Blogging to grow your business can be hard work; success doesn’t happen overnight. So how can you tell if you’re on the right track? Is there anything else you can do to boost your views? Here’s a checklist for building your readership:

Optimize for your audience.Who are you trying to reach with your blog? What do they want to hear from you? What information will they find helpful, informative or entertaining? Start with these tips for optimizing your content for your target audience so they’ll keep coming back for more:

1.    Define your ideal reader.

2.    Think about what questions your reader might have and answer them.When someone enters a question into a search engine, your blog will come up. Also, being extremely helpful will help build trust and credibility.

3.    Include quotes from influencers.

4.    Don’t let your content get out of date. Old content or broken links may deter readers from coming back.

5.    Use unique, good-quality images to add value. Don’t rely on stock photos. Also, be sure to label your photos with optimized names, descriptions and alt tags.

Remember that your blog is a tool to start a conversation with a potential client and not a direct sales tool. But to win business with your blog, you need to do more than write valuable content, you need to make it easy to find, easy to read and easy to share!

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Amy McIlwain is a professional speaker on social media and President of Financial Social Media, an online marketing firm specializing in the financial industry. She can be reached through her website www.financialsocialmedia.com and on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.