Your blog is a vital part of your online business. It is one of the largest parts of your website, and it is where you should give your followers unbelievable value in the form of educational, inspirational and engaging articles to whet their appetite, and leave them wanting more from you.
So What is The Formula For Running a Successful Blog? I Mean, Isn’t It Just Posting Articles?
The internet is an extremely busy place, and there are thousands of blogs online who are all competing for the space of the active computer user. From banner ads, to pop-up boxes to many colourful buttons on websites, there are many distractions that can easily take the viewer’s focus away from your blog.
There are many elements to running a successful blog, however don’t fret! Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your blog be.
Here are 7 key cornerstones that will put you well on the way to being an owner of a successful online blog:
1. Be Consistent
The number one factor which will affect how successful your blog will be in the long-run is your consistency.
Blogs need to be updated on a frequent basis, otherwise your followers will think that you have run out of things to say to them, and they may go elsewhere!
So what do we mean by consistent? You should aim to be updating your blog at least 1-2 times a week with fantastic, relevant content that your target audience will get excited by.
A key point to remember here is that your blog is commonly the first point of contact with new customers and prospects, as they will most likely check out your free articles before signing up to your newsletter, or purchasing anything. You want to make sure that you are adding massive value in your blog articles that will impress new readers, as first impressions count for a lot in business!
More on this in point 3.
2. Post Articles on Current ‘Hot’ Topics in Your Niche
A great way to get a lot of visitors to your blog is to frequently post articles on ‘hot’ topics in your niche.
Posting blog articles on ‘hot’ topics will show your followers that you keep up with the times, and the fact that you are ‘in-the-know’ will keep them coming back to your blog for regular information and updates. Hot topics that are slightly controversial in their nature will spark up conversation on your blog, which will in turn lead to better follower engagement and higher rankings for your blog. Cool right? 🙂
Posting about hot topics will also give you a big advantage for your Social Media Marketing as you will be able to link your blog articles to popular hashtags on Twitter, and popular threads on forums in your niche. By the way, on the topic of your Social Media Marketing, to see whether you should be focusing your marketing efforts on Twitter, Facebook or both, click here (Opens in a new window).
3. (Awesome) Content is King!
The primary aim of a blog is to convey information to your followers on the internet in a clear and informative manner. Therefore, blogs are governed by a simple law: Content is king, and blogs with awesome content will ALWAYS rise to the top.
If you really want to run a successful blog, then make sure that the content that goes onto your blog is super-tasty to your target audience. A blog with good content can be addictive, so be sure to never cut yourself short on good content to increase your followers, and boost your blog up the rankings.
What good content is will obviously be defined by your niche. And as all niches vary, it is a good idea to check out competitors’ blogs before writing blog articles so that you can be aware of the standard of articles in your niche – and so that you can put yourself above that standard.
4. Be Sure To Capture Your Followers’ Details
One of the best ways to monetise a blog is to put a sign-up box on your blog so that you can capture the names and email addresses of your followers.
This has benefit for both parties: they will stay up-to-date with the latest in your industry (as you will be sending them links to your latest blog articles, or freebies), and you will also be able to send them offers to your products (or others) as a way of increasing your business.
The fact is that building an email list will help to keep subscribers coming back to your blog and viewing more articles; but it is also essential to your business development online, as your email list is likely to be your biggest source of revenue.
Make sure that you try and capture the detail of every visitor to your blog, as your email list will be your biggest asset in your online business.
5. Think About User Experience
Your blog should be easy to navigate around, otherwise people will find your content hard to read (or find!) and they will most likely choose another blog to flick through next time.
User experience should be slick and niche-related. Think about what you would feel if you visited your own blog for the first time – would it feel cramped and disorganised? Or would it feel clean, informative and engaging?
Asking questions of yourself such as these will help you determine how you could improve your blog to make it more user-friendly. And if you get stuck on any of the questions, then you could simply ask a friend what they think!
6. Be Different… Fun, Original and Personal
The penultimate essential for a successful blog is to be different.
The internet is crowded enough as it is, and there is simply no room to be like anybody else online and make a sustainable business long-term. Besides, being the same as somebody else is boring right?
There are three keys to being different: be fun (in your own way), be original and be personal. Now that doesn’t mean that you can’t write on similar topics to anybody else, or discuss the same issues or concepts, it simply means that you should put your own spin on things in your own fun and unique way.
It is your personality that your viewers will really buy into, and to have a unique personality you need to let you be yourself… both online and offline too.
Because the fact is that most people buy from people that they like; and whether they like you or not is sometimes actually the most decisive factor in the sale.
So be yourself and let your own light shine on your blog. Even if you are writing about a serious topic.
7. Get To Know Other Blog Owners And Collaborate
A great way to increase your exposure to new viewers on your blog is to get to know other blog owners in your niche, so that you can collaborate and help each other.
Some easy ways to collaborate are by doing guest posts (where you write an informative article on somebody else’s blog in your niche, and link it back to your website, or a squeeze page for your email list), or by filming a video together talking about a particular topic in your niche that can be posted on both of your blog sites.
Guest blogs are a Win/Win, as the owner of the blog will have an informative article for their followers that he/she didn’t have to write, and you will have a link back to your site or squeeze page, so that you can increase your own followers.
Collaborations also increase trust between you and your followers, as it is assumed that blog owners would not collaborate with you if you were not reputable.
So there we have it, the 7 essential cornerstones to running a successful blog. As always: