There are probably close to 200 million blogs on the Internet. From cooking tips or political commentary to financial advice or in our case, everything to do with our love for marketing & design – there is no shortage of resources out there for pretty much anything you want to read and learn about. But what makes for a great blog? There are several key ingredients that can help your blog stand out in the crowd and grow your readership. Let’s take a look at some of our favorites.
Pick a specific topic that you are passionate about
The best blogs focus on one specific topic or genre and are written by people that are pretty much obsessed with the subject. Readers are drawn to a specific blog because they too are passionate about the topic. It’s hard to build dedicated followers if you are posting random musings covering a million different subjects (unless you’re completely hilarious in the process). But most people are drawn to a fishing blog because they love fishing. Or they’re drawn to a travel blog because they love to travel. The other big bonus to picking a topic that you really care about is the fact that the actual writing comes oh so much easier.
Give your blog a voice
Readers love to feel a personal connection with the bloggers they follow. Be sure to inject some personality and authenticity in your posts. Be yourself and let the chips fall where they may. And when people do comment on your posts, be sure to respond. The best blogs have lots of interaction. Sharing your thoughts and communicating with people that share your life’s passion is one of the most rewarding reasons for having a blog. And you can generally learn a few things along the way too, so be sure to ask questions and be open to opposing points of view.
Feel free to be opinionated
Tying into the point above, don’t be afraid to speak your mind. The best blogs are informative, but they also give an honest opinion on the topics they cover and the experiences of the writer. I remember one of my posts on my travel blog called the pros and cons of cruising. Right at the beginning of the post I made it clear that the points I was making were based on my own personal opinion and people are certainly welcome to disagree. Even with that little disclaimer, I was still flooded with emails from hardcore cruisers wanting to shoot down a lot of the things I said. And you know what? That was totally Ok with me. I enjoyed the interaction and hearing opposing viewpoints. It didn’t change my opinion, but a little controversy and stirring up some passion is not always a bad thing. Let the emotions run high!
But more often than not, people reach out to me to make comments because they agreed with my thoughts and wanted to build on the excitement. Discussing something you love with like-minded people is the best.
Pictures are worth a thousand words
I love blogs with lots of excellent photography or illustrations. Reading about an amazing lasagna dish is great, but seeing the preparation and the final gooey delicious product makes the experience even better. And actually seeing the blogger/chef in the kitchen making the lasagna builds an even stronger connection. So be sure to include engaging imagery or video on your blog so people can not only be entertained by your fantastic writing, they can also feast with their eyes.
Make your blog visually appealing and easy to navigate
And finally from a technical standpoint, be sure to put some time and energy into building a blog site that has a pleasing layout and is easy to navigate for your visitors. An intuitive search function, easy to screen archive of previous posts and simple social sharing and commenting abilities are a must. As well, with today’s booming popularity for using mobile devices to surf the net, be sure to use responsive design for your blog to maximize user experience.
Blogging is not only fun, it’s a great way to connect with people and add relevant content to a web property for search optimization purposes. At ZOO Media Group, we are passionate about building strong brands and helping people and businesses succeed. If you need some help creating that beautiful and smooth functioning blog or website to indulge your passion, look no further. Contact us today and let’s talk about what we can do for you.