I keep getting bloggers asking me how I’ve managed to create an manage successful blogs?
While this is not easy to answer my readers in an email, I decided I will do my best to write out a blog post that will have as much information as possible.
Your goal might be to make money or run a popular blog. There are 101 things that you have to do to achieve that goal.
And that is what this post covers, the essentials.
This is going to be a long post, so I suggest that you grab your favorite beverage and get comfy before you start reading.
The First Impression
As the old saying goes, the first impression is the best impression. So before you go about starting to make money, marketing or promotion, its best to create a blog or a site that is compelling and visually appealing to your readers.
The best way to create a convincing and visually appealing site is to hire a professional designer. If you want to save on some money, you can buy premium blog frameworks and child themes that can do a world of difference to the way your blog looks.
This blog is powered by StudioPress Themes (aff link), you can always choose from some ready made design templates your blog to give it a stunning appearance.
RSS & Subscriptions
Offering your readers RSS and a subscription option is like providing your readers with an option to stay updated in one place without having to move to different sites or locations.
Readers and information seekers often subscribe to hundreds of blogs in search of information and knowledge.
They prefer to use RSS readers or email to stay updated with your blog articles.
Placing your RSS and Subscription option in a prominent location on your blog and easily accessible, will help you not only keep your customers with you but also provide regular updates.
Now, that you got a good design, set up RSS and subscription options and starting churning out awesome content its time to start to bookmark your articles on a regular basis.
Why bookmark your posts?
Readers love online bookmark sharing, when bookmarks go viral you can get tons of traffic and new readers to your blog. Social bookmarking will not only build you quality backlinks, but also take your blog to a whole new level.
Some of the top social bookmarking sites include, Delicious.com and Digg.com
As you start to blog and build your business, its also important that you try and build a few good testimonials on your blog.
This not only helps you get more business what also improves the overall credibility of your blog and what you offer. Bloggers generally think that testimonials are for businesses or bloggers who sell or offer some sort of service.
They are not wrong, because providing information that is valuable is also a form of service and requires testimonials to prove its value.
Put up a landing page and list out the people who have provided you with valuable testimonials. Let your readers know, that you are appreciated for the information that you share on your blog.
One of the biggest failures of for bloggers is that they focus on a wide range of topics, they often don’t specialize in or have much knowledge about.
The important thing to success is the topic you select and write about. Pick one topic and write well about it and you will be successful.
Be it ranking on Google or building authority, you will be successful because of how well you write in your niche.
Focusing on a target readers would also help you improve sales, readership and engagement.
Build a Brand not Just a Blog
Another important aspect of successful blogging is that bloggers not focus on brand. Their thought of success is mostly money. The point one fails to notice that is if you follow this 25 point advice your most likely to see success as a blogger.
Build a blog that is memorable, a blog that is more a brand. When we talk about LOL pictures, we think of icanhascheezburger.com.
This is because of the reputation that Ben has built over time. So if you want to be a successful blogger or start a successful blog, then start building a brand around your blog.
Network with Peers
Networking with the right type of people can get you a lot more than just knowledge and support.
These are people who will talk about you, who will do a lot for you and even give you business. You can get joint venture opportunities, the benefits are simply limitless.
Networking can drive traffic to your blog and make you famous overnight. Haven’t you heard of the stories where a top blogger is mentions a newbie and the newbie is all of a sudden the talk of the town?
Set Definitive Goals
Clearly defining your goals and objectives of your blog, will help you focus on what you need to do to be successful at your blog.
You need to know your priorities and start focusing on the set objectives.
Put up a business plan together as to how your going to run your blog, how your going to utilize your time and so on. With a well laid out plan, you can be more productive than ever.
Market your Blog
Apples don’t fall from trees anymore, you need to go pick them. Readers don’t come to your blog, you need to take it to them. While bloggers put it a lot of effort in writing successfully, they fail to market or promote.
If you are not good at marketing, then hire someone who is worthwhile to market your content online. There are several sources online that you can use to recruit social media and Internet marketers.
While you are churning out quality blog posts, you can have your marketing team promotes your articles.
Link building is all about getting people to link back to your post to give you some authority over the subject. The more links you get the better.
Networking and social bookmarking is a great way to build backlinks to your blog. It not only increases your search ranking but also tells Google how authoritative your in the particular niche.
