This guest post is by Traci Dillard of allstayathome.com.
It’s important to have a strong and likeable voice as a blogger. If your followers don’t like your voice and article flow, they probably won’t return to your blog.
Equally important is what valuable information or “hidden treasure” you have to offer to your readers. This can also be a driving force to ensure repeat traffic.
Depending on your niche, it is important that you keep your information current and share helpful resources with your readers. Not only will you find that readers will return to your blog to catch the latest information, but you will begin to see your list of followers grow as well.
Resources can compensate for voice
If you are having trouble finding your “voice,” having a blog full of powerful resources and lists can help to compensate for this.
Your blog must be useful to those seeking the information you’re sharing in order to attract and keep visitors. If your blog is a reliable source of information in a specific area, this alone can work wonders.
Set your goal to become the best in your niche
The key to success with a blog is to strive to provide the best information in your niche. If you aren’t already an expert on the topics you write about, you need to become one. This means you need to study your competition.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What are they doing to gain and keep followers?
- What secrets do they share?
While you don’t necessarily want to share the same information they share, you should gather better information to stay a step ahead of your competition. Do as much research as you can, dig around, and learn as much as possible about the subject of your blog.
You cannot maintain a successful blog if you offer insufficient or incomplete information on a subject. You must master the niche and this requires thorough, ongoing research.
Organize your information
Once you gather information, keep it updated and organize it on your pages so that it is understandable to the reader.
You will see the most traffic from posts that contain organized lists as well as helpful “how-to” information that is up-to-date.
Keep posts original and unique
Sure, you will have to gather resources from around the web and other places, but the trick is to gather a wealth of information from many different sources and give your audience the best of the best! You want to wow your readers.
When a reader finds the information you offer to be powerful and interesting, they will most likely want more of what you have to offer and will therefore be more likely to subscribe, follow, and comment on what they’ve read.
The feedback from readers is a valuable tool in making your blog even better.
How and where should you gather resources?
In order to gather the best resources for your readers, you are going to have to invest some quality time. You will need to devote a time specifically for research on the topic you are blogging about. Think about the list(s) or specific information you want to provide and take advantage of the web. Use the following types of sites to find the information:
- Forums: Forums are a treasure trove of hidden secrets. Find some forums specific to your niche and do some digging. You are likely to find some gold!
- Discussion boards: Other discussion boards, like Q&A boards are also a valuable tool for finding the information you seek. While doing a search on Google or other search engines, specify your topic and also enter a discussion board or choose from the options in the search engine.
- Blogs: Search specifically for blogs that have information about your topic. Blogs are another hidden source of great information.
- Wikis: Wikis and online encyclopedias offer valuable information usually written by experts in their fields. They are great for finding information on specific topics. In addition, Wikis usually contain lists of other reliable resources.
- Social sites: There has been an explosion of social sites in recent years, so listing them all would require a completely separate post, but sites like Stumble Upon, Digg, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are of course among some of the better sites where you will find information you may not otherwise find from a basic search.
Use more than one search engine
If you are a loyal Google searcher, break out of your comfort zone and give some other search engines a shot when looking for the information you need.
Search engines do not display the exact same results in the same order. This is beneficial when looking for specific information. Try Bing and Yahoo as alternative search engines.
The keys to success
Before posting, check and re-check your spelling and grammar. Nothing turns a reader off more than an article that is rife with spelling and grammar mistakes. Use the spell check first, then proofread your work yourself or have a friend proofread it. Spell check is good, but it doesn”t find all the errors, so take extra time to make sure your work is flawless.
Hard work, dedication and consistency will pay off, but patience and belief in the posts you create are the keys to success. It is important to post regularly, but a good rule to live by is quality over quantity. This will lead to better search engine ranking and an overall better following in the long run.
Become the voice for your resources
After gathering your resources, think of yourself as the voice for the power of these resources.
Carefully analyze and share how the information, piece by piece, can help your viewers. This is where some creativity and thinking outside of the box can play a part. Give your readers ideas that will work and ideas that nobody else is sharing.
Anyone can just create lists, but you can turn these lists into gold!
Traci Dillard is the founder/owner of allstayathome.com, a trusted source for freelancers and home workers. By day, she is also a content and SEO specialist for Your Web Pro, LLC. In West Texas.
Traci, you have brought out some key points. Google really likes to see proper grammer and spelling. Creating quality content that provides value to the reader is the secret or “not so secret sauce” to driving repeat traffic. Another point that you brought out that I really like, but sometimes takes people outside of their comfort zone is being an authority. Better yet, being a “trusted authority”…being the resource…the go to person. Thanks for this great article!
