By Prerna Malik

So, you’ve taken the plunge and set up a blog.

Woohoo!

However, how are you going to make that blog stand out in the millions and zillions of blogs out there in the blogosphere?

How will you make readers return and refer your blog to their friends and family members?

How will you hold the attention span of a reader online who probably has a gazillion windows open and people around him asking questions as well?

Ooh and what about getting readers who do land on your blog to take action to either stay connected with you by signing up to your list or adding to your revenue by buying from you?

Yeah… I know… Sorry to be the party pooper at your “I-now-have-a- blog” party but someone’s gotta tell you that the setting up is actually the easy part. It’s the getting readers and engagement bit that needs you to roll up your sleeves and get to work.

On that note, here are 5 of my best and highly effective, known-to-work tips to amp up the power of your business blog:

  1. Have A Design to Delight

Yes, we live in a content-driven world where visual appeal rocks. Think, Pinterest and Instagram.

So, start by ensuring that your blog design reflects your branding but is clean and clutter-free. Get rid of any ugly badges that don’t tell a reader about you or what you do. Remove unnecessary widgets from the sidebar.

Tone down the colors and use a coordinated palette.

Design is key so unless, your superpower is web designing, I’d recommend getting your blog designed by a professional so that it looks awesome and invites readers to stop awhile and read what you have to say.

2. Stir Up A Sizzling Strategy

Design is important but really, content is what sets you apart.

Your blog, like your business itself, must have a strategy in place.

Create an editorial calendar {grab a free one here!} and draft a content strategy that ties in with your other online marketing efforts.

Create content that your readers are looking for and for that it is vital that you know your them inside out. What are their challenges, hopes, dreams, desires? Tailor your content around these themes and then, most importantly, remember point #3.

3. Stand Out by Being Awesomely Authentic

While it may be tempting to follow the A-listers and the influencers, remember that being fake will NEVER get you anywhere.

Readers, even online, can spot pretense a mile away and will never want to return to your blog.

Instead, learn from the pros but always, always be YOU.

Let your blogging voice reflect your vision, your ideals and values. Make your blog brilliant by letting your genuine desire to help your readers shine through in all your posts.

4. Create a Community

Right from day 1, treat your blog like a community.

A community of readers who’re eager to learn about you, what you do and how you’ll be helping them.

Respond to comments, engage in discussions, connect with readers on other social networking platforms.

Blogs often fall by the wayside because of a lack of engagement.

Bottomline: Readers don’t want to be talked at, they want to talk ‘with’ you.

5. Add Value to Your Readers’ Lives

Finally, and most importantly, the best way to make your blog really stand out from the crowd of blogs out there is by adding immense VALUE to your readers’ lives.

Each time you write a post or create your monthly content calendar, review your strategy and see if you’re helping to improve the lives of your readers.

Your blog must aim to make life easier, better, simpler, saner, happier, nicer for your readers. 

Prerna Malik is the gourmet content and community management chef at Content Bistro. Along with her team, she serves up sizzling hot social media, SEO and copywriting solutions to time-starved entrepreneurs. Dig into her FREE social media strategy guide to get a taste of what’s in store for you!