Written by Ali Lawrence.
Your audience reveals the health of your blog. When your viewers are loyal, consistent and quick to comment and share your content – and consist of more than six people - you have the ideal setting for your blog to become an online feast.
The challenge is that the blogosphere is an immense place. You can easily be dwarfed and buried beneath 20,000 other dinner parties that have much more appetizing blog content. So, how do women like Gina Trapini and Tamar Weinburg do it? What makes their content so juicy and popular?
Ninety percent of online content is regurgitated. Has it ever frustrated you when researching a particular topic that often many of the first page search results – which are supposed to be the “authority” sources – more or less all have the same information?
For example, not long ago I researched “What humans taste like.” Every single article listed on the first page of Google said the same thing: Armin Miewes, the German man who killed and ate a person in 2007, said it tastes like pork; Alfred Packer, the guy who killed and ate his prospecting party in the Rocky Mountains in 1883, said it was the sweetest meat he’d ever had; Omaima Nelson, who killed and ate her husband in 1991, concurred with Packer; the journalist, William Seabrook, who researched an African tribe and then himself in the 1920s and ate a fresh cadaver, had the most reliable report, likening it to veal. Every single article on the first page of Google had the exact same information.
While you could certainly become famous overnight if you were to research and report original information on what people taste like, it’s an ill-advised strategy. William Seabrook was the most reliable source, because he performed original research and reported an original story – and also because he wasn’t a psychotic killer cannibal. The point is, this is also the best method for creating blog content. It doesn’t always require in-depth research or ground-breaking discoveries, but it does require originality.
Here are few suggestions to help produce or nurture original content:
- Surveys: Surveys are one of the easiest, most simplistic ways to obtain original information and form a story around it. Survey reports are the types of content reported in news and industry articles, and they are likely to acquire no small amount of backlinks. With tools like SurveyMonkey and Google Consumer Surveys, creating surveyed content is pretty easy.
- Become an Intersection for Related Industries or Niches: You can do this by creating additional pages on your actual site or blog. Whether you want to call it a “Resources” page, a “Helpful Links” page or something entirely different and original, by creating an online intersection on your blog where two types of businesses can benefit, you’ll naturally draw traffic and links to your site.
Do you write about food? Create a job listings page for restaurants hiring cooks. Do you have a contracting business? Create a page of regional links that provides information for project managers. Do you run a niche marketing company? Create a page where creative or marketing project managers can list freelance jobs. If you provide legal consulting, create a page where clients can find specific legal advisors or attorneys. True, it may require time and energy to do this, but you’ll likely acquire backlinks from some of the companies that you are referring, and you’ll increase your traffic by offering helpful information in addition to the content you already provide.
- Use Visual Content: Whether it’s an infographic, some animated GIFs, a chart, a graph, a photo slide show or a video blog series – it is a tried and true fact that visual content causes people to stay longer on a given web page. As it turns out, both men and women are intrinsically engaged by visual candy.
- Get Creative with Your Audience: Reach out to them and engage them directly, via a call for photo or content submissions, hosting a small contest with the winner’s photo and name featured on your blog in a blog post or even simply asking your audience what topics they would like to know or read about.
- Podcasts: Creating a good podcast takes time and effort, but it can be a fantastic tool for growing your audience. Podcast subscribers are often very loyal listeners when they find one that deeply engages them, so be prepared to research your audience. Remember that it should be centered around a topic that has a natural renewal of content to cover. For example, there are thousands of podcasts dedicated to movie and/or TV series reviews, because there is always another movie or new episode to cover. Your podcast could be as short as five minutes or as long as half an hour, but the most important factor is the content itself.
- Request Guest Writers: While you don’t want every Jane, Jill or Jan sending you guest-authored blog posts on a daily basis, having experienced or authoritative guest authors regularly featured on your blog can boost its credibility and readership, especially if that guest author links to your blog from their own blog or site. You can network and request a short guest blog from other influential women or industry authorities, or you can solicit for inquiries about guest-authoring right on your blog.
There are plenty of things that anyone can try in order to get people to read her blog post – social media networking, social media backlinks, guest authoring for related blogs, YouTube videos, etc. However, simply getting more people to read your blog post is not a true goal – or at least not one that will last. Instead, the goal should be to produce fantastic content, which will then produce a fat and healthy readership.