Yesterday I spoke about how you can influence the type of readers your blog attracts. Today I want to talk about how you can grow your blog by knowing and understanding your regular readers.
Grow your blog by understanding your readers
If you pay attention to the comments your blog posts receive then you should have a good idea of :
- What type of posts your readers like/dislike
- What type of posts gets the most comments
- How knowledgeable your readers are about the topic you blog about
- Which type of posts get linked to by other blogs/websites
This type of information can be incredibly useful. From a writing point of view, it can help you decide what type of posts would be popular (though it shouldn’t dictate what you write). From a marketing point of view, it will help you decide what’s the best way to market your blog. And, from a monetarizing point of view, it will help you decide what adverts to place on your blog. All of these things will help you grow and develop your blog.
What type of posts your readers like/dislike
If your blog has a decent amount of traffic and loyal regular readers then most posts you write should get a response. There are many ways to tell if your readers like your posts.
It’s common for readers to tell the blogger directly when they like a post with the response ‘Great post’ or something to that effect. Though readers are less direct with posts they don’t like. It’s not common to reply ‘Bad post’ or something similar therefore a lot of times you need to read between the lines.
Reading between the lines isn’t always easy. A lot of readers may be likely not to comment at all rather than leave a negative comment so posts with less comments than usual may indicate that the post was below average, then again, it might not. You see, a post with few comments isn’t always an indication that the post was poor. Some posts I have wrote have had few comments but have generated a lot of links.
Another thing to realise is that an unpopular post may not necessarily be a bad post per say. The post might be long, informatitive and witty but the main topic of the post might be about something which maybe only 20% of your readers are interested in. Bottom line, it isn’t an exact science and it’s difficult to compare posts like for like but overtime you should get a general idea of what type of posts your readers like and what posts they dislike.
What type of posts get the the most comments
Popular posts aren’t always the posts which get the most comments, infact, in a lot of blogs it’s the controversial posts which stimulate a lot of debate. Short newsbreaking posts which only took a few minutes to write may also get a lot of comments.
It’s not vital but it’s useful to know what kind of posts generate a lot of comments. Longer posts may be better from a Search Engine Optimisation point of view and some readers will love reviews and interviews too. However, nothing beats a good debate. Great debates can inspire future posts and increases interaction between readers.
How knowledgeable your readers are
As I mentioned in yesterdays post, how knowledgeable you are can greatly influence what type of reader you attract to your blog. However, you cannot assume that everyone knows as much as you so if you get a lot of comments asking for you to explain things in more detail, it may be a good idea to expand your technical posts a bit more and clairify some points for everyone.
As always, the opposite is always true. If your readers are experienced you shouldn’t dumb down what you write.
Basically, once you understand your readers you can accomodate them more in your posts and write them accordingly.
Which type of posts get the most links
Incoming links are not only great from a Search Engine Optimisation point of view, they also bring a lot of traffic directly too. Therefore it is important to know which type of posts get the most trackbacks.
The people who link to a blog post on your site will either be :
- A regular reader who wanted to share the post with their own readers
- Another blogger/website-owner which reads your blog daily to keep tabs on news/events
- Someone who isn’t a regular reader but has found the post via another site, search engine or whatever
From the above list, clearly blog and website owners who subscribe to your blog will link to you the most. The people who are keeping tabs on your blog may not always comment but if you notice another website link to your posts semi frequently, it’s a good indication that they subscribe or at the very least, visit your site to stay up to date.
Knowing what type of posts generate a lot of links will help you plan future ‘linkbait’. It will also tell you which blogs are good linkers, a good thing to know. These are the blogs which are likely to link to your big posts, these are the blogs you should link back to often to return the favour.
Understanding your readers should be a fundamental part of how you plan the growth of your blog. Your readers will pat you on the back when you do something right and criticize you when you do something wrong. Don’t let readers dictate what you write as this sometimes means your blog goes off topic but take their opinions on board and let their feedback guide your blog in the right direction.
How to Get Endless Content Ideas for Your Blog
Smacked you in the head sometimes, right?
Nothing feels worse than slamming into writer’s block. But nothing feels better than having endless content ideas on tap, making you a prolific, traffic and profit driving machine.
Content ideas abound. But you need to learn how to and where to find these ideas to become incredibly prolific.
