Remember when blogging was fun and had more to do with keeping your friends updated on your backpacking trip in Europe or that micro-brewing phase you went through? Right, me either, so let’s focus on the reality at hand here – you’ve grown up and so has blogging.
Lucky for you, blogging tools have changed to meet your startup blog needs. Having a public presence is a crucial component of creating and maintaining your startup’s brand, and while there are a ton of tools out there to choose from, navigating the process can still feel a bit daunting. Here are four tips to keep in mind while attempting to keep up with the pack.
1. Sharing Is Caring
We were taught by our kindergarten teachers how important sharing is and – like not picking your nose in public, or how hitting your best friend in the face with a book is a bad idea – this one is as true now as it was then.
You’ve blocked off the time and managed to write something worthy of the public’s four minute attention span, so the next step is getting it out there for people to see and share. SEO is a hot topic, and should be looked into with some depth, but beyond highlighting keywords so people (or Google) can find your post, there are even more basic steps you can take to get your content out to people who want to read it.
One great method is to play around with plugins that allow you to post your startup blog content to multiple social networks at once. You can set it up so that your content gets shared automatically across multiple platforms every time you post new material.
Plugins like JetPack and WP Autoshare are pretty easy to use and serve has a good first step in spreading the word on your newest post. JetPack has carved out a niche by being user-friendly, but doesn’t have as many behind the scenes features (like link tracking) as WP Autoshare does, so do some experimenting and see what works for you and your site.
2. Make It Easy For Readers To Follow You
Building an audience is a tricky objective, and takes constant, monitored action from your end. Be flexible, and give readers the option to sign up for email updates in addition to just being a follower.
Here’s another plugin plug: Feedburner is a great one for WordPress, allowing people to sign up for email updates and newsletters. One of Feedburner’s big selling points is that it integrates itself with your site’s CSS and gives you a button that stays within your blog’s theme. It also allows you to put a non-intrusive (but still cool looking) tab at the bottom right hand side of the page, which readers can click if they want to follow you.
3. Spend Time On Your Visuals
Providing readers with pertinent visuals helps break up the bulk of your written content, making it more pleasant to read and reinforcing your central message. Sites that provide free (or cheap) stock photos are easy to come by, and usually give you information on how to cite the visual material in your posting. If you pay to use an image, make sure that the site makes crediting the photo easy: that’s part of what you’re paying for, like this example from Compfight.com.
The visual appeal of your post isn’t only linked to photography, so make sure you use contrasting background colors on key content boxes, especially for the ones that people need to see to in order to sign-up or follow you.
4. Streamline Navigation Options
Normally, blogs are a smaller part of a project’s web presence; with that in mind, make sure you streamline the amount of other sites or online resources you want your readers to go to.
In other words, don’t recreate your project’s homepage on your blog’s title banner. Readers will go to the homepage if they want more information; inundating them with too many navigation options only increases the risk of them missing the content you want them to see in the first place. Guide readers to the best of the project’s online components, but keep their needs and motivations for visiting your blog in mind.
Viewing the blog you are working on from the eyes of your readers will help you cut out the fluff and enable you to deliver material with some substance. If you feel like you can’t be objective enough looking at your own final project, then pass on a preview to a friend and get their input. At the end of the day your readers can very well make or break your success in this arena, so make sure your audience’s needs and motivations match up with what you’re giving them.
Like what you read here? Want to know more about how to get your blog to pull in the money, connections, and clients you need? Sign up for our FREE, exclusive webinar with successful entrepreneur Kelly Azevedo and learn how to make your blog work for you, not against you.