A user posed an interesting question in a Facebook group about starting a blog. They wanted to know what steps they should focus on first.
Anytime someone says they’re starting a blog, I always expect one of two obvious questions.
One of the obvious questions is, “How many times per week should I publish?” I’ve answered this one before and I probably will again. But my short answer is always a question directed right back at them.
As for the other obvious question, a newbie recently asked it in a Facebook blogging group. Here’s the question: What’s the best way to drive people to your site?
You can probably imagine the answers that arrived. Some suggested turning to social media to promote the blog. Others suggested working on SEO, seach engine optimization, a process to get yourself ranked higher in search results.
You could say both suggestions are valid. I agree they both hold serious importance for any blogger, newbie or experienced.
But I answered the question differently.
My answer didn’t focus on SEO or social media marketing. My answer focused on content.
Here’s what I said:
The first thing you need to do is build a body of quality content that people can use. No amount of SEO or social promotion is going to help you if you don’t have the content waiting for people once they get there. Figure out what your blog will be about, how you’ll provide help or information and entertain your audience and begin building up that content. Decide on an editorial plan: how often can you post? Focus on building the content ahead of anything else.
Sure, you can attract an audience with good SEO and social media. But you can’t build a returning audience without quality content. People who come to your site through a search result or a social post want content that’s worth their time. If you can’t deliver that, you have a major problem.
That problem should always be the first one you tackle.