The most important work you’ll ever do on your blog happens before you create the blog. You need to know your audience. Otherwise you’re just shooting arrows in the dark… You have no hope of hitting your target. So what’s the one secret you must know?
I’ve been blogging for ten years. Until 2005, blogging was regarded as a weird preoccupation of geeky types. Then businesses caught on: a blog was a powerful business tool.
Once that realization dawned, blogs proliferated, and it was no longer enough to have a blog, you had to sharply target your blog to appeal to a particular audience. If you didn’t, you received little traffic. Other, more sharply targeted blogs, stole your traffic.
Therefore, that’s the ONE secret you must know in order to build a successful blog-site.
In a nutshell: know your audience and build a rapport.
Let’s look at how this works when you want to create a new blog.
You want to create a new blog for your business — a gym. You decide to target “health”. STOP! That’s much too amorphous. Enter the search term “health” into Google, and you’ll be face with over two trillion pages which reference health in some way.
That might be way more competition than you want to face.
If you’re sure you want to go with the health topic however, you can. Just focus a little more. A laser is much more powerful than a flashlight.
You could target:
* “Health” in your local area (your city). This gives you an excellent entree into Google, because Google Places lets you claim your local business listing, and this provides instant traffic to your website and blog; or
* Sports health, if your gym’s clientele is made up primarily of people who engage in various sports. (Or any other topic which is relevant to your gym’s membership.)
For business blogs, always think local, because local relevance is the direction in which the Web is heading.
But what if you’re an individual, rather than a business?
The same rules apply. Think local, and think targeted traffic.
Let’s imagine you’re working in a medical field, and you want to create a “health” blog, because you feel you have lots of valuable information to share.
Enter “health + _________ (your city)” into the Search field on Google. What’s the competition?
Whether your competition is huge, or minimal, you’ll still need to target further. How about preventative health for pregnant women? Or people who are under stress?
I hope I’ve given you something to think about. Remember, the secret to building a successful blog is knowing your audience, writing for them, and over time, building a strong rapport.