According to Pingdom, there are 152 million blogs on the Internet, as counted by BlogPulse.
Doesn’t sound so much, does it, compared to the whopping 600 million of Facebook “Likers”…
And how many of those 152 million blogs are actually well-maintained, receiving a steady flow of traffic and new content?
How many of those are what I called “third kind” approaches to blogging?
If you take a look at the top 15 blogs on the Internet, you mostly find blogzines like Mashable, TechCrunch, Lifehacker, etc.
The most popular blogs on the Internet are in the widest sense journalistic (Huffington Post is #1 at the time of this writing) and not personal blogs.
The majority of blogs on the Internet is invisible.
If you’re running a blog somewhere, chances are very high that you might not get that much traffic, at all.
And while that sounds somewhat pessimistic, the good news is that there’s always thousands of blogs that get less exposure than yours!
Wait… isn’t that even more pessimistic?
How do you actually raise a blog out of the obscurity of majority and into the limelight, as it were?
Here’s three things that you should watch out for:
Mistake No. 1: Irregularity
It sounds so simple but it’s the number one reason why certain blogs aren’t getting as much exposure as they could: They aren’t updated regularly. And that goes both ways: You might have started a blog and were very excited, posting 10 new items per week in the first month but then other things in your life drew your attention and you didn’t write anything for 2 months!
In other words: It’s not just that people write too little, sometimes it’s also they write too much. And then there’s the magical question that you’ll find repeated gazillion times on the Net: “How much is enough?”
And I have three words for you: consistency. regularity. rhythmn.
If you choose to post 2 days a week, once a day, or every third day, it’s irrelevant – but no matter what happens: stick to it!
Give your readers a chance to adapt to your rhythmn. Sometimes their feed-readers and inboxes might clog because they don’t have enough time to read everything, at other times they read everything and are hungry and waiting for more. If you’re following a regularity that your readers can follow, too, they’ll know what to expect.
Since everything on the Internet is “on-demand” and 24/7 accessible, following a posting schedule (whatever fits for you) re-creates that TV-moment of “Your Favorite Show: On mondays and tuesdays at 8pm” and allow people to tune in and clear space in their schedule for reading your updates.
After all, people have lots of other things to do apart from reading your blog.
Whereas the first mistake is certainly true for most blogs regardless of their nature, the following one is particularly problematic for business or professional blogs.
Mistake No. 2: Irrelevancy
Who are your readers, actually? What would they like to read?
Many business blogs (as in: attached to a business website) seem to make the mistake of believing that everyone of their readers in interested in watching photos of their company picniqs or hearing about the achievements of employees.
But the amount of people actually interested in this stuff will be relatively low.
Therefore, keep your audience as wide as possible and the individual posts as narrow as possible.
Paradox? Here’s an example:
Let’s say I’m a website selling T-shirts with cool designs. I’m no “threadless” but I’m doing fine and want to expand business by blogging: Instead of posting item after item about company-internal stuff or geeky details about my printing procedure, wondering why noone cares, I write well-researched and helpful to-the point articles about “How to Create Your Own Cool Designs In 3 Steps” or “Three Ways to Lengthen the Lifespan of your Favorite Tee”, etc.
In other words: If you want to reach a wide audience, address a wide audience. But your posts should always have a clear, narrow and practical focus.
Mistake No. 3: Lost in Translation
Let’s say I’ve found a blogging schedule that I’m comfortable with. I’m writing awesome articles with great headlines and people are actually visiting the site. What next?
I mean, it’s all nice to see statistics going up and up every day. But what to do with it?
Writing a good blog is hard work so you want to make sure to “convert” all this traffic. I’m not much a fan of this term, actually. It always conjurs up images of the Spanish Inquisition. But what marketers mean when they say this is that you want to make sure that you translate (maybe that’s better) your visitor-count into actual clients, sign-ups, etc.
This is not just dependent on your blogging schedule and content.
In my experience, conversion is almost never linear. If people have never heard of your webpage and they suddenly stumble over it, in most cases they won’t immediately become customers or clients, except in very rare cases.
What’s more common instead is that they’ve been following you for a while, before.
Therefore, make sure to give readers a way to follow your blog via RSS or email and make sure to remind people as often as possible, that if they like your stuff, they can get more by subscribing.
This is more important than getting “likes”, “tweets” or “+1s” or whatever Social Currency is popular at the day of writing.
In short: Don’t aim for quick sales. Aim for establishing relationships!
This is where new ideas, opportunities – and sales – will eventually come from.
And there’s nothing more time-tested than a good emailing list. Every blog supports feeds by default . But make sure to use a service like feedburner to actually enable email delivery and compatibility.
Liked this article? Sign up for free updates here or check out these other articles in the series:
- Why Blogging Is The Best Way To Boost Your Brand Or Business
- 7 Ways To Write Eye-Catching Headlines
- How To Grow Your Online (Teaching) Business Without Becoming a Self-Promoter
- 5 Simple Steps to Increase Your Audience Through Better Design
img: CC by Xosé Castro