Something a little different for today's post - blogging and social media are great ways to promote a business, and they go together well. Please comment if you like my posts; I'd love to know what other topics you'd like me to write about!
A blogger without an audience is like a rowboat without an oar. In the end, neither is going to get very far. For the blogger looking to build his or her reputation it’s all about being read, and the good news is there’s massive potential for building a following online. There’s also tons of competition, which means you have to be more than just a great writer to rise above the crowd.
Whether you are starting out as a blogger or simply looking for ways to expand your reach, consider these five keys to making your posts more popular.
Make it Look Easy
One of the reasons writers often stumble when transitioning to working on the Web is they fail to make the successful formatting adjustment. The speedy nature of the Internet and its users calls for a total rethinking of how you arrange your thoughts. When online readers see long sentences and paragraphs they quickly tune out and move on to something less of a time investment. With such a variety of options to choose from on the Internet, you only get one chance to make a good impression.
Successful blog posts get to the point quickly, drawing the reader in, whooshing them along, and depositing them at the end in one rhythmic motion. Edit your writing to omit wasted words, and break up your points into easy to digest sections no more than three or four sentences long. Finally, use bullet points and number lists as often as possible, so the readers can quickly scan the post for information they are looking for.
Choose a Popular Topic
It’s all well and good if your interests are in botany and your posts typically center on the rare indigenous species of the Island of Samoa. Just don’t expect to draw a large crowd talking about a subject only a few are interested in. In order to build the type of audience that gets you noticed in the blogosphere, consider topics that are proven to drive a lot of traffic. Some of the subjects with the highest potential for success include entertainment, news, finance, and fashion.
Choosing a topic people gravitate to will only get you halfway to your goal. The next step is finding a way to tell the story in your own unique voice. Never just rehash tread-over material; instead strive to uncover a new element that explains your point of view. Whether it’s your aim to make people laugh, cry, or get angry, if you can conjure some emotion it will resonate with readers.
Give it a Good Name
You would be hard pressed to get anyone to read your article if it was called something like, “Get Ready to be Bored Out of Your Mind.” But that’s basically what you are doing when you fail to take the time to cultivate a compelling title. It’s the single most important factor in whether someone is going to click on your link or not, yet somehow countless inexperienced bloggers treat the title as an afterthought.
Try to keep your titles short, using words that draw the eye while still expressing the central element of the article. Good titles are hard to pass up, so learn the art of putting together a phrase that is inviting, intriguing, and impossible to resist. The title is a fun place to let your creativity show, so use popular references or a play on words. Just be sure it clearly represents the substance of what’s to come, and doesn’t mislead readers or violate their trust.
Sprinkle in Some Eye-Candy
Never underestimate what a strong visual presentation can do to win over an audience. A popular post is like a beautifully wrapped birthday gift and makes the contents inside anticipated and desired. By taking the time to add the trimmings to your well-crafted post you’ll boost interest and substantiate your efforts.
Every choice you make in how you present your work can contribute to the popularity of your post. Be thoughtful in choosing everything, from your avatar profile picture to the font you use, to make a positive impression. Also include photos, inforgraphics, and videos that support the substance of your piece.
Many blogers use Creative Commons (CC) licensed photos to embellish their posts, as I've done here. You can find these using the advanced search on Flickr (be sure to check off " Only search within Creative Commons -licensed content" at the bottom) or using a tool called PhotoPin. Just because it's called "Creative Commons" doesn't give you a license to steal it though - be sure to credit the photographer with a link!
Being a great writer and producing interesting content will put you in the position to grow your audience and increase your standing as a blogger on the Web. Whether you are posting about breaking news from the Middle East or providing insight into how to best organize computer tables , take the time to do the little things that make a post stand out. By choosing great topics, making them visually inviting, and cultivating a title a reader just can’t resist, you’ll attract a larger audience and give your talents the spotlight to shine.
Image credit: (matt)
A blogger without an audience is like a rowboat without an oar.