Let’s be honest, shall we?
You don’t just want people to subscribe to your blog. You want them to keep coming back to read, share, and comment on your articles. You want to build an online community, you want your readers to forget themselves reading your content.
You want your blog to be so immersive that they come back the next day. And the day after that.
Simply put, you don’t want to be just another blogger.
But… how do you do it?
Step 1: Create engaging and unique content
- Provide something useful or entertaining.
- Work hard to create great content.
- Brainstorm new and different ways to present your ideas to your readers.
Writing new and unusual content is the most difficult aspect of blogging, and one of the most important.
You want your blog to stand out from the crowd.
Think of the following scenario: readers enjoying your blog so much that they go through your blog’s archive, reading post after post after post.
Yes, this is the side-effect of placing a lot of emphasis on providing fascinating and unique content: folks going through your archives, visiting your blog whenever they have some spare time, and leaving plenty of comments.
Step 2: It’s all in the small details
- Interlink your posts.
- Have a visible search box in your blog’s menu or sidebar
- Highlight popular posts, either by adding them to a drop-down menu, or to the sidebar, or actually writing a page about your most popular posts
- Enable Related Posts. With images.
Do everything you can to persuade your readers to read more than just one post. Provide them with plenty of ways to find more content.
Step 3: Be consistent
- Pick a posting schedule, and stick to it as if your life depends on it. You want your readers to know when there’s going to be another post, and you want them to eagerly wait for the next one.
How to really stand out from the crowd:
Would you agree that people won’t come back if they’re not sure where they’ve been?
In that case:
- Make sure you choose a short, memorable name for your blog.
- Use a clean and simple design. Make sure people can actually read the damn words you want them to read.
- Create an About Page. Put some stuff on that page about who you are and how you want to use this blogging thing to take over the world.
- Create a logo. Yes. Think of your blog as a brand, and you will stand out from the crowd.
- Be unforgettable. Write-up a witty tagline for your blog, develop a unique style of blogging…
About interacting with your readers:
It’s nice to provide folks with the best content you’re able to produce, but that’s only half the battle.
How you interact with your audience is just as crucial.
This means you’ve got to start thinking of your blog as a community.
Here are a few ideas:
- Encourage commenting. Always respond to the comments, and participate in the discussion actively.
- Accept guest posts.
- Ask questions at the end of your posts.
- Launch Q&As on your blog. Like this one here.
- Enable sharing of your blog posts on all social media platforms ever invented. Also, enable reblogging.
99.9% of all bloggers don’t do any of the things in this list. They do not have a catchy name, not even a custom domain, they do not write lukewarm and unremarkable content, they do not care about the layout of their blog.
I know because I spend an awful lot of time reading other people’s blogs. You know, because this is what I do for a living.
If you want to stand out from the crowd, if you want to have more than just a blog, you’ve got to do what the 99.9% aren’t willing to do or even aware they should be doing.