This feels challenging at first but finding content ideas seamlessly:
- increases brand awareness
- gives your readers a steady stream of content to benefit them
- increases your blogging profits through a variety of income travels
- inspires your readers to defeat writer’s block and other mental blocks
- helps you become a prolific guest poster
- gives you more ideas for future blog posts
Follow these tips to get endless content ideas for your blog guys.
1: Poll Your Readers
Poll your readers via an email newsletter.
Publish posts questioning readers on their biggest problems related to your niche.
Ask readers questions to get blog post solutions.
Content ideas dance around in the minds of your readers.
Just asking my readers on Facebook or Twitter about their most pressing blogging problems is an easy way to get content ideas. Sometimes I probe into their struggles. Other times I just ask if they have blogging questions. Some days I get 10 answers or questions and other days, 1. Keep asking guys. Probing and polling readers provides ample blog post ideas for you.
2: Hang out on Niche Specific Forums
I spend time daily both answering questions and finding content ideas on the Warrior Forum.
Help folks and see what to write about by observing forums aligned with your blogging niche.
See the most popular posts. What questions do people ask? How do people struggle?
Mine content ideas in the struggles of your ideal readers.
Be an active contributor on forums to better tune into the needs of folks intrigued with your niche. By regularly publishing posts on Warrior I can see and hear problems experienced by aspiring or even professional bloggers.
3: Follow Top Blogs in Your Niche
Read top blogs in your niche. Keep an eye out for popular posts. What do folks have problems with?
Read the comment fields to get a feel on what readers are chatting about. Many commentors have few issues sharing their pain points via blog comments. Pay close attention to complaints, rants or folks who share their biggest dreams. Tune in to these emotional push buttons to find an endless flow of prospering content ideas.
4: Become a Life Observer
I have nabbed more blog post ideas watching life than you’d ever believe.
Look at yesterday’s blog post: Blogging Outside of the Lines.
See how I spotted a blog content idea by coloring with my niece? Life presents you endless blog post ideas if you quiet your mind, relax, and become an observer of it all. The key is to cease trying to do stuff and to simply relax, and watch, life unfolding around you.
Review your last trip to the store. Who did you chat with today? What life lessons did you learn recently?
Draw an analogy between your experience and your blogging niche. Stay on blogging topic. Be on point. Speak to your readers while relating to them on a deeper level. Be a watcher. Find unlimited blog post ideas.
Meditate or do deep yin yoga.
Both practices expand your awareness, a must for folks intent on clearing their head trash to find more blog content ideas.
Work these streams diligently.
Calm your chattering mind.
Find unlimited content ideas for your blog.
11 Tips on Finding the Right Infographic Ideas for Your Brand
Infographics have become ubiquitous on the Internet. Whether you’re on Facebook, Pinterest, or Linkedin, you’re bound to come across an infographic online.
Infographics are popular due to their ability to convert complex data and information into something much simpler, making them interesting to look at and easy to understand.
According to Hubspot’s study, infographics are three times more likely to be shared than any other type of content— a perfect investment for those who are looking to bring in traffic and generate leads.
As more infographics are published on the Internet, creating one that will stand out from the rest takes more than illustrations with charts and data. An infographic can have great design but without a compelling topic, it might as well be skimmed through.
So, how do you come up with a compelling topic people want to read?
The truth is, it’s not going to be an instantaneous process. It’s going to take time, effort, and a lot of in-depth research. There are times content creators overlook research and end up with a lackluster infographic.
Figure out who your infographic is for. Knowing your target audience beforehand can make the process of choosing a topic much easier.
Avoid aiming for a wider audience. Instead, aim for a specific group of people. A one-size-fits-all approach isn’t going to work.
By creating a narrow target, it’ll be easier to create effective strategies for the specified target audience. For example, an infographic about basic exercise won’t be of interest for people who are in advanced exercise programs such as Crossfit or calisthenics.
Cook up a (brain)storm
There are a variety of brainstorming methods to use when coming up with ideas for your infographic topic, such as word association, mind mapping, and keyword research. These methods are perfect for coming up with loads of ideas by exploring different angles and connections.
Tools such as Mindmeister and Ahrefs are great for brainstorming and keyword research. Mindmeister lets you create your own mind map online. You can also export the file into different formats and share it with anyone. Ahrefs is a great tool for keyword research, helping you find high-ranking keywords to use for your infographic.
