You will find enough naysayers if you look for them.
So, in the early days of blogging there were people (mostly representing mainstream media) that blogging will never go mainstream.
Eventually blogging evolved and flourished.
So much so that Automattic (company behind WordPress.com, popular blogging software) crossed 45 million+ in revenues. Old blogging software companies like Moveable Type saw lower adoption but at the same time tools like companies like Tumblr continue to see massive growth.
Today also you will see reports that blogging is dying.
This is far from true.
In 2012 blogging is an important tool to brand building and lead generation.
With growth come challenges. With so many blogs being started everyday, you need better strategies to attract and engage audience to your blog.
You blogging plan (to attract right audience) should include – positioning, content development and marketing. You should also be ready to measure its reach and growth through various channels like – organic search, social media, and advertising.
Attracting Audience Through Outreach
1. It can be done by posting your new blog posts on various social media channels.
2. By guest-posting on prominent blogs in your industry (where you get a byline with a link to your blog)
3. By optimizing your blog content for search engines. If you are a newbie to SEO then use appropriate plugins. WordPress users can use WordPress SEO Plugin by Joost De Walk.
Engaging Your Audience
1. Create good content with depth. If your first time visitors (through search) find value in their first interaction with your content, they will either try out more content or come back for more later.
2. Use interlinking of posts on your blog. This way users will have a chance to see more of your content.
3. If you want your visitors to come back for more, give them an option to subscribe.
Best is if you let them subscribe to your email newsletter. This will help you create a foundation for your email marketing efforts.
Second option is to give them an option to subscribe to your RSS feed. Though engagement through RSS is deceasing day by day. Still it helps you share your content with your subscriber s as soon as it is published – without any additional effort on your end.
RSS feed also allows your readers to get updates in their email inbox.
4. Let fellow bloggers, industry professionals post to your blog. When somebody writes for your blog, chances are they will share with their audience. This will attract a bigger audience for your content.
You can write for AllOutDigital.
Preparing Content And Topic
It is the foremost important thing even before start blogging. You should pick subject on the basis of type of readers that you want to target including demographic. Best idea for a blog topic is to pick a “niche” and blogging upon that topic which you are passionate about, but at the same time, you should look that other people are not blogging on that topic.
Use SEO Plugin that can provide you appropriate keywords that people are searching for. Then, you should create content on the basis of that keywords.
Write blog post compelling and controversial.
1. Network with fellow bloggers. Interview them or link to their posts in your blog wherever relevant. Give first before you plan to take. But eventually your good karma will come back in forms on links to your content or mentions on social media channels like Twitter and Facebook.
2. Do not ignore LinkedIn. LinkedIn with more than 150 million users is a force hard to ignore. Develop a presence there and promote your content.
3. Go to select conferences and try to land speaking opportunities. This will build visibility for your brand. You can also work out becoming the content/media partner of conferences in your industry.
Do this after your have built a foundation (some brand visibility, anchor content and a possible revenue stream). This is to ensure so that you do not lose valuable content building time – trying to land some visibility. For a blog owner “content creation and promotion” should be focus for 1st 6-12 months.