Recently I was asked for some advice about setting up a blog; not so much the technical aspects of it, but how you actually go about doing it. I realized that this speaks to something I am seeing more and more companies asking, as well, as they look for creative ways to build engaging communities – “How do I do it, how do I find things to write about, and how often should I do it?” Creating content, both original and curated, remains a hot topic and social media can provide a treasure trove of material to help.
With regard to initially setting up a blog, I did want to offer that nowadays with almost turnkey and often low-cost solutions, there is plenty of help available to beginner and more seasoned bloggers interested in setting up blogs of their own. There are myriad tools and sites to help you set up the site itself including Tumblr, WordPress and Blogspot to name a few. Digital Trends posted an article referencing a few sites they liked, and you may find others you like through your research. As you pick a platform, it will be important to set up a blog that works well with the amount of time and effort you can invest.
As you look into setting up your blog, it will be helpful to think about your goals and focus. In building an audience, having a clear focus of what types of things you are going to write about will help you cultivate a consistent reader base. Setting that expectation for your audience so they know what types of things you are going to be sharing, from the very focused to the very eclectic, will help your readers understand what they are going to be getting from your page, and that will be important to them in deciding if they want to come back to your site. You may have the idea of writing a hobby blog for a small audience, or you could be looking to build your company’s brand online and increase your presence and share of voice. Depending on the nature of your blog and how visible you want it to be, you can take different steps to help develop and share your content, as well as build and engage with your audience.
Coming up with new and interesting content can be a real challenge, even for the most prolific of us. One of the great untapped resources is social media. By looking at what your networks are talking about or the emerging trends on Twitter, you can be inspired by what is driving people to talk now. Your post could be a response to an article, white paper, or an editorial on a new business launch, etc. You and your business don’t exist in a vacuum so neither should the content you create. By linking your content strategy to what you are seeing and hearing out in the world, you are potentially also inviting new audiences to join your conversation.
The social age has really changed how many of us discover new blogs and what we expect when we read new content. The key with creating content and wanting a repeat audience is consistency so that your readers can know when to expect new content. They will be excited to visit your site again and again to keep up with your newest content. As digital consumers, we want to return to sites that provide us engaging experiences where we are learning new things. Sharing new posts and pictures, embedding polls and Twitter feeds, anything that ensures your site will offer visitors something new when they visit can help improve their experience and increase repeat visits. With each new post you make, you can share your content beyond just your current readers by using other social platforms to share links to your post – Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook are great arenas for reaching beyond your current audience. Doing so gives other authors the chance to build your word of mouth for you when you provide links to your site, thereby increasing your visibility and helping drive new readers to your page.
Good luck with all of your blogging endeavors, and let us know how it goes!