What if you could only spend ten hours a week on your blog? How would you spend those? What would be more important to you? To create content? To promote it? To engage your readers in the comments section?
What makes the difference?
I’m just going to let you know from the start: the absolute best thing you can do to improve your blog in terms of readers is to become a better writer.
Curious to know why?
Even though a lot of bloggers put emphasis on social networks, search engine optimization, or click baiting via gimmicky headlines, the truth is that even though all of these things do have some effect on getting people to your blog, if those folks don’t like what they’re reading, they’re not going to come back.
If you spend most of your time on other people’s blogs (which I used to) and very little time creating new content and trying to evolve as a writer, then it’s going to become frustrating pretty soon.
You need to work an awful lot to get just one person to visit your blog, and if they don’t like your content, it’s game over, and you have to start from scratch.
What would you say is the better strategy?
To go out trying to meet and date as many women as possible, using all the dating apps and websites, or working on yourself, on all the areas of your life, always striving to become better?
Content is, I’m afraid, still king.
So you must devote serious time and effort to becoming a better writer.
Good writers have the edge because their readers come back every time they write a new article. And most blog readers are also bloggers, so they also reblog or link to those posts.
It’s not mediocre content, but rather great one, that gets shared a lot.
But what defines a good writer?
- Great word choice. It’s not how many big words you know, but choosing words that your audience will understand.
- Decent grammar. While blogging is a more forgiving medium, proper use of grammar still shows masterful writing.
- The ability to be funny. Humor is extremely important, and will make your readers remember your blog posts long after having read them.
But how does one improve on all of these aspects?
The answer is painfully simple: read great writing.
That’s it. There’s no magic involved . The more great writing you can soak up everyday, the more your writing will improve.
Sure, you could take a writing class, but how much do you remember from your English education in high school or college? I do remember great writing though, sentences and phrases that I have obsessed over and altered and used in my own writing for years and years.
Now, how do you define great writing? First, maybe you should let others do that for you. Read enough of those who are considered to be among the greatest writers and you kind of get a sense of what’s worth your time or not. You also know what you resonate with or not.
I spent years reading pretty much everything: classics, contemporary fiction, non-fiction, popular blogs…
It all comes down to the words you choose to feed your brain with.
And reading great stuff is one of the most effective ways to improve your writing. What you read shapes how you write. And what you write about. And what your readers understand. And whether or not they choose to comment, share, or subscribe.