Blogging is as much fun as it is easy, and once you start to blog it can almost be addicting. Just what is a blog? A blog is nothing more than a web log that describes an Internet website that is dedicated toward the distribution of news, commentary, opinion, or other content by individuals and/or organizations.
Within the last few years blogs have gained momentum and blogging has somewhat taken over the Internet. Today it is relatively easy to find a blog about any topic that you can imagine, and many others about topics that you can’t imagine.
Not everyone is a blogger for money. Believe it or not, there are some people who blog for the sheer pleasure of writing. But most bloggers are business owners, whom having discovered that blogging is an excellent way to promote their business, blog because of the benefits that blogging affords. If you are among those who maintain a blog as a means of promoting your business you probably already know that your blog lets your readers learn about your business and its unique branding, value, products and services.
A blog is a blog, is a blog, right? Wrong! Back when I first began blogging I thought all blogs were the same too. But over the span of a few years I have learned that blogs are not all the same. There are average blogs and then there are successful blogs. An average "blog" is nothing more than a website with a legitimate URL that occupies space on the Internet and is chock full of information that no one knows about. On the other hand a "successful blog" is an informative website that reaches a huge reader base, develops a following, and builds a certain level of credibility while gaining the respect of that following.
Successful blogging is not difficult to achieve and it can be very profitable too, that is if you adapt and follow certain guidelines. There are basically 7 easy steps to successful blogging. If you want to have a successful blog you should implement these steps. You will see your blog go from unnoticed to most popular in no time at all.
Create a niche
This is the beginning step to successful blogging. But what exactly is a niche? The Webster Online dictionary describes a niche as "A place of employment, status, or activity for which a person or thing is best fitted."
When creating your niche it should be something you enjoy. It doesn’t matter how lucrative a particular industry may be, if you are going to do a business in that industry, first and foremost, you must enjoy it. Your drive and motivation are determined by your happiness and contentedness and if you do not enjoy what you are doing you will not be motivated to continue doing it very long. Having a niche that you are excited about will insure that you will never be struggling for topics to write about and it will make your blogging experience a whole lot easier in the long run.
The success of your blog also depends on your knowledge level of the niche you have chosen. If you are unable to provide useful information that answers any questions your readers may have concerning your niche, you will soon lose credibility with them. Your niche should always be based on your knowledge, abilities and skills in order to achieve maximum success.
As long as an audience exists for you particular niche you can write and blog about it. If you present yourself well to your readers your blog can achieve longevity and even become one of the dominant forces within your niche. Just keep in mind that your niche can be about absolutely anything that you conceive; you can have a problem solving niche or a gossip niche, it doesn’t matter, just as long as you have reader approval.
The second step to successful blogging depends on your ability to write unique content. People who read lots of material look for fresh new content in the words or topics they search, therefore, always be unique in your blog’s approach with respect to the articles you post. Writing unique content will also teach you a lot about branding yourself. This is why it is so important to develop your niche first. If your niche is something you like and know a lot about, writing unique content will be easy.
For example, your niche might be dogs, a fairly common topic today because a great majority of people has a dog. But your experience with dogs is unique and not like mine or anyone else’s. Therefore, no two people will write the same article about dogs, the same way.
In the beginning you may structure your articles and even your blog site after the pattern of another author or blogger, but as you grow, and if you continue to search for your brand in the confusion of your mind, soon your uniqueness will emerge. Just remember this one fact about being unique: unique content sells.
To help develop a level of uniqueness you should keep track of the keywords that are being searched on the Internet which will tell you how users are finding your website. When you write your blog titles it is a good idea to check to see whether or not they are SEO friendly and contain highly related keywords so that it will be easier for visitors to find your blog’s content.
Gain the respect of your readers
The third step to successful blogging is to gain the respect of your readers in your area of expertise. This is easily done by writing from personal experience rather than from research. People can generally sense whether or not you have experience in the area of your subject matter. Personal experience is unique and people looking for value and information will always gravitate toward it.
