I’m as guilty of it as the next person. In fact, I’ve probably bought about 30 blog domains, started a blog and then walked away after setting it up. Why do we do that? Is this something you do?
For me it’s a lack of patience. We’re all human (most of us anyway) and as soon as the initial flash of inspiration has burnt itself out, we’re left with the huge task of building a following.
I thought I got lucky when one of my blogs, www.walesoncraic.com, got 1 million visits in 7 months. It was only when I was transferring old files from my old PC to my new one, that I discovered the three years’ worth of work on a similar blog that I’d walked away from to set up my new one.
If your blog is a good one, you still have to actively FIND your audience. They won’t come to you.
What you are aiming for is building a strong, loyal following and that takes time. It won’t just be a case of setting up a shit hot blog and waiting for the audience to ‘discover’ you and come to you in droves. That’s where I went wrong for many, many years. And that’s why I often walked away from some of my blogs – because I hadn’t invested the time to build up a following.
Setting up a blog is like creating a garden – it’s never finished and will need tender loving care all year round.
So how do we build a following for your blog?
Here are some ideas:
Social Media: It goes without saying that without Social Media, a lot of blogs would die. There are some big players out there – Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, all with different types of users and all with different techniques of gaining traffic.
SEO: Search Engine Optimisation is the art of getting ‘organic’ traffic to your site – those people you’ve not tempted on social media but instead come across you via search engines. Before social media exploded, this was the main way that websites and blogs got their traffic. It’s still an important tool and we’ll be running a feature about SEO in the next few weeks.
Get involved with other people’s blogs, whether it be guest-blogging (or them guest-blogging on yours) or even commenting on other people’s blogs. In all cases, try and link your blog URL (or your social media account URL) on anything that you do.
What you are ultimately looking for is someone’s email address. These are important because God forbid – should you lose your blog (it has happened to me!), you won’t lose your followers. Take care with people’s email addresses though – people have entrusted you with it so respect that. Mailchimp offers a great way of creating mailing lists and sending out mass emails. Depending on your settings, subscribers can be informed of any new posts that you publish on your blog. Aweber is another great way to build your list.
The idea is to get your blog read. The more people who love your blog, the more likely you are to stay with it and keep blogging. But it will take time and perseverance. If you are looking to make money from your blog, you WILL need traffic and in most cases, that doesn’t come overnight.