Building a blog in 2020 is very different from making one in 2005. With a little adjustment in strategy, a new blog can still achieve success and profitability in 2020.
In 2005, the popularity of blogs as a media platform exploded onto the mainstream. Tens of millions of people visited them regularly to get information about topics ranging from fashion trends to the latest consumer electronics. In fact, Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary declared “Blog” the Word of the Year.
Unfortunately, it’s not 2005 anymore. It’s 2020, and most of the Internet is running ad blockers and using Podcasts, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter to get their information. We’re not living in the golden age of the blog, but that doesn’t mean your blog can’t find its audience and earn its writers a profit.
In this article, I’ll go over some of the ways I would promote a new blog in 2020.
Find a Specific Niche
Like blogging’s hay-day, your ability to define your blog’s niche is essential to its continued success. A good niche goes a long way towards making a new blog discoverable to its target audience.
It isn’t enough to say you’re creating another beauty blog. That’s been done a million times over, and many of those blogs are well funded and already established in their respective categories.
Instead, consider focusing your blog on a specific aspect of the beauty industry. Make the world’s best lipstick blog, or dedicate your blog entirely to DIY beauty hacks. Give your site a niche specific enough to not only be searchable but to appeal to your target audience in the most direct way possible.
The same could apply to new entertainment blogs. Want to make a new blog about action movies? That’s great! Want to make a new blog about action movies made in Japan? Even better!
Leverage Social Media to Build a Fanbase
Contrary to popular belief, you can’t build a fan base by posting photos of your lunch on Instagram. Well, not one for your blog. Instead, consider leveraging tools like Tweetdeck to find perspective fans and make the first contact with them.
Tweetdeck is an excellent tool for Twitter. It enables you to create real-time swimlanes of tweets that match a specific search query, and that presents new bloggers an opportunity to find new audience members.
Imagine if you were creating a blog about lipstick, and you had spent the past month researching every new shade of the season. You’ve blogged extensively about each brand’s offerings and have a good perspective on which shade(s) to recommend to someone based on what they like.
Now, create a Tweetdeck column for the search phrase “which lipstick should I” or “what lipstick shade” and reply to the tweets that appear with honest, practical advice. The recipient of your help will likely follow you back and appreciate the help. They may even check out your blog posts as you explore the topic even further.
Facebook can work the same way for you. Find groups that align with your topic and join them. Offer good advice to members when they ask questions, and do so without overselling your blog. You might be surprised at how easy it is to find new loyal audience members this way.
Create Content on Multiple Mediums
Blogging in 2020 is more than just writing. It’s building a media company, and every good media company knows that text isn’t the only way to capture an audience’s attention. Consider adding video and image content to your blog posts. Something to break up the text.
This could be as simple as an animated GIF here and there. I know, it sounds crazy, but those little things make reading content more fun. Fun is what will drive audiences to share and continue exploring your site.
If you have the knack for it, consider starting a YouTube channel and produce video content that compliments that content on your blog. Crosslink everywhere you can, and your views and subscribers should grow over time because of it.
Podcasts are another excellent way to expand your blog’s reach. Consider hosting a podcast where you interview the people you normally interview for your articles. Share tips and tricks related to your niche.
Find a way to give your audience something to listen to, watch, and read as often as possible.
Collaborate with Other Bloggers in Your Genre
Collaboration isn’t just a YouTube thing, blogs do it too! Consider co-authoring a series that your respective audiences will love, and share links to the posts through your newsletter. (Bonus tip: start a newsletter!)
If you have 10,000 subscribers on your newsletter, and your fellow blogger has another 10,000 or so, that’s potentially 20,000 people that will be exposed to articles on your blog! At the very least, it’s a way to get your name out there without spending a boatload of money to do so.
Avoid guest blogging, outright. Guest blog posts are an SEO trick that worked five years ago but doesn’t do much to build your audience today. In many cases, it can actually hurt your search ranking. Collaboration is far more fruitful than giving away content.
Whatever your preferred topic or reasons for starting a blog, 2020 is not too late to jump in. Blogs are an excellent way to share your thoughts and experiences with others. It could even lead to a prosperous career.