This post is going to be dedicated towards defining a term that I’ve used in several posts lately (Building a Better Blog in 10 Steps, The Basics of Building a Writing Platform, etc….). Today, I’m going to tell you exactly what I mean when I say, “bait your blog,” and give you a few tips on how to incorporate the concept into your writing.
Some advantages to baiting your blog are:
-Attract more followers/traffic to your blog or site
-Impress potential advertising companies or marketing promotions that may want to work with you
-Creates a plethora of high quality posts and pictures
-Makes your blog or site standout
If any of these advantages sound like something you would appreciate, I fully recommend you keep reading to find out how you can bait your blog right now. The good news is that there are really only five main parts to baiting a blog, and none of them are that complicated. Keep reading to find out!
Initially, and, at the term’s roots, baiting your blog is about appearance. Pretend that we are going back to freshman year of high school and watching the “cool” and “super pretty” girls walk down the hallway like they owned it. They were popular just because of their looks, and, although this may sound shallow, sometimes blogging can be the same. While your true and most loyal followers will probably read your posts no matter what your blog looks like, new visitors may base their first visit to your site off of appearance. Is your homepage impressive and neat? Are there interesting and high quality pictures on your posts? How’s your color scheme? All of these things can potentially matter when new followers are evaluating your site or blog, so make sure to reap the benefits you can by just making small changes. Take the time to put featured images on all your blog posts, use matching colors or a color palette to coordinate your site, organize your pages with an easy-to-use menu, and use proper size and colored font wherever you are writing. A good looking site will encourage new followers to visit your site again, and will give off a more professional vibe in case you ever want to apply for Google Adsense or monetize your blog.
Second to looks (although ultimately this should take priority), is the content you put on your blog. Baiting your blog is about writing articles and posts that hook and captivate readers and that make them want more. If you leave your readers wanting more, then they will definitely be coming back, and, you then, in turn, get more traffic. So what is high quality content? Start with the logistics. Make sure that you are proofreading all of your content and that you are correcting any spelling or grammatical errors. Next, try to write posts that your readers will find useful, entertaining, or that they will get something out of. While some people may read your writing out of the goodness their hearts, a lot of readers want something in return; give it to them. Write how-tos, ask your followers for feedback at then end of your posts, ask for post suggestions, or give advice in your posts. Writing entertaining posts that incorporate thrill, humor, engaging fiction, current issues, are also good ideas because they will interest your readers and they can then relate better than is you are only ever talking about yourself (no offense if this is how you use your blog…these are all just suggestions).
I actually suck at this….but you guys probably don’t so I’m going to suggest it to you anyway: give your posts interesting and eye catching titles. We have all experienced the fifteen minute Facebook or Buzzfeed session that turns into two hours because we keep seeing titles of articles or posts that look really interesting. Give your readers this same experience by titling your posts more than just “Post #3” or “Today’s Post” (I so cannot talk because nearly all of my posts are lists or informative and I just title the topic….oh well….).
4. Make it you
Now is the time when you can make it about you (well…sorta, kinda, maybe….anyway…). When I say make it about you, I am suggesting that you inform readers important details about yourself, infiltrate your personality into your posts and blog, and get slightly human. While you do want to remain professional with your blog, make sure you are always writing in first person (using the words “I” and “my” when talking about yourself). Also, feel free to post a few get to know you posts in which you answer random questions readers might find interesting about you, or that would engage them (I wouldn’t make this post within your first three because you need to establish a theme first….).
5. Have friends and family start the likes and comments
People are most likely to do what they feel the majority is doing. People often hate to be the first one to do things. Therefore, getting that first like or first-ever comment on a post can be really difficult. Even if readers enjoyed a post, they are statistically 83% more likely to follow in suit. Therefore, if no one has commented or liked your post, then chances are slim for those that view your post later. To overcome this obstacle, I would suggest having friends or family comment and like your posts. This concept is similar to a tip jar at work: if there is money in there, you end up giving because other people have). Get your family or friends to start your trend of getting consistent likes, follows, and comments.
***That’s it guys! Thanks so much for reading! Please share in the comments what you do on the daily to spice up your blog, give it life, attract more readers, or how you ‘bait’ your blog. I always love to hear any feedback!***