Blogging is a miracle. It’s instant publishing. You can type something, and within moments, it’s available online for millions of readers.
I started blogging in 2000. Over the past 13 years, it’s changed my life. It can change your life too.
Last week, someone asked for my top blogging tips. Here are my top five tips.
1. Create an Email List Immediately
Hundreds of thousands of new blogs are created every day. WordPress.com offers stats, and states: “As of 2011, over 100,000 new WordPresses are created every day.” That’s WordPress blogs: WordPress is just one blogging service. There are many other services, including Blogger, TypePad, Tumblr…
So, with hundreds of thousands of new blogs created each day, and over 45.8 million posts (blog articles) created on WordPress alone each month, gaining attention for your blog posts is something of a challenge. Why would readers read the blog post you just wrote, when millions of other posts are being published today?
Good question. 🙂
It’s up to you to ensure that when a reader finds your blog, he returns. The only sure way to ensure that he does come back is to have a way of letting him know when you publish a new post. You do that by creating an email list, like the one for our Fab Freelance Writing Ezine.
You can create an email list manually, or automatically.
2. Write for Your Audience, Not for You
You create a blog for a specific audience, and when you write, you write for that audience, not for “everyone.”
Generally speaking, the more narrowly you can define your audience, the better. However, do make sure that your audience is online. Check whether there are blogs for your prospective audience, and whether those blogs look as if they have some way of generating income.
Alternatively, you can create the audience for your blog yourself. For example, let’s say that you’re writing Kindle ebooks. Your ebooks have an audience; you know that there are readers for your subject matter on Amazon. When you create your ebooks, you’re also creating an audience for your blog – they’re YOUR Amazon readers. So make sure you have a blog… your blog sells ebooks for you, and builds your platform.
Speaking of which…
3. Be Patient: Building an Audience Takes Time
Last week I chatted with Kathy, a writer who has a 350 readers on the email list for her blog. Kathy’s blog supports her Kindle fiction. She’s changing genres, and wants to create a new pen name, but she worries about her readers. Now, whenever she posts a new short story, she gets immediate sales from her readers. If she chooses a new pen name, and writes in her new genre, she’ll lose those readers, won’t she?
Kathy’s email list took almost a year to build. She gained subscribers one reader at a time. Your audience will take time to build, too.
You have many, many ways of gaining an audience; that’s easy. All you need to remember is: it takes time. You need to be patient.
The same day Kathy and I talked, I spoke with another blogger, with a mailing list of just over a thousand readers. He told me that he started making a full-time living from his blog when he reached 400 subscribers.
That sounds about right to me, so I asked him how long it took him to get 400 subscribers. It took him just over a year. He wasn’t blogging full-time. He says that most days he spent less than 20 minutes on his blog. He was patient. He knew that he could and would build his audience.
4. One Blog Equals One Audience: You’ll Need More Than One Blog
Over the past few months, I’ve become very fond of Google+, specifically, its Communities. Each community has members who are defined by their interest in a specific topic. I just checked; I’m currently a member of 29 communities. Most I visit rarely. Some I visit daily, if there are new posts.
Similarly, your blog has a specific audience. Kathy’s worried that her current audience won’t be interested in her new genre. It’s likely that if you currently blog about your passion for vintage clothing, those readers won’t read your new blog, which is about black and white photography.
Maybe they won’t. That’s fine. You can create as many blogs as you need. One blog equals one audience. However, your second, third and 30th blogs will gain audiences faster than your first blog. Just link to your new blog(s) from your original blog. You won’t start at zero again, as you did with your first blog. Some of your audience will follow you. And the audience you build for your new blogs will discover your first blog…
5. Be Enthusiastic: Love It, or Create a New Blog
Often bloggers contact me to ask me whether they should delete a blog. Their interests have changed. They’ve created one or more new blogs, and their old blog is redundant. My answer is always a firm NO. Create as many blogs as you like, but never, ever delete them.
Sometimes you lose interest in your blog’s topic, and you move on. Good. Follow your enthusiasm. Just don’t delete anything!
So there we have it. My top five blogging tips over 13 years of blogging. I hope you find them useful – happy blogging. 🙂
You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.
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