There are two simple rules every blogger must follow in order to grow their brand and audience: update frequently and produce fresh, interesting content. The previous is a simple matter of motivation, while the latter requires a bit more creativity.
Tumblr has almost 102 million blogs, while WordPress and Livejournal combine for more than 120 million, according to Snitchim.com. Though several million of these blogs are unattended, it is safe to assume that you are not the only person blogging about the subject matters covered on your website. The way your blog looks and its timeliness will help get you regular readers, but fresh, unique content is what ultimately drives organic traffic. Here are some proven techniques that can help you generate new content and gain more followers.
Though Facebook and Twitter get most of the headlines when it comes to social media, Google+ is becoming an essential tool for any blogger who wants to be relevant. Trendstream, a UK market research firm, found earlier this year that Google+ is now second only to Facebook when it comes to active monthly users. Bloggers can tie their websites to their Google+ accounts, which in turn will display their photo and biographical information next to their blog entries that appear in web search results.
Google+ is also a great tool for content generation. Following people, companies and organizations that are relevant to your blog basically creates a feed of information that you, in turn, can crunch into content. iAcquire, a Phoenix-based SEO company, is using the social media platform to great effect. The iAcquire G+ page has 135 people in its G+ “circle,” most of whom work in content strategy, SEO or some other related field. A travel blogger, meanwhile, would want to follow airlines, hospitality sites, and even meteorologists. Google Alerts is another tool bloggers can utilize to have the newest articles with certain keywords emailed to them as they are published.
Whether you blog about daily happenings in the world, or about a product or service you sell, feedback will come in the form of comments and emails from readers. For instance, you may receive an email from a reader declaring that your company caters only to certain individuals and that you are losing business because of this. That one email can be turned into a 500-plus word blog post explaining exactly who and what your company is, along with addressing that individual’s concerns. Not only does this show that you care about individual customer or reader concerns, but shows you are willing to answer criticism. These types of blog posts are great opportunities to retain old customers and gain some new ones in the process.
Re-purpose Old Content
Many bloggers write year-in-review articles at the end of December, basically summarizing and re-hashing some of the things they’ve blogged about throughout the previous year. You could also compile a list of the ten best (and/or worst) comments ever posted on your blog and publish it. Polls are excellent for keeping customers engaged and the results could be made into a story.
Don’t let stale content keep your blog from becoming a player in your industry. Remember to keep it fresh and intriguing, and they will come.