The design of your blog definitely helps to attract new visitors but the textual content will always rule the search engines and of course, the mind of your readers. The following 10 tips will give you some ideas for improving your content and keeping your readers interested:
1. Pick a focus or a niche.
There are something like 77 million blogs. In order to gain readers who are interested in your content, it helps to write about what you know, whether that be sports or politics or parenting. Niche blogs are a fast-growing concept, and blogs about knitting, cooking, gardening, and crafts are attracting more attention.
2. Decide if your content will be family-friendly or mature, and then stick to it.
You have to write in your own “voice”, and your content should match it’s subject. If your blog is a way for your Grandma to keep up with what your kids are doing, then you probably shouldn’t use too many swear words or have ads with scantily-clad women in them.
3. Don’t feel obligated to post every day unless you really want too.
Depending on the focus of your blog, you might not have a reason to post every day. And there is nothing more boring than a post that starts with “Well, there’s not much to say today.” Then, don’t say it! Wait until you have enough material for a complete post.
4. Treat your blog posts like a piece of real writing.
This is a mistake that so many bloggers make. It’s okay to once in a while publish a post that is made up mostly of links to other things, but the majority of your content should be carefully thought out with a beginning, middle, and end. Break your content up into short paragraphs rather than long ones. Start with an opening paragraph to introduce the topic, middle paragraphs to give information, and an ending paragraph that sums everything up.
5. K.I.S.S.–Keep it short, silly!
Long narrative paragraphs are fine if you are telling a story and it wouldn’t make sense to break the words up. Otherwise, keep it short.
See? Like that. It gives readers a chance to think about what they just read before starting to read something else.
6. When you pass along information, be accurate
The Internet is full of speculation and gossip. And if that’s the kind of blog you have, fine. But do your research first. It can be exciting to “break” a story, but make sure you have some facts to support it. Look for legitimate news sources like the Associated Press or Reuters for information that is likely to be more accurate than stories on Gawker or Perez Hilton.
7. Treat your readers like you care
I do not know a single blogger who doesn’t care if no one reads their blog. Why would you publish a blog if you really didn’t want anyone to read it? So whether you have 20 readers a day or 20,000, acknowledge their presence and their contribution to your blog. Use stats to see which posts are read most often, then write more about those topics.
8. Use your comments to continue a discussion
If someone leaves you a comment, reply to it. Either in email, or with the Comment Responder plugin or something similar. It’s like hearing someone knock on your door, answering it, and then just closing the door in the person’s face without saying anything. You can then use the comments to continue the discussion in a subsequent post. Your readers will appreciate it.
9. Keep your content fresh
We live in a fast-paced world, and there are new things happening every second. If you’d like to publish a post but can’t think of a topic, do a little web-surfing. What’s the top story on CNN.com? What is ProBlogger writing about? Which celebrity or athlete or politician did or said something interesting? Whatever your blog’s focus, there is always something new to use for a post topic.
10. Use other blogs for inspiration.
There are new blogs being created every day, probably every minute. Therefore, your content and design should evolve to reflect new ideas and even trends. For example, the Comment Luv plugin was released recently, and after seeing how it worked, I added it to all my blogs, and then started getting comments from readers that they were going to add it as well.
If you notice that other blogs within your niche are discussing the same topic, as will sometimes happen when something newsworthy is going on, then by all means write your own post on that topic. Write it in your own “voice” keeping your reader’s interests in mind, and you’ll be contributing to a much larger discussion.
It’s easy to start a blog, it’s not as easy to keep a blog going. Following these 10 tips can help you keep your readers interested in your content and coming back for more.