To create a blog with the potential for success is not by any means synonymous with being an A-list writer or master networker. Readers follow a blog regularly to gain some personal perspective on different topics. There are hundreds of enormous online magazines and papers out there. And there are hundreds of thousands of blog postings on a daily basis, too. Your only chance at creating your own edge is by making your perspective unique. We call this creating your own “blue ocean.” Avoiding competition by setting your own rules and playing by them instead of stepping into the fierce red ocean with all the others. In the blue ocean, you get your safe space to grow gradually without being eaten up. In the red ocean, you start off as a goldfish but force yourself into a shark’s game.
So, how do you create a blog with the potential to attract readership?
Choose Your Blogging Platform
Choosing the platform is obviously the first step to take when you decide to create a blog. There are tons of platforms out there that offer that service, but of course, they don’t all give you the same benefits. The most popular of them all today is WordPress. The number of WordPress users exceeds 80 million people around the globe. After it comes platforms like Blogger, Medium, and Tumblr. Most blogging platforms allow you both hosted (free) and self-hosted (paid).
A Few Reasons to Go with a Self-Hosted Blog
- You get to choose your own domain name, which allows you to make it more relevant to your content. Hosted blogs, on the other hand, get arbitrary names.
- You get to choose your domain suffix (.com, .org, .co.uk, etc.)
- Actually OWNING the blog. You don’t get to own your hosted blog. Whoever hosts it on their server owns it. That person can even simply delete your content and it has happened many times before.
- You get to fully monetize your blog, unlike with hosted blogs.
- There is no limit to the content you are allowed to publish on your self-hosted blog. With hosted blogs you are limited in terms of the embedded media you get to post.
- The cost is not that big. It usually costs you a maximum of $10 per month for a regular blog.
Don’t Write Too Generally
Specialty is key to success when you create a blog. You need to position yourself as an enthusiast of one particular field. If we are talking about business blogs, then, as a reader I need to know that Mark’s blog is the one to go to for some fresh marketing insight. Frank is the financial expert, and so on. You don’t want to confuse your readers with a plethora of topics that are unrelated to one another. Readers need clear patterns to follow. They need to know what type of content it is that you provide so they can know when exactly to visit your blog. Should it be when they first wake up for some fresh and unique news stories? Or when they need some hands-on marketing advice? If they don’t get that pattern, you will get them confused then they will gradually grow uninterested.
Specialty Is Even More Important than Expertise When Starting a Blog
As counterintuitive as this might sound for many people but it’s actually valid for a couple of reasons:
- As we already agreed upon, readers are looking for unique perspective, not necessarily ultimate expertise.
- Starting off with amateurish content, you will gradually build up expertise. That will allow your readers to recognize improvement in your content, hence stay plugged-in for the latest posts. That is way better than starting off from a high point and gradually running out of content.
Choose a Field that You’re Passionate About
Keep in mind when creating your own blog that you are going to live with the field that you decide to make your specialty. You’ll have to keep yourself updated about its day-to-day developments, and you will have it on your mind throughout the day trying to come up with new ideas for blog posts. You don’t want it to be a burden. Don’t go after the trendy fields in pursuit of readership and get yourself stuck with something you’re not genuinely passionate about. Being a fervent blogger on a niche topic can guarantee you a good share of that niche.
Rest assured that readers will want to read your content as long as they cannot find its likes elsewhere. You will only be able to give them that if the topic is something you instinctively think about day and night. On the other hand, going for the wide niche at the expense of your passion will only take the fun out of your writing and you won’t achieve the readership you’re aiming for.
Aim at Building a Community or Joining One
What sets blogs apart from the other various media outlets is its interactivity. As a blogger, you will be getting comments from your readers and it would be well-advised to always respond to them, be it an inquiry, criticism, or praise. As a matter of fact, you yourself should prompt them to interact. What that will do over time is turn your blog into a mini forum for a community of people with interest in your topics to share their insight on. That more than anything can guarantee you a loyal reader base. Nothing builds up loyalty for a brand (in this case your blog) than for the user to feel like they partake in its activity.
In some fields, you will find that similar communities have already been established. You can choose to join a pre-established online community which will gain you readership from other blogs. It would be a good idea to try and even communicate with other bloggers in the field, perhaps more renowned and experienced ones to absorb their experiences and have them publicize your own blog.
Experienced bloggers can even advise you on the intricacies of the blogging business that most people learn the hard way. They can familiarize you with how to monetize that business on the long-run and how to garner exposure and featured ads. Like with any business you decide to join, it is generally a good idea to get to know the players that beat you to it. The advantage of the digital world is that when starting a blog, you get to easily communicate with other more-experienced bloggers. All you need to do is dig up a few e-mails or find their personal LinkedIn or Facebook profiles.