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Top Ten Things People Look for in a successful blog.

  • Dec 10, 2010
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If you have ever done a blog and only got 3 readers a day, you may have wondered what you could do to increase the amount of people reading your blog. You may have considered what would make your blog good enough to serve as a possible paid career. These are my suggestions for what makes a successful blog.
#1 Blog What You Know
Blog what you know. No matter what it is you want to blog about, make sure it is something you are an expert at. Talking about your kids is wonderful, but you need to have something specific to say. A topic for each post as apposed to a random snapshot into your life that runs on and never really says anything specific will, in the end, sound exactly like anyone else's blog entry about their daily life, which sometimes is only of interest to other family members. You can blog about what you love..even your kids, but you must begin with a topic. A subject with a beginning, a middle, and an end, lets the reader know you are in control of this post and sets you up as an expert with experience in what you are discussing (even if it is just diaper rashes). The reader wants to like you..but they need you to lead them through the story and teach them something new or engage their interest..think of the question "so what" and tell the reader why this is important to know. Make a point about something you have noticed. Educate them about something only you know or have a feeling they can commiserate with. Introduce something you are struggling with and the solution you have found. Show them your work in progress. Let them see that you are someone who has something significant to show them on an ongoing basis.
#2 Do not dumb down your posts
Do not dumb down your posts. If you are writing about something you know, be the expert. Do not dumb down or explain every detail of your work. There is a place for terminology and basic lessons, but not on a daily post. Leave these things for pages they can click on if they are not familiar with the topics. Most people who read your blog are going to be people who already enjoy the topic, or are your peers in the category. As much as people say they want to learn something new..90% of them are looking for people who have the same interests in something they are already active in. You may share new information you are learning, but if you are an expert photographer do not start your blog explaining aperature, white balance and other aspects, unless this is the thing you want your blog to be about. If your blog is for teaching beginners the ropes then go for it! If you are a photographer who wants to show your work, then focusing on things you yourself already know will eventually bore you silly.
#3 Know your target audience
Know your target audience. Know the people who you want to be reading your blog. If you focus on the "every man" out there your topics will become a mass of confusion. People who are experienced in the subject will have different expectations than people who are looking to learn more about the subject you are writing about. Like I mentioned in the above suggestion most people will be either looking to add to knowledge they have but do not know enough about yet, or people who are looking for others who share their passion or interest.
Constant evolution. Do not stop learning and introducing challenges to yourself. If you stop pushing yourself to experience or learn more about a subject you profess to be an expert at, then you will eventually be forgotten. Learning and sharing new ideas, techniques or topics will keep your blog fresh, and you continually challenged to become more of an expert.
Photos please! People have a natural need for color and interesting things to look at. If you are writing a blog it becomes important to include visual aids and things of interest that makes the reader better able to understand you and connect with you emotionally. Photos are a must. No one is going to enjoy endless posts with just words,words, words. To be blunt..people are easily bored..give them something to look at while they read and they will return to the subject once they have taken a mini eye break.
#6 Progressive Posts
Make progressive posts. Leave them wanting more, more, more. People really enjoy seeing the progression of a project or endeavor. This makes them feel like an active member of your blog. An active reader..is a returning reader. Give them something to check back on..and don't be afraid to leave something until next time.
Treat it like a career. Writing a blog is not a hobby..though it could be about one. When you write you are promising the reader something, you are promising them that you will inform them about something. Make sure what you post about is set-up for professionalism. Do not include things that make you look like less than an expert. Use of slang, Incorrect spelling and word usage that is not professional in appearance will annoy and lose you readers (Da ya no wut I mean?).
#8 Learn the tools of the trade
Learn the tools of the trade. Learn a basic knowledge of blogging functionality and programs that aid in expanding your audience. For example adding vidcasts and really cool self-created graphics and knowing a small amount of HTML will aid you in making your blog appear more and more streamlined and will support your claim to be an expert. You do not need these things to begin your blogging..but if you want it to grow, you will want to begin exploring ways to increase your branding image. People return to blogs that are knowledgeable, look professionally done, and makes the transitions from page to page or post to post easy and enjoyable.
