Blogging is a popular past-time these days and many people earn a regular income from their sites. On the other hand though, many people fail at blogging due to the fact that they never manage to create a loyal following for their site. Sure, you can rely on search engine rankings and for a while, you might have all the traffic you could ever want from Google, but what about when the search engine traffic drops? This is why you need to create a loyal following as this will ensure that visitors keep coming back for more (and sharing content) time and time again. But how do you actually create a loyal following? Stand Out From The Crowd Unfortunately, many people that are new to the world of blogging make a fatal error, they don't create a blog that is different to anything else that's already out there. No matter what industry/topic you're blogging about, you can be certain that there's thousands (if not millions) of people blogging about the same sort of stuff on other blogs. So what makes your blog so different that people will stick around to listen to what you have to say? If you can't answer this question, you're doing something wrong already. The easiest way to stand out from the crowd is to focus on quality. So many blogs regurgitate old information that people have seen in various form factors elsewhere. Try and write something unique that people actually care about. If you can do this, people are sure to keep coming back for more. Have A Genuine Passion A lot of people get into the world of blogging with the hope of making a bit of extra money. Although there's nothing wrong with this attitude (it's always good to get rewarded for your blogging efforts), this shouldn't be your sole motivation. People are good at spotting genuine passion for a topic and therefore, you need to make sure that you (and your blog) actually stand for something. Don't be afraid to voice your opinion as in doing so, your passion will show through. This also helps to build trust and people love to follow trustworthy blogs. Create A Unique Voice Every blog needs a unique selling point and often, this can be your own voice. Typically, people prefer to read blogs that are created by just one person rather than a fully-fledged company. This is because companies generally have business-related motives (i.e. selling more of their product/service) and because of this, views can be skewed or biased. This isn't always the case but still, you should put your personality into your blog. You should also write with your target audience in mind. For example, if your target audience is the professional health industry, you might write more in-depth scientific articles than if you were writing a blog aimed at teenagers. Your voice should appeal to the audience you're targeting and connect with them. Engage With Your Audience Strangely, a lot of bloggers make the mistake of not actually engaging with their audience. Visitors like to feel engaged when they visit a blog so you should make the effort to involve them in what you're doing. There are a few simple steps you can take here such as making sure to reply to your readers comments and engaging with them on social networks (i.e. responding on Twitter/Facebook). However, there are other things you can do. For instance, you could ask your audience what they'd like to see a blog post about or perhaps even get their feedback on existing posts. You could even create surveys to make sure you're giving your readers what they actually want. These are also things that readers appreciate and will help to create loyalty. Produce High Quality Content It goes without saying really, but you need to be creating high quality content. There are millions of blogs out there and you're not going to stand a chance at making any kind of impact in the blogosphere if you're not creating something exceptional for people to read. Don't blog just for the sake of blogging or put quantity over quality. The only way you'll create loyalty is by giving visitors better content than they're likely to find anywhere else. This will help to establish yourself (or your company) as an industry leader and authoritative figure. Conclusion Blogging isn't an easy process. It takes most people a good few years to build up a loyal following for their blog and sometimes even longer to start earning a good amount of revenue. It can be a rewarding process in the long-run though, especially if you have a genuine passion for your chosen topic.