Blogging is an incredibly popular past-time that’s simple and enjoyable to start up. Simply pick a topic and start typing. For some people putting their content out there is enough, but others aim for a large audience and perhaps even a blogging career. If you’re looking to grow your platform and spread your content across the globe, then there are easy steps that you can follow to begin the process.

1. Make a compelling title

The first thing a person will see when they come across your blog is the title of a post. It’s vitally important that you craft this title in such a way as to draw the reader in. It must be informative, compelling and memorable. The most crucial aspect of crafting a title is to make it SEO friendly. SEO (search engine optimisation) refers to tagging articles in a way that works alongside Google’s algorithm to make your article appear higher on the results page.

It isn’t the only factor in the algorithm, with other things like website trust and total hits also playing a large role, but SEO still has a huge impact. Just be careful not to over-exaggerate your titles to the point of clickbaiting. It can result in an immediate spike in engagement, but long-term trust will deteriorate over time if your blog posts don’t deliver on their promises.

2. Pictures and other media

The only part of a post that’s just as likely to draw initial interest, other than the title, is the thumbnail picture. It needs to be something relevant to what you’re writing about and it should be eye-catching. Vibrant colours and bold images stand out more and have a greater chance of making an impact. If you fancy yourself a photographer, then depending on the topic of your blog you could potentially take photos yourself. However, if you’re like me and you don’t have an eye for good snaps, then there are a wealth of resources out there such as Flickr and Pixabay that provide copyright-free images.

The copyright-free part is important. You might get away with it at first, but if your blog starts blowing up and you haven’t been properly crediting artists, you could get yourself in a heap of trouble. As for videos, also make sure to properly credit. It’s generally good etiquette on YouTube to ask the creator of a video directly for permission to use their content.

3. Content

By no means am I going to try and tell you the topic you should be writing on, but rather the way that you should try and approach it. The most important thing is to write on what you are passionate about. But it’s also not enough to just be passionate, but also to be able to write in a way that conveys that passion. It’s the reason why creative writing as a profession will never be taken over by computers. Make the most of your human emotion and inject as much of it as you can into your writing. Make the reader understand how much you love your interest, whether its food, gaming or films.

Another important part of content is originality. It’s impossible to be completely unique, but if you’re trying to make yourself known in a flooded genre of blogging like travel then there has to be something to set you apart. Perhaps it’s your style of writing, or perhaps you focus on a niche area of travel that no one else has considered.

4. Social Media

Social media only becomes more and more important as time goes on. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are vital tools for spreading your name further across the internet and developing your brand. Make sure to have your social media details on your blog so that people who stumble across your content and enjoy it can stay connected.

When you post new content on the blog, post something on all your social media channels with a link so that your followers are aware of it immediately. This is one of the best ways to ensure quick hits on a new blog post. As your following grows it becomes more and more important to engage often on social media. Depending on your blog’s topic, try to know your audience and talk about stuff that you think would interest them.

5. Engage with your peers

Unless your blog covers an incredibly niche topic, there are going to be a lot of people writing similar articles to your own. It’s important to know who the big players are.

You don’t want to outright copy them, but it’s always educational to take note of what makes that person so much more successful. Also, reach out to fellow bloggers and try to collaborate in some way. You can include links to each other’s work, or directly give a shout out. It’s important to make yourself part of the community, so that your name spreads to other people’s fans.