Making your blog or a specific post on your blog stand out from the crowd can be a rigorous feat in 2017. With WordPress users alone producing about 87.6 million new posts each month, and more than 150 million blogs on the internet, desiring to become a lighthouse amongst a sea of bloggers is easier said than done.

There are many tips and tricks to consider before venturing into the world of blogging, but the most important factor to come to grips with is a fundamental understanding of what makes a strong SEO initiative. Well written and compelling content is one thing, but it’s to no avail if no one is there to read it. Simply put, developing a keen knowledge of effective SEO will put eyes on your work.

Search engines are unique in how they provide targeted traffic; if search engines cannot find your site, you will miss a vast portion of your potential audience. This is where SEO keywords come in. SEO marketing is a complication beast, but the most basic aspect of it is incorporating key words and phrases. If you’re writing a post about French cinema and the key phrase “French cinema” is only featured in the heading, something’s amiss.

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While keeping SEO insight in the back of your mind, the groundwork for attracting a substantial audience is consistently publishing stellar content.

Services such as Google AdWords are there to assist bloggers in discovering the trending keywords, as well as phrases which are most related to your chosen topic. Utilizing these SEO services is a vital first step in attracting an audience to your blog. Alternatively, as SEO marketing is a deep well to fall down, hiring a copywriter who is already experienced in the field is an invaluable tool at your disposal to help get your blog off the ground.

While keeping SEO insight in the back of your mind at all times, the groundwork for attracting a substantial audience is consistently publishing stellar content. Ask any blogger or YouTube personality what the most important factors for audience growth are and you’ll hear the phrases “consistency” and “awesome content” more than anything else.

A high number of short posts that don’t have all that much to say is always worse than fewer posts that are detailed and memorable. You want your audience thinking about your post long after they’ve read the final word. You want them sharing it with their friends. Create a post that you can be proud of, one that exudes passion and knowledge. Start a conversation among your audience and they will grow.

The rise of blogging, social media, and YouTube has gone hand-in-hand with one another. As such, these mediums have become increasingly visual as time has gone on. Incorporating high-quality relevant images, graphics, and videos within your blog posts is essential. Breaking up a text-heavy post with images is a simple way to keep your readers’ attention, making scrolling the page continually inviting.

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Ask any blogger what the most important factors for audience growth are and you’ll hear the phrases “consistency” and “awesome content” more than anything else.

Try to reach a new audience. The internet provides us the prospect of near-infinite knowledge, with an audience for pretty much anything. This is both a blogger’s greatest blessing, and greatest curse. With an information-hungry audience, chances are there are countless blogs trying to appeal to the exact same people as yours at any given time. Take advantage of your strengths, reassess your target audience, and think about something unique you can offer them. Find a niche, and break the mould.

If you’re a fan of a number of specific blogs, or subscribe to a particular YouTube channel, you’ll know that the appeal doesn’t just come from the content itself, but the personality behind it. For your content to rise above the rest, you need to find your voice. You might be surprised how many people read/watch content they have no real interest in, simply because they enjoy the creator.

While a consistent style is important, it isn’t to say that you can’t “break character” every once in a while. On the contrary, if your writing is more-often-than-not produced with a humorous tone, for example, writing a thoughtful piece on a serious topic, will allow that post to shine over even your own work. This occasional change in voice will go a long way in keeping your audience’s attention.

Another way in which to keep your audience on their toes and reach fresh eyes with a blog post is to write something controversial. People love reading about or listening to controversial topics. Whether they agree with you or not, discussing a controversial opinion with your audience is a great way to drive exposure. Supporting your claims with facts is what will separate you from the crowd; it’s the difference between an articulate op-ed, and a hack striving for clicks.

Opinion pieces attract audiences, and so too do useful blog posts that actively inform the reader. Put your reader into action. Write a “definite list” or “complete guide” post that plays to your strengths, and assists your audience in something they need help with. People always remember those who help them. Couple all of this with engaging writing and various calls-to-actions peppered throughout your blog posts, and watch your viewing figures soar.