If you want to make a real living blogging, it’s repeat readers that are going to get you there. SEO might help you to climb Google’s ranks but the real profits are always going to be to attract loyal readers.
It’s repeat readers that will visit your blog regardless of where you rank. It’s repeat readers that will leave well thought out comments and build natural backlinks for you.
Attracting a loyal following for your blog isn’t rocket science but it does take time. Here are seven simple tips for speeding up the process.
Post to a Schedule
One of the first rules of building a following is to post on a regular basis. You don’t need to post daily but you do need to post to a schedule. Let visitors to your blog know how often you plan on posting and do your best to stick to that schedule each and every week. You want people to expect posts on certain days and visit your blog as a result. Constantly disappearing for a week or two is not how you achieve this.
When somebody reads a great post on your blog, the last thing that you want is for them to forget where they read it. An important goal for every blogger is therefore to run a memorable blog. Avoid generic, easily forgettable domain names. Get an eye catching logo designed and combine it with a memorable tagline. Research how blogs in your niche typically look and fashion your blog in a completely different style.
Be a Real Person
If you want to attract a following fast, don’t be an anonymous blogger. Using your real name and putting a face to that name with a photo is very much recommended. When you blog anonymously, you are needlessly handicapping yourself. You are making it far more difficult for your readers to really connect with you. Clever bloggers take this one step further by including the odd talking heads style video post.
Share Your Opinions
One of the easiest ways to attract a following is to be opinionated. Facts are everywhere online but your opinions can be exclusive to your blog provided you actually include them in your posts. Regardless of what you’re writing about, try to include a few sentences regarding how you feel about the subject matter. Controversial opinions are especially effective at keeping readers coming back for more.
Take a look at your competitors blogs. In all likelihood, the people that visit your blog are reading your competitors blogs also. If you want to attract a following, you therefore need to offer something different. Just about every niche has ample competition these days and it’s the bloggers that manage to differentiate themselves from the crowd that make real money. What are your competitors failing to write about?
Talk to Your Audience
If you want loyal followers, you need to be willing to talk to them. The best bloggers understand that blogging is a two way conversation. When somebody leaves a well thought out comment on your blog, make sure that you respond in kind. Let your readers know that their input is valued. And because your blogs comment section is the primary vehicle for discussion with your readers, it’s important to keep it well moderated.
Offer Genuine Value
Finally, if you want to attract a loyal following, you need to offer visitors to your blog genuine value. You need to write posts that genuinely help them. Ask yourself what problems your readers are likely to have and how your blog might help to solve them. Nothing builds loyalty quite as fast as problem solving. This is one of the reasons why well thought out tutorials make for excellent blog posts.