Start, nurture and grow your blog!
I have been lying low since my attempt to claim my blog on Technorati. It is April 29th today and I submitted my claim on the 24th of April. The following is the message I got: ‘Unfortunately, Technorati encountered a problem reading your blog. Our engineers are investigating and we will update your claim status as soon as we are able’.
This is bizarre as I can read my blog and so can many of you out there! More surprising is the fact that this update was sent to me 5 days ago and nothing has happened since then. There appears to be no way to communicate with Technorati and I can only wait. Maybe I have done something wrong or have overseen a detail. Well this shouldn’t stop me from blogging. So here we go.
Growing the traffic to your blog
A couple of posts ago I mentioned that I would like to generate more traffic to my blog. It is something I have not spent a lot of time on although I am aware what is required. I even dedicated a post to it a couple of months ago. Interesting content, regular posting, inviting other bloggers and being creative and thinking outside the square are all part of the process.
This is only one side of the equation as there is also the aspect of being ‘found’ by the search engines. In order for this to be effective you have to use the right keywords or alternatively buy your way into the ranks.
Whatever you do to promote your online presence the most important factor is likely to be persistence. My partner calls it exponential growth – nothing much happens for a while until suddenly the numbers will go up. In order to generate traffic you and I will have to keep at it and put in effort on an ongoing basis. Have I actually done that so far?
Apparently many bloggers who aim for revenue admit that they spend the majority of time attempting to increase their traffic rather than creating interesting articles. This is surprising as it is the quality of the articles that will get you the traffic. If this does not make sense compare this statement to a hands-on business. Imagine you have a cafe and that you want to build a reputation for making the best coffee. What exactly is selling your coffee – the coffee or the marketing? This almost like the chicken-egg dilemma – what came first?
Product and marketing
Blogging is about writing content for a public. People read your blog, like it, return, sign up – whatever. To increase the size of that public you need to market your blog but you will have to keep on writing good posts to make people come back. Otherwise you end up getting new readers as a result of your marketing but in the meantime lose the existing ones because there is nothing new to read. Compare this to your cafe and ask yourself whether you would come back after a couple of bad coffees or if the shop was closed at times you want a coffee?
It looks like the best formula should be a combination of both product and marketing. However I like to point out that your content is your product and it is the product that will attract a readership. The modes of marketing are the ways you will get, maintain and increase that readership. It will all take time, effort, persistence, belief and maybe even some financial investment.
An additional factor to look at is how to define your target audience. If you have sussed that one out you can start writing accordingly. Once you know exactly what expectations your target audience has, you can tailor every post to suit their needs.
In the end it comes back to remaining realistic about the speed and the size of your growth. It could be a slow process and it may cost some money but remember Rome wasn’t built in one day – in fact Rome is built on 7 hills so imagine how tedious and laborious that process must have been at the time!