Thank you for the positive feedback Martin.
Hi Traci, great article. I think a lot of bloggers worry whether they’re not being “professional” enough or using the adequate keyword density to attract search engines or stumble around with widgets and themes and all sorts of other bells and whistles. What’s MOST important is how you relate to readers, human readers, and not search bots. Quantity isn’t as valuable as quality — the Google updates proved that by penalizing websites that (often secretly) offered too much of a certain brand of spiced lunchmeat. ;-)
I think on my blog I just let my voice shine through. It might be because it’s a personal-branded blog and I don’t have anything really to “sell” besides who I am and how I comment on things in this world. I’m naturally quirky and irreverent at times, and I don’t worry about SEO or “hacks” as much as how I come across to people readers. As I wrote in a comment on another blog, musicians don’t care about how frequently their lyrics get picked up and rated by massive mainframes — they care about their fans. And finding your “voice” as a musician oftentimes means finding a balance between commercial appeal and remaining true to yourself so as to appeal to people who will come to your shows or buy your albums.
Also, great tip on comparing Google results with alternate search engines. Bing and Yahoo! round out the Top Three, but others do exist. I wrote about using Duck Duck Go and IxQuick to avoid being spied upon by the major conglomerates and protecting your privacy (postdated January 23):
The new Java exploit reported on by major news agencies and tech bloggers like Leo Laporte should be yet another cause for concern for all of us as we traverse the World Wide Web. After all, while not all web searchers are bloggers, all bloggers should be web searchers too. Once again, great post!
Proper grammar and spelling is must, but other than that being passionate about the selected topic and setting small and big goals will also help in finding your voice.
Martin, you made a mistake in your comment. It’s “grammar” not “grammer” lol.
Unless your first name is Kelsey. Martin Crane was the name of Frasier’s father. ;-)
@Ehsan Ullah…that is the “new grammar”…lol
Excellent post. it is true that if you could write on hidden tutorials then you can get a lot of fame. Nice article. :)
Thank you John.
Great post! The information about lists was very obvious, and yet here I sit, full of lists of useful sites and resources on the main niches I want to cover, and not a single resource list post exists on my blog. This was a definite wake up call. Thanks!
PS Since this is a comment and not a post- which I do my best to proofread, even with child rearing duties abound- please forgive any spelling &/or grammar errors. I have a sick toddler in my lap. :/
LOL, thank you Skhylar. You know, I run into articles that wake me up as well. I’m glad it helped.
You need your own unique voice in order to survive in the blogging industry.
Lists need to be written as well with your other articles you write.
Samuel from Internet Dreams
I have always heard that you need to find solutions to problems so keep your ear close to the ground to seek out problems that your hearing in forums, discussion boards, question sites, and social sites. Than start giving people solutions!
Nice posts some good tips in it I would have to disagree on one of your tips making your work flawless. You should make the information you provide flawless, and very helpful.
Not many people are going to leave your blog if there is a period in.the wrong place.
While it is good to proofread you work to limit grammar errors, and spelling mistakes.
Getting great info available to the public should trump a few minor grammar issues.
Good tips though.
Interesting post, beautiful words ! but from my point of view without S.E.O you c’ant achieve a big audience to your website, 3 years ago i was written a blog about a comercial medicament & i was giving the best informations & no visitors come ! so i guess to have garanti that your hardwork gonna be popular you should do seo optimization to facilitate your work
You are right, but the SEO work won’t payoff if you can’t get a low bounce rate.
SEO is an entirely different article or series!
Exactly. Don’t get too caught up in keywords that you forget about human readers. Google would probably penalize the Series of Unfortunate Events novels if they were blog posts, because the author peppers the mysterious acronym VFD a whole bunch of times throughout the books. But the letters are key to the story, and Google isn’t “reading” it for enjoyment. But a lot of people sure did. :-)
I’m getting confused in the blogging line. Nothing seems to be working well. And I really Need money for schooling. In all these, I just don’t seem to find any inspiration to blog- but your piece just taught me what to do. Thanks
Hi Samuel, I’m glad this helped, but maybe you can find some other ways to make some supplemental income while you are blogging. I had to learn the hard way to never rely on a blog or website solely for income. Even once you start making money, you never know when or why Google makes certain updates. It takes a lot of networking and SEO as well.