Serious bloggers start blogging because they feel they have something to say. At first, they imagine themselves writing articles and creating engaging content, and they expect that readers will flock to their blogs. Soon, however, they begin to realize that they must do much more, if they want their blogs to succeed. Here is my attempt to identify the traits that a blog must have in order to grow.
Succeeding as a blogger takes time. Creating solid content and promoting it require all-out effort, and positive results may only materialize after years of hard work. Page rank may, in part, depend on the age of your blog, so once you get it going, sticking with it is important. Although I have elected not to give it its own place on this list, patience is indispensable to being a good blogger.
Depth is the quantity of content on your blog. Before you submit articles to other blogs, leave comments on forums, and network on the social-media websites, you need strong content on your own blog to which to link. The most successful blogs offer large amounts of valuable information to their readers. Try to create high-quality content that will attract visitors and allow you to leave value-adding comments on other sites and relevant backlinks to your blog.
3. High-Quality Content.
Savvy bloggers work hard to craft excellent content, polishing each article to the highest level of perfection of which they are capable. A 500-word article should take two to three hours to write and edit, depending on the amount of research required. My articles are often around 1200 words long, and producing a publishable draft takes me six or seven hours. Publishing fewer articles, but of higher quality, is far better than frequently posting second-rate content.
Your blog’s design should be simple and clean. Too many images cause the pages to load slowly, and dark background colors make articles hard to read. Well-planned white space helps make the text readable, and less is better when it comes to banners, headlines, blinking images, ads, video feeds, and the other stuff that can junk up a blog’s pages.
5. Internal and External Links.
Internal links help visitors navigate your blog and facilitate the search engines’ indexing of your blog’s pages.
External links are difficult to obtain, but for improving page rank, they’re a must. You can register with directories that will link to your blog, but doing so is far more troublesome than indicated by those who recommend it. Acquiring reciprocal links is also challenging, because owners of sites with higher page rankings than yours have little incentive to exchange links with you. Only through longevity, depth, and persistence will you gain the respect and positioning that make your efforts at external linking effective.
6. Social-Media Strategy.
A baffling array of social-media websites exists, and arriving at a strategy for using them to promote your blog is important. I have chosen to strengthen my contacts on two social-media sites, but I announce the publication of each of my articles in about a dozen places. I never leave a comment on another blog or website without also leaving a link back to one of my own articles, and the comment is always material to the matter under discussion. The Internet presence you generate through social-media work will have a beneficial effect on your blog. You should leave a consistent trail of high-quality content, mature comments, and value-adding links everywhere you go.
7. Effective Keywords.
Identifying winning keywords is a science, and lots of websites and software packages exist to help you find them. The tricky part is to artfully incorporate those keywords into your titles, meta tags, text, images, comments, and links. This is more difficult than it may appear at first, especially if you write articles on topics you care about rather than creating them principally to generate traffic to your blog.
8. Reading And Writing.
The blogging world is vast, and a blogger’s need to read broadly and grow as a content creator never diminishes. Only bloggers who push themselves forward both substantively and electronically will succeed.
The first thing I do in the morning when I sit down at my computer is click on my RSS-feed reader to see what my favorite bloggers have posted since my last session. I usually spend the first half hour or so skimming the titles and delving into the articles that interest me most.
Many bloggers throw together posts on flimsy topics, invite lightweight guest writers to appear in their stead, compile articles that are little more than lists of links to other websites, and generally do everything they can to avoid creating original content. Serious bloggers work hard and approach content creation with panache. Do quality research and writing, and fill your blog with the best content that you are capable of generating.
9. Staying In Motion.
Avoid allowing your blog to languish while you are busy or on vacation. If you take time off, work extra hard before leaving in order to schedule your articles to post automatically while you are gone. Maintaining momentum is important, if you want your blog to thrive.
10. Making It A Job.
For your blog to flourish, you must organize your efforts much as you would in a job. Of course, flexibility is part of the attraction of blogging, so I won’t suggest that you desist from your coffee trysts with friends, but you should be conscious of the time you spend each week on blog-related work. Unless you are lucky enough to trip upon a blog topic that has little competition, you will need to spend a lot of time writing, studying, and strategizing in order to get your blog to grow.
These are the traits of a growing blog. Serious bloggers juggle their activities and work to advance on all fronts at once. The blogging world is moving so fast that keeping up is a full-time endeavor. The effort is worth it, however, because blogging is a wonderful way to reach out to people, to grow personally, and to leave the world a little better than we found it.