Being a good blogger means that people turn to you when they're looking for entertainment or searching for a solution to a specific problem. Many people who are just desperate to become successful bloggers forget that the key factors that make a blog successful are quite simple.
So let’s focus on delivering great content to your audience by addressing how to become a blogger in the following 10 easy steps:
1. Be Honest
Your visitors will spot a lie from a mile. If you're considering writing a post sponsored by a brand, think twice before you say yes – writing about a product you're not passionate about might cost you your reputation as an industry authority.
Be honest towards yourself and your audience. Write about the things you really love, not just about topics you know are trending among your audiences. Offer your own point of view, even if it might seem controversial to others.
Respect your audience and don't make yourself write another post about nothing just to fill the void in your blog and be perceived as a regular blogger.
2. Define Your Audience
Writing on the web, you're probably counting on someone to read your blog posts. To make sure your content doesn't end up in an Internet vacuum, you should define the group of people you think could be interested in what you have to say. This will be your target audience.
Do some social listening and analyze your findings. Which topics are trending in your sector? What kind of problems do people have in your niche? What are their main interests? Where do they search for quality content exploring your topic? What events do they attend? What kind of content do they prefer (written, videos, infographics)?
Knowing the details of your audience, you'll make sure that your posts are relevant and shared all over social media. Moreover, having a good grasp on your target audience will prove inspiring when you experience writer’s block – and that's something that happens to every blogger.
3. Identify Your Key Goals
Reflect for a moment on your motives behind creating a blog. What kind of value are you planning to add to the online community surrounding your topic or niche? What sort of influence do you want to have on your audiences?
Sometimes, being busy blogging your time away, you might lose sight of your most important goals. It's worth it to stop for a moment from time to time, take a second to think and possibly redefine your approach. Or come up with an entirely new strategy for achieving what you want and building a specific status for your blog in the niche.
4. Reconsider Your Value
The single most important factor that defines the success of a blog is its potential for adding great value to the community. What exactly is unique about your voice? What sort of expertise can you offer to your readers? All this will shape the overall value of your blog to the community.
Another thing you should examine is your content – you've been blogging for a while now, so you probably have an idea about what works for your audience and what doesn't. Look at your most popular posts and ask yourself whether you could have made them even more entertaining or educational.
Whatever you write, make sure that it's inspiring for your readers and motivates them to improve their lives or grow. This is a value that will make them return to your blog over and over again.
5. Improve Your Headline Writing
Even if your content is top-notch, the quality of your headlines will play a decisive role in its popularity. To make your content more attractive, work on your headline writing skills.
Just consider the situation from the perspective of your visitor – they've just stumbled upon your blog, they read the headline and on this basis they choose whether to click on it or leave. These seconds are crucial – you should hold their attention, attract them to your content and inspire them to click on it.
Sometimes a way out could be writing 10 different variants of the same headline and choosing the best out of them. You can try tools like ContentIdeator (http://ideas.contentforest.com/) or Content Row (http://www.contentrow.com/tools/link-bait-title-generator) – all you need to do is type your keywords and you'll have a selection of actual headlines before your eyes. Analyze them, see which ones are most popular and you'll have an idea about constructing your own headlines.
6. Use Tools for Inspiration
Every blogger, even the greatest ones, has their limit. At some point you will find yourself lacking exciting ideas or mulling over things that are completely irrelevant to your target audience. How do you come up with relevant and inspiring content? Use content-generating and social listening tools as your ultimate source of inspiration.
You can try Übersuggest (http://ubersuggest.org/), which will offer you a wealth of content ideas for a specific phrase or keyword by generating a list of related topics, helping you to create original content and address new audiences.
Try social listening tools like Topsy (http://www.topsy.com/) or Icerocket (http://www.icerocket.com/) to see what people are talking about on the web. These tools will give you a range of analytics data for every keyword, showing sentiment measurement, user engagement and the overall trends for those topics.
Finally, websites like Quora (https://www.quora.com/) or Reddit and its top pages (http://www.reddit.com/top/) will serve as a great means not only to see what people talk about in general, but gain a deeper view into the community – providing you with a surge of fresh ideas for your own content.
7. Incorporate Various Media Formats
Even though blogging is traditionally about written content, one cannot help but notice the number of various multimedia formats that are popping up these days and capturing users' attention.
Turning to different formats will help you in exploring new promotional strategies – why not turn the gist of your next post into a Slideshare presentation?
Videos are now lighter and easier to make than ever, prompting many bloggers to dig into this medium and create their vlogs – why not spice up your blog with such a format once in a while?
Podcasts are all the rage now and they can be particularly interesting for bloggers, provided you've got some decent recording hardware and your voice is nice and melodic. Listening to your blog posts rather than reading them will create a new level of meaningful connection with your audience, who will now be able to see the human face behind your words.
8. Make Your Blog Posts Easy to Share
To have a clear idea that your social buttons are visible and functional, you should have some of your friends test your blog and suggests measures that should be taken to make it even easier to share your posts.
Some online sources use an automated Twitter feature – it's enough to click on a fragment to instantly tweet it. This kind of solution could be great if applied to your most daring, shocking or on-point remarks, certainly not the whole text.
9. Don't Forget About SEO
In a world driven by content marketing, SEO maintains its status and simply begs for your attention. If you really want to learn how to become a blogger, you should have an elementary understanding of SEO and its importance in rendering a blog popular.
Factors to watch out for are your backlinks, your social networking, the quality of your blog posts, the number of unique visitors and the keywords that you focus on. Google AdWords is one serious tool to consider – it's basically a keyword planner, which can help you to find the most popular keywords to use in your writing.
If you're using WordPress, things get even easier. There's a host of SEO plugins you can choose from to make sure your content is reaching more and more people
10. Be Quotable
There's nothing more powerful than using a persuasive language that simply inspires users to quote what you wrote on their social media or in their own content. Remember that the current average attention spans of web users are extremely small and getting smaller every year, so whatever attention you manage to capture is of great value.
Be concise and write your posts in a clear and understandable manner. Avoid writing long, academic-like sentences – get to your point without rambling on and on about a topic, even if you're very passionate about it. Be focused, deliver your message and share your best quotes all over social media to make an impact.
Learning how to become a blogger and getting really good at it takes a lot of time and work, but it's definitely worth it – whether you're blogging professionally or it's just your passion, offering great and relevant content will help you to build a strong personal brand and status in the online community.
About the Author
Isabel Wiliams is a Content Marketing Specialist at http://www.bizdb.co.uk/. She combines a strong background in blogging and Internet Science with an expertise in New Technologies. She is an experienced educator lecturing about leveraging the potential of the World Wide Web for professional development.
Image source: https://pixabay.com