How to know what your readers WANT {and get new post ideas}

When you’ve been blogging for a while on a particular topic or niche, it’s not uncommon to feel like you’re running out of ideas. It can even happen early on in your blogging career when you’ve gotten your first 5 – 10 – 100 or so posts under your belt. Or maybe you’re sitting there at your computer wondering if what you’re writing is what your readers are looking for {we all do it}.

Once you’re starting to build a following and a steady readership, even if it’s small one, you can start asking your readers for topic ideas. This works particularly well if you took my advice from yesterday and started building a list. In which case, a weekly email could serve to ask them what else they would like to see on the blog.

You will want to be specific and keep your survey short, but most loyal readers are willing to participate.

Otherwise, you can occasionally mention a request for topic ideas in your blog posts or on your social media posts. Or add a note to your blog sidebar with a link to a post with a contact form.

How to know what your readers WANT {and get new post ideas} (1)

How you get the reader input doesn’t really matter. The important thing is to ask them what type of content they want and then accommodate them as and when it is appropriate.

Don’t feel like you have to honor every single request. Pick and choose the ones that make sense for your blog and that will benefit at least a few of your readers. Sometimes these requests will try to pull you off topic on your blog. Just ignore those and focus on the ones that make sense for what you’re doing with your blog. Afterall, you are the one that knows your mission and end game the best!

How you make use of these requests is up to you. You can use them simply as suggestions and then write your own blog post on the topic. Or you can treat them similar to the email blog posts we talked about a while back. In that case, start with a little intro to the topic, copy and paste the reader request and then wrap it up with your reply. Sometimes this makes sense and it’s a great way to not only get the blog post written quickly but also share some social proof {you’re getting good questions and you’re taking the time to answer them on your blog}.

Other times the suggestions will be so vague that you’re better off writing a blog post from scratch. If you’re really lucky, you’ll get a great topic idea that will inspire a whole series of blog posts. Pick and choose and use whatever method works best for each request.

30-DAY CHALLENGE {dig deeper}

How to get readers to return to your blog

Welcome to Day 12 of the 30-Day Blogging Challenge today we are going to talk about how to ensure you’re readers are remembering you, visiting your site often, and essentially sharing content and connecting with YOU the blogger!

Be honest. How many times has this happened to you? You’re browsing on the internet, and you come across a blog post you love. You resolve to come back to the blog and read it regularly before moving on. Two hours later and you’ve completely forgotten about this great new blog you discovered, even if you’ve pinned it on Pinterest and like the blogs’ page on Facebook. Chances are you’ll never make it back there unless you just so happen to come across the blog a few months down the road.

Guess what… the exact same thing happens to a lot of your readers. If you don’t believe me, look at your Google Analytics stats and see how many of them are first-time visitors. The vast majority of them will likely never make it back to your blog.

Unless of course, you convince them to join your list. Once you have their email on your list of subscribers, you can keep bringing them back to your blog over and over again and build a deeper, stronger relationship with your readers. Coincidentally, I love connecting with my readers and if this is your first time or 2- 100th chance time here, I would like to have you enjoy the exclusives I give only my subscribers too! Sign up here, or at the bottom of this post for this 30-days of blog tips training 😉 Either way, I’ll send you the freebie right away!

How do you keep readers coming back to see your blog posts?

This post contains affiliate links, but I don’t recommend anything I don’t just love. Thanks for helping me keep this site running you are what drives me to create free content each week! 🙂

Build a List to Bring Them Back

Building a list is easier than you think. Start by signing up for a dependable auto-responder Service like Mailchimp or Active Campaign {my favorite}. Set up your first list, write a short little email to welcome new readers, and grab the code for an opt-in form. Stick it in your sidebar or even better add it to the bottom of your blog posts (or do both). This alone will get you started building your list.

From there you can expand and start to learn more about list building. Things you want to look into are a dedicated opt-in page, pop-up opt-in forms, etc. Once you get your opt-in page set up, you can link to it from your social media profiles and when you guest blog different places for example.

There’s a lot more to learn about list building, but this should get you started in the right direction. Once you get your first few subscribers, it’s time to start emailing them regularly.

Send a quick email every time you publish a new blog post, or if you do a lot of posting, consider doing a weekly recap type mail instead. Or just send them a hello, a value packed email or training. The main idea is to keep bringing them back to your blog and turn them into loyal fans and regular readers. Once that happens, chances are good that they start to share your blog and links to individual blog posts to their circle of influence. Since everyone has social media profiles these days that could amount to quite a bit of new traffic for you.

There’s so much more in the email version of this challenge. You can sign up for the exclusives below!

