Starting a blog is an incredibly exciting time as you get a platform with which to communicate with the world about your ideas, your way of life and the work that you do. However, the blogosphere is a crowded and noisy landscape, and so establishing a loyal readership when starting a blog is a challenge.
First thing is first; setting your expectations before you even start a new blog. It’s going to be hard work, it will take dedication on your part, and growing a loyal readership will be a long process. Do not expect to create a blog and within a few weeks be receiving thousands of visitors. It simply doesn’t work like that, or at least not any more.
The Key to a Loyal Readership
Be unique, be yourself
When starting a blog, your mail selling point to your potential new readers will be you. Let’s face it, there are hundreds of thousands of blogs online, almost certainly covering subjects at least similar to yours. So the key here is to pick which subject you want to cover in your blog, and go from there.
If you can make that subject area a little more specific, then you can even begin to carve a niche for yourself. However, if your aim here is volume of readers, don’t box yourself in to that blogging niche too tightly.
For example, if you want to blog about floristry, then perhaps a niche within that area would be Asian flowers. While there is still a wide scope to this topic, it is specific enough for readers to begin to associate you and your blog with. However, if your topic was about a specific flower that grows within a specific part of Asia, straight away your target market has been vastly reduced.
Once you have your subject area, establish a writing style of your own. It’s entirely up to you what that is, but make sure it is ‘you’. Do not try and mimic another blogger or be somebody you’re not, because sooner or later you will struggle to keep it going and users will set through it.
Readers, and search engines, are looking for genuine content from people with a genuine knowledge or story to tell. Being yourself and sticking to your subject area will form the beginnings of a solid fan base for your blog.
Become an authority on your subject
Once your blog is up and running and you’re beginning to get some traction in visitor numbers, the next thing you need to focus on is really becoming an authority on your chosen subject area. Over time, write as many informed pieces of writing as you can, including some backed by research rather than solely on opinion.
The more facts you can tie in, the more authoritative your writing will become. Google loves a writer with authority on a subject, and writing well about a particular subject, and in a way that attracts great social sharing, will lead to better search engine rankings. This will grow a loyal readership.
Last but not least, be consistent. Consistent in your tone of voice, consistent in your opinions, and consistent in the regularity of your postings.
People are creatures of habit. If they enjoy your blog then they will very quickly get in to a routine when they read it. This could be on the bus to work, sitting at home in the evening or whenever. If you can post at the same time each week, or better still every day, then users will see your content as reliable.
Also, keep your opinion consistent, or at least if your opinion on something changes, back up why it has changed with clear arguments and facts. Readers will quickly become confused if your opinion changes from one day to the next.