The main product of your business, and the main reason people will visit your blog, is for your content. Above all else, you should consistently focus on providing high quality content that is unique and provides value to your visitors. This is the basis for blogging success and echoes a common blogging theme of: “Content is king”.
I published a prior article on treating your blog as a business, and touched on the subject of providing high quality and varied content. I’d like to dive a little deeper on this topic, as the quality of your content can literally make or break your blog.
Focus on your readers first
While we all love that rush of social media or organic search traffic, you should always write for your readers first. Your readers are: the people that subscribe to your blog and/or return to your site daily to look for new content. These readers are also one of your biggest marketing tools. They subscribe and read your site because they are fans of your content. When they find value with the content you provide, they’ll promote that content for you by sharing it with friends and they’ll promote that content on social media. In turn, those same new readers will most likely become ongoing readers.
Readers visit your site primarily for your content and they don’t generally click through ads. In fact, the click through rate for normal readers and visitors to your blog is so low, that I don’t even show ads to readers and visitors.
On the flip side are search engine visitors. Search engine visitors are primarily looking for an answer to a question or trying to purchase something. They generally aren’t looking for a long term “relationship”. They’ll click through to your site, possibly read the article or a portion of it, then move on. Now, this isn’t to say that search engine visitors don’t become readers, they certainly can and do, but normally they don’t. Search engine visitors do however click on ads and have proven time and time again to the be the primary “ad clickers” on my blogs. Thus, I do show ads to them. I use the WordPress plugin Ozh’ Who Sees Ads plugin to only show ads to search engine visitors and on older content.
Proofread and error free content
Having error free content is important and sets of tone of professionalism and credibility to your site. Always read over your article a couple of times. This is my biggest weakness. I proofread like crazy, but for some reason I always seem to find grammatical errors in my content, even after reading over it a few times. I often have my wife proofread my articles as I’ve found having a third party look over them really helps. I’ve also found it best to not publish an article the same day I write it. I generally write my article, proof it, then come back the next day and proof it again. I find most of not all of the remaining spelling grammatical errors the next day.
While having articles with no grammatical and spelling errors definitely makes a big difference, having a few errors isn’t a showstopper; however, I have seen where having errors can limit who reads your site. I’ve specifically had people leave me comments and send me direct emails saying things like “Love your blog, but you had a typo in article XYZ, how can I trust your content when you can’t spell.” Harsh? Yes, but an honest reality.
To many of your readers and visitors having error free content is critically important. These people are used to seeing this level of quality in main stream media, and expect the same from your blog. If you receive a comment pointing out a typo, just fix it and reply thanking the person for pointing it out and move on.
Create Unique content
Regardless of your article’s topic, make sure it’s unique. Writing articles similar to other blogs is fine, but it’s critical to make sure that your article provides a unique or personal perspective on the topic.
Providing content that doesn’t somewhat overlap with the content of blog’s in the same niche as you is near impossible. I’m sure there are many other blogs like this one sharing very similar tips on how to start a blog, providing Thesis tips, etc. You should strive to provide content that is completely unique, but with the number of blogs on the internet, doing so is very difficult. What you can easily do though is write content that provides a unique perspective to a common topic or add your own personal story to the article to make it unique and fresh.
Speaking of including your own personal story, personal stories are the primary reason many people read blogs over and above traditional media content. Don’t be afraid to share some of yourself in your articles. Share your successes and failures, include personal stories of how doing the advice in your articles effected you. Personal stories and perspective draw your readers in and make for a better article.
Don’t be afraid to share your personal stories and yourself in your articles. Your readers want to know you. http://bit.ly/TPs16Y @larryecm Click to Tweet
Stay on topic
Always stay on topic, meaning your articles should be about or related to the main topic of your blog. Publishing something completely different and/or off topic every so often is fine, just don’t do it often. Your readers read your blog due to the topic you write on, when you begin posting off-topic articles too frequently, you’ll lose readers.
If you want to publish something off topic, think about how you can tie the article back to your theme and do so. For example, let’s say your main topic is on being frugal and you want to share a few Christmas recipes with your readers. Don’t just share the recipes alone, share how the recipe’s are frugal or possibly share some tips on how you make the recipes in a more frugal fashion (make them in bulk an freeze them). Using this strategy is a win/win, for you and your readers.
Provide varied content
When you visit the local grocery store or bookstore, do you always purchase the same items? Of course not, and your local merchant knows this and as a result, stocks many different variaties of products. Your blog should do the same with it’s content. Stay on topic, but write about different areas of the same topic.
For example, here on Side Income Blogging, I write about earning a side income online, which includes things like : traffic generation, blog design, earning income, affilate marketing, niche stores and so on. If you aren’t sure which topics you should consider, spend some time brainstorming and making a list. Keep your list handy, and the next time you’re ready to write an article, review your list for topic ideas.
Let’s hear from you! What are your tips and techniques for providing high quality and varied content on your blogs? If you don’t have a blog, but read blogs, what strategies and techniques have you seen that you liked? Add a comment!
Photo by: cordalth