So you want me to read your blog…

You’ve decided to blog, that’s great news! Stop harassing your friends to read it and make a plan to get legitimate readers that are interested in what you have to say. No lies here, blogs are hard work. Having a plan and sticking to it doesn’t really make it easier, but it does grow your audience, which makes it all worthwhile. To start, answer these questions: 

Who is your audience?

If you haven’t figured this out, you don’t have a blog, you have an online diary.

What do you blog about?

Wait, you just blog about anything? This might be why you haven’t found your audience yet. The best place to start is to either blog about something you are passionate about, or something you are learning. You can explain, teach and explore your passion, or keep track of your progress while learning something. Both are an easy to understand format for people coming to your blog to read.

What is your goal for the blog?

Your goal should be directly tied to what you blog about. There are many different reasons to have a blog, but you need to know why you have yours. Otherwise, it’s to easy to not update it on a regular basis. Reasons can range from chronicling adventures, becoming a thought-leader, finding friends, helping customers or even just becoming a better writer.

How often do you post?

If you’ve figured out the above, sooner or later, you will have a loyal following of people looking forward to your next post. If you update your blog ‘whenever you feel like it” you risk upsetting the people that love you. Blogging on a schedule might seem a little type-A, but it helps build fans. If people know you post every Tuesday/once a day/the end of the month, they know when to expect something. Perhaps, they’ll even look forward to it. Don’t disappoint them!

Are you expecting feedback?

Don’t fret if people aren’t commenting on your blog. Think of how many blog posts you read without writing a response. If you are really looking for feedback, ditch the complete post with the “what do you think?” tacked on to the end. This is the online equivalent of delivering a soliloquy at a dinner party and then expecting people to jump in. Instead, write a shorter post on something you are thinking about, but haven’t fully figured out yet. This encourages conversation – just like in real life.

Note: One of my favorite things about the Internet is that the community around you isn’t based on location. Keep in mind that not all of your friends will find your blog interesting and that’s just fine. There are plenty of people that you don’t know that will find it interesting.