Have you ever found yourself connected to people on the blogs you read? As bloggers, we are in the relationship business. This is the power of blogging, we have the ability to impact someone’s life. But what does it take to be a great blogger. I’ve been asked by people what it takes to run a blog and I want to give you my advice – now some might disagree with me, and that’s okay.
When I began blogging in 2009, I really had no idea what I was doing. In-fact, my blog was mainly a devotional blog for the young adult ministry I led. As I began taking my blogging to the next level, I began noticing more and more success.
I want to give you 7 habits great bloggers have.
1. Know your audience. One of the hardest things for a blogger to know is who their audience is. I’ve come across several blogs where they write about anything and everything. But if you’re wanting to take your writing/blogging to the next level, know who you’re writing for.
Here is my idea reader… I help frustrated and overwhelmed leaders stay motivated with the clarity and tools they need to find their voice and succeed in their family, ministry and life.
Take time and write your avatar statement:
2. Take regular surveys. You will never know your readers fears and desires unless you ask them. I took my first survey last year, and it helped me focus this blog and taylor it to those who frequent. In-fact, that one choice has taken my average visitors from 14/week to 130/week, in 2015 alone.
There are a couple of great poll/survey companies I use. If you take just one survey, ask 10 questions and only 10 people respond, you’ll know 100 times more than you right now. So, take a survey and begin tailoring your blog to your community.
3. Be consistent. There are so many blogsites out there where the writer has packed up and left the building. Then, when you least expect, they post a new post, 2-years after their last.
I know that this site became a ghost town around 2011, and my traffic seriously took a nose dive. Not that I had much to begin with. But, if you want the traffic, you must be consistent. Otherwise, no one will stick around long enough to read your next post.
So, pick a day of the week, and do your best to post consistently on that/those days. You’ll be amazed who sticks around.
4. Keep it short. In episode 38 of CrossTALK Podcast I talked about the importance of keeping what you write for the web, short and concise. In today’s world, people only read around 20% of what’s posted on a web page.
We live in a world of scanners. They open, look, scan and then if it’s interesting, they’ll go back and read. But remember keep it simple and easy to understand, yet at the same time adding value to the reader’s life. Here’s what you should do.
- Keep paragraphs short. 4 or less sentences.
- Use numbers and bullets. People like lists.
- Use power words and strong headlines. This draws the reader into the page.
- Use bold, italics and
to make your point.
5. Ask questions. People want community. By asking questions at the end of a post gives the opportunity for people to either engage in social media, on the blog, or with others. Readers want to partake on a social level, and questions allow that to happen. If you don’t give that opportunity, you’re missing out on developing raving fans.
6. The About Page. This is where most authors of blogs fail. The about page is the second most visited page, next to the home page on a website. This should tell your readers, who you are, what you write, why you write and how to sample your best work.
If you get this right, you’ll see an increase in traffic. And, these two pages are my most visited webpages.
7. Opt-in for Email. Have you ever gone to a blog, liked it, but had no way of subscribing? Unfortunately this happens all the time. Readers want to know when their favorite blogger posts. Because I took a two week break from this blog, I’ve noticed traffic has decreased over Christmas. But, I also know, if I send a single email to my subscribers, traffic will be back to where it was.
We want to make our website easy for the guest. People don’t want to navigate to find what they want. They should be able to opt-in right away. Make it visible. In-fact, my opt-in is at the top right of the blog and if someone subscribes they get a free ebook as my thank you for them signing up for my email.
Email is your gold ticket to success in blogging. This is how one builds their platform online and how one can make the biggest impact in a readers life.
If you take time and work on these seven habits of successful bloggers, you will find people willing to follow you, no matter where your next post takes them.