Now that we have discussed what type of blog you would like to run, how to choose a blocking platform and how to pick a domain name, it’s important to discuss how to actually get your name out there. While not essential if you are simply posting for the fun of it, if you want people to get to your site, you need to work for it.
There are many way to do this, but most importantly, you will need to build your “brand” and pay attention to Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Because SEO requires a post all to itself, I will go into more detail in a later post.
Providing a consistent, informative and personal presence is essential to building your brand and increasing positive awareness about your site. This means your potential readers will find you by how you can set yourself apart from your peers. A great way to do this is to have a well-established, unique and consistent brand for your blog (though this concept applies to pretty much any business model, for that matter).
What is a “Brand”?
Your brand is how your blog is viewed online and elsewhere. It’s how you market your blog. It’s your logo, your site motto, your content, the way you interact with your readers, your online persona, even the color scheme on your website. You want all this to be as consistent and seamless as possible in order to demonstrate togetherness, professionalism and, even more importantly, to develop a relationship with your readers. If you can engage your readers by creating a following or a “community,” your readers will come back again and again because they will feel they can depend on you. This not only opens the door to increasing your website traffic, but it also allows you an incredible opportunity to reach an engaged community of readers.
How do I foster a community?
Creating a community online takes effort. Lots of effort. You have to be there for your community. You have to be like-able. You have to be genuine and transparent. You have to have something interesting to share or something useful to provide. Here are some good ways to get started:
Provide useful information to your readers.
Let your community get to know you and connect with you as a person. The more they like you, the more they’ll come back and the more they will share with their friends about you. Just look at the Pioneer Woman. Everyone absolutely loves her (for very good reason!) and she keeps being more and more successful because of it. But take a step back and look at just how much effort she puts into her site: She provides dependable, high quality posts all the time with great recipes, photographs, tips and engaging content.
Get to know your readers, your peers, your friends. Don’t just read about them — share! The more you put yourself out there, the more people will get to know the real you and the more they will engage with you.
Be available to your community if they need your help or information.
Let them know you are interested in them and their needs. Listen and they will tell you how to keep them coming back. For example, many of my readers ask me for cooking tips, help starting their own blogs and easy methods for making delicious food. So, that’s what I try to provide as often as possible.
Be the expert.
Do the work for your readers and become the expert in your niche. Customers will want to try your recipes, techniques and ideas because they will trust you and believe you know best. Just be sure to provide high quality information so they don’t lose their trust in you!
Provide good quality, original content.
This can be in the form of articles on your blog, free content for them to use or download (i.e. an eBook, newsletter or coupon), free consulting, informative interviews, tips, etc. Awesome, free content is amazingly powerful, especially in the blog world.
In conclusion, the absolute best method to build your brand is to just get out there and get started. The more you share yourself and how awesome you are, the more people will feel they know you on a personal level and will, in turn, become your ongoing readers.
I hope you find this content helpful. Stay tuned for more lessons in this series. Please contact me if you’d like more in-depth, hands-on assistance, as I also offer consulting services to help you get started or to improve your current blog.