When I decided to take up blogging, I had no idea about how to make a successful blog. Nor did I have any plans to make it reach a wider audience.
Perhaps such is the case with most of the new bloggers. Was it the case with you too?
Actually, the definition of success in blogging could differ from blogger to blogger.
Nevertheless, you will certainly agree that the popularity of a blog is one of the major aspects of success.
Not that presently my blog is successful by any blogging standard, but I’ve been able to reach out to more people than I initially anticipated.
I simply followed the blogging tips as mentioned in my earlier post, and started writing quality blogs posts. But that wasn’t enough.
Your blog needs traffic to be successful. Right?
So, I did something more that I learned from other bloggers and their experiences, and combined it with my own blogging experience and personal qualities.
Here, I’m sharing my secrets of successful blogging as I’ve implemented on my blog. This is with the aim to help you to make your blog successful without spending extra bucks.
“Blogging is best learned by blogging…and by reading other bloggers.” ~ George Siemens
My Blogging Experience
Before I start talking about successful blog and blogging, I’d like to tell you the story of my personal blogging journey.
- One thing that I did when I started blogging was to have a vision. That’s right, I had a picture of how my blog should be in terms of looks, popularity, and content.
- I had a strong self-belief that I can make my blog successful and that was the first seed I implanted in my mind. With time, efforts, and patience, I started reaping the fruits of success in little bits.
- I knew the only tool I had with me were my strong feelings to share the resources of my knowledge and experience. I had this strong passion about blogging, which I feel is essential to achieve success.
- I had great interest in the topics about family, parenting, relationships, and health, about which I started to write about in my initial blogging years.
- Yet my blog was not a hobby blog for me, as I was serious about it from day one. I wanted to make it successful in terms of popularity and a way to help people.
- I made a goal to make my blog as one of the top family blogs and I developed a plan as well as a strategy to reach the goal. However, I’ve now developed and transformed it as a personal development blog.
- My devotion to the blog became stronger each day as more and more people started commenting, sharing, and appreciating my efforts. I decided to put my other writing blog on hold and go solo with Aha!NOW.
- I did my work with dedication, and tried to be as perfect as I could, based on the amount of knowledge and experience of blogging I had at that time, and left no stone upturned.
- With determination and discipline, I created a place for myself in the blogosphere.
I remember that it had been only been a few months of blogging and my blog visitors would say that they felt as if they’ve been reading my posts for a long time. I had in fact written only 15 posts by that time!
Therefore, learning from my own blogging experience, I can without any doubt say that all these are essential personal qualities that a blogger needs to have in order to be successful.
These 11 personal qualities are the main 11 players you need in your team or self for your blogging success.
Once you’ve this solid foundation, you can start with learning the skills and techniques of the trade. But no tricks, I should warn you!
I believe in playing a fair and straight game and have never adopted any wrong practices in blogging to try to achieve quick success, which is like ripening the fruit before its time.
But I knew that you don’t get too far by just plain and simple blogging!
“The bottom line is that blogging is like sex. You can’t fake it. You can’t fake passion. You can’t fake wanting to engage with the public. If you do, it will ultimately be an unsatisfying experience for both the blogger and their readers.” ~ Kevin Anderson
Difference between Simple Blogging and Successful Blogging
What is plain and simple blogging?
When you blog openly to express your feelings and for the sheer joy of blogging, something that many hobby bloggers do – you can call it as plain or simple blogging.
Such hobby bloggers don’t bother about the rank, traffic, Google updates, comments, social media, SEO – and all those things.
They just blog for the love of blogging – as and when they want, and about what they want!
I don’t say that’s bad. Isn’t this initially what blogging was meant to be?
However, blogging has come of age and its gone “PRO” and commercial in a way! A blog can be a source of earning if it is successful.
Successful blogging is about creating a successful blog and making money from it, or helping others by providing them useful information.
Therefore, a lot depends on your outlook on blogging, and your blogging purpose.
What are my views on how to create a successful blog?
Try to reach out to the maximum number of people, get your blog to the best ranks, rule the SERPs, and possess an indomitable social media presence.
Now, that isn’t too much to do, is it?
I also thought the same. But having been in the blogosphere for nearly three years, I gradually learned how to make a blog popular.
Let me share my experiences with all of you.
“As I have repeatedly written in one form or other, blogging is not about writing posts. Heck, that’s the least of your challenges. No, blogging is about cultivating a mutually beneficial relationships with an ever-growing online readership, and that’s hard work.” ~ Alister Cameron
How to Make a Successful Blog
What I’m going to tell you about making your blog successful is probably nothing new that you haven’t heard from blogging experts or probloggers.
But since these are right from my own personal experiences, I value them a lot. I thought of letting you know about them in a very simple and non-technical way.
I learned and concluded that there are ‘3M ways’ to make your blog stand apart and make it one of the successful blogs out of the many out there.
[highlight color=”eg. yellow, black”]The 3Ms are – Making, Marketing, and Managing.[/highlight]
You can actually club the entire steps to successful blogging into these three processes. Here’s more about them.
Making the Blog
I’ve already written a post about how to create your blog from scratch as mentioned below, so I assume you’ve already covered those steps and we can move forward.
Not to be missed: Blogging Tips – Basic Steps to Create Your Own Blog
Do you wonder why people don’t visit to your blog or they are lesser than you expect. Well, one reason could be that your blog is not search engine ready.
