You know you have to blog more often because your Web Developer keeps telling you to (if he or she is anything like me).
Blogging Success: How to Optimize Your Launch
You’ve done the hard work and spent countless hours on getting your website just perfect. You wanted to make sure that everything went off without a hitch, so you decided to go pro and hire a web developer. You then went even further and read everything you could get your hands on about web design to make sure everything was perfect.
Your blog is prepped and ready to launch. But with all of the space debris floating around on the web, how do you get your rocketship safely into space?
Develop Your Expertise
Write what you know. That age-old advice couldn’t be more applicable to blogs. Of course, if you think you know something well, there’s someone out there who probably knows it better. There are also people out there who don’t know as much. And they’re both blogging. So what?
- Interests: Write what you want to write about.
- Trends: Don’t stress about trendy topics. Do your own thing.
- Authenticity: Be upfront about what you know and don’t know.
Your readers will appreciate your expertise for what it is. Transparency is the key to good blogging.
“Trust in what you love, continue to do it, and it will take you where you need to go.” ~Natalie Goldberg
You have something to say, which is why you think blogging is a good idea in the first place. But, take a look around. Are you saying the same things other people are saying … other people with existing readers? If so, then rethink your approach considering:
- Personality: People like you, right? Bring that out. Use your real voice in your writing.
- Image: Post a picture that shows the unique, authentic you. Don’t try to look like everyone else.
- Perspective: No one is exactly like you. Tease out your difference and bring it to the conversation.
Position yourself as best you can and don’t be afraid to adapt as you grow into your voice and market. You don’t have to be the only one talking, you just have to contribute your perspective in your voice and in your unique way.
Even if your business / interest / topic has a small niche, it’s a big world out there. So, basically, you have competition—if not direct, then at least indirect considering attention span, hours in the day, and sheer volume of content available. So, you have to build your audience yourself by:
- Making contacts online with other people in your business
- Seeing if you can guest blog on your favorite (related) site
- Contributing and participating on other blogs and forums (blog comments usually allow your name to be linked)
Be subtle about it though. No one wants a newcomer to bust through the doors and announce their new blog. Make friends and network. Loyalty comes at a cost, are you willing to pay your dues?
Cross-Check Your Functionality
If your website was well-developed and hosted on reliable servers, your blog should be fully integrated and easy to use. However, if any of these things were done on the cheap, you’ll want to double check your blog’s functionality.
- Test your posts on different devices (enlist the help of your friends)
- Check all of the available platforms to see how it looks
- Measure load times, particularly with graphic-heavy post
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times: people have shorter attention spans than ever! No one is going to wait for a long load time or deal with a confusing layout. Make sure that your blog works on all platforms or you’ll risk shedding customers to your nearest competitor with a working website.
If you make your readers wait, you’ll lose them right off the bat.
Blastoff Your Blog in 3 … 2 … 1
3. Write what you know and be yourself
2. Post consistently and have a notification signup
1. Promote your blog posts on social media
As soon as your blog is safely orbiting with a good base of readers and a consistent editorial calendar, you’ll start to see that it was all worth it. Establishing your expertise, assuring readers that you’re reliable, and always making time to network will reap you more rewards than there are stars in the sky. (I know, the space puns have got to stop.)