Marketing communications expert Jane Genova recently wrote a post called Blogging Post Revolution in which she makes the point “to be taken seriously, the postings will have to be clearly differentiated from all the other ‘stuff’ out there.” She adds, “In short, just putting it out there is no longer enough. That phase is over. As in all other kinds of messaging that will get attention everything connected with the blogosphere has to be strategic. Bloggers can not expect a free pass.”
Harvard scientist Edward O. Wilson said, “We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom.” While not speaking specifically of blogs, his conjecture contains great truth where this medium is concerned.
So, how do you write in such a way as to provide real value to the blogosphere and its growing body of knowledge? What do you have to say that would cause me to want to read your blog? What benefit will it provide? In other words, what’s in it for me?
First, I think you have to clearly define your purpose. Blogs, by their very nature, tend to be tightly-focused, developed around a particular niche. What’s yours?
Second, I think blogs need to be very reader-centric. Recently, I did a “fearless moral inventory” of my own blogging and came to realize it was much more about me than about the needs of my readers. That’s a sure-fire way to lose an audience really quickly!
The title of this post is “How to Increase Traffic to Your Blog.” If that’s your goal, let me propose that it ought not to be. Rather that focusing on growing traffic let your focus be on providing value. If you’re able to accomplish that somewhat elusive objective, then you will gain a following. Again, it’s not about you. It’s about them.
Jane outlines a list of ways bloggers can facilitate this. Specifically, she says:
- Write really provocative/controversial content.
- Provide information that can’t easily be obtained elsewhere.
- Give brilliant analysis of events, trends, personalities.
- Have celebrity authorship.
- Be doggedly persistent in following a topic.
- Have a passionate commitment to a cause or to a corporate function such as customer services, quality, design (e.g. GM’s Robert Lutz).
I want to take the next few posts and list some blogs that are doing exactly those things. They will be popular blogs most likely, and I’ll outline my reasons why I feel they’ve achieved a certain level of noteriety.
The bottom line is we have to do a better job of meeting the needs and scratching the itch of our readers. There are a lot of people saying a lot of things on blogs these days. If you want yours to stand out, unless you’re Donald Trump or Arieanna Huffington, then work hard at doing a better job of providing value to your readers. That’s a sure-fire way to grow your audience!