of people requested a post that features more women entrepreneurs.
2. Understand your audience
Understand your audience better than they understand themselves. It takes a lot of upfront research, and often means being a member of the very tribe you’re trying to lead – but it pays off.
Understanding your audience better means you’ll have a better idea of what blog content will resonate with them, which is a good start when you get to writing blog posts.
A great technique for doing this is to simply ask your readers first on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn with an engaging quote. If people respond well to it, than this is probably a great topic to write about. An example for this comes from Andrew Chen who famously “tests” his blogpost ideas on Twitter first.
3. Write for yourself first
Write for yourself first & foremost. Ignore the fact that anyone else will read what you write; just focus on your thoughts, ideas, opinions and figure out how to put those into words. Write it and they will come.
Yes, since I’ve been writing for myself, I’ve found that I write more and I publish more often. I think though that the main reason for that is that I don’t decide whether to publishing something based on the traction / reception that the post will receive within my audience; instead if I want to publish something, I do so.
4. Build your email list
Start building your email list from day one. Even if you don’t plan on selling anything, having an email list allows you to promote your new content to your audience directly without worrying about search rankings, Facebook EdgeRank, or other online roadblocks in communications.
When you’re asking readers to sign up for your email list, you might want to try experimenting with different language. Willy Franzen found that his subscription rate jumped 254% higherwhen he changed his call-to-action from “subscribe by email” to “get jobs by email”.
5. Love your existing readers
Love the readers you already have. A lot of bloggers get quite obsessed with finding new readers – to the point that they ignore the ones they already have. Yes – do try to find new readers but spend time each day showing your current readers that you value them too and you’ll find that they will help you grow your blog.
A blog is really two things. One, simply a piece of technology, a platform. But, two, it is a promise in the minds of most readers, who expect that the blog should have actual content with some elements of value that is hyper-targeted to their needs. Much like with a newspaper. Readers don’t just look at a newspaper as newsprint that is delivered on their driveway every morning. They look at it as valuable information about their city, where they live, and the things that they do.