One of the great benefits of writing and communicating with the world is the endless opportunity it brings and the thousands of things you can do to get better and better. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you’re blogging that will help you be a great blogger and help you and your readers get the most out of your blogging experience.
1. Choose A Niche
One of the most important things you can do for yourself as a blogger is to choose a niche. Many beginner bloggers, and even many who fancy themselves intermediate or advanced ones but wonder why they don’t get the results they want to try to appeal to everyone and fail. They end up with a watered-down, non-authoritative, hodgepodge of randomness. Effectively, what will be achieved is the opposite of what is intended – not wanting to alienate any potential readers.
If a person is interested in technology and comes to your blog for a great article, but then the next article is about kayaking, and the next is about cars…no matter how great your technology article was, the reader isn’t going to be back.
People only stick around for what applies to and interests them. There is enough information out on the web that they can easily go elsewhere for what they’re looking for – and you’d better believe, they’ll be going to someone who has established themselves in their niche. And they’ll keep going back, again and again.
You will, by nature, have to exclude some people who have different interests or priorities when you blog. This can be hard to do. But there are billions of people out there, many of whom want to read your stuff about the topic both you and they are most interested in. Let the others go. It will be ok.
2. Be An Expert
This naturally follows suit with choosing a niche. When you choose one area to focus on, you can teach everything there is to know about it – or at least as much as you can learn about it. Do this with quality and consistency, and you will eventually emerge as an expert in that field? If you genuinely seek to educate yourself and your readers, you will gain credibility and authority. Building your name, reputation, and voice online has begun.
3. Find Your Voice
Once you’ve got the ball rolling, you can probably expect some bumps and bruises along the way to figuring out how you want to be heard and what you want to sound like. A new blogger can expect unexpected and random criticisms to come out of the blue occasionally, which can be very discouraging when you are trying your best to do well. Use these moments to test your passions and your character.
Take well-meaning and well-said feedback into consideration. Try to be forgiving and understanding of lesser well-said feedback, even if the poster didn’t necessarily mean well. Some people can just be jerks online. Try to remember that they’re still real people (even if they didn’t extend you the same courtesy) and that you would probably talk nicer to them in response than you might at first be inclined to when putting on the defensive online. This is all part of finding your voice in the online community and on your own blog. You have a voice in both these things; use it well to do well.
4. Provide Great Content
There’s a shift occurring in blogging. People have become so adept at manipulating search engine results, search engines are constantly updating and altering their algorithms to keep the results as relevant as possible. Bloggers are starting to realize they have a choice for what they should dedicate their time to figuring out how to game the system, or create quality content and build a community of genuine followers.
With the rise of social media becoming increasingly more prevalent in contributing to a blog getting noticed and appreciated, which do you think is more important: trying to figure out how to beat Google’s algorithms to arm wrestle millions of other websites for a spot on Page 1 for that week, or writing something really knock-out good that people will be clamoring to plaster all over their Facebook statuses, Twitter feeds, and Stumble, Digg, or otherwise happily promote for you to thousands of other people who are keen to read good material?
How do you employ these ideas when you blog? What are some of your tips to have a successful blogging experience?