Those of you who spend time and effort blogging know that the life and work of a blogger is much more complex than it seems. There are still people who hold the idea that a ‘blogger’ is only doing what they do for fun, that they are not actually working, and that their ‘little blog’ is nothing more than a hobby and not an actual source of income.Though this holds true for some bloggers out there in the writing world, the truth is; blogging can be one of the most difficult forms of writing. With endless competition, no set rules to the game, and the need to constantly evolve in order to gain and maintain an audience, blogging is a challenge of the writers mind and soul, as well as their talent for writing and creating new ideas.
There are many different reasons that people start blogs, they may wish to increase sales if they own a business, they may want to connect with family, friends and co-workers, perhaps they want to share their experience as a parent or teacher, or maybe it is part of their mission for personal growth… The reasons are endless, as are the results. There are millions of blogs available today on thousands of different subjects, all started by people who wish to share something with the world, be it experience, opinion or information. The web is chalked full of blogs on every available subject, by simply typing the word ‘blog‘ in to Google you can quickly see the true extent of trend that has formed in this now blog bogged world.
With no set rules, and thousands of other bloggers in competition, (though I use the word competition loosely; bloggers are the most caring and supportive network of writers I have ever seen, and they seem to cheer on each others success whole-heartedly) a writer who hopes to break into this creative form must be at the top of their game, and must be willing to work hard for little pay. (though I will say, the support and recognition you receive from your readers is almost guaranteed to make it all worthwhile.) Still, it is a tough form that requires endless creativity, a passion for writing, and a strong desire to succeed… If you truly want to break into the world of blogging then below are a few tips that will help you aim for success as a blogger.
Tips for Successful Blogging:
- Read – The best piece of advice that anyone who hopes to start a blog can receive is to read, read, and read some more. The more blogs you look at, the more you will learn. So before you even put words on the template be sure to search out various other blogs and study the factors that make them great. Being an avid blog reader will help you to better understand what it is readers want, how they like information presented, and what they don’t like as well. Be sure you are reading as many different types of blogs as possible, as well as ones that share similarities to the type you hope to write. Be sure to take notes of what it is that appeals to you and the other current readers. You can learn a lot about what the readers want by reading the comments posted on the blogs you come across. It is important that you are studying, and taking note, what works and what doesn’t.
- Be different – You can read a thousand other blogs for inspiration, but if you are not unique in your own writing you will get lost among the crowd. The art of blogging is at an all time high today, and your site is needs to offer something different and unique in order to compete with the many others available for reading pleasure. Again, study as many other blogs as you possibly can and offer your readers something that they don’t. That is the key to gaining an audience. Perhaps you plan to blog about parenting, and after studying countless numbers of blogs you find that the one thing they are all lacking is professional advice from a doctors point-of-view, if you are a doctor, or can somehow offer this advice, do so… This will set your blog apart from the rest and help you to gain readership and recognition.
- Get to the point – The great thing about blogging is that you are free to do whatever you choose. It is a less professional atmosphere where creativity and tone rule the game. You don’t have to spend as much time worrying about the small things such as, style and grammar, but it is important that you ensure your writing is easy to understand. Make certain that your wording is aimed at any level of reader, and make your point as clear as possible. Remember that online readers are not looking for a novel, they are in search of information and entertainment. If you can provide these things in an easy to read environment, you will succeed as a blogger.
- Be Consistent – Consistency is another important key when it comes to successful blogging. You are only as good as your last post, and with the thousands of others that follow, you can quickly be bumped out of the search results. This is not to say that you must post every single day without fail, that is a personal choice, but some consistency is required to keep your blog at the top of the search results and on readers minds.
- Ensure Quality Writing – Quality should come before quantity in all writing, this is especially true when it comes to blogging. A few great posts are better than a whole lot of so-so ones. If a subject is becoming a chore move on to something that provides more passion. Make certain that every post is appealing both physically and mentally, take time to proof-read just as you would when writing an article for profitable publication.