Put in the time. Blogs have a lot of work behind the scenes. Page breaks that have to be corrected. Old pages that need updated. Images and headers that really could use some refreshing. Update your look, create keywords that draw search engines to you, and make sure to follow your stats..stats will give you ideas as to what posts resonated with your readers best..and this could lead to more posts of similar subject matter of follow-up ideas. If you want to blog and be successful, you need to promote, investigate and constantly mind the thing like it is your baby. That is how you keep yourself interested and the reader as well.
Love splash
Don't do it... if you don't love it. Do not create a blog on a topic unless you really want to blog about it for a long period of time. If you do not love the place then you will forget to attend to it's care and updating. It will become a chore and it will become forgotten. Sometimes people love a hobby or topic they want to blog about, but if they do not also love to write and promote themselves, (not to mention tinkering with their blog settings and options).They are probably better off just blogging for personal enjoyment, which is ok if that is all you want from it. If you want readers, if you want to make a career out of this thing you love, you will need to be willing to learn to consistently use the tools and writing skills that bring you readers who want to return again and again to your blog. That is where your true passion will be highlighted and featured.

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December 24, 2010
yup, I love it too :) Solid list :)
December 20, 2010
Really, really fantastic list, Becki! I've been meaning to start blogging. First a personal blog, then who knows what, but I will for sure keep your suggestions in mind. Thanks so much for sharing! :)
December 23, 2010
Thanks devora. I try my best to be supportive of people.
December 20, 2010
Thanks for the list, as a blogger I wholeheartedly agree! I started with 3 visits a day, it has grown x1,000 in two years. But I'm not after the numbers, sure it is nice to know people read it - but I do it because of #10! There is no way I would still be blogging at the same blog after two years if I didn't love it! It helps that I love to write as well :)
December 23, 2010
I agree #10 is the most important.
December 19, 2010
awesome list! I've been saying this to some other folks too! I told one person, why include something in your blog when one doesn't even know the definition of those things being added? Love your #'s 1,2, 4 and 10!
December 23, 2010
December 18, 2010
This is a wonderful list and I couldn't agree more with what you have to say here. The one thing that I find can be tricky is figuring out exactly who your target audience is, or rather could be, especially if your blog tends to cover a lot of diverse subject matter.
December 23, 2010
Generally in that case it is your stats that will, in the end, decide that for you.
December 18, 2010
Sounds good. I don't blog, though. People have encouraged me to give it a try; I just don't know what I'd blog about.
December 23, 2010
Blog about what you love..the rest comes from that core.
December 18, 2010
GREAT LIST, Bekki! I could definitely use these tips, I had started about blogging about my wedding planning process- teaching brides what to ask each vendor and contracts, etc and then, I kinda just let it be. I really want to get back to it but, like you said it takes time...so I'm hoping after the holidays and now that I'm in the 5-month mark, I'll have more to contribute. Thanks so much for these :)
December 23, 2010
Sounds like a blog many will read. Please keep me updated on your progress. I love seeing people succeed at things they love to do.
December 23, 2010
Will do! I might also tailor it to the music side of things...who knows LOL? Thanks again for this list, super helpful :)
December 17, 2010
Great advice - it's definitely harder to get a blog following than ever before, but if you can do all these things you definitely have a better chance than most!
December 23, 2010
Thanks jbeswisk. I really should blog more..my blog is more a mismash of fun stuff I find and think about. I would really have to clean up my act to go pro. I am just loving the nutty meness at the moment.
About the list creator
Bekki ()
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   I am a poet, writer, photographer and Facebook addict. When I am not doing one of those things I am generally walking or working as a telephone operator for Centurylink.      … more
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