We’ve spent a good bit of time discussing how to create a blog. By now, you know the importance of a good name, how to find a host and even how to optimize WordPress for blogging. Before we begin the fun stuff – figuring out how to get more eyes on your blog – it is important that we recap what we’ve done before before you actually start blogging. If nothing else, remember that blogging always relies on having a solid foundation. Working on the fundamentals is what will lead you to success every time.
The foundational work of blogging is something that we have covered in-depth, but a refresher might be in order. Before you get down to work, take some time to:
Preparing the Space
We’ve already talked a fair bit about WordPress setup and configuration, but it’s still important to remember that this process is going to help to define your blog. Getting useful plug-ins is going to help to make your life as an editor and blogger easier, while also providing extra functionality to your users. Choosing between WordPress themes also can – and should – take a good bit of time, but it’s still an important part of the process. If books are judged by their covers, blogs are judged by their layout – so make sure that yours is as user-friendly as possible.
Creating a Plan of Action
If you have ever followed a great blog, you have noticed a certain type of flow in the content. Things might seem random at first, but those who look for patterns will see that everything really follows a pattern. The best blogs out there are planned down to the minutest of details, as this gives the individual running the blog a chance to really optimize his or her content and create a reader experience that far surpasses his or her competition. Your job as a blogger is to create a plan of action before you actually start blogging. For most, this comes in the form of a content calendar – a simple tool that tells you what you will post on each date. Others might want to set up schedules for other bloggers or create an overarching sort of theme for their blogs – whatever you choose, though, try to remember the importance of planning.
Bringing in the Readers
All the planning in the world will bring you only to a spectacularly blank page, so you have to finish out the process by providing something that your readers are actually going to want – useful, evergreen content. I truly consider this to be the fun part of blogging, no matter if you are running your blog for personal or business reasons. Creating content allows you to engage with people who might live on the other side of the world, giving you a chance to connect with others that you might never meet. Creating great content also gives you a chance to really stretch your creative muscles. No matter if you are creating simple copy to inform others about your business or you a crafting a long-term story, you are going to engage in a marvelously creative process.
Great content alone is not enough. You also have to find a way to bring in new readers – and this is where inbound marketing becomes a necessity. We are going to spend a great deal of time talking about SEO and other forms of inbound marketing, because that’s how you get eyes on your blog. Growing your readership through careful inbound marketing is as much a part of the blogging process as crafting content, and it is certainly the process by which all of your other work is given a chance to really shine.
You have all the tools that you need to start blogging. Now all you have to do is use them. We are going to focus on how to grow your blog readership over the next few weeks, no matter if you are solo blogger working to expand his or her audience or a business looking to bring in new traffic. Running a successful blog can be a terrifically rewarding experience, and I’m going to make sure that you have the tools that you need to embrace that success.
Do you have any additional ideas related to getting your blog off to a great start? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.