- Get Personal – One of my favorite things about reading, and writing, blogs is the personal view they provide. Blogging allows you to get in touch with your readers and share your experiences with them from your own point of view, rather than providing only factual information as you would do in many other forms of writing. Readers love hearing personal stories and it will help them relate to you on a more personal level. Eventually this will lead to you forming a relationship with your audience that resembles a friendship of sorts. The more personal you become in your writing, the more realistic your writing becomes to your readers. So share that story about Aunt Annie’s amazing cheesecake fiasco and allow your readers to laugh right along with you.
- Looks do matter – You blog should look good and be easy to navigate. The goal should be for your audience to be able to see what your blog is about in under 10 seconds. Your pages and posts should be easy to navigate, and you should have a subscription option readily available for to easy access future content updates. Making a good first impression is imperative to success in the blogging world so look at your site through a critical eye and find ways to make it more appealing to your readers.
- Don’t give up – Don’t allow yourself to get frustrated if you see your readership dip, it is easier to keep going than it is to stop and start over. If you see you stats dropping simply spice things up and switch them around. The greatest things about having a blog is the ability to evolve as required. Unlike writing a book, you can easily change the tone of your blog without causing major upset to your readers. A fresh face and new ideas are often welcomed with open arms, in fact readers usually appreciate the change of pace.
- Get attention from the get-go – Compelling headlines that grab attention and get readers on to your site are the easiest way to raise your stats and get people reading your content. Learn as well about Keyword writing and utilize it to its full benefit. Having a post title that demands attention will get people to your site in the first place, then all you have to do is keep them there with rich, quality content.
- Share your success – Linking to other blogs is a great way to help other writers succeed, while helping yourself in the process. When you link to other blogs, either through your writing or in your blog roll, you are helping another aspiring writer achieve the same accomplishments you have. The favor is generally returned with an open heart and a complimentary link, increasing both your stats and theirs. Another great way to gain attention and share the wealth of success is by offering contests, if you can offer your readers a chance to win a prize you will quickly double your stats. Even a small gift card can increase attention ten-fold, so once you have a small following give them incentive to stick around, and encourage them to invite others, with a cool contest.
- Value opinion – Polls and research are a great way to show your readers that you value their opinions. Placing a small survey or poll on your blog will encourage your readers to tell you what they want, and the results may be news worthy. If you are writing a post that allows you to ask your readers a question do so, but do so without forcing a response. Share the results in a follow-up article and you could quickly find yourself with endless inspiration.
- Encourage feedback – Encourage your readers to share their thoughts and comments by providing an easily accessible comment section and replying to any feedback you receive. Readers like to know that their thoughts are appreciated, so encourage conversation by personally replying to each comment your posts receive. It takes only a moment of your time, but it makes the reader feel valued and respected. You can learn a lot about what your readers are looking for through the comments they leave on your blog, this is especially useful for company blogs, or writer’s who are trying to build a reputation.
- Communicate constantly – Utilizing the many social networks available is an excellent way to get your site recognized and gain the attention you deserve. Log on to Twitter and Tweet about your latest posts, create a fan page on Facebook and share helpful information with the world, make MySpace your creative connection… search out sources to promote yourself and gather a gang of followers through each site. This will help to quickly raise your stats and get your name out there.
- Have fun – Most importantly have fun with what you do. Enjoy your writing and keep doing it until it is no longer fun for you. Share the laughter and the passion that you hold for your subject, and never take it to seriously. Take pleasure in your success, and share that happiness with others. Constantly create and endlessly evolve until you can change no more, and then move on to the next adventure.
Blogging can be a rewarding ‘career’ and an excellent way to grow both personally and as a writer. Never stop learning, and never give up. If you truly have the desire, you will succeed. The best thing you can do is experiment and challenge yourself constantly to be the best writer you can be. Study the pros and form your own style, be yourself, and give it your all. Most of all enjoy each and every second.
“Don’t focus on having a great blog. Focus on producing a blog that’s great for your readers.”
Do you have any tips for successful blogging? We would love to hear them.
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Until Next Time…
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