Image from Flickr by Adam Tinworth
When you’re building your business through online content, it’s not enough to simply write great posts. Without readers, you may as well not bother.
Getting readers means getting attention – and that can seem like a tough prospect when you’re new to the blogging world. Unfortunately, some bloggers decide that all attention is equal – and go about getting entirely the wrong sort with misguided tactics like:
- “Calling out” big names in their industry, without any real justification or rationalisation
- Making provocative, even offensive, remarks
- Spamming lots of blogs with comments, hoping to gain more visibility
- Pestering influencers in their field for links, tweets, or social media shares
These methods might bring some instant attention for those bloggers – but they’re also likely to make a very poor first impression on blog readers and blog writers.
Don’t risk your reputation; make sure you’re getting the right sort of attention with these seven tips:
#1: Write consistently great content
One of the best things you can do in the blogging world is to produce really good content, week after week. Yes, you’ll want to implement other tips too in order to get readers’ eyes on that content – but without a strong foundation, any attention you get will quickly fade.
Make sure you spend time developing your writing style and your ability to plan and structure posts. That way, you can build up a core of great posts on your blog before you reach out too far.
#2: Pay attention to your readers
It’s very easy to get caught up in writing what you want to write, or what you think will be popular ... but a better tactic is to find out what your readers want, and give it to them. By paying attention to them, you increase the chances that they’ll pay attention to you!
The comments and emails that you receive can be an invaluable source of blogging ideas and feedback; make sure you not only read them but also take them on board.
#3: Leave valuable comments
Commenting on blogs is a powerful way to build relationships – if you do it the right way. Don’t expect to gain SEO benefits from comments: instead, you’re looking to build and strengthen your relationship with the blogger in question (or with their readers).
It’s often much better to focus on a few highly-regarded blogs in your niche, rather than commenting on as many blogs as possible. That way, you’ll quickly get your name known.
#4: Speak your mind
Don’t be afraid to give your opinion, or to write something that’s passionate or even angry: this is usually much more interesting to readers than bland content that just gives facts or information.
However ... don’t be controversial just for the sake of it. If you do want to “call out” a big name in your industry, or slam a popular brand, then make sure you’ve got evidence to back up what you say. Otherwise, you’ll just end looking vindictive or whiny.
#5: Don’t just focus on influencers
When you’re hoping to get links or retweets, it’s all too easy to look straight to the key influencers in your field – the bloggers with tens of thousands of readers or Twitter followers. The problem is, everyone else is doing the same thing as you – so these bloggers are inundated with requests.
Instead, look for people who are a little less well known in your field. You might try those who’ve guest-posted on popular sites, or who interact with bigger names on Twitter. Reach out to them instead – and you might well start a very fruitful relationship.
#6: Create a brilliantly useful resource
As well as writing consistently valuable content, it’s a good idea to create a show-stopper piece that will be worthy of special attention. This could be a big post that rounds up lots of great links and resources on a particular topic, or one that quotes from or compares lots of experts in your field. You might well use images or video to enhance it.
You’ll need to set aside some time to create a resource like this – and it’s often best done over several days or weeks. You’ll find, though, that it’s well worth the time investment, as this sort of post will be likely to receive lots of attention.
Do you have a tip to add? Or will you be trying out one of these this week? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.