Image credit: Watercolor Peony by Jessica Illustration
You’re serious about using your blog to market your business. You want to provide value to your readers, to craft a community around your brand, and to build an engaged audience of loyal followers, but…
You aren’t getting many visitors to your blog.
You’re getting even less comments on your posts.
You’re not getting any social shares.
What to do? Where to go? What’s the problem?
If you want to make your blog work for your business but you aren’t sure how to get there, then pay attention.
1. Attractive Design
Your blog design is important!
First of all, people are visually oriented and we all like looking at things that are pleasing to the eye. I’m talking about colors, fonts, and graphics. Your blog design should reflect your business design especially if you’re using your blog to market your business.
Secondly, it needs to reflect your brand. I’m talking about feelings and values here. Think of your blog as a home… an online home. What feeling do you want your readers to have when they come to your home? Do you want it to be a cozy, comfortable place where your reader wants to hang out at like TheFlourishingAbode.com? Maybe you want it to be fun, exciting, and colorful like JessicaSwift.com. No matter what feeling you’re going for, make sure it’s the same feeling your business is resonating too. Keep things consistent and cohesive, and you’ll be off to a great start!
2. Keep it simple sweetheart
When it comes to keeping things simple, there are two areas to look at.
When you’re blogging you need to have focus and a clear point. Obviously you’re going to talk about your business from time to time or you may throw in those beautiful photographs you took last week, but if you want to build a loyal following then you need to provide something more for your readers. Something of value to them. It may not be very interesting to hear about your business or your family all the time. Sure your readers want to know more about you and how your business works, but what else do they want to know? What problems are they facing and how can your business help them with those problems? Work those things into your blog posts.
Is your site easy to navigate? How easy is it to get from one page to the next? Can readers easily search for past posts or topics or do they have to scroll back one post at a time? These things matter!
Think about the most important areas of your blog? Your “About” page, probably a link to your Etsy shop, your “Press” page even. Make sure these pages are included in your navigation bar as well as any other ones important to your business.
What things do you want to highlight on your blog? Your newsletter, maybe a monthly special, or a digital product you sell. Include those things towards the top of your sidebar so they’re always seen.
3. Know your ideal reader
Just like you know your products aren’t for everyone, but someone in particular, your blog isn’t for everyone. It’s for one type of person… aka – your ideal reader.
Who wants to know what you have to say? Who’s interested in knowing more about you or learning from you?
If you know who you should be writing your posts to, it will really help direct your posts. You should be writing to that person, that one person, in every post. Think about them and what they want. Know what they would find helpful or valuable. What is relevant to them? Once you know those things, deliver it. This is one of the most important factors you can focus on in order to build a loyal following.
4. Promote, promote, promote
If you want to see an increase in people reading your blog, then you need to promote your posts. No one else is going to do it for you.
First, you have to know who your ideal reader is. Second you need to know what they want from you and you have to deliver that with insain amounts of value to them. Lastly, you have to know where they hang out at online, go there, and promote your great stuff!
5. Engage readers
The last piece of the puzzle is to engage your readers once they’re there.
People start reading blogs because something draws them in… typically the content. Over time, if the content remains valuable and worth taking the time to read, the reader sticks around and gets to know you more. They come to like you and eventually trust you. Somewhere along the way, they will open up to you and want to engage with you, talk to you, ask you questions, and get to know you.
Two ways you can interact with your readers is to:
- ask engaging questions
- give them opportunity to connect with you
When you start off writing a post, you need to try to have one specific thing in mind for that post. What is it you want your reader to walk away with? Is there something you want them to do? Maybe you want to ask them a question and hear their response. If so, ask the question, and be sure to tell them to leave a comment. Maybe you want them to share your post with their friends. If so, tell them to share, and be sure to provide some share buttons for them to use. This is called a “call to action”. You calling your reader to action… you’re asking them to do something and in the process of doing so, you’re engaging with them.
You can also interact with them by making sure you have a page that provides your contact information such as your email address and even links to find you on social media. That way if someone isn’t too keen on leaving you a comment, but they want to tell you they liked your post or ask you a question, you’re good to go!
So there you go… 5 ways you can make your blog bloom by building a tribe of loyal readers!
What do you do to encourage loyal readers? Leave your tips in the comment section below!
Editor’s PS: Want more community building ideas? Join our #omhg chat today from 1-2EST to talk about how to build community around your brand & business!