Blogging has never been easy, but with the surge in popularity of blogs, it has become a competitive game. According to Pingdom, at the end of 2011 there were 70 million WordPress blogs, 39 million Tumblr blogs, and 555 million total websites.
Even assuming that half of these blogs are microsites or network-specific, that means that eight percent of the United States population is now blogging. This number is only going to increase.
Is There Any Chance I Could Have A Successful Blog?
The short answer: Yes! You can be a successful blogger but it requires front-end work of educating yourself about what makes a blog popular, as well as maintenance.
New blogs start every day, and some of them are successful. How do they do it? Here are some tips for making your blog the best.
- Have a purpose. There should be no doubt, within a minute of reading your blog, what your blog is about. Diversity may be the key to success in business, but it is the death knell of a good blog. Stick to one topic or area and focus your efforts on creating the very best content you can within that sphere. A good blog is like a novel: you have to know what it is about.
- Use random affinities to create interest. You have to stick to a purpose, but you also have to generate interest by tying in other areas to your blog content. People tire of reading about cute puppies after awhile; however, a blog article on dog rescue efforts in a major city or training opportunities at your local pet store give you the opportunity to encircle readers from other subjects into your content.
- Create posts others will want to cite, particularly mainstream media. If you have relevant, accurate content on timely topics, others will be likely to link to your blog. Look at news articles that refer to your topic and study the resources to which they are linking. What drives them to choose those links?
- Post, post, post. Many people begin a blog with more enthusiasm than they maintain it. Weekly or daily postings are essential to sustain reader interest. You can use the scheduling feature in your blog software to remind you.
- Use social media marketing. Many bloggers fail to link to SM and lose a great deal of traffic as a result. Choose one or two of your favorite platforms where your readers are likely to be and focus your efforts there.
- Use personal photos and images. Many bloggers put up no pictures, but they definitely attract readership and interest. Photos should be unique and tell your story.
- Use video wisely. Distilled has been recommending video for some time, and it may be the most appropriate choice for some information.
- Take cues from the “real world.” We sometimes forget that the internet is not reality, but users still crave interaction with the concrete. Use real-time and real-world information in your blog. This is a great place to incorporate those photos and videos. Wil’s session from Mozcon gives you some great pointers.
- Study your site architecture and menu structure. This is an area that many amateur bloggers neglect and it really frustrates visitors to your site. If they cannot move easily from page to page, post to post, or get back home with one click, you may appear as less-than-knowledgeable about your content. This post on WordPress will help you overcome these issues. List the priority of types of people you want to attract, break that list into simple themes, and create “who” and “why” questions. The answers will usually lead you naturally to a structure that works for your blog audience.
- Rank for misspellings only if the misspelling is common. Some people try to anticipate every way a word might be typed in, but this is not usually necessary. Look up the most common ways to spell the keywords in your blog and focus your efforts on those. If you are unsure, search the same phrase with both spellings and note if the SERPs are different.
- Use tools to suggest topics. There are many resources out there to help you come up with ideas, such as Ubersuggest, Soovle, Google Insights, and AdWords KW Tool. However, your own experiences are always the best source of new blog ideas.
- Set goals for your blog. Without goals, how will you know if you are progressing? Measure the growth of your blog and set monthly or semi-annual goals for yourself.
- Start a forum. Forums require moderation, but this is one of the best ways to get your readers engaged. You could use vBulletin, Xenforo, or Mingle WordPress Plugin for your forum software. You can also host a “hangout” through Google+.
- Start a podcast. Educators have known about the value of these little audio snippets for years. Podcasts are relatively easy to create and satisfy the need of both audiences to really connect with the blogger.
- Create an app specific to your blog. This may sound like fantasy, but you can actually create an app relatively easily that is dedicated to your blog and makes your content accessible to everyone, everywhere, at any time.
It is not impossible to create a great blog; all it takes is some hard work and dedication! If you need help setting up your blog, please contact Bulletproof Digital or visit our web design service page to get started today.