There are so many blogs on the Internet now that it would be impossible to read them all. Many aren’t particularly interesting, and many more aren’t written very well, but that still leaves some sizeable competition if you’re looking for ways to increase your readership. If you’ve established a blog and want to take it to the next level, you have to start thinking about your blog as a business and draw up an appropriate marketing plan.
Why you need to market your blog
You could have the best blog in the world, but unless people know it’s there, your posts will only be read by close family and friends. If you want to reach a wider audience, you have to find out what people want, and how your blog fulfills that need. That means being clear on who you want to reach with your message, i.e., the people who are most likely to be interested in your writing.
Marketing options for blogs
The way to increase your readership is through marketing, and there are several different approaches you can take to spread the word and start building up your followers. You’ll often see adverts offering to sell you readers or subscribers, and while this tactic may have been effective a few years ago, most search engines can see through these kinds of schemes, which means your SEO efforts (and money) will have been wasted. Most truly successful blogs develop over time through a combination of posting high quality, regular content in a subject matter the blogger is particularly knowledgeable about, and keeping the site as genuine as possible. It can be slow going, and there are rarely any effective shortcuts, but quality will always be valued over statistics.
One of the most effective ways of building your blog in a genuine, organic way is to write guest posts for other blogs, and ask other bloggers that you know can write well to guest post on your site. This creates a kind of cross-pollination effect, with each writer’s followers exploring their work on other blogs and vice versa. Guest posts need to be in keeping with your blog in terms of quality and subject matter to add authenticity and encourage positive engagement. If your blog becomes popular enough, you could start employing other writers too.
As you build up your following, you may take on staff to help you run the site or to contribute articles on a regular basis. Don’t forget you’ll be subject to current employment laws if you start paying people. Rather than investing in a full-scale business conversion, use the free and low-cost tools available online for your administrative affairs, such as the paystub maker tool that allows you to create professional payslips for your employees.
However highly you rate your own blog, you’ll still have to compete with all the other bloggers occupying the same niche. However, if you persevere, you stand just as much chance as anyone else of building a successful, well-read blog.