How to make a QUICK SEO Friendly Blog Post

Welcome to Day 11 of the 30-Day Blogging Challenge today we are going to talk about creating content from content and simultaneously having SEO friendly content ready to publish at any time.

 

We’ve spent the last two days talking more about “how-to” type information like using images and cross-linking posts. { Did you catch that? I’m using the cross-linking technique in today’s post? 😉 }. It’s about time we got back to content creation. Today’s quick content idea actually ties in well with cross-linking because you’ll be doing a bunch of it. It’s another great way to showcase some of your older blog posts and get them a little extra attention.

I’m sure you’ve seen “Best of” blog posts across the web. But have you ever done one of your own? Even if you have, I’m sure there are plenty of other collection posts you could put together.

If you’re not familiar with the idea, let me give you the quick rundown. A “Best of” or collection blog post is nothing more than a list of links to posts on a related topic. Let’s say you have a recipe blog where you share a variety of recipes. You could do a post about no-bake desserts or kid-friendly slow cooker recipes. You introduce your readers to the topic and then just make a list of all the recipes on your site that follow that theme. Link to them all and if you’re feeling ambitious, add a little paragraph about each recipe and a picture of the dish.

How to make a QUICK SEO Friendly Blog Post

Much like a round-up from around the web about the best desserts for a holiday party! But you want to showcase your best blog posts!

You can do this for any type of blog. If you blog about online marketing, make the best list building tips post. If you’re blogging about weight loss, write up the best weight loss tips and tricks post. If you’re a parenting blogger, share 15 easy summer crafts to do with the little ones.

Just look through your blog and see what posts you can compile into a “best of” type post. And of course think like a blogger, go wild and do a round-up post. You’re limited to your own blog posts. There’s no reason why you can’t link to posts by other bloggers in your niche. It’s a great way to support your friends and get to know other bloggers. Who knows, you may find other ways to collaborate once you establish that relationship if nothing else you could help your SEO authority. Just don’t use anyone’s images or more than a snippet of text without their permission.

#LearntoBlog Hangouts

Give it a try. Browse through your blog posts and make a list of thematically related posts. I find it helps to focus on one category at a time since those topics already follow a loose theme. Then get to work, and start a few “best of” posts in drafts, they will make for a great filler when life happens you’ll be ready to publish a post.

Best of all, since these posts are such a treasure trove of information on one specific topic, they are much more likely to get shared around. Especially if you take the time to come up with a catchy title for your post and create a pretty collage image that makes it easy to share on social media. PS. Did you know you could save hours on social media with these tips?

 

30-DAY CHALLENGE {dig deeper}

How to gain more interaction on your blog

Welcome to Day 10 of the 30-Day Blogging Challenge today we are going to talk about gaining interaction on YOUR BLOG!

As your blog starts to grow and you’re adding more and more posts, chances are readers won’t see every single post you write. Why not make it easy for them to find related content by cross-linking it where appropriate.

Here’s what I mean. Let’s say you blog about social media marketing and this particular post talks about using images {I did it there too} effectively on Facebook. You could link within that post to an older post where you talk about using images on Twitter, or a more specific post where you explained how to fix things when Facebook doesn’t pull up the right image from your site. Do you see how this works?

How to gain Interaction on your blog

Cross Link Posts for More Interaction

Let’s look at another example. Let’s say you’re writing a recipe blog and you’re sharing a new recipe for an amazing BLT tomato salad. You could link to an older post where you shared how to cook bacon in the oven. This pretty easy stuff, right?

This strategy serves a few different purposes. You’re engaging your readers more with your content. This gives them a chance to get to know you and your blog a little better. It also means you’re getting more exposure to your ads and your visitor numbers will start to look better. It also helps you with search engines, believe it or not. They keep track of how long readers stay on your site and if they click around to read more. This is an indication of the quality of your content and your blog. In other words, if you can get readers to stick around longer, it will help your blog rank higher in the search engines.

Let’s not forget about the positive influence this has on your readers. You’re going out of your way to be helpful and share all sorts of great information with them. It also builds credibility and trust which is exactly what you want.

Last but not least, the more pages you convince your readers to take a look at, the higher your chances that they’ll comment or share your links on social media. That, in turn, will help you broaden your reach and grow your audience.

We just skimmed the surface here, if you’re interested in really advancing your blog you should sign up for the email exclusive version of this 30-day challenge!

Sign up below!

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Quick Guide to blog images

Welcome to Day 9 of the 30-Day Blogging Challenge today we are going to talk about the details and importance of blog images on your site.