Write to your readers as if you know each one of them as a close personal friend. You would never tell a friend something that wasn’t true or mislead them in any way. Therefore, you should be very careful to thoroughly research everything you write on your blog before you release the information to your readers; remember, they are your friends and they are depending on your expertise, judgment and knowledge of the subject matter, and they trust that you are leading them in the right direction.
Grab the attention of your readers
This is the most difficult of the 7 steps to perform. You must grab the attention of your readers in the very first paragraph of your article. Writing is almost like listening to music. When you hear a song for the very first time you are very attentive. But if the song does not make you move, pat your foot, or give you something of value in the lyrics within the first few seconds of listening, then it is unlikely that you will want to listen to 3 minutes of a song that you don’t like.
Think of the articles that you post on your blog in the same way. You must command the attention of your readers within their first forty-five seconds of reading. If you do not, chances are will lose them and they may never return to your blog.
Here is where most bloggers get into trouble. They start a blog, write a couple of posts—on average two posts per week, for about three weeks, and when they don’t see traffic increase to their blogs they give up on blogging altogether.
If you are going to blog you must see it as a big responsibility and not as a hobby. Why? Whether you know it or not, people who visit your blog are depending on you to write and post something on your blog on a regular basis.
Your readers would like to know when they can expect new material from you. Regular posting is a part of the successful blogging routine that is so necessary to generate traffic to you blog. The way to get into the habit of regular posting is to develop a schedule. I like to refer to it as a content schedule.
If your goal is to attract loyal readers which will in turn generate steady traffic to your blog, you must create a content schedule. You have to determine how many days per week you will devote to your business of blogging. It doesn’t matter if it is two days or five days you must commit to it and be consistent. Your readers will soon notice your consistency and return to your blog on a regular basis, expecting fresh new content.
In order to achieve this you must set aside time to focus all of your efforts on your blog as if you were going to work, because in reality you are going to work for yourself and the success of your blog depends on this effort. As a result you will keep your readers updated to your niche activities and your website traffic will increase.
Market your blog site
Your level of success in blogging highly depends on the frequency at which you update the content on your blog. Your target should be to write at least one good quality article each day. Not that I did not say you should write at least on article each day, but at least one good quality article each day. It would be better if you produced two good quality articles per week than six articles per week that had no value to your readers.
If you post five good quality articles per week your blog will be more interesting and appealing to your readers and your blog will be their Online Newspaper. Your readers will actually look forward to reading your fresh article every morning while they drink their morning coffee.
Good blog marketing strategy involves optimizing the search engines correctly, better referred to as SEO or Search Engine Optimization. Search engines love blogs that deliver fresh content on a regular basis. The more information the search engine spiders can accumulate from your blog the higher you will move up in the search rankings.
To have a successful blogging site means that you must post fresh content on a daily basis, if possible or otherwise your popularity will plummet and your traffic level will drop off the chart. If this happens you are nearing the end of your blogging career.
It has been said that quitters never win, and winners never quit. This statement holds a lot of truth for bloggers. With the rapid growth of the Internet it is becoming more difficult to get noticed among all the cyber traffic and this can make it is so easy to become frustrated in blogging but if you quit you will never win. The ultimate step in successful blogging is that you be persistent.
You must constantly search for new ways to market your blog and there are lots of tools at your disposal. There is viral marketing, advertising, social bookmarking, networking sites like Twitter, LinkedIn, FaceBook and many other smaller sites like ISeeColor. You must submit your blog’s article content to the many hundreds of article directories on the Internet to help increase the traffic to your blog.
Regularly check your website’s statistics to get a better picture of who is looking at what area of your website and how often they are looking at it. You can do this by using tools like Google Webmasters and Google Analytics, two very important tools for research that will teach you how to optimize your website for better content use and conversion.
The bottom line here is simple: Be persistent and never quit. Because of the busy schedule that I once had in my life, it took me quite a while to comprehend the whole blogging and Internet perspective but I was persistent. Perhaps your schedule too, is a busy one and I am sure there are times when you feel like you are wasting your time, but you’re not.
There is nothing more rewarding than to know that you are providing something of value to someone who needs it. Blogging can afford you the vehicle to do this. So remember: If you never quit you will win; and once you win you will not want to quit.
Happy Successful Blogging.