Running a blog takes time and effort, and it is not going to make you successful overnight. If you want to have a blog that will get people coming back to read more – and hopefully buying the products you sell, subscribing to your newsletter or booking your services – then you need to post consistently, and you need to make your content interesting and engaging. This article was inspired by Leslie Rubero, fantastic lifestyle and travel blogger.
What Makes a Successful Blog
To have a successful blog, you need to have content that your readers want, and that search engines think of as being useful. You also need to get people checking your site on a regular basis. You will find that people are more likely to come to check your site if they can reasonably expect that there is some new content there, so let’s start with that part, post regularly.
It helps to have a clear strategy for your content. So, why not spend some time looking at that?
– Open up a spreadsheet, and make a table 53 rows long and several columns wide. The first column is for your table headers, and the first row is for dates, fill that with the 52 weeks of the year. Then going across, put the days of the week that you plan on posting.
– Look ahead at the industry you’re in, and use the cell highlighting feature to highlight weeks that are particularly important. Imagine that you’re a blogger that likes Pro Wrestling. You might want to highlight the Hall of Fame inductions, and WWE Wrestlemania as big events. There could be other events such as the release of a new wrestling game that year. Those are weeks that you will definitely want to flag up.
– Think about other seasonal things. You might want to do themed posts around Easter and Christmas. Flag those up so they don’t take you by surprise.
– On a separate sheet, write out some blog ideas that you already have. Perhaps you want to write about particular superstars, or how to get started in the industry. Perhaps you want to review some books and DVDs you already own, or do a comparison between different subscription services. Whenever you have an idea for something you want to write, put it in that list.
– Set aside some time to trawl stock photography sites, and to invest in creating artworks for yourself. Use this time to put together a database of images that you can use for your posts.
– Commit to posting on a set day, and a set number of times per week. Aim low, because you’ll probably find that it’s harder than you think to post to a schedule. Make sure that you post on the day you’ve scheduled, every time. Be consistent! If you’re on a roll and able to write loads of content, pick something that’s on your list, write it and save the draft – then when you’re stuck for ideas one day or in a hurry you can post something from your backlog.
Marketing Your Posts
Content is great, but you need readers. At first you’ll be talking to yourself and a couple of friends that you cajole into reading your blog, but over time you’ll get more and more people coming to read your posts. Try commenting on other people’s blogs (but read the blog, and leave an insightful comment – don’t just spam your link without purpose). Link to your blog in your forum profiles, and join blog carnivals or exchanges where people agree to talk about a specific subject on a specific day. Make these posts in addition to the other content that you plan on posting.
– Set up a newsletter, and build up a list of subscribers. Use that to get people coming back to your site on a regular basis. Over time, you’ll find that you will get a stable list of readers, and that they’ll link to you, share your blog with their friends and your audience will grow.
– Use social media. Get out there on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and post lots. Join in discussions, share your content and share lots of photos. Regular sharing of content is what will make the difference between a successful poster and someone whose posts get ignored.
– Spruce up your blog with plugins that make it easy for people to like, follow, share and comment. Make sure your RSS feeds are working, and make sure that your blog is full of images and rich media too.
Blogging takes time, and at first you are going to feel like you’re going nowhere, but keep posting! Make sure that your content is as accessible as possible. Avoid ‘in jokes’ and talking to the reader like they are your best friend. It’s OK to have a conversational tone, but if you assume that everyone who comes to your site has read all your other posts, then you might find that you drive away people who are new to your site because they don’t understand the content. When you’re running a blog that is intended as a moneymaker, you need to make an effort to help your readers engage with you, and to cater to everyone who is interested in your content.
When you’re ready to monetise your blog, start adding the occasional ad and sponsored link, but make sure that you aren’t pushing too hard to get people to open their wallets. The best influencers walk a fine line between promoting products that they really like, and selling. If you go too far in either direction then you won’t make any money – and if you alienate your audience then it’s going to be hard to get them back, because you’ll end up trapped in a situation where people don’t trust what you have to say. Rebuilding that trust is much harder than earning it in the first place, and it isn’t always possible if you operate in a very small niche.
If you enjoyed this article and would love to learn more about Leslie Rubero Padilla you can follow her website or her social media.