When you start blogging, you may want to earn money or just share your thoughts with others. Whatever your goal, there are some basic “best practices” to help you get new readers and keep existing readers interested.
1) Write regularly
Blogs live and die for their content. The more content you have, the more visitors you get from search engines, and the more visitors you have, the more readers you get. Regularly updated content is also great for keeping your existing readers interested. A reader won’t revisit your blog if they see the same post every time. Readers want new content.
Many people suggest a daily posting schedule. That’s a lot of work! If you think you want to try writing a new blog post every day, I suggest you try it before creating your blog. Use your favorite word processor and write a blog post every day for a week.
If you get tired of writing at the end of the week, consider writing a post only every few days. The most important thing is not so much how often you write, but that you follow a regular schedule. If all you can manage is one post a week, but your readers know it will be available Wednesday night, then they will come looking for it.
2) Spread the love (link)!
A common approach with new bloggers is to try to keep readers on your own blog without linking them to other blogs. The idea is that if I link, people will click the link and leave my blog.
That’s true, some of your readers will follow your links. But if they find what you linked helpful, they will come back to read your next post. And linking to other blogs is a great way to get the attention of the owner of the other blogs. They will probably come to see what you wrote about them, and they may stick around and become readers. Or they can return the favor and bond with you at some point.
Loosely linking is a good technique both to provide value to your readers and to get more readers.
3) Read (and comment on) related blogs
Regardless of what you blog about, you can bet someone else is blogging on the same topic. Reading those other blogs helps keep the inspiration alive. You will often find topic ideas on other blogs that you may not have considered, and you can put your own perspective on the topic and write about it yourself.
Commenting on other blogs is a great idea too. By commenting on another blog, you are announcing to the owner of that blog that you liked what they wrote enough to take the time to comment. There is a good chance that they will go to your blog and read some of the posts, and maybe they will leave a comment.
When you leave a comment on another blog, you will be prompted for a URL. Make sure to put your blog’s web address in that field. That way, when someone visits your blog and sees your comment, they can click on your name to go to your blog.
Regularly leaving comments on other blogs is a great way to make friends and build readers.
4) Market in moderation
Today, many people blog to try to make money.
You can earn money from blogging by placing ads on your blog pages or by linking affiliate products on your blog posts. Some bloggers think that the more they do, the more money they will make.
In reality, if you use too much marketing on your blog, your readers will ignore it. Those who can’t log out are likely to get upset and stop reading. It is far better to be moderate in your marketing efforts. Subtle marketing is more likely to make you money than making your blog like a carnival crier.
5) Be authentic
When you’re trying to make money from blogging, it’s tempting to promote any income-generating product. However, remember that you are dealing with your reputation. If you promote a product that is not good, readers who bought the product will not trust your recommendations in the future.
Similarly, if you write a blog post that is not honest, just to get people to click on your ads, eventually your readers will stop trusting you.
Always be authentic and honest in your writing, and never post anything online that doesn’t reflect how you really feel.