Running a blog (with the aim of making money) is essentially running a small business from home, and you need to make sure that you are treating it in that way if you want it to go as well as possible.
One of the truest marks of success for a blog is how many regular readers you have. It’s likely that you will be focusing on this from the very start if you care at all about making your blog a success.
Of course, there are those who blog for the love of it and not to get readers, but if your aim is to make money from your blog, especially with ads, brand partnerships and affiliate marketing, then you're going to need readers. But how do you get those readers?
There are many of us who have started a blog and just assume that the readers will come. That we'll somehow magically appear at the top of Google and be found. The reality couldn't be further from the truth though, unless you are an expert in SEO before even starting out!
In this article, we will look at a few great and powerful ways to make sure that you can increase the readership of your blog fast and effectively.
With small businesses and blogs I always think of the saying 'if you build it, they will come' which couldn't be further from the truth in my opinion! Yes, you can build the best blog and fill it with the best content, but if no-one knows it's there then they are not going to come!
You need to shout about it from the rooftops. Tell people it's there and why they should come and look at it! What value does it offer them? What's unique about it? You have to get out there and sell yourself!
SEO takes a while to build up, it's not instant. If your blog is new then you need to get people over to it and the best way is through marketing. The internet makes this entirely possible through social media, so set up accounts on your favourite channels and entice people to your blog.
There are networking chats and events on Twitter for instance, as well as linkys and Facebook groups that you can take part in to start getting your blog name known before you start getting Google traffic.
If you are not carrying out any marketing at all, then you can't really expect your blog to grow, so this is something that you should think about right from the get-go.
There are many forms of marketing for your blog, but prime amongst them for obvious reasons are any which focus on small business marketing. Treating your blog as a small business with regards to the marketing is a hugely effective means of ensuring that it spread far and wide.
You will also need to make sure that you are actually giving people a reason to return to your blog time and again, and what that essentially means is that you need to produce a lot of content all the time. By constantly producing a lot of content, you will be able to ensure that people keep coming back - whereas if you let it run dry, this is much less likely to happen for obvious reasons.
Make sure that you can do this by perhaps listing some blog ideas for yourself for future use, so that you know you can remain inspired no matter how much you have already written for the blog. I keep lists of blog post titles and ideas in the notes section on my phone. When they start running dry then I have a brainstorming session where I come up with lots of ideas - once the ball starts rolling I come up with more and more!
The way in which your website is designed is also always going to have a huge effect on how many people read the blog. If you really want to get this right, you should think about hiring a professional web designer or developer to make the site for you. Although it is totally possible to do it yourself as there are so many templates available online, both for free and for a premium.
Your blog should be easy to navigate and at least have different categories for your blog posts so people can navigate easily to the section that interests them the most. If possible, have a search bar so users can find content easily. I know I don't have one as my platform doesn't have the functionality for a blog search bar, but I know my site could really do with one!
In my experience people love white backgrounds with black text and minimal designs with clear images. There's nothing worse than trying to read bright pink italic font on a blue background - so think about your design carefully as people may switch off if it's not easy and clear to read.
In time you will want to build up your Google traffic through SEO, but to start you'll want to make sure the above three things are nailed to get readers to your blog, make them stay on your blog and make them want to come back time and time again.