Another way to find ideas for your infographic is to repurpose existing content. These can be from blog posts, videos, or any other type of content.
Repurposing saves you a lot of time and effort. When you’ve gathered the materials you already have on hand, decide on an angle you want to display the information in. For example, if you have a blog post about 30 ways to save money, you can focus and shorten the blog post and instead, do an infographic on 10 money saving tips for impulsive shoppers.
Knowing what is currently trending can also help you come up with ideas for your infographic. A tool like Google Trends allows you to find the most searched keywords. You can see the searches on different topics and different regions.
Although it’s great to have a completely unique topic for your infographic, it’s also important to consider whether or not it’s feasible. Having a topic that’s too niche and has little to no information to support your research won’t do you any good.
A feasible topic has abundant information that’s easy to access and come from credible sources. Since infographics are meant to inform readers and provide valuable content, an abstract or opinion based topic would have little credibility and wouldn’t be very informative.
For more tips and tricks on finding the right infographic ideas, take a look at the visual guide here!
Andre Oentoro is one of the co-founder of Milkwhale, an internationally acknowledged infographic production agency. He helps businesses increase visibility on the internet with visual data and well-placed outreach campaigns. Read more on his latest guide to Viral Infographics and learn how to get the most value out of your website’s traffic.
Are You Afraid to Color Outside of the Blogging Lines?
I am coloring with my 2 year old niece now.
Blog post idea; after 2 photo snaps and a quick analogy realization I figured coloring with a 2 year old conveys a blogging success lesson to you.
My niece does not fear coloring outside of the lines. She is smart as a whip but has yet to master the concept of coloring inside of the lines. Few 2 year olds get this idea.
Scribbling like mad, her work consists of zags, hard lines, zigs, and you better believe she colors almost exclusively outside of the lines. She is as happy as a lark to break the rules, to just be coloring. Coloring is fun to her. Who cares if she stays in the lines?
I instantly thought of my blogging career.
I retired to a life of island hopping through smart blogging by coloring outside of the blogging lines, choosing to do what feels fun to me versus doing what bloggers said I should do.. No email list at Blogging From Paradise. Not much search traffic either because I don’t do the SEO thing. I publish up to 4 blog posts daily. No doubt; I follow certain rules and do color inside of the lines sometimes but largely succeeded because I blog outside of the box, following my fun, pursuing my passion.
You may look at me and wonder how in the heck I do it? You follow all common blogging rules diligently. Yet you may struggle. What gives?
Blogging is an energy game. If you do what feels fun to you, you will succeed wildly. Even if you break rules in the process.
Even though I promote 1 blogging eBook above all else I still wrote 126 eBooks. Big time rule breaker guys. Most bloggers only write 1 eBook and promote the stuffing out of it before moving on to the next eBook. Nothing wrong with that but this is usually a scarcity mindset in action. I preferred to think abundantly and wrote my rear end off. Coloring outside of the lines. Blogging outside of the box.
Follow Some Blogging Rules But Break a Bunch
Nobody becomes wildly successful or lives a dream life through blogging by following all the rules. Rule breakers stand out from the crowd.
Breaking some blogging rules is just like coloring outside of the lines. Some bloggers believe your blog looks a bit sloppy, or disorderly, or that you are doing things wrong, if you color outside of the blogging lines. But these bloggers are usually totally obsessed with doing things perfectly, struggling like heck because nobody is perfect and when you try to be perfect you will fail. Perfection is the fear of failure and the fear of criticism, combined. Don’t let bloggers who color inside of the lines fool you.
How to Succeed by Coloring Outside of the Blogging Lines
Follow your intuition guys.
Listen to the small, still voice.
Trust your gut.
Do what feels most fun to you; not what bloggers say you should do.
I do not build an email list. This is coloring outside of the blogging lines.
Yet I live a life few bloggers live, spending months in Fiji, Bali, Thailand and Costa Rica among other tropical paradises.
No SEO on Blogging From Paradise because I do not want to depend on search traffic. Yet I have circled the globe for the past 7 years as a full time digital nomad.
Break some rules guys.
Do freeing, fun and highly uncomfortable things. Even if doing so pulls you away from the blogging herd.
Color outside of the blogging lines guys.
Live your wildest dreams.
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