While there are different forms of link building, black hat and white hat, I would advice that you follow only white hat techniques to avoid being banned by Google in search results. Search traffic can be massive and you do not want to get on the wrong side of Google in any way.
Define your Audience
Writing to a focused group of readers is an excellent way to convert your readers to customers. Your readers will be able to engage with you via comments and social sharing.
Writing about one specific topic focused on one specific group of people, can help you build your credibility as an expert in the field.
As you know, this blog is focused to help you take your blog to the next level. To help you build a blog that matters. All my content is focused around blogging, blogs, leads and lists. All my audiences are bloggers or business who blog.
This helps me improve my overall efforts to be successful at blogging.
Follow a Blog Editorial Calendar
A blog editorial calendar is the best way to keep track of your blog content and keep in track. There are quite a few WP plugins to help you do that, if you are using WP to power your blog.
While a offline editorial calendar might help. I prefer an online one that I can use to keep track of regularly. I can keep writing posts and scheduling them on a regular basis.
Looking back on posts to modify, you can always look through your calendar to see what post you wrote and when and make chances accordingly.
Create Valuable Content
Once the blog is set up with a good design and all the basic configurations are complete, its time to start working on valuable content.
Content is King. You need to be able to write quality content on your blog for people to read and link back to your posts.
Why else would anyone read your posts. Research well and write well, if writing regularly mean satisfying on quality, then don’t write regularly. Quality first and quantity next.
Even if you have to write one post a week, its okay but make sure that you write quality articles.
Blog About What you Love
Writing about what you love will help you stay focused and continue your blogging efforts till you succeed. Most bloggers give up home and lose faith and stop blogging in the first month itself.
So you need to pick a topic you love to learn and write about. Then you will never go out of ideas to write. When you do this, people will eventually love your writing and read it regularly.
Its not always about writing for high paying keywords that make you money. Blogger monetization methods are plenty, research well before you get into blogging or writing.
Contributing regularly to your blog will help readers understand that you are passionate about your work and you will deliver quality content regularly.
Readers will learn to love you and your work. They will start setting an expectation that you don’t want to lose.
So follow a schedule and write regularly, this will help your readers to know when to expect new content from you.
Write your Own Perspective
Writing quality content alone would not help, but having an opinion to your writing would make a lot of difference. Bloggers often talk about the same topic and the same content over and over again, it becomes boring.
I follow 10 blogs and they all write about what it takes to be successful. What is the point, I don’t see the benefit, Now this post is my perspective of what makes me a successful blogger and not the general conceptions of a successful blogger.
I am sharing my opinion of what makes a blogger successful. While these are all the basics and fundamentals of a successful blog, success is not reached overnight, it does take time.
Use Headline Hooks
Write headlines that matter, posts that convert and make readers click on your blog titles. Search engine traffic matters a lot. If you cant write titles what people want to click on then people just wont visit your blog and you will never see the lights of a successful blog.
There was a recent post I wrote on blog post optimization where I wrote about headlines that will help you understand a little bit more about writing punchy titles.
Adding images to your blog and blog posts will make it pleasant to read. Bloggers and readers often get tiered of reading too much content. By adding images and pictorial representation f the text, reader will enjoy your post.
I am sure that this post would have made you tired reading, with all the text and no images. But I did not want to add images and distract your attention from the content.
Comments and sharing on social networks are a great way to encourage interaction on your blog. This not only helps you improve your overall growth of your blog but also engages your readers in a conversation with you.
You will need to regularly talk to your readers via comments and respond to virtually any comment that comes it.
Learn to handle negativity and criticism with a flare and a pinch of salt. Enjoy taking to your readers and avoid getting into arguments with your valued readers.
Analyze & Tweak
Set up Google Analytics or clicky for your blog. These tools will help you understand how your performing or how your blog is performing.
You will get insights into what your readers are clicking on, where they are coming from and where they are navigating to.
Understanding your readers actions on your blog, you will be able to teak your blog for success. Learn to optimize your blog for optimal performance based on your analytics insights.
Once your able to do that, you will be able to double your blog traffic and visibility. You are now one step closer to running a successful blog.
ALERT: If you are looking for a step by step approach to building a successful blog, download ProBlogger’s Guide To Blogging (aff link).