Are you thinking about starting a blog? Do you want to promote your business or maybe share your passion for a hobby? Creating a blog can be a free or inexpensive way start a website and share your thoughts, ideas, and writing. But how do successful bloggers become successful?
There is no shortage of books and websites with information on how to create and maintain a blog. Additionally, you need little to no technical knowhow to get started, especially with a blogging platform like WordPress. That said—most blogs will fail.
Don’t fear failure. I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to be talented writer or an expert in a particular subject. All you need for a successful blog is passion and focus. This is why I have created this list of six essential practices for a successful blog.
Some advice about blogging emphasize things like design, search engine optimization, social media optimization, networking, and marketing. These topics are important, but they are not essential. A great blog is a great blog because of content. Don’t you agree?
Identify Your Blog Objective
Your blog wants to live a purpose filled life, and to do this you must define a blog objective. Will your blog be defined as corporate, focused on customers or stakeholders, or will it be a professional blog, used to create a personal income? Is your blog purpose to be a personal diary or to share a hobby?
Much as in life, contentment comes from defining success. Some people find happiness in building a Fortune 500 company, others in building a large vibrant family. Once you have defined success, you can set goals to achieve that objective.
Set A Blog Schedule
Nothing is quite as disappointing as finding an interesting blog post, but then discovering the overall blog-site has not seen an updated in months. What reason does a visitor have to subscribe or engage?
I have a community centered blog focused on my local school district. It gets updated only twice a month, on the second and third Tuesdays, the mornings after school board meetings. That is all it needs to be updated, and my visitors have come to expect those updates.
You don’t need to blog every day or every week. You just have to keep a consistent schedule. This will set visitor expectations, and help to give them a reason to subscribe, bookmark, and engage with content.
Write for your Audience
Personally, I love finding a blog that is highly technical, filled with hard data and dry statistics, It is a thrill to find a post that is extremely long and meaty. I’m weird like that, but the blogs I like would have most people glazing over.
Image you are an engineer who just invented the greatest thing ever. A paper written for your peers will be written with details, industry jargon, and technical language that would make it almost unreadable to the general public.
Who is your intended audience? Are you writing to a general audience, professionals in a field, or to academics? Answering this question helps frame how much information to include, the language you need to use, and your tone.
Show-Off Your Personality
There are professional copywriters who can just robotically churn out blog post after blog post that can be plugged into almost any website. It is a skill, and certainly not something I could perform. However, in developing this skill many copywriters seem to lose the ability to infuse personality into their content.
I believe most people want to read something written by a real person, and does not read like an encyclopedia entry. Whether you are developing a personal brand or business brand, the general public wants authentic and human. Feel free to let your hair down, and smile while your write.
Keep It Short and Simple
When I’m talking short, and saying more than 300 words and less than 1200 words. I know, that is a pretty big range, but the idea of “short” kinda depends on what you are writing, Keeping it short and simple also means many posts may not be completely complete. Does that make sense?
If you try to write “The Complete Guide to…” with every post then you will lose readers. They will just zone out, no matter how informative and authoritative. This is one reason why, in the corporate world, executive summaries were created.
You need to be able to write a post that can be read in a reasonable amount of time, and will keep your audience’s attention. A series of short posts will often be more effective than long-winded, authoritative articles intended to prove you are a thought leader.
Write, and write, then write some more
Don’t worry about being a talented writer. There are many talented writers who fail at blogging . You don’t need to be exceptionally intelligent or creative to have a successful blog. I have seen many intelligent and creative people never get their projects off the ground. You don’t even need to be all that well educated. We all know people with college degrees, and nothing to show for it.
Persistence and determination are the only keys to creating a successful blog. It is a bit cliché and overused, but you only ever actually fail until you quit. Write when no one is visiting your blog. Write when no one is sharing your posts. Write when no one is engaging with your content. Just keep writing.
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