Blogging 101: Update Frequently
Once you've hooked your readers, it's important to keep them hooked. If you don't, they'll forget about you and go elsewhere for their fix.
Let’s face it, internet users not only have short attention spans; they have short memories. When you don’t keep your blog updated often, you don’t give your readers any reason to return. Sure, RSS feeds have done wonders for retaining readerships. No longer is a regular reader required to open your blog to see if you’ve posted anything new. But, this is no excuse for not staying current.
Remember the Basics
Choose a theme
Provide original content
Engage your readers
Here’s a fun medley of YouTube videos weaved into “The Greatest Story Ever Told”:
Blogging 101: Engagement Is All the Rage Blogging is anything but passive. The very act of writing requires thought and the physical motion of typing. But, your words lose their life if they don’t engage your readers. What does “engage” mean? It means giving your readers something to bite. It means that you provide content that requires your readers to think.
Controversy, puzzles and intrigue create engagement.
Controversy Controversy will stir someone emotionally to respond to your posts. Do you believe strongly in an issue? Then state it! Do you detest the idea of granting amnesty to illegal immigrants? Tell the world why. Do you think the idea of closing off our physical borders is a ridiculous xenophobic idea? Don’t play the shrinking violet; take a stand. Perhaps, you flashed on the idea of inserting microchips in all human beings so that we can track all illegal immigration. That’s certainly controversial and ripe for attention on you and your blog. Don’t stand on the fence (although that can stir controversy, too). Take a stand and watch your readership grow.
Puzzles From literal brainteasers to presenting issues/troubles that need solutions, puzzles will engage a good section of your readership. Why? Puzzles are fun, in that they cause the participant (reader) to stretch their brain. As far as presenting issues, you empower your reader to create solutions and to be heard. Trying to figure out how to raise more funds for your local school’s PTO? Write about it; you never know what sort of solution you’ll receive from your readership.
Intrigue What’s your shtick? Do you tell an ongoing story that always ends with a cliffhanger? Do you explore your activities/endeavors through your blog, creating suspense within your readers who want to know what’s next? Perhaps, you offer advice. Recently awarded a Webbie, the guy’s at “Ask a Ninja” have intrigued their ever-growing viewers. Through their website, people submit questions and once a week they dress up in black and create a video that they then post on YouTube. Needless to say, their humor has brought people back on a weekly basis.
Remember...Engage with controversy, puzzles, or intrigue to grow your blog’s readership.
Now, for a little sample of the hilarities known as “Ask a Ninja”:
Blogging 101: The Power of Questions How can you entice more of your blog readers into leaving thoughtful comments?
End Your Blog with a Question This technique isn’t exactly going to work for those who blog as a way of publishing their creative writing. But for those who are reporting on current events, cultural issues or just generally exploring a topic, ending with a question remains one of the most effective tools for engaging your reader.
Be Specific When you pose a question for your readers, you could take the easy way out and ask, “What do you think?” This approach leaves things wide open and may solicit a minor response. Instead, try something specific, something for your commenter to wrap their mind around: “Do you believe that Hybrid Vehicles will effectively reduce our dependency on oil?” or “Does anyone have recommendations on how I can find some great work-from-home opportunities?”
Controversy Creates Questions Discerning readers question all that they read, so if you lean hard right or left, you’re going to spur on questions in their minds. Blogs are a tell-all forum for many bloggers. Don’t be afraid to take a stand; don’t be afraid to point out controversy. It’s sure to get some comments.
Remember that guy who played Biff in the “Back to the Future” movies? Here’s what he has to say about asking questions: