I blog about movies – specifically the movie version of a book. There are hundreds of bloggers, magazines, TV shows, critics, and websites talking about the differences between the movie and the book. Sure, I’d love to write a review of the film, but the competition is too steep and I can’t compete. How do I get noticed? I separate from the herd. I try to set myself apart from other bloggers. Here are 6 steps you can take to write a blog that will attract readers:
1. Find a Niche. Focus on a narrow aspect of the subject that nobody else is talking about. In my case I zeroed in on the difference between a book and the movie version of the book. Within that narrow subject I can still talk about other films, actors, directors, box office success, special effects, and everything else that has to do with movies and movie making.
2. Original Point of View. Sorting out bloggers who are a waste of time from those who are perceptive and informative doesn’t take long. Once you discover who the best bloggers are, you go to them directly. Readers want to learn and gain insight from your observations. Give them an original point of view and they will come back for more.
3. Get Organized. The secret to writing once or twice a week is having an inspiration system. Don’t just sit down and write off the top of your head. Readers immediately detect fluff, BS, and old news. For ideas I keep files beside my computer. In those files are notes I’ve made, lists of ideas for blogs, big fat folders full of magazine and newspaper clippings, and articles I’ve found online. You can also keep an inspiration file folder on your computer. If I am burned out or have writer’s block, I go to the files. They haven’t failed me yet. A valuable tip is to always note the date of the clipping and the source. I also write a note on the clipping so I will know at a glance what it’s about.
4. The Title is Your Bait. You are up against the Google algorithm that will sort your blog by key words in the title. With that in mind, come up with a title that people will be searching for.
5. Key Words. You’ve got to feed the Google crawler in the first paragraph. Sprinkle a few key words – not EVERY key word – in the first few sentences. The Google algorithm is a mathematical formula that operates like a machine. You’ve got to give it what it’s programmed to look for.
6. Assume Authority. Use the first paragraph to assert your point of view on a subject. Readers are looking for affirmation of their own thoughts and feelings and assurance that you know what you are talking about. Put your experience and knowledge out there from the start. I’m not suggesting that you name-drop, list awards you’ve won or brag on your job or what college you went to. Just gently establish yourself as someone who knows the subject at hand by the way you speak about it. Tone is everything. Don’t mention other websites or sources in the first paragraph. Save citations and quotes for body paragraphs. Otherwise, the Google crawler will recognize a source that is higher on page ranking and count it toward the source’s website instead of your blog.
Don’t be timid about stating opinions. That’s what your audience is looking for!