She laid out 3 important things one should do, in proper order, to build a successful blog. This guide is based on her own strategy and experience building a successful blog in a short time. I have summarized the essence of her article below.
1. Creating Concrete Goals
Before starting a blog, you have to know why you are doing it. In her case, she wanted to share her knowledge and experience in the topics of self empowerment and well-being as well as to build financial independence. Having the right reasons to start a blog will become a powerful drive and motivation for you to continue making sure that your blog will succeed.
Once you are motivated with the right reasons, you have to create a set of clearly defined goals or targets that you can measure. An example of a clear goal is ‘I want to have 500 unique visitors within the first month’, rather than just saying ‘I want to have huge traffics for this blog’ which does not set any measurable quantities.
These targets have to be clearly defined so that in time you can look back and evaluate your progress. Having clear targets also help you to focus and put all effort in to plan and make sure they’re achieved within a set time frame. Tina herself writes her blog progress and evaluates her goals in a separate journal periodically. Clear targets, proper planning, and focused effort are keys to building a successful blog.
It is important that you build your blog on a specific niche and know what audience you want to target. The blog then have to be centered around this niche and target audience, not centered around what you want to write (if you want to build a successful blog with loyal readers). Having too many topics to write about would confuse people reading your blog, and won't make them stick around or come back to visit in the future.
2. Building Quality Content
The most important part of a blog is its content, so it’s crucial that you focus most of your effort building quality content. But this should be done only after your have set clear goals.
To know what content is quality content, you have to think back on blogs that you read regularly or subscribe and why do you like them. Most of the times, these popular blogs that people like have high value-package content, practical solutions to readers’ needs or problems, or that they simply entertain, inspire or motivate readers with their own unique content and writing style.
If you were to write your own blog, wouldn’t you want your blog to have these qualities? Observe good qualities in other blogs and try to model upon them. As a basic rule, one should write with the intention of creating work that have values and benefits to others.
Other tips from her blogging experience:
- Bloggers must have total honesty and strong intention to produce the best content possible.
- Using personal examples can add positively to readers’ experience as they can relate more realistically to you or to their own stories.
- Using pictures appropriately can enhance your posts.
- Exercise good writing techniques and habits, be concise rather than verbose, and edit your articles thoroughly before posting.
3. Promoting the Blog
The next stage is to expose and promote your blog to others - there’s no point of having quality content if others don’t know about it. The techniques that Tina used to promote are very much straight forward, starting from people closest to her. But again, without having quality content in your blog, promoting it doesn't make any sense.
- Email & offline - telling families, friends, co-workers, new people she met, friends on social networking, and basically everybody she can, to subscribe to her blog.
- Connecting with readers - responding to every comments and emails, treating each and every reader nicely and warmly, or visiting and participating in niche groups in social networking e.g. facebook.
- Leaving your mark - giving thoughtful and relevant comments in other blogs especially with related topics, without spamming. It's very likely that people would want to know you (and your blog) more if you participate lively in other people's blogs.
- Networking - reaching out to other bloggers and building a good network with online friends and new bloggers as well. Be genuine when introducing yourself to others without asking them directly to promote your blog. People in your network can have strong potential to promote your blog to others.
- Linking - create link to other blogs genuinely without asking them for favors in return. In time, the favors will come by itself as others start noticing your 'kindness' in linking to them.
- Social media & networks - become power users in social media sites like Digg, StumbleUpon, Del.icio.us, etc. by promoting other blogs’ quality posts. As your profile becomes more well known, others will start noticing you and have your quality posts promoted as well, as what you have done to other blogs’ posts. Network with others in these social media sites to build up your profile. She doesn’t recommend people changing their names or avatars as this confuses people and affect negatively to building a good network – in fact, she keeps the same profile and name across all media sites to help people recognize her easily.
Having had some, but little, experience in blogging, I'd say the strategy of having the right reasons and goals is really the make-it or break-it point of building a monetizing blog. If this basic foundation doesn't exist, you'll just be dragging yourself trying to make it through, pointlessly. You might want to read her original post as she spiced it up with personal stories that make you aware of what you have to have to do well quickly, online at least.
Photo by .Tatiana..
This post is a summary of an original post by Tina Su of ThinkSimpleNow.com (Alexa rank: 40,156), writing as a guest post at Problogger.net. The original length of 2670 words has been cut down to 938 words (65% reduction).