Remember Xanga, Open Diary, LiveJournal, or MySpace?
Those are the sites where blogging began. And it did not stop there.
Blogs are everywhere. Since Jorn Barger coined the word “Weblog” in 1999, new blog sites, business blogs, and personal blogs are emerging every day. According to Blogging.org’s 2012 survey, there are over 42 million blogs on wordpress.com alone.
So how do you stand a chance in the blogging world?
1. Know your niche.
What is your blog about and why are you writing it? Whether you are posting recipes, regaling the world with your many travels, or keeping up the company blog, it is important to have a focus and stick to it. Readers want information as quickly as possible. Knowing what to expect and being able to reliably expect it will keep readers coming back.
2. Do not limit yourself.
That is not as difficult as it may seem. An easy way to open up your readership is by keeping it timeless. Avoid writing about topics that will be irrelevant in a year.
Think cats. Cats are cute. Cats are timeless. Eric Nakagawa and Kari Unebasami fired up I Can Haz Cheezburger?, a delightful romp in the world of adorable felines and lackadaisical grammar, over five years ago. The blog now boasts over 1.5 million hits every day.
3. Keep it simple.
4. Use pictures, graphs, charts, and lists.
There is some debate about the longest sentence in literature. A lot of sources argue that Victor Hugo stole the victory with 823 words in a single sentence in his novel Les Miserables. Others are not impressed, and give James Joyce the honor with a 4,391 word sentence in Ulysses. And the debate wages on.
We may never know who wrote the longest sentence, but one thing is certain. You do not want it to be you. Keep it fresh. Break it up with pictures and lists.
5. Use Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Social media is there for a reason. Use it. Admit it: If a Facebook friend posts an article with an intriguing title, you are going to click on it. That is the idea. Put your blog out there for all to see. Monopolize that Facebook newsfeed! Do not depend on readers coming to you.
That will get you started. What are some other ideas to keep readers reading?