In today’s digital world, it’s no secret that people are reading content online much more than in print. The number of page views and blog readers on many of the most popular, high-authority websites and blogs are proof of that. But if you’re just starting your blog, you may be wondering how to attract, and keep loyal blog readers – as well as how to improve the quality of the content that you are posting about, and why your readers even come back to read your blog each day, week, or month.
I’ve been blogging for quite a while now – since about 2008, actually. Blogging has taken quite a turn over the years, but there are a few consistencies that remain the same.
In this post, I will share some of the secrets that I have learned about blogging over the years to help you grow an amazing blog with great content and attract dozens, if not hundreds or thousands, of followers and readers. As always, if you have any questions or comments after reading this post, please feel free to reach out to me through the comments! I love connecting with my readers on a personal level and helping them achieve their goals and answer their questions.
Now, let’s get down to business!
Secret Number 1: Visually Appealing Blog Template
Have you ever browsed the internet and found yourself reading someone’s blog and thought to yourself, “The content here is good, but it’s nothing but a wall of text!” I’ve seen several blogs like that and often wonder if their readers think the same.
When I create a blog, I actively search for a visually nice template, something that pops in the readers eye without overdoing it. A template that is related to the content that I plan to write about, but offers more color and style to liven up the site a little, so it’s not just “black and white.” Maybe this is one reason that newspapers and magazines have evolved from containing a wall of text to beautifully illustrated images and pictures.
Whatever the case, you want the content to be rich and high quality, but you also want the area surrounding the text to be appealing as well.
Secret Number 2: Where to Host Your Blog
There are dozens of hosting sites that offer a variety of benefits which makes it difficult for new bloggers to decide where to host their blog. However, this is a critical step to take, and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. When I create a blog, one of the key factors that I take into consideration when choosing a hosting platform is how that platform will help me with advertising, as well as how easy it is to build it.
Starting out, one of my favorite places to create a blog is on Blogger.com. They offer many benefits to users such as free templates, hosting (of course), and an easy to use back-end. Users can add “buttons” to the side bars and manually update their blogroll. Also, users can monitor the sites viewers, find out where in the world their visitors are located to determine which country their site is most popular and even monitor how many readers each post receives. Users can also add new pages to their blog, for free, and even link their main blog to a second blog through these pages to help drive traffic to both. Blogger.com is by far one of the easiest platforms that I have used. You don’t need to know extensive HTML or coding to create an amazing, beautiful work-of-art.
For more advanced bloggers or ones that enjoy more control and HTML usage, I would recommend Wordpress. Wordpress is relatively easy to use as well, but not nearly as easy as Blogger, in my humble opinion.
Of course, if you already have a website for your business, you may already have the ability to write blog posts on one of your pages, as I am with this blog. Sites like Wordpress, Squarespace, and Wix often allow you to do this.
Secret Number 3: Your Blog Content Relates to Your Readers
Thinking of great content to write about for your blog can often be one of the most difficult aspects of blog writing. This may be one reason there are so many businesses actively searching for freelance blog writers (and we thank you!) But, as a writer, writing for our own blogs can sometimes be a drag. Let’s face it, we spend all day typing and writing for our clients and their websites or blogs, sitting down to write our own can seem unappealing. However, whether you want to or not, you know that your website needs it. Don’t just throw something together and call it a day. Take the same steps that you would for your clients for your own blog and make it great!
The content you post on your blog should reflect your personality to some degree, while at the same time, sound professional. Furthermore, you will attract, and keep, your readers if your posts include informational pieces or something that they can relate to.
Blog readers actively read and search for content that they can relate to or learn from. Use the knowledge you have stored away in the back of your brain to excite and educate your readers.
Let me tell you a story.
When I first created Sugar Free Candyland back in 2008, my initial reason for creating it was to give myself a way to express my frustrations and challenges of raising a child with type 1 diabetes. An online journal, if you will, one that I was sure that other mothers living the same life could relate to. Honestly, I didn’t have many followers then, and it didn’t reach the potential (or the goal) that I initially had for it. After a discussion with my mother-in-law, I decided to change tactics.
By that time, I had come to accept my son’s condition and was determined to raise awareness for the cause, teach others about the disease, and help newly diagnosed families come to grips with their new lifestyle while providing companionship and understanding by a family (or many) that live like they do.
Once I changed tactics and began educating others about the disease and helping families feel a little less alone, as well as wrote my posts in a way that others could relate to them or get something from them (education), the followers started coming. I began receiving more readers and commenters, some of which I’ve often wondered how in the world they’ve even found my blog since I never focused or worried about keywords.
The blog now sits dormant, for now. However, I do plan to revive it from its long slumber soon. I miss helping other families and raising awareness of type 1. But, one thing I’ve noticed is – even though I haven’t posted on that blog for quite a while now, it’s still receiving new readers, new followers, and new views every day, every month.
Because the content on it is still relatable; it still helps other families, even though it’s old.
The moral of the story: make your content relate to your target readers and teach them something. Whether you’re writing about freelance writing or something entirely different, your content should resonate with the readers; educate them on a topic that maybe they can’t find anywhere else, and make them feel connected to you on a personal level. Maybe even make them laugh from time to time – after all, laughter is the best medicine, right?
Secret Number 4: Use Keywords in Your Posts, but Not Too Much!
Yes, I purposely placed this one at the bottom of the list – and for good reason. Your posts shouldn’t be written strictly for search engine placement. Of course, keywords are important, but your content shouldn’t be stuffed with it to the point where it's unreadable! Many clients realize this now, too. If your content is stuffed with keywords to the point where the reader can’t understand what you’re trying to say, you’ve just lost a potential follower – or perhaps a potential client.
There you have it: my four secret tips to building an amazing blog.
Some may believe that these are no-brainers, but from what I’ve seen by reading dozens of blogs, some people forget these basic concepts.
Have questions? Have more tips to share? Just want to say hi? Drop me a line in the comments section! I’d love to hear from you!