When it comes to blogging, readers are the blogger’s customer base, because its very survival depends on a stable readership. Unless your blog only serves as a personal diary, you should aim to inspire others with your writings. You’ll be surprised how your words can lift others up, or give them a great inspiration or help in a certain area they need.
Yes, all you need to concern is not about how much advertising revenue you can gather, but how much value you can provide to your precious readers and keeps them coming back for more.
How do you provide values, or inspire readers with your blog? This subject is so broad that I don’t think I can draw a conclusion if I quantify it to a list. However, I’ve identified 7 essential approaches to make your blog inspiring enough to sustain a fair amount of readership, under what I termed as I.N.S.P.I.R.E:
If you’re thinking of plagiarizing your entire entry from another source, don’t. First of all, it’s absolutely not right to copy-and-paste what others have taken the effort to write, even if you manage to paraphrase most of the sentences, think about branding and reputation.
Secondly, it won’t make your blog stand out from the large array of copycats out there on the net. If you want to distinguish your blog, you’ve got to offer your readers what other blogs couldn’t. By that, you got be original and independent. Be the pioneer.
Write what others didn’t think of. Offer something unique. Sure, you can get ideas by reading from other blogs, but don’t reproduce them. Digest what they have to say regarding a particular issue and come up with your own hypothesis, solution or whatever in your entry, as long as it’s your own words. You can even gain reputation mentioned above from being the blog that stands up to its own opinions or ways of writing.
Ask yourself if the article that you are writing is noteworthy to the reader, or even to yourself. Is it something that many readers would be dying to read about and know, even bookmark, be it as a solution or an opinion-based entry?
Simply put, unique is not enough, you have to write something attractive, and by attractive I mean the reader will even come back to read again when they need to, or they will introduce the article when someone is asking about the recommendation, that’s called noteworthy.
To put an example, you want to do a Photoshop tutorial which the methods discussed are seen everywhere but they are all difficult to follow. In this case, you can produce an easy-to-follow tutorial, with a comprehensive explanation on the go. So whenever readers came across it and they want to do a Photoshop tutorial later, they will remember that there’s a detailed yet easy-to-follow tutorial in your blog. They will also introduce it to any Photoshop beginner asking for the kind of tutorial. Noteworthy achieved.
It is advisable for you to set a target audience for your blog. This is to ensure that your entries would stay within the boundary of a selected few topics.
For example, if your blog is about providing troubleshooting for common computer errors, then it would be common sense to input entries regarding the latest computer issue that is currently affecting many of your targeted readers.
Why such constraints? Think about it: If you as a reader wishes to find out more about a certain area of interest, would you prefer to go through the search engines and get bits and pieces of what you want, or would you rather have a one-stop website where you can browse through all the related topics and learn as you go? This is the best way to get readers to come back for more.
This bears some similarity with being independent and original, except that this one is more to do with your style of writing.
In order to differentiate from hundreds of bloggers like yourself who are writing about the same topic, other than inputting different contents, the only other way is to personalize your writing. Develop a personality for your entries, so to speak.
However, humans are also creatures of habits, in that they will feel comfortable when they sense consistency. Hence, once you get a steady base of loyal readers, make sure to stick to your style. You can deviate, but not too much. For further reading about the importance of consistency, I’ve written an entry earlier on improving blog traffic, which emphasizes about consistency.
The blog should be able to influence people with their words, which mean that it has to be persuasive in its writings. This is especially true for opinion or discussion blogs, where their primary business is to express a certain viewpoint and adopt a certain stance.
This doesn’t mean that the entries have to persuade people to adopt their views; the priority should be on generating a buzz or creating a discussion topic among people. Get everyone to discuss and make the blog lively.
In fact, it’s hard to be very influential if you are pushing everyone to a certain perspective in this modern and informational age. Rather, strive to be influential by making your blog entries stimulating and invigorative enough to draw a crowd and make them stay. Influence people by making them take notice of what you say.
This is especially crucial for blog entries that touch on everyday issues, such as my earlier entry on tackling the 10 most asked interview questions. Since such entries address commonly encountered problems, making them relatable to the reader will forge a connection between your friendly words of advice and the person seeking it.
Even when your entry is of a more technical nature like troubleshooting, you can make it relatable to the readers by altering the tone of your writing a little. Crack a joke or complain a little about the error issue. Even posing a rhetorical question every now and then can set the reader into a more casual and relaxed reading mode.
When it comes to the credibility of what the blogger has to say, nothing matters more than the expertise of the writer. How can a person who had never written a blog talk about, say, the qualities of a good blog? Be the top of your niche, as people only seek for expert’s advice.
To make the blog more reliable, what the writer has to do is to incorporate elements of his experience and expertise in the topic. The writer can draw on his or her knowledge to impress the readers and develop a level of trust on the subsequent entries. Thereafter, the readers would use the site as a reference point when they wish to consult on the topic.