Many people have contemplated starting a blog at some point in their life. These days setting up a blog takes only minutes for a bare bones site. But there is a big difference between having a blog and being a blogger. Running a successful blog is not easy and requires a lot of work, but it’s also a lot of fun if your heart is really in it. First of all let’s clarify what “success” means in the blogging world. A successful blog is one with a steady traffic flow and a constantly growing audience that keeps coming back for more.
Here are 10 tips for becoming a successful blogger:
1.) Passion – If you don’t have a real passion for the subject you’re writing about you will never be a successful blogger. It’s a long and tough road building a blog audience and without true passion you’re guaranteed to fizzle out.
2.) Bloggers Must Blog – 1 or 2 blog posts a year is not going to cut it. Writing a blog post when you get around to it will not work. If you dread having to write a post you probably shouldn’t be a blogger.
3.) Be Consistent – This goes hand in hand with tip #2. The more blogging the better but being consistent is almost more important. From day 1 you need to figure out realistically how often you can blog and then stick to that. If it’s every day, 3 times a week, or every Saturday you need to stick with that. The way to build an audience is to have an established posting schedule.
4.) Make Your Blog User Friendly – Make all the content you’ve worked so hard to write easily accessible. Have a list on your sidebar with recent posts. List other articles you’ve written of potential interest at the end of your posts. Include an archive too so people can read your older content. This can all be done automatically with WordPress plugins.
[alert type=”warning” close=”false”]The Unofficial Tip #1 is BUILD YOUR BLOG WITH WORDPRESS![/alert]
5.) Collect Email Addresses – I cannot stress enough how valuable it is to collect the email addresses of your readers (should they choose to give it of course). This is not so you can SPAM them but so you can send them updates about the blog or send them a weekly list of all your posts for that week or month. Sending out a weekly or monthly newsletter can be very effective at building an audience.
6.) RSS Feed Link – Make sure to put a link to your blog’s RSS feed in a prominent place. You want to encourage people to subscribe to your posts.
7.) Talk To Other Bloggers (Successful Ones) – Reach out to other bloggers in your niche. Blogging is not a “me vs them” competition where one blogger has to fail in order for another to succeed. If they write about the same things as you they are not the enemy. Having relationships with already established bloggers in your niche can make all the difference in the world. They may link to one of your posts or recommend your blog to their audience.
8.) Comment on other blogs – Be a regular in the comments section of other people’s posts in your niche. Become a part of the community. This goes hand in hand with tip #7
9.) Make Social Sharing Easy – Your readers need to be able to share your posts to their favorite social network with a single click. You want your content easy to spread around and share. The most important sharing buttons to have are for Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. If you have nothing else make sure you at least have those! [highlight1]While we’re on the subject, feel free to hit one of those buttons at the top of this post or at the side and share it![/highlight1]
10.) Be Patient – Your blog is NOT going to be a success overnight. If you are not in it for the long haul don’t bother. You can start to see a nice stream of traffic and some regular readers in a few months depending on how much time you put in, but it usually takes years for a blog to really take off.