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1. Post on your own domain

Before you create a blog, think about where that content will live and how audiences will find it. The content you create should live on a domain you control. For many, a self-hosted WordPress is the right solution. WordPress is flexible, it’s robust and easy to set up. Then use social sites like Facebook and Twitter to get the word out about your blog.

2. Know your reader

In order to create a content marketing platform you need to understand what your audience finds interesting enough to read about. If your blog is new, start with posts that summarize your fundamental beliefs and values about your subject matter. Think about what you want readers to take away or talk about.

3. Develop quality content

Let’s face it. There’s a lot of lousy content out there. If you don’t get likes and shares and your traffic flow is very uneven, your content may not be as good as it needs to be to gain a following.

Content worth reading usually:

  • Has a strong, compelling headline, and
  • Is genuinely useful, focusing on problems readers actually care about, and
  • Is easy to consume and
  • Is at least moderately entertaining.

You either create content worth reading (or watching, or listening to, if you’re doing multimedia) or you don’t. And your readers will be the ones to decide.

4. Take security seriously

Having your site hacked can be avoided. There’s a lot you can do to protect yourself. Keep your site software up-to-date. Or consider using a service such as Sucuri that monitors your site 24/7 and alerts you instantly if they find any malware.

5. Make sure your design looks professional

Your blog content may be brilliant, now make sure your layout design is equally as compelling.  The right premium WordPress theme can give you a beautiful, professional-looking design at a very attractive price, and has other benefits as well, including improved security and code that doesn’t get in the way of your SEO rankings.

6. Attracts a wider audience

Now you need readers for your content, which means you’ll need to create content that’s specifically designed to appeal to and widen your audience. Content that attracts attention also tends to have a strong, well-defined point of view.  Great copy tends to solve a real problem, build trust with an audience and takes a stand on a given topic.

7. Build an email list

Blog content on a public website is okay for getting some attention — but to deepen the relationship, consider using email. Email is more intimate, and it tends to engage attention more fully. When you want readers to take a specific action, send them an email.

8. Reach new people

When you’re ready for a larger audience, consider guest posting.  Guest posting puts you in front of a larger audience (or may be new audience). Part of this effort could involve conducting interviews, webinars, or any other activity that attracts more people. As a call to action, send your new followers back your site or blog. The smartest guest bloggers build landing pages for new audiences to give fresh readers a great first experience with the site.

9. Don’t wait to long to launch a product or service

If you’re content marketing, you don’t forget the marketing part. If your content is supporting a business, explain your product or service to your audience in a way that makes it easy to buy. Keep the sales pitch separate from your primary content and create a simple call to action.

10. Leverage social media to broaden your influence

Social media audiences will start talking about you as soon as you give them content worth sharing.  All the pieces need to be in place so don’t move to quickly if you’re still struggling to develop quality content. Build a solid blog foundation and you’ll have something solid.