Read this Blog…Please!

Okay,  you’ve decided you are going to blog.   Now lets talk about how you build an audience.

Like any “business”, the larger the potential pool of “customers” the greater chance you have for success.  Same with blogging.   Broader areas such as business management, wine, food and travel have both more potential topics and a larger pool of readers than narrow fields of interest.  Keep this in mind when choosing  the ongoing theme of your blog.

Set realistic expectations.  It takes a solid year of diligent blogging to build a respectable size audience.  The first few posts will probably only be read by your family and close friends.  If that is still true a year later, you are probably wasting your time.

Be sure you have a Facebook business page and a Twitter account to reach people across various platforms.  If your blog has a business theme, a LinkedIn page is also a good idea.  If you have a webpage, be sure there is a tab or link for your new blog.

If you have a newsletter database or list of current clients, send an email with the link for the first few blogs you write and encourage them to “subscribe”(receive your blog in their email) or “Like” your Facebook business page to see it when it posts there or “follow” you on Twitter for the weekly link.

Yes, I blog each week.  In fact, since I do 2 blogs, I actually blog twice a week but only once for each blog.  Consistency in blogging is critical as it is in every other form of marketing.  Also, search engines give you higher rankings based on the consistency of your pattern.  So the same day and time each week will get you better search results than a random posting pattern.  Use the scheduling feature on your blog host to post at the same day and time each week regardless of when you actually write your blog.

What day of the week and times should you post?  Depends on your target reader.  My business blog (this one) goes up on Wednesdays at 9:00 am PST.  My audience is a manager or small business owner and midweek is usually less hectic.  Mornings are also typically better since they usually start their day by checking email.  However, my travel blog is posted at 11:00 am PST on Fridays.  That audience is more likely to read at lunch on their phone or iPad and are thinking about the weekend or making vacation plans.  Think about YOUR target reader and choose a day and time you think will work best.

Use hyperlinks.  For example, don’t say “coffee shop” if you mean “Starbucks”.  You can’t hyperlink to “coffee shop” but you can to “Starbucks“.  Hyperlinks increase the possibility that people using a search engine like Bing or Google will find your blog if they are looking for a name you have hyperlinked exposing you to potential new fans.  Also be sure to include all the key words and names as “tags” on your blog creation page.

If you write a blog featuring a nice comment or example from a business, send a link to your blog to that business.  Encourage them to “share it” with management, customers and staff.

Photos.  A picture is worth a thousand words – just be sure the photo is yours.  Some photos are protected.  If you aren’t sure, use your own and you won’t have to worry about copyright infringement.

Invite a guest blogger.  In addition to your own wisdom, invite other bloggers to write a guest post for your blog.  The cross-promotion with their audience may grow BOTH your readers.

Consistency is key.  Be consistent – and persistent and you may find a larger following for your insights than you ever thought possible!  Happy blogging!

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