building a successful blog

A friend recently asked me if I would help her with building a successful blog. My initial advice was to spend a while learning and reading since the information is amazingly easy to find. The World Wide Web is flooded with blogging advice.

Her request got me thinking of my own experiences of the last few years.

I am not the man to aid you in returning immense numbers overnight, however, this information is available on the internet if you choose to pursue that avenue. I am also not the source for technical points. I acquire what I need to know for my situation… and then I research more as I require it.

I assume I am like most individuals who publish material on the Internet. I classify myself as a small-but-serious blogger. I follow many blogs in several niches, both for material and to learn what works.

So based on my experience, what should I tell my friend that’ll get her started?

Here’s what I came up with:

For me, blogging is a relationship. Two crucial components of any relationship are intent and association. Choose what you want to achieve. Then work towards that goal. Each choice, whether design, programming, post length or writing style depends on the ending goal you have. Decisions that do not seem like a big deal now may become crucial later.

Searching YouTube, you can find hundreds of high-quality tutorials concerning every aspect of arranging and controlling your blog, and you should watch these tutorials and take what you need from each of them.  

For instance, self-hosting with your own domain may feel like an unneeded expense, but it is crucial if your goal is to construct a personal brand or a business around your website.

Blog Personality

Remember this primary rule. Every successful blog follows it. Your blog is all about your audience. The design should fit the blog’s personality. An overly easy design might appear plain and undesirable, but the minimalist theme in reality sets the tone for your message and heightens the material.

Everything matters. Every choice either moves you towards your goal or away from it.

Personally, I do not pay a lot of attention to figures because traffic is not part of my objective. I consider website analytics each month, but that is really more about curiosity. I seek trends, try out other ideas, and learn from my errors.

I think about appealing to readers who heighten the quality of the discussion. The point? My technique is deliberate and fits my total goal. I consistently follow writers and other bloggers to keep up with the trends and ideas of others.

Blog Legitimacy

The things that are most important are consistency and legitimacy. Antics and tricks provide short-term spikes at the expense of long-term trust and loyalty. You may fool me into visiting, but I won’t be back if you treat me like a fool. Beware of barriers. I appreciate concerns about spam and privacy, but balance those against the need for readers to connect.

Make your commentary form friendly and inviting. With so many available forums, I’m likely to choose those that cater to my communication preferences. For example, some blogs force me to use my Google ID. Since I don’t access my Gmail account, I’ll never see follow-up comments; why bother composing a thoughtful comment? I know there are ways around that, but why should I have to do extra work to contribute to your blog? I find that many folks don’t like to leave public comments, but they love more personal contact. If you don’t want to provide an email address, consider creating a simple contact form.

It seems obvious – but fewer barriers mean more connection, therefore more readers. That is what I offered her as guidance for building a successful blog. I tried to get her pointed in the right direction. What would you add?

Tutorials and Further Reading