With blogs dedicated to almost every subject, topic, niche, celebrity, and cat imaginable from Ugly Renaissance Babies to Accidental Chinese Hipsters via Pokemon with Nicholas Cage’s Face, wannabe bloggers may be slightly daunted as to how to draw an audience away from the excellent content already available from the internet and to their own blog.
Finding the Right Platform
Like the annoyingly over-enthusiastic charity workers who stop you on busy streets, it is important to choose a setting with the highest footfall of potential readers. The platform needs to share your blog’s gravitas, appeal and personality to help sell it to as many people as possible. A blogger wanting to write about serious political and social injustices will benefit from a different platform to a blogger wanting to share pictures of his cat.
Examine the platforms used by similar bloggers and consider what you think works well. Consider design, connectivity to social media and simplicity of use (especially if you’re not the most adept web designer).
Reach out to Other Bloggers
An alternative method is to reach out to other bloggers and try to rent a bit of space on their website. Bloggers with shared ethics and interests may be inclined to allow you the space to express your sentiments on the mutual interest. This can help bring in more readers if you are contributing to a popular blog. Naturally, popular blogs may be picky about the content submitted to their site as they have a reputation to uphold and won’t want to ruin it by admitting sub-standard or falsified entries.
Make Sure your Expertise is Expert
The internet loves an argument. Whether it is One Direction fans imploring ‘Direction Haters’ to go die under a tree or Buzzfeed fans bemoaning a Buzzfeed article’s oversight of their favourite Burrito; anything open to comment on the internet is liable to host a verbal sparring match. This makes it incredibly important to ensure you give readers no opportunity to doubt your authority on a subject. Anything you display as fact should be checked, double-checked and triple-checked with links to authoritative sources demonstrating your claims to be sound.
Additionally, the internet has helped increase the righteousness of self-appointed grammar police – so make sure your grammar is at least devoid of obvious errors, the grammar 5-O won’t be too scathing if you miss an Oxford comma or two.
However, a slightly controversial caveat clearly depicted as opinion can help increase the rate of commenting and feedback. Getting a healthy dialogue between yourself and the readers can increase the interest in a blog post and a blog as a whole.
Offer a Unique Perspective
Before blogging, it is important to approach the subject matter with a unique perspective or attribute. This attribute may be something as simple as offering wittier content than competitors. Without a unique feature, it is unlikely you will appeal to the audience you hope to receive in the midst of the endless copycat blogs.
Utilise Numerous Mediums
Include images, videos, audio track and interviews, where possible and elegant, to add authority and extra value to your blog. Many blogs may even require very minimal writing, allowing the other content mediums to do all the legwork.
Just make sure you are authorised to use the content under your name either by buying the rights, gaining the consent of the owner or utilising applicable Creative Commons content.
Images sourced via Flickr Creative Commons. Credit: Gary Stevens, David Blackwell, Ben Pollard