Many Canadian businesses and potential bloggers are intimidated by (or frustrated with) building a following. Starting a Blog is like walking onto the stage of an empty concert hall and starting to sing. Maybe you’ve put out a few flyers and told your friends, but to fill the theatre you have to entice them with your voice.
A successful blog requires work, dedication, and an uncanny ability to give your audience what they want. The first year is the most difficult, with few apparent returns for most. Unfortunately, too many give up before paying their dues. Many singers work in tiny bars before they make it big, but they still belt it out with everything they have. They constantly work at being discovered and appreciated. Blogging is very much the same, except you have many more avenues to success.
The first year of blogging should focus on:
- Defining and refining your niche and constructing a blog plan/calendar. Jot down your ideas in a simple text file or notebook. Really examine what you hope to accomplish with your blog, then figure out how you’ll work those goals into useful content for your readers.
- Writing fantastic content as often as you can. It isn’t easy to be motivated when the concert hall is empty, but you won’t fill it without an outstanding performance. The more you appear and the better you perform, the greater your chance of being discovered. Be creative and unique in your effort to be noticed. It will never be a waste of time to produce quality content because the search engines eat it right up. Don’t bother with fluffy, “I have to write something” posts. It’s the equivalent of stepping onto the stage and singing “Mary had a little lamb…blah…blah…blah. Goodnight.”
- Building relationships with other Canadian bloggers/media and their readers helps to promote your blog and establish your credibility. Post thoughtful, non-spammy comments on other blogs, social media, and news articles to get noticed and entice people to visit your blog.
- Submitting guest posts is still a good traffic strategy as long as you produce high quality content.
- Learning about blogging, writing and online marketing. Also take the time to read popular blogs in your niche so you can learn from their success and examine the target audience up close. It’s a great time to practice what you’ve learned, so don’t use learning as an excuse to procrastinate.
- Promotion and marketing is critical no matter how old your blog is, but it’s especially important in the beginning. Paying for ad’s is the obvious kick start, but be creative with it. Try an ad in a popular newsletter with a topic that compliments yours, for example. A newsletter with as few as 500 subscribers can offer a higher return on investment than one with 50,000, if the subscriber base has a demonstrated interest in your topic or products. As a bonus, it will cost you a lot less to advertise to those 500 subscribers.
Stay dedicated to providing a smashing performance and eventually you’re going to fill that concert hall. If you don’t have the time or knowledge to frequently write top quality posts, hire a talented employee or freelancer to help you. It’s an investment that can’t help but pay off in the future.
Insider Blogging Tips:
- If you’re new to blogging and want to get off to a roaring start, check out the Blog by Number ebook and course. It’s designed to take you through the entire process of starting, maintaining and marketing a blog.
- A popular email list management and marketing software designed specifically for bloggers is ConvertKit.
- If you would like to bring in more traffic to your blog with automatic SEO optimization, try SEOPressor. It can be used for traditional content, forum marketing, chat rooms, etc.
- An easy eCommerce plugin for WordPress bloggers is Shopify For WordPress.
What is your biggest obstacle in starting a blog? Please share in the comments below.
Editors note: For information about hiring our writer, Melody McKinnon, please contact her directly through the About Our Writer page.
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