Thinking of starting a blog in 2014? Every day there are 100,000 new blogs started on WordPress.com, so you are not alone! I chatted to Vaughn Davis on his Radio Live Sunday Social show about things I’ve learnt in my 3 years blogging plus a few tips for newbies. Here is the audio (where you can also listen to former NZ Prime Minister Helen Clark, TUANZ’s Paul Brislen and Idealog’s Hazel Philips).
For those who are time poor, here’s a quick summary:
There were 3 main reasons I started blogging:
1. To develop my digital personal and professional profile, and to give my thoughts, views and opinions a home online.
2. To improve my writing skills – which is something all of us should do. Whether you are churning out emails, penning business proposals, or writing Board papers, it’s super important to be able to get your message across clearly and effectively. One of the ways to improve your writing is to practise, practise and practise.
3. As part of my day job, it’s part of my role to understand what content works and what doesn’t in social media and blogs. Your personal profile can teach you a surprising amount that can also be applied professionally.
How do you get more people to read your blog?
WordPress and other blogging platforms provide built-in analytic tools which track statistics such as pageviews, where your readers have come from before landing on your blog, which links they clicked on, or search terms they used to find your posts. Pore over these stats regularly! I’ve found that there are two main sources of traffic to my blog:
1. Relevant or controversial posts that are shared on social media or email by readers at the time you publish your blog.
2. Via search engines such as google.com. My most popular post via search engine traffic is How To Make Your iPad Charge Faster. Make sure you tag your posts with the search terms that you would type into Google if you were looking for your post online.
My top 3 tips if you are starting a blog:
1. Choose a subject that you are passionate about – this will make it heaps easier to think of topics to blog about after you’ve done your first 10.
2. Keep posting – don’t be discouraged if you feel like no-one reads your posts. Not everything will be wildly popular! The only way to write a really good post is to write one.
3. Read and research other blogs in your niche to get ideas for posts, blog designs, images and other content you can adapt for your own blog. If you have a fishing blog then just Google ‘fishing blogs’ to find other examples you can check out.
So don’t be shy, give it a whirl! It’s easy to do and there are plenty of benefits if you keep at it. Listen to the whole chat on the Radio Live audio link for all the info.