Starting an official blog is one of the most exciting milestones for a budding professional. It is an excellent opportunity to become a force in the industry and gain valuable exposure. If you have expertise in a certain area, blogging can do wonders to propel you into the mainstream. In fact, HubSpot’s State of Inbound report found that marketers who prioritize their blog are 13 times more likely to experience a positive ROI than those who don’t.
As great as this prospect sounds, gaining traction and widespread attention is no easy task. It can take years for a blog to generate justifiable traffic.
That being said, you must do everything you can to rise above the crowd. Here are three fundamental but fantastic strategies to keep in mind upon launching your first blog.
Create Relevant, Actionable Content
As obvious as this sounds, far too many bloggers struggle with this concept. The content itself is the heart and soul of your platform. To establish yourself as a thought leader, you must provide a profound level of value which the reader can walk away with.
An extremely common mistake first-time bloggers make is over-emphasizing their personal stories and interests. The harsh reality of breaking into the blogosphere is that not many people care about you as a writer, traveler, or businessperson. They care about what you bring to the table in terms of educating them.
By all means, you can let your unique personality shine through in your writing – that’s one of the best aspects blogging. Just be sure to keep it contained and related to your actionable advice.
When you are aiming to educate, one strategy that might help is writing pillar-style articles. These are full of practical tips and solutions (I’d build a bit on their original definition and label them as generally longer than 1,000 words). The more of them you have on your blog, the better.
Be sure each point you make is well-researched and relevant to the current trends of the industry. You can use a tool like Buzzsumo for picking up clues as to which topics related to your industry are gaining attention across the web.
Use this knowledge as a jumping off point to crafting content around trending issues and concerns in your field. Every piece of content you produce should meet a standard of professionalism, insightfulness, and practicality. When these traits are exhibited consistently, your image as a thought leader will get larger.
In the early stages of your career, there is a tremendous amount you can learn from an industry veteran. Depending on the range and depth of your network, it can be tough to find honest people willing to take you under their wing and share their experience, skills, and wisdom.
In terms of running a blog, seeking guidance is one of the best moves you can make.
For one, an experienced writer has most likely dealt with many of the struggles and roadblocks you will face at some point in your journey. They can provide valuable insight on how to power through.
Two, if they have been creating successful posts for a while, they know how to word an article in a way that gains traction. They are familiar with the industry have a tried-and-true ability to approach a topic from the reader’s point of view to craft stellar content. A seasoned blogger knows all the little tricks and healthy habits that help establish a good publishing rhythm.
Three, they are familiar with how to promote their content on a granular level. If their platform has enjoyed significant traffic over the years, they probably know a thing or two about organic search as a marketing channel. For a blog, SEO is one of the most valuable web promotion strategies you can employ. Connecting with a professional to show you the ropes can be instrumental in getting the exposure you need.
Finally, someone whose been around for a long time most likely has a few powerful connections in their back pocket. If you are planning to do any guest blogging on high-traffic websites to help get your name out there, knowing someone on the inside is a huge asset.
Tai Lopez, popular investor, entrepreneur, and startup advisor is a huge advocate for the importance of business mentorship in professional growth. “Finding mentors is one of the biggest predictors or your success,” says Lopez.
Throughout his career, Tai has built a massive following of entrepreneurs in search of guidance on how to achieve health, wealth, love, and happiness. His popular book and podcast club consists of over 1.6 million members across 40 different countries.
If you’re just breaking into the business world, Lopez’s platform is a phenomenal place to start for words of advice on how to make money, how to ace affiliate marketing, and networking opportunities to find someone who can help turn your goals into realities.
Make Bold Predictions
In the world of blogging, “playing it safe” will only take you so far. Some of the most common traits of successful bloggers are they ooze confidence and are in no way afraid to take risks.
So be loud, make scholarly proclamations, challenge the status quo! Get deeply involved in your industry and go to unheard-of lengths to garner attention to your blog.
That said, you need to keep your claims within reason. The last thing you want is to be known as a blogger who spews bilge across the internet. With each proud statement you make, be sure you always have information and data to back it up. When you’re first starting out, simply making predictions without proper the credibility will get you nowhere – it can even damage your reputation. It should be obvious you put in the time to do your due diligence before formulating your stance.
Danny Brown, author and consulting professional, is a great example of a thought leader using his blog to promote unique, outside-the-box thinking.
He consistently addresses the fallacies in the norms of his field and creates thought-provoking arguments to support his ideas. His thoughts have won him a plethora of awards including Canada’s Top 50 Marketing Blogs and the Hive Award for Best Social Media Blog.
Regardless of your industry, the name of the game is presenting an image of innovative thoughtfulness and a starting point to conversations.
Write your blogs with a sense of quote-worthiness. Being bold is perhaps the best way to stand out in the blogosphere and is a critical factor on the road to becoming a respected thought leader.
Becoming a household name in your field does not happen overnight. Chances are, your blog will seem more like a hobby until it starts seeing substantial traffic. The key is to be consistent in posting quality content, largely for free. No one becomes an industry thought leader by accident. Once you combine your superior knowledge with writing and marketing prowess, it’s only a matter of time before you crack the code.