So you want to start a blog. Or your blog currently sucks. Or no-one read it. What are your next steps?
I was in the same situation two years ago. Picture a spry young unimpressing-looking man thinking “I can start a blog, this has got to be easy”. I proceeded to write blog posts every few weeks or so and to my amazement only 2 to 3 people viewed each post #greatjob. I was spending considerable time drafting, researching, and proofreading my long, grammatically-incorrect posts. Why no traction? Partially because I sucked at writing and partially because I did not know what I know now…the Golden Rules of Blogging™. That’s right, I trademarked that sh*t(1). Thousands of views later I can at least say I’ve had some traction and these are the reasons why:
For blogs to gain any traction you need to be consistent, period. By consistent I don’t mean once a month, I mean at least once a week. In today’s age, people scramble to their cell phones every time a moment of silence passes, overloading themselves with social media and information. Consistency cuts through this white noise and will leave an impression on your potential audience.
Get to the Point
Every blog post has some fat to it, some are even obese. Almost any concept or story can be whittled down to 600 words or less. Keep your posts very lean. Short sentences are preferred by readers and are easily digestible. You will lose readers if you drag on and on. In addition, if your posts are longer than 600 words, you will likely not have enough time to write at least one a week to achieve consistency.
Make it Interesting
Don’t write a post for the sake of writing a post. I assume you have a blog to share your whale-watching experiences or debate the merits of banana-hammock underwear, either way the posts should stem directly from your thoughts and beliefs. Readers are looking for a different take on life- give it to them. Think of your readers as you write the posts- are they going to hang themselves mid post? Save some lives cowboy.
Consider timing of when you publish your blog posts. I’ve found early mornings and right after work are best during the workweek because it captures reader’s commute times. Early Sundays seem to work well for me as readers are chillaxing and checking social media.
Chose a blog template that is clean, simple and easily adaptable for mobile. WordPress does a very good job at showing you what your blog will look like via mobile prior to choosing a free template. Less is more in the blog-o-mega-sphere.
You’re going to need some patience. Any blog takes awhile to get its footing. Early on do not focus on post views and rather on your writing ability and style. Use these early days to figure out your voice and writing style. Your future readers will thank you for it.
Best of luck and have a great rest of the week all!
(1) I did not actually trademark that term so if the legal owner of this happens to stumble upon this post I apologize for my arrogance and blatant disrespect for US trademark law.