Everyone’s blogging these days. The battle for attention is intense. This means that it’s no longer enough simply to have a blog, you needed to make sure that your blog is working for you.
I’ve been blogging for over a decade, and for most of that time I’ve been recommending blogging to writers. I’m still doing that, but these days I focus much more on the writer’s goals. Your blog can help you to meet your goals, but only if you know what those goals are.
Let’s look at five tips which will help you to get the results you want from your blog.
1. Set Goals for Your Blog and Plan
What do you want your blog to do for you? Write it down. In a sense, you’re creating a mission statement for your blog. I promise you that if you don’t do this, you won’t get the results you want. You need to get your goals out of your head and onto paper.
The more planning which goes into your blog, the more effective your blog will be. Your blog is a powerful tool. It’s instant publishing. With the press of a key, you can put your writing in front of millions of people.
Nothing else you do as a writer gives you as much power. This power can be dynamite for your writing career, or ineffectual. The choice is up to you.
2. Who’s Your Blog’s Audience? Answer Their Questions
Your audience will depend on the goals which you have for your blog.
For example, if you want to get writing clients who find you via your blog, you’ll need to answer the questions plaguing that audience.
Let’s say that your target audience is small business owners. What questions do small business owners have?
Small business owners have a million questions. They want to make money and save money. To find small businesses, check your local paper. Who’s advertising in the paper? Check their websites. The more effective you can be in answering the questions these small businesses have, the more effective your blog will be.
3. Promote Your Blog and Each Article
You’re not interested in “traffic” per se. Traffic is meaningless. If you have 10,000 visitors to your blog, and those visitors stay for 30 seconds and leave, that traffic has done nothing for you.
In our example, your target audience is small business owners. Let’s say that you wrote a blog post on how small businesses can use Twitter.
That blog post is valuable. Please realize that the audience for that article is both online and offline. Your offline audience won’t see your blog post unless you make a special effort. The easiest way is by contacting businesses directly.
If you want to write for small businesses as in our example, make a list of small businesses for which you’d like to work, and then contact each of those businesses via email. Introduce yourself as a writer. Give them a link to your blog post on using Twitter.
If you haven’t yet introduced yourself to your local media (newspapers, TV, radio), this blog post is a good opportunity to do that.
Write a letter to the editor of your local paper. Reference your blog post about Twitter. With any luck at all, the editor will print your letter. Who knows, with even more luck someone may contact you from the paper to write an article about you.
4. Use Your Blog As a Writing Sample
Every article you write on your blog is a writing sample. You can use these samples when you get in touch with businesses or whoever your target audience happens to be.
Make sure that your blog posts are useful, and proofread them. (Read them aloud.)
5. Engage With Social Media
The days of anonymity online are gone. These days, Google concerns itself with Author Rank, and it’s important that you claim every piece of content you write online.
This means that you need to pay attention to social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.
These sites can be a time sink if you allow them to be. Choose one or two social media sites on which you’ll be active, and give yourself a strict time limit on using the site(s) each day.
Blogging is powerful. However, it’s up to you to use that power effectively. The tips in this article will help. Enjoy blogging, it can do more for your writing than any other activity.