Creating an online presence is a daunting task and takes a lot of work and dedication. There is no fail safe solution that will ensure success, however, there are a few things you can do to develop a foundation to grow from.
Write For Yourself, Not Others
The first thing you need to do is develop a website. By having a website, you will not only create a home for any work you produce, you are also building your online presence through a content delivery system.
Once you have a place to share information, make sure that you are writing about things you are passionate about and want to share with others. By doing this, the content will be stronger and you will have a better chance at connecting with your readers.
Secondly, you need ensure about your website is that the contents are easy to access. Create a roadmap for your website so readers can easily find content. The website that you are building/crafting should be one that you would enjoy visiting/following on a daily basis. It is this foundation that will inevitably draw people to you. When you are developing your website/presence, you need to ask, ‘What content would help YOU on a daily basis?’
Although I do not have a huge audience right now, there are a few things I have learned along the way. I have broken down some of the elements below.
- Research: Refer to other online references to see how others approach the content you are providing. Organize the resources that you reference so you can find them when needed for both your website and your social streams.
- Channels: How is this content being delivered? Find out all the channels you hope to access and then find a way to deliver this content in a new way.
- Teamwork: Get feedback from other people you trust about your approach. Find out what others like and how they view your strengths. Use this team to refine your niche. It will take time but with help from others in refining this approach, the better chance you have.
- Content Delivery: Determine what you are passionate about and write about it, ensuring you take the previous points into account. Consistency in both content and vision is essential.
- Strategy: Write about your experiences during the learning process. What is your strategy in the delivery of your content?
- Feedback: Find out from others if you are successfully delivering this content.
- Analysis: Analyze both the comments from the content as well as analytics. If you find some topics are more successful, ensure you expand on these topics. This is a great way to drive the type of content you are delivering.
The best way to build an audience is quality content. If you are providing content that others can learn from and do this on a consistent basis, readers will inevitably follow. Consistency of content is extremely key in this stage.
- Develop Content extending beyond the online medium.
- Find a ‘voice’ that people can relate to.
- Create a roadmap for the site.
- Develop a consistent style and voice.
Use Social Media To Build An Audience For Your Blog BUT Do Not Just Make It About Yourself
Social media is an important aspect of your business. It is a great way to attract an audience you otherwise would not have had access to. These platforms are great for sharing the content you are developing for your site but it is important to find a balance. I would recommend only focusing on ‘you’ for about 1/3 of the overall content you are putting out on your social media networks. The other content should be directing viewers to other helpful content online.
Always Give Credit Where Credit Is Due – Help Make Others Look Good
A great way to draw an audience to your site is by talking about other people on your site. By featuring other people and the work they are doing, you are inevitably opening yourself to their audience as well. If you do a good job with the post, there is a good chance that they will see this content and share it with others.
Ask For Feedback
Feedback is the most crucial part of the process. You should start by sharing your site and its content with people you trust so you can get feedback and perfect the site as needed. Further to this, when you have launched your site, you will want to get feedback about the content you are producing. Find out from others if there is anything they would do different or if there was anything you could improve upon. I have found that many people don’t feel they should give constructive criticism because they don’t want to offend you. However, it is key to find people in your life that are willing to put the time in to help. This feedback is a great way to find out if the content you are delivering is hitting home.
Leave Thoughtful Comments And Be Active On Other Websites
Another great way to build your audience is by being active on other people’s websites. When people see that you are active and you are providing constructive criticism for others, you are essentially gaining trust with a new audience base.
Now once you have attracted people to your website, how do you convert them into a contributing audience? The simple answer is to create an atmosphere that is welcoming and inclusive. Your website should have a voice people can relate to and should be genuine. If people comment on your site, spend the time to provide a thoughtful response so the audience knows they are being heard and included in the conversations.
I’m not suggesting that you post everyday but I do suggest posting quality content at least two or three times a week. It is important to develop a site where people want to visit on a daily basis. The more you write, the better you will get at it and the easier the writing / posting will go and the less amount of time it will take to develop the content.
If you are unsure how to approach writing a blog post, I have broken down a go-to list for reference.
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