What Makes a Successful Blog That Isn't An Epic Fail.
Updated Sept 2018
Is your blog an epic fail? You spent so many hours writing and creating a blog and now your traffic is 0...
Or would be if you hadn't visited your own site.
It's time for some soul searching, Unique and Amazing Content Writer. It's time to look at what makes a successful blog.
There's a ton of content out there, so just expecting people to stumble on your latest content creation and love it, isn't realistic. You need a strategy and you need to know what works. Let's talk about what makes a blog a failure. But our true focus is how to make your blog an epic success.
1. Treat it like a job
If you have another job, then this is your 2nd job if you really want to be successful.
And that doesn't mean you can work from the sofa if you'd like.
You need to learn how to drive traffic to your blog with SEO, Social media and promotion. And there's a right and wrong way to do it. You need to get people engaged and wondering what you're going to post next.
You need to learn and apply a strategy to get promoters. These are people who love your stuff and always want to share it without costing you anything other than perhaps some thank you's and special recognition. Think of them as your fan club and be sure to show them some love.
2. Do your research
Unless you are a top of the industry influencer or have a professional degree and are talking with people who don't, nobody except your friends cares about what you think....really. But this can change for you as you grow your following.
You need to support your ideas. Show that you're well read and don't just believe the first thing you hear or think. Don't appear purely driven by emotion. This will turn most readers off fast.
Even the aforementioned rarely say anything without adding stats, facts and other opinions that support it. Add links to authority sites and give others credit for helping you support your ideas.
3. Know it's not all about you
Unless you're someone really famous, newsflash, it's not. And yes, i just said "newsflash". Don't hold it against me. I was born in the 70's...barely.
Too young too be Gen X. Too old to be a millennial. It's a sad, sad existence. But I was only ever good at being myself anyway.
You have to be interesting, entertaining and informative. You need to find a way to break down barriers and touch your audience in a way that inspires them.
To do this, you need to be able to take yourself out of your own head and put yourself in your readers, but not in a mad scientist kind of way.
What audience do you want to attract? Who are they? How are you relating to them? How are you giving them something they need or want? How are you adding value to their lives?
Now, here's the catch. You may be really interesting. And injecting a bit of your personality can endear readers to you, so just keep in balanced.
4. Aim to inspire, not impress
Again, it's not about your ego and how many fancy words that you can use that no one ever uses. Your goal is not to impress. It is to inspire. Make people feel a certain way by visiting your blog.
That could be relaxed, amused, excited, happy, energetic, sad, angry (the productive kind) and so on.
5. Don't speak at people
We're all guilty of this sometimes. But speaking at people, just looks like a rant. And rants have a very small audience most of the time. You don't want to be a ranter.
Ask questions of your audience? Make them feel important? Inspire them to comment and message you. Share in their struggles rather than just calling them out for it.
Show that you are one of them (or were one of them) and you get it.
6. Value UX optimization on your site
If that was Greek to you,
Step 1: Visit your site.
Step 2: Ask these questions:
Is it easy to read?
Is it easy to navigate?
Could I quickly find more cool blogs?
Is my site as slow as honey fresh out to the refrigerator (try it) on even newer devices?
Step 3: Get it fixed.
If you're not thinking about this, you aren't showing your audience that care about them at all. Why should they care about you? All of this is your UX -- your user experience. And it needs to be optimal or you'll be playing the "swipe that" game with readers.
7. Do some analytics
If you are not fascinated by numbers and statistics, it could be holding you back. Maybe your little sister is the mathematical genius in your family and you're the artsy one. She can take it over for you. Always know your own strengths and weaknesses.
I recommend that you know your numbers. Because depending on the software you have, they show you what people like, what they share, how many followers you gain or lose, how much traffic is coming to your site, what word people are typing in searches to find you and so on. All of this helps you become a better blogger, because you have a better understanding of your audience. But don't just get excited because you have followers. Think about what you did to earn them. And do it again.
8. Interact with your audience
Add a comment box and solicit comments on your posts. People love to share ideas. But also respond to people. You don't have to get into an in depth conversation with every commenter. But if they took the time to comment, you need to nurture that fan so they keep coming back and tell others. These people can easily become your promoters.
9. Stop trying too hard to sell products, services or ideas before connecting
Blogging can be an effective tool but if you start circling your reader in the water like a shark before they even get into your content, they're jumping out of the water and fast.
Bonus: Value visuals.
We are very visual people. If you have long paragraphs and no images, graphs, gifs, etc. then at a glance the content looks ...borrrrrrrring. And this first impression matters. Mix it up. Create infographics, add gifs, add images. make it interesting.
What other reasons can you think of for epic failing blogs?
How's the UX on this blog. I've never tried to use 3 videos in one blog. A little worried.
What makes a blog a success?