You start blogging because you want to do something. Be someone. Be a part of something.
It doesn’t matter what your goals are – thought leader, business leads, brand awareness, monetization, or even just a place to post thought – you blog because of a particular reason.
The problem is, no matter how good the reason may seem to you, the traction isn’t coming fast enough for you. Which is okay, actually – successful blogging is a marathon, not a sprint (damn these cheesy quotes!).
But for anyone that’s looking to try and speed up the success process, stop looking too deep into why you might be lagging, and instead think about adopting these four approaches that every blogger should aim toward, if they want to be successful.
This might seem like common sense, but read other blog posts as much as you write you own. Look at the best writers in the literary world – do you think they just read their own books and become great because of that?
No. Instead, they’re reading other authors in their niche, as well as up-and-coming authors in other niches but who have interesting approaches to storytelling. Mimic this.
Think about the blogs and bloggers you’d like to emulate, and see what sets them apart. It could be language, tone, formatting, etc. If you want to be the best, learn from who you feel are the best.
So many bloggers rush to get the next post ready to go. They feel that the more frequent their content, the more search engine value they’ll receive, and the more visitors they’ll get.
The thing is, though, your readers aren’t superhero ninja reading robots. Like the rest of us, they only have a finite amount of time every day to allocate to reading a blog.
So, instead of blasting out content left, right and centre and hoping the SEO benefits will come, take the time to sit back and let your readers savour your posts.
Let the content sink in, and the comments around the post end naturally. You can usually tell when a post has reached its zenith – don’t force the issue, let it happen and then post the next update.
You don’t have to do this, especially if you have a schedule that works for you – but wouldn’t it be nice to treat a blog post like a vintage wine instead of a tequila shot once in a while?
One of the most popular questions we get asked here is, “How do I get more comments?” – it’s easily in the top five questions for most bloggers.
And, unfortunately, there isn’t any real right or wrong answer, because every reader is different. Oftentimes, the most amazing blog posts get a few comments, while the most inane get hundreds. And vice versa, before you think, “A-Ha! Let’s write an inane post!”
So, instead of telling you how to get more comments – although that is covered here – my piece of advice here is simple: make it easy to comment.
- Use a friendly comment system. This can be your native option (the one that comes with your blog’s design), or a third-party option like Disqus, Livefyre or IntenseDebate (but allow guests to post when using third-party options).
- Have an open comment policy. Unless your business dictates you absolutely must moderate all comments (which breaks up the flow), allow anything to be posted, as long as it adheres to your comment policy.
- Encourage discussion. If someone leaves a comment, reply (where a reply makes sense). Make the reader feel welcome and they’ll come back (especially if you encourage discourse with respect and boot off comment bullies).
- Kill the captchas. Seriously. Captchas used to be used as an excuse for stopping spam, but with the amount of anti-spam filters have now, this is a lame excuse. Captchas are the birth control of blog commenting – if you want to propogate, drop the barrier to entry.
Make it easy to comment and guess what? People will generally comment.
You’re the greatest blogger the world has ever seen and your content is amazing – so why the heck are you making it so difficult to share with others?
The amount of times I’ve landed on a blog post, loved it, then went to share it with my networks only to find there were no social sharing options? GAH!
This isn’t 1999, folks – we have hundreds (if not thousands) of ways to share a blog post without just relying on optimized copy for search engines (though, please, don’t forget that either).
You want your blog to grow? Make it easy for folks to help you in that goal.
It’s pretty easy to add sharing options to your blog, no matter what platform you’re on (though if you’re on self-hosted WordPress, even better with the amount of plugins available).
So why would you write the best stuff to keep hidden from the world? Your blog isn’t Rapunzel – come out of your tower and let it be shared.
It’s pretty straightforward – whatever your goal is in blogging, you’re not going to get there by making it hard to be found and interacted with.
The good news is, you don’t have to do a heck of a lot to get the cogs moving – ready to get started?