We’ve gone into great detail about why every young professional should have a blog. From free exposure and promotion to its use as a tool for self-therapy, having an online outlet is a must in 2013. Having said that, we know the ultimate goal for creating and regularly maintaining a blog (it can be demanding, after all) is to reach a wide, large and dedicated audience. Here’s how to keep ‘em coming back…
Showcase your personality
A blog in itself doesn’t possess any sort of personable qualities. It doesn’t develop relationships and it certainly can’t initiate conversation. You can, though, which is why your blog should be as much a reflection of your actual personality as possible. The most successful blogs are those that don’t hold back; don’t censor anything about your blog personality that would otherwise be prominent aspects of your real-life persona. Remember how well you defended BlackBerry against those five Apple die-hards last week? Write it down and click ‘Submit’.
Find a focus
Whether you’re into technology or sports, fashion or photography, be sure that your blog reflects that you’re an expert on a particular topic. People respect valuable information on a web filled with cats and gifs – they’ll revisit if you can prove to them there’s something to gain by adding your blog to their Bookmarks tab. If you’re posting about more than two or three completely unrelated topics, people will start to question what makes you an authority on them.
One advantage of writing online is that you have unlimited real estate for images, video, infographics, graphs, podcasts, recordings – whatever you can think of that will help get your point across in a more interesting way. The more non-text content your blog features, the more likely it is that people will share it as well. There’s a reason your Facebook news feed is littered with links to videos and galleries. Just make sure your multimedia content adds to the written information of your post rather than distracts from what you’re trying to say. There’s nothing worse than inducing the ‘why did I just watch that’ reaction for your audience.
Produce Unique Content
When writing blog posts with unique content, people will feel like they’re the first to discover and share it. What’s the point of a blog that simply rehashes existing content? You can use Tumblr’s Reblog function for that. Creating your own content also helps you establish a voice and builds credibility between you and your (hopefully) dedicated following. If you have the opportunity, take original photos instead of using stock images. Another tip: Interviews spread like wildfire, especially if your subject is keen to share the content.
Challenge Your Readers
We often find ourselves on websites whose editorial sway differs from our personal opinions and beliefs. There’s a certain appeal to reading things that lightly anger or antagonize, and it’s constructive to hear opposing arguments. You’ll notice that most comments on news sites or blogs tend to challenge the writer – it’s not personal, that’s just the nature of comment boards (and trolls). Write something that will ruffle some feathers once in a while; it’s another great way to build a rapport with your fans while keeping those who oppose your views engaged in what you’re saying.