If you’re blogging without an audience, it can feel like you’re screaming into the void. If nobody’s responding to your content, it’s hard to stay motivated, and it’s even harder to convert those readers into buyers. But building an audience for your blog is harder than it sounds. So what exactly are new bloggers to do in this rapidly growing online space?
With over a billion websites online today, it can sometimes feel like you’re fighting for attention. By using the top blogging trends, you can build an authentic, engaged audience of people who want to discover more of your content. Here are the top blogging trends of the moment to try for yourself.
1. Search Engine Optimization
There’s a big misconception about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) that it’s only for big-name websites. In reality, SEO is essential for websites of all shapes and sizes. Luckily, it’s easy to get started with SEO no matter your experience level or tech skills.
What exactly is SEO? It’s a way to optimize your website for the search engines so users can find your website more quickly when they search for a question or keyword. You can (and should) get SEO expert help for the more complex optimization, but some of the basics you can handle on your own. From increasing your website speed to using targeted keywords, don’t get overwhelmed by SEO.
2. Video Marketing
How often do you watch videos online? If you’re like most of the internet, probably pretty frequently. While written content is still a great way to communicate with your audience, don’t underestimate the power of video. In the online world, video is quickly becoming one of the best ways to build an audience.
How can you use video marketing to grow your blog audience? Namely, a few ways. First, include videos on social media. Videos stop users from scrolling through their feed, and you don’t have to be a video producer to make a decent video that’s successful on social media. From how-to videos to entertaining videos, all of these work wonders for your audience. Next, include these videos on your website for even more engagement with on-page content.
3. Guest Post on Other Blogs
You can’t expect people to magically find you on Google if you have no authority. What’s to stop them from believing someone else over you? If you don’t have your name out there, it’s hard to take what you’re saying as the best possible answer or information.
You can solve this by guest posting on other blogs. Often known as link building for SEO purposes, this is one of the most powerful things you can do for your website optimization. Beyond this, it’s a great networking opportunity and exposes your content to a new audience.
4. Email Marketing
Like the video, email marketing is a powerful tool. By building an email list, you can keep your best users coming back again and again. Creating an email list is inexpensive (or even free), and it’s easy to do. Encourage users to sign up by offering a free download to subscribers or by sending engaging, informative emails. From there, keep your emails relevant to your audience to keep your users coming back.
5. Long-Form Content
One of the last trends of the moment is to write long-form content. There are a few reasons for this. First, you’ll keep users on your page longer since they’ll need to read through the entire post usually to find what they’re looking for. In addition, long-form content shows search engines that you know your stuff.
However, don’t just write long-form content with no direction. It needs to be well-written, organized, and easy to read regardless of length. So the next time you sit down to write a post, try to get it over that 1,500-word mark.
6. Learn From Your Blog
While this might sound simple, many new bloggers fail to pay attention to their own success. You want to write content that’s engaging and important to you, of course, but you also want to write things that your users actually want to read. How well do you know your audience? Are you writing content that’s designed with them in mind?
The best way to do that is to simply learn from your own blog. Take a close look at your analytics. What are your most popular blog posts? What are users sharing the most? This right here should be your new strategy. If you posted about the top trends in your industry and saw a lot of success, that’s a good sign your audience wants to learn more about this.
Similarly, when you write things that don’t convert into more traffic, this might be a sign you should focus on other areas. Carving out a niche for yourself takes time, but the more you can learn from what you’re doing right and wrong, the faster you’ll grow an audience.
7. Create a Positive User Experience
Finally, make sure you’re focusing on the user experience. While there’s a lot of pressure to create your blog around SEO trends, at the end of the day, it’s humans, not search engines who are going to read through your posts. That being said, you want to make sure your user experience is in top shape.
What makes up the user experience? It’s a combination of things: readability, page speed, navigation, ease-of-use, and so on. You’ll want to tidy up your user experience from time to time to make sure it’s optimized not just for search engines (aka robots) but actual human beings. Here are some tips for doing just that:
- Create a headline – Your headline or “bio” should make it clear just who your blog is for. It can be as simple as “I’m a writer who shares marketing trends to help businesses.” Focus on what you’re doing for your users.
- Clear navigation – Get rid of any unnecessary links on your navigation menu. You don’t want to overwhelm visitors.
- Website speed – Does your website load quickly? Conduct a website speed audit to make sure you’re competitive with your speed. Get rid of unnecessary elements that slow down your load time.
- White space – Clutter is the enemy and white space is your friend. Be sure that everything on your page is serving some kind of purpose for your users. Websites that feel too busy or crowded will overwhelm your visitors.
As long as you’re focusing on creating a website that’s designed for the right users, you’ll find success with gaining your audience. User experience is one of the most important things to pay attention to in this day and age.
Getting users to your blog isn’t always easy. It’s not enough to click publish on your posts and wait for users to come. You need great content to entice readers as well as a strategy for driving users to your blog. Similarly, you need to know how to take a close look at your blog to determine just where you need to improve. Things aren’t always set in stone.
These trends above are effective when done properly. They not only bring users to your blog, but they’ll keep them coming back again and again. There’s no room today to stay comfortable and stagnant with your strategy. There’s always somewhere you can improve.