No matter what topics you blog on, the key to growing your
audience is directly tied to your ability to network in the real world. This
was the consensus of the panel and many members in the audience. Yes, you
should market yourself, your company, and your blog in the blogosphere, but you
should also “get real.” Sometimes there’s no substitute for old-fashioned “get
out and press the flesh” networking.
The panel also agreed that having unique content was a key.
You can do all the online and offline marketing you want to, but if you’re
marketing a shoddy product, it’s only going to catch up with you.
Don’t be afraid to contact blogging networks and ask them to
carry your blog.
Be Authentic. This links back to having unique content.
There’s only one “you.” Don’t try to be someone you’re not.
Seek a niche that isn’t already covered by dozens of others
bloggers or vloggers. If you do, make darn sure you differentiate yourself with
Don’t seek to make money right away. Focus on putting a
quality product out there. Build your traffic. Improve your writing or videoing
Don’t disrespect your competition. The following is my
humble opinion: This is especially true if you’re a business blogger. Being
respectful to your competition allows you to widen the conversation and it can
help build your traffic.
Engage in real world marketing. Get out and meet people.
Become a speaker at conferences, network, network, network. (Not a good
speaker? Join Toastmasters, which is another great place to network.)
Collect and keep data such as e-mail addresses from your
Don’t try to reach everyone, find a segment and zero in on
it. For example, don’t try to write a blog targeted at women, zero in on
fashion or women’s health.
Finally, and this is as much my suggestion as it is the
panelists: Be true to yourself. Know your reason for blogging and never forget
it. My goal is not to make money off of my blogs. My goal for this one is to
learn more about the ways I can improve customer service in my organization.
Second, I want to become a more effective writer. My goal for my Relay For Life
blog is to help inform volunteers and staff involved in that event.
If your goal is to make money, then as stated above, first
focus on delivering unique content that adds to the conversation. I highly
recommend ProBlogger as well.