How to Create a Blog That Doesn’t Fade Away
It would be nice if you could obnoxiously wave your hand in front of someone’s face while saying, “This is the blog you’re looking for.” Yet without actual Jedi powers, this sadly does nothing (I have data).
Fortunately, while mastering the art of mind control might be a longshot, mastering blogging is not.
Don’t talk at your readers, talk with them
Remember Charlie Brown’s teacher? The one characterized by the “Wha, wha, wha” sounds?
When you talk AT your audience you risk becoming the same forgettable background noise that serves no purpose. Potential customers don’t need another authority figure telling them what to do.
You’re not their mom. So ease up a little on the lecturing.
That isn’t to say your voice or expertise isn’t important. But if written clumsily you can come across as holier-than-thou. Like you’re a guru; a gilded being who no one better dare question.
Yet without that engagement or open dialogue you will be lost amongst the hundreds of other self-proclaimed experts. So create posts that inspire people to share, question, add, or disagree with what you’re saying. Encourage them to speak in the comments. Bring them into your circle, so they feel like good friends there for a nice get-together.
Prepare for the blogging winter
Inspiration often comes in spurts. Like a farmer, you’d better be prepared for good seasons and lackluster ones.
Store your ideas in drafts while they flow freely. Grow them into full pieces when you have extra time so you can hit publish when you find yourself suddenly busy and unable to write as much as you wish.
Having pieces on the backburner will also get you through the occasional burnout drought, that dreaded season of the mind when you literally feel like you can write nothing.
Like any good relationship, sometimes you gotta spice things up to keep your readers interested. Keep the naughty underwear to yourself, I am talking about content.
Show up to the blog one day in a new format. Do you like long poetic sentences? Try shorter snappier lines, reminiscent of a detective in film noir. Are you primarily doing interviews? Give yourself some leeway and post an informative listicle.
Take risks to expand your reach. It will keep those who like you engaged and always guessing what you’re going to bring to the table.
But don’t surprise them to the point where they don’t recognize you anymore
That being said you shouldn’t go so far out into left field that you fall into a swimming pool in the community center next door. While your reader will appreciate fresh content, they will want it to be at least somewhat related to the purpose of your blog.
If they come expecting business talk, don’t shock them with tips for how to find the G-spot. Stretch yourself and test out ideas to see what your fans enjoy. Yet know if your content becomes a mishmash, trying to please everyone, you’ll lose all your readers to blogs who know what they want.
GIF it up, baby!
A picture says 1000 words. A GIF says 1000 more. Utilizing the power of images, and not just throwing them randomly, will set you apart as a professional.
Images convey so much more than we can say in mere words. Not to mention people’s brains are wired to respond to these images more viscerally. This means that without good images you will lose the reader somewhere in a wall of text. Next time you’re struggling to find the right words, locate the right pic instead.
Get them invested in you
I hate to work out. I only hit the gym because I bought a year-long gym membership. Now I can either see the card every day, laughing at me from my wallet, or I can go and run on the treadmill.
Begrudgingly that’s what I do.
I’ve put something into it, and so I’m going to keep coming back.
You don’t have to torture your readers to gain their loyalty, but give them something they really want or need so they sign up for your email list. With that you’ll have direct access to their inbox and you’ll never be forgotten, as long as you provide what you promised.
The gym promised me the key to the kind of body I wanted along with exclusive classes only offered to members. What are you giving your readers? Can you offer an ebook? An online course? Member-only articles?
Whatever it is, make sure it’s enough to tempt them, or get ready to be replaced by competitors who are willing to put out more perks than you.
Despite claims that the personal essay is dead, it’s actually more popular than ever, or at least getting deeply personal still resonates. Readers want to connect with you and know who you are and what you stand for. Personal essays, rants, cartoons, or however you choose to express yourself all fall under this umbrella.
Your fans will be there for it. It will also solidify your style in a way that generic posts won’t. These days, who can’t hire a ghostwriter to write 10 ways to succeed with SEO?
A ghostwriter can be hired to write in the style of your blog, but you can’t pay someone to be you. Unless you are super-wealthy and hire a double to go to meetings in your place while you swim in a pool of money.
Until that day arrives, get personal, be passionate, and write your truth. As long as your truth isn’t terrible, you’ll find the audience who resonates with your blog and they will be the ones who keep coming back for more and nag all of their friends to read your stuff as well. Score!
Blogging doesn’t have to be a slog. Be smart, personal, interesting, and consistent. If you can juggle those key components you’ll build a successful blog that will attract readers and grow your brand.
Hey! Turns out this WAS the blog you were looking for.