Hi! Thanks for stopping by and welcome to part 3 of my new Blogging Basics series!
…you’re an absolute Blogging Newbie.
…you just started blogging and you feel like you could need some helpful tips and tricks
…you have been blogging for a while, but somehow feel like you might have missed out some vital steps
…you have been blogging for years, but somehow you have trouble getting people to read your blog and subscribe.
Last time I told you some blogging basics about your blog’s LAYOUT.
Today’s blogging tips are all about CONTENT!
Part 3: CONTENT
Whew! When I started writing this post, I didn’t know there was sooo much on my mind I had to write down. There is only so much our attention span can bare.
This is way I decided to split this post into two. (Please don’t be disappointed, the second content post is coming up soon, soon next week!)
#1 Find your focus and define your goals.
When you start your blog, you have to think about what you want to write about on your blog. Like readers having a specific goal when they start looking for information, you need to have a specific focus and a certain aim. You have to define your own niche.
Think about the things you enjoy writing, doing and sharing.
Do you love so many things that you can’t break it down to one? Sometimes it’s not possible to be strictly just “a food blog” or “a sewing blog”. Think of a clever way of combining your interests to make them interesting for the reader.
But stick with one niche. If you love crafts, but also love to share your creative writing pieces, poems, etc, maybe you need two separate blogs.
Always be focussed and always be consistent.
#2 What is your target audience?
You also need to ask yourself what kind of crowd you want to address and attract. With setting your focus and goals, also think about your future readership. Do you want your blog to be a “mom blog” or maybe you want to address only your friends and family?
This is especially important when you want your blog to be read by a broad audience. For example, my first language is German, but I decided to write my blog in English. Not only because I live in London and blog about it every once in a while, but also because there are so many readers out there that otherwise wouldn’t be able to read what I write.
I always advise people to “do some research” and to study their favorite blogs to get an idea what focus, structure, personality, etc means.
But be aware that just because your favorite blog does thisandthat, this doesn’t mean you have to do it to get people to read your blog. For example, just because “Favorite Blog” posts giveaways every week or has a daily feature, you don’t have to.
#3 Life posts, yes. - But it’s not all about you!
Obviously, this advice doesn’t apply if you answered the last question with “friends and family”. If your blog is your (semi-)public diary of your year abroad, then it obviously IS all about you. If not…
Life posts are still great! They are often fun to read and show readers your personality. When you have a regular readership, they often start wanting to know more about you. And life posts are a nice way to get a little glimpse at your personal life.
But it’s not all about you.
Find the right balance. Especially in the beginning, it is most likely that people aren’t as much interested in what you’ve been doing over the weekend. They want to be inspired and want to learn from you.
Without having known your blog for a while, a story about your latest family get-together can be quite boring or uninteresting. Especially when that’s all you write about.
So don’t overdo it with your personal posts and try to link them with your reader’s interests.
For instance, if you really want to blog about having been at your best friend’s wedding, why not share some pretty pictures of the table decoration or your fun DIY wedding gift?
#4 Use your visitor stats and analytics.
It is really useful to have Google analytics or other services. Not only to count your page views, but also to get statistics about your visitor’s interests. (When using plug-ins like jetpack, make sure you switch off counting your own clicks!!)
You might want to think about posting more of the sort of content that gets the most clicks. People love your monthly feature? Maybe it pays off having it every two weeks or weekly?
Again, don’t think in black-and-white terms. Just because something isn’t looked at, doesn’t mean it’s bad content or rubbish.
When your readership is still growing, maybe you have to wait for a certain feature to establish until you have a big enough crowd of followers.
Have patience. It takes some time to get readers who, for example, are not only interested in tutorials and free patterns, but also in more personal or specific blog posts.
But keep the question in mind: What do my readers want?
If necessary, never be afraid to refocus your content.
#5 Be innovative!
Readers will get bored if you only post link lists all the time.
I know, blogging is time consuming and sometimes it’s easier to collect ideas of others.
But: Be creative, be innovative! Try things yourself, make up a fun craft idea or improve some others, but DO something yourself. I know you can do some really awesome stuff!
But if you don’t show your reader what YOU can, they will soon wander off to all those lovely other blogs you posted about.
#6 Be persistent!
The best way to keep readers coming back is to update your blog as frequently as possible. If your blog is just a static site that gets updated every six months, you might still get clicks, but readers won’t be coming back.
Quality content is really important. But quantity also is.
What helps with persistence:
#7 Have some cool blog features!
You need to blog regularly and nothing keeps you blogging more than having a regular feature. It doesn’t have to be daily or weekly in the beginning. I started off having two weekly features (10 things I love, 5 tips for the weekend), which was quite a lot of work for a blogging newbie without a proper routine. Instead of quitting one, I decided to slow down a little. The features are now monthly. And when I have the time, I try to write them every second week.
When you have daily or weekly feature, there’s a bit more pressure, since it’s more likely that people come to your blog just for reading that post and may be disappointed, if it’s not there when you promised it.
So better you start slowly. If you like, your readers like it and it fits into your schedule, make it more frequent!
#8 Find your own voice as a writer.
It takes some time, so don’t panic if you’re just about to write your second blog post. When you have been blogging for years never thinking about it, you might already have developed your own personal writing style.
Find your own personal tone in the way you are writing. Show a bit personality (as much as you feel comfortable with).
#9 Be inviting and engage your readers in conversation
Don’t just have a one-way-conversation. Always blog like you’re talking to your readers. It will be much more inviting and welcoming!
Things you can do to engage your readers in conversation:
- ask questions
- ask for help (yes, you don’t have to pretend you’re perfect!)
- reply to comments (so important!)
- always let them know how much you appreciate them!
Liked it? Have feedback? Please do tell me!
And stay tuned…Part 4 of my Blogging Basics is coming up next week! The next part will be a continuation of this post – so even more tips on content! x