Let’s talk blog images

Your blog is often the first thing new readers, prospects, and/clients see you and your online business and first impressions count. That means you need a well-designed and layout blog, great content, and pictures that draw you in and enhance your content. In other words, yes, your posts need images.

It doesn’t stop there. You want to keep encouraging your readers to come back and read more of your posts. Before that can happen, you need to catch their attention and draw them back in. It takes a while to build a loyal following of readers who will devour anything you write. Images will help draw them in again and again. In other words, yes, your posts need images.

We live in a very social and internet based world. One way to broaden your reach and grow the traffic to your blog is social media. Guess what captures attention on sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter. YES, it’s the images. Images make people click through to read your blog post, they give emotion to the post when you can’t {this is why video is doing so well these days}. That’s another post in itself!

A quick guide to images on your blog {a blogging challenge}

Getting Images

You have two options when it comes to getting images for your blog post. You can use your own pictures, or you can buy photos to use. Your best option for purchasing images is a stock photography site like Istockphoto.com, Depositphoto.com and Pixabay.com {my favorite} to name a few. You can find both free and paid stock photo sites. Get your images from somewhere and BE SURE you have the right to share them without credit! 

Formatting Images

How you format and size your pictures will depend on a few different things. The first is where and how you are displaying them in your blog post. Next, keep the different social media sites where you’re active in mind. Different sites prefer or convert better with different images sizes. Do a little research and come up with an image for each of your most important social media sites. Learn more about this by signing up for the email version of this challenge at the bottom of this post 😉 

Images and SEO

Last but not least, let’s not forget about SEO. The file name and the alt tag are both used to determine what the page (or post) the image is found on is about. Use this to your advantage by including your keywords.

There you have it. Start using images in your posts regularly. Play around with style and things like adding text and titles to your images until you find a winning combination for you, your blog, and your audience.
Once you have it! Create a template to save time blogging. I love Canva for this! It’s especially quick because you can make several images of different size with different text and for multiple audiences in minutes.

Be sure to sign up for even more tips in the email exclusives!

30-DAY CHALLENGE {dig deeper}

Content ideas when you feel stuck

Welcome to Day 8 of the 30-Day Blogging Challenge today we are going to talk about creating more content when you have no idea what to write about or lack the motivation you need to form complete thoughts.

Once you build a bit of a following with your blog, you will start to get questions and comments via email from your readers. Or you may find yourself chatting with a friend or fellow blogger about a topic, again via email. Take a look at your inbox and more importantly your sent folder right now. Chances are you’re doing a good bit of writing on a daily basis and much of it applies to your niche blog. If you remember we talked about turning comments into posts a few days ago.

Isn’t it a shame that many of these emails only go out to one person? Which means only one person potentially reads them?

And what about the emails you send out to your list? Yes, they get seen by much more, but once you’ve sent them, they are gone and a few days later no one will look at them again. By the way, did you know my subscribers get exclusive content that’s not on the blog? Sign up here and I’ll send you access to my free Pinterest Optimization Guide.

Today we’ll talk about a simple little content recycling strategy that will turn those emails into evergreen content for your blog. The basic idea is simple. Anytime you write an email, be it a reply to one person, or an email you send to your list, ask yourself if this content could be repurposed into a blog post.

Blog post ideas for when you feel stuck

Recycling One-on-One Emails

An easy way to recycle one-on-one emails where appropriate is to introduce the topic, share the email conversation, followed by your comment where applicable.
For example, you may share how the conversation started or that you received a question from a reader in response to another post on your site. Then you would share the email they sent you (anonymously unless you’ve gotten permission to share their name) along with your reply.

From there you can elaborate a bit, or give more general advice if it was very specific. This is a quick and easy post since you did most of the writing when you replied to the email.

Recycling Email Messages and Auto-Responder Messages to Your List

Next look at the messages you sent out to your list. I keep a document on this too! This could be your weekly newsletter, evergreen helpful tips you send as broadcasts or even the emails that compose your nurture/autoresponder sequence. Pick and choose through them and see what would also make a good blog post.

Paste the entire email message into drafts and edit away. Maybe you can expand on an idea or tip, or maybe all you need to do is change a few words so it reads more like a blog post than an email. Use the formatting tips we talked about yesterday and you’re good to go.

Anytime you don’t feel like writing or aren’t sure what you should be writing, dig through your emails. I’m sure you’ll find something you can use, and it WILL BE what you’re readers want to hear.

We just skimmed the surface here, if you’re interested in really advancing your blog you should sign up for the email exclusive version of this 30-day challenge!

Sign up below!