No doubt your blog should have helpful and informational matter that is genuine, original, and relevant. Besides that you need to write quality content that helps your readers.
However, creating content is not just writing good or great content, but also implementing good SEO strategies in it.
It takes me hours to write one blog post – do you wonder why?
- That’s because I conduct my deliberate research to provide accurate and reliable facts, which doesn’t cost me a dime, but does require a lot of time!
- Furthermore, I spend more hours searching for the relevant keywords from Google Adwords, which again is free.
- The clock’s hands make more rounds when I search for the appropriate pictures, find relevant quotes, and select related videos from free sites.
- Then I read and re-read, and have it proofread by someone. I’m glad my hubby is my second pair of eyes! You could try using free services like Ginger and many others that help enhance the post.
- Not to mention the final touches in my WordPress dashboard and the umpteen previews before I finally hit the publish button.
In fact, you too can make this an ideal blog creation procedure, but don’t forget to use keywords in your posts – just a few sprinkled around, or else you’d be missing the magic the post can bring to you!
Nevertheless, the work of making the blog doesn’t end there. In fact, it’s only the beginning of creating a successful blog. You need people, lots of people to read your great content, for which you need to promote your blog.
Marketing the Blog
Promotion. Promotion. Promotion.
Just like any other commodity or product, your blog too needs promotion and publicity.
Even if you’ve great content on your blog, you need to market it to a wider audience in order to garner substantial traffic.
Just as word of mouth is the best form of publicity in a traditional business, similarly the social media and networking in blogging are important.
You need to leverage the social media.
It doesn’t happen on its own, unless you make the consistent and deliberate efforts!
- My maximum referral traffic comes from Facebook, though lately Pinterest has caught up as my best source of blog traffic.
- With its new features and innovations, Google+ is becoming a big source of traffic, and the good thing is that it also influences your standing in the Google SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages). No wonder my organic search jumped 15% this month as part of my total blog traffic.
- Twitter and Triberr spread my blog posts to thousands of bloggers, and brings in quite a many of them to the blog.
But what particularly increases my return visitor traffic is the engagement that I have with the people who comment on my blog.
I try to reply to every comment on my blog, and make sure to comment on the commenter’s blog. Also, I never forget to share their posts on the social media, which most people forget to do!
You need to indulge in commenting to market your blog.
This way I’ve developed good relationships with many bloggers, besides publicizing my blog for traffic that I hadn’t tapped earlier.
Also, remember to bookmark your blog posts on various free bookmarking websites like Stumble Upon, Reddit, Google Bookmarks, etc., and let people access your latest posts through RSS feed.
I’ve just mentioned a little bit about blog promotion here, but if you want to go to the depths of promoting a blog then I’d suggest you to visit none other than Ana Hoffman’s blog and read her post on promoting a blog post.
Though some probloggers do promote their work, there are some exceptions as their blog promotion is mostly carried out by their fans themselves. This happens only with time, however, they still need to manage their blogs.
Managing the Blog
Sometimes even if your blog is ready with SEO content and publicized broadly among all social platforms, you still might not receive as much traffic as you expect.
In such a case, you need to check on the technical aspects of your blog.
What I include in technical aspects is your blog’s interface, speed, and other features apart from the content.
You know that Google considers the speed of your blog as one of the aspects for including your blog in the SERPs. If you’ve a WordPress blog, then I can suggest a few things to speed up your blog.
- Have few plugins if possible. You can use the free P3 Plugin Profiler to determine which plugin increases your blog’s load time and remove it.
- Lighten your blog by reducing the image file sizes with Smush.it.
- Install the free version of W3Total Cache and instantly experience dramatic speed boost.
- Use the free CloudFlare to secure and speed up your blog. Or if you are ready to spend a bit, then try MaxCDN for making it easy for your visitors to access your blog around the world.
Though not speed related, but don’t forget the free SEO plugin by Yoast! It does add to your blogs success.
Next, you need to enhance your blog in terms of usability, making it searchable, and designing it in a way that it looks good.
If your blog isn’t managed well, you might lose out many of your new as well as return visitors.
So, finally what you need to do is mainly follow these five steps and be happy about your blog:
1) Write great content
2) Implement good SEO
3) Leverage social media
4) Indulge in commenting
5) Tweak your blog
Now that you know how to create a successful blog, are you ready to implement these suggestions?
These are only the basic steps, as I know there’s a whole lot more that you can do to enhance your blog, which I shall be taking up in my later posts.
Remember, success in blogging requires consistency, self-confidence, self-belief, and the determination to hang on, besides your effort and time. Good things come to those who wait.
However, never ever forget that blogging is all about helping people, learning from others, and sharing what you know – isn’t it?
I hope I’ve been successful in doing the same through this post.
Here is to your success in blogging.
“Blogging is an art, same as any other method of self-expression. Some are better at it than others.” ~ Hugh MacCleod
Oh, I need to tell you that I’ve made some changes in my guest post policy. If you’re interested then you can read about it at the blog or get the information in your mail by subscribing to the Aha!NOW newsletter.
Over to you –
What else would you suggest to make your blog popular? What do you do to boost your blog traffic? Share your blogging tips about how to make a successful blog in the comments.
Photo Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos