How To Make (And Keep) Your Blog In Demand
Developing popular content once in awhile is one thing, but how do you keep your blog as a whole in demand?
There isn’t a single winning answer – there are many strategies and methods which can be effective. Regardless of the path you choose, keeping your blog content in demand is vital to keep your community growing itself organically over time.
In demand blogs:
- Creates shares, links and subscribers by virtue of being in demand
- Quickly grow against impossible odds
- Funnel visitors from around the social web, organically
A few ideas to get you started with building an in demand blog:
1. Publish less
You should be throwing far more ideas away than you actually publish. Edit your content ideas. Ruthlessly. If you’re serious about becoming someone with in-demand content take only the absolute best ideas. Trash the rest.
2. When you do publish: analyze, learn and refine
Even following the art of holding back, not everything you throw at the wall is going to stick. Far more will fall flat. That’s okay because if you’re analyzing as you go, you’ll start to see patterns in the noise of your niche and know what will permeate and what will fall flat.
3. Personality and character…they’re in demand
There was a trend for a while of people seeking more professionally-focused content from blogs. It is still around to a good degree, but my future prediction is this trend is going to fall the other way. The fact is now that so many businesses and industries see the benefits of blogging, they’re putting tons of resources and time behind it. The content produced on their sites is clean, polished and professional. But what most lack is personality and character. That is an enduring trait of successful content-based sites and we will see a proper return to form in the coming years.
4. Take chances, experiment
Bearing you’re creating content in an ultra-competitive category, you need to come up with creative content plays which break the mold. If you want to grow at scale it’s not about playing it safe and creating cookie-cutter content, you need to take chances. After enough data you will start to find the formula that works for you. It’s a commitment and things aren’t going to happen immediately, but if you can persevere and have the freedom to test, the rewards will come.
Interpret your subject matter through a different lens, come at it from an unlikely angle and you position yourself to grow. The strategy here should be to approach from an angle that the current players either haven’t considered or simply cannot take as it counters their thesis. Overcrowded niches are that way for a reason: they are popular, and there is always demand for the viewpoints not presented.
6. Give away secrets
Larger players may not give away secrets anymore because, well, what reason do they have? Their new content may only be popular by virtue of the fact that their sites now have distribution (popularity breeds popularity). This is a huge opportunity to move the demand to your content by giving away secrets or less-obvious bits of information the larger players no longer want to share. This plays into one of the core strategies for creating demand in markets of infinite goods: providing value unattainable elsewhere.
7. Lead, don’t follow
We naturally look to leaders for guidance, and while you don’t always need to lead everywhere in your life, your blog should be a place you’re leading readers down a path.
8. Condition readers that your content will meet an expectation
And once in awhile break it. This is like a shot of adrenaline for loyal readers. Always meeting expectation is guaranteed to lull your audience into a trance. Doing something that breaks the mold once in awhile will shake things up and remind readers your usual material is in demand. Readers know you’ll return to form, they will stick around if you have delivered value for long enough (this strategy works well for established sites). Examples of this can be something like posting an image instead of text one day with no explanation, posting a one sentence post when you usually post 1,000 word articles, or simply taking a week off when you usually publish daily. When you return to form, people will have a renewed appreciate for what you do. If you execute this effectively, you can concurrently make a lasting statement.
9. Just be yourself
We form relationships with the people behind the content more than the content itself. Content is in essence a proxy to create a relationship between writer and reader. By being yourself, your personality is going to shine through in your writing and keep visitors coming back. If you’re working with a team, be careful not to create content which has had the personality scraped out of it by being a product of design by committee.
10. Evolve your thesis
Did your site thesis become irrelevant overnight? That’s an easy fix – evolve your thesis. Don’t even say it publicly, just do it and readers will naturally follow along and notice how you’ve kept with the times and stayed relevant. If what you are doing isn’t cutting edge it probably isn’t in demand.
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image credit: Stephen Aaron Rees via Shutterstock