Published: 20 April 2016
Building a successful blog is very rewarding, but can come with some pitfalls. Knowing some basics will set you up for success and can boost your growth considerably.
Many of us start out with the best of intentions, thinking we’ll publish a post every day. The reality is often a lot more work than initially envisioned, and once you start to drift from your schedule it becomes easy to let it go all together. Even worse is not setting a schedule or any goals, it’s far to easy to get lazy and soon you;ll find it’s months since your last post. Start out with a post schedule that you are sure you can stick to.
You want your blog to be inviting so don’t give your readers a wall of text. Use white space between the lines and around the text to make the page feel lighter. This alone will reduce your bounce rate and drive more repeat visitors to your website.
You should always use well chosen keywords for link text. Using ‘click here’ adds unnecessary uncertainty to the link, which can also lose you trust. People tend to be wary of ambiguous calls to action, you should use link text that’s concise and focused.
Visual content is essential if you want your blog to be a success. People process visual content much faster than text, and social media posts with images get 94% more views. Creating visual content need not be hard, there are plenty of tools available online to help you.
Putting aside that it’s only polite to reply when someone has taken the time to comment on your post, there are a few other benefits to interacting. Replying to questions and comments can help to establish your credibility and authority, it’s a chance to share your knowledge and inform potential customers. Commenting also increase the comment count on your blog, which can encourage more people to visit your site. It also encourages more comments as people get involved with the dialog running below your post. Sometimes it can also be a source of new material. Look out for new opinions or the same question being asked repeatedly.
Social media is the key to growing your blog. Sharing your content on social media can double the number of reader on your blog. Adding share buttons can increase social media traffic by another 20%. You should place them in a prominent position where readers can easily spot them.
There is no reason for not using Google analytics, its free and it will tell you a lot about your audience, where your website traffic is coming from, and which posts are doing well and which are not. Trying to grow a blog without analytics is like driving blindfolded, you’re not likely to end up where you wanted to go.
Once you’ve got a visitor onto your site you want them to stay as long as possible. The more pages they read the better. You want to make it easy for visitors to find your best material, so place links to you most popular and newest posts in the sidebar. This will also help to boost followers and email subscribers.
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