Chicken Soup For The Blogger’s Soul: Blog Anniversary Post
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Blogging is a wonderful hobby and profession. Though it may seem very simple and easy, it takes time and efforts to be successful in blogging. Here is an old updated post that was published on one of this blog’s anniversaries to inspire and educate you about the tips of successful blogging. The SOUP acronym spills out all the blogging ingredients to taste success for new as well as seasoned bloggers. ~ Ed.
‘Tis time for celebrations!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. 🙂
I wish happiness to you and your family, and I’m so glad you could make time to read this post in the holiday season.
The title of this post might have reminded you of the famous book “Chicken Soup for the Soul.” Never mind if you have not heard of or read that book because this article has nothing to do with it. 🙂
In fact, this post is all about the upliftment of the blogger’s soul.
I know you’re curious to know about this special inspirational soup recipe I’ve for the bloggers, but first an important message for you.
I’m celebrating the Aha!NOW blogiversary, along with Christmas and New Years!!
My blog completes 9 years today, and I have no one but my wonderful readers – YOU – to thank! 🙂
With Christmas just being over and as we welcome the New Year’s in a few days time, it just seems like yesterday, when Vinay and I sat on Christmas Eve in the year 2010 and started Aha!NOW.
After all these blogging years, I learned that being a blogger is not an easy task, as probably you too already know by now.
Blogging takes a toll when your life takes a roller coaster ride with all the happy and sad events – balancing blogging and life is an art!
Sometimes, the disturbing events of your life just sap your energy, leaving you with no stamina to blog or be productive enough to do anything else.
The flight of your blogging dreams does not take off, or your blogging plans don’t make much headway.
But blogging must go on…
As bloggers, we must embrace the challenges, fight the odds, and bear the ups and downs. That is the never dying spirit of a blogger, isn’t it?
You’ve to spend your time and energy to find the best ways to uplift your soul and take blogging to greater heights, reaching out to as many people as you can.
Having been through difficult phases during my blogging years, I want to share my experiences, hoping that they help you in making your blogging journey a smooth and happy one.
Chicken Soup for the Blogger’s Soul
Bloggers have a special place in my heart because of all the hard work they do. It is sad that not all their efforts get appreciated.
They put in so many hours writing the content to the best of their abilities and promoting their posts to the world.
Nevertheless, most of them are left deprived of success.
It is true that success may be interpreted differently by different bloggers. But I conclude that happiness and recognition are the two core elements that make the blogger’s soul smile.
That IS success!
However, most bloggers look for more. They need financial rewards and want blogging to bring them economic liberty, which is also important.
Do you also wish to achieve such blogging success?
Alas, that does not always happen as desired and planned.
The majority of bloggers never earn the name, fame, and money they dreamt of when they ventured into blogging.
I want to give these bloggers a rope of hope, and shine a ray of light to show them the direction, and give them a magic potion that brings a solution.
You, as a seasoned blogger must add your valuable blogging tips in the comments to help other fellow bloggers.
Without further ado, here’s my chicken soup for bloggers.
Try This SOUP For Blogging Success
I love acronyms, as they are beautiful summarizations that are easy to remember. 🙂
Here, SOUP is an acronym that means:
S – Subject, the blogger, and that’s YOU.
O – Object, the blog, which is YOUR BLOG.
U – Utility, the advantage, and this is your USP.
P – Promotion, the outreach, which is the seed for your blog’s SUCCESS!
Do you want to know how I got this idea?
Recently, I happened to revisit the basics of English grammar. The fact that the very basic of any language is the sentence structure struck to my attention.
Every sentence has to have a subject and a predicate, which contains the object. The structure of the sentence is based on the versatile relationship between the subject and the object.
Well, I am not going to go into the details of English grammar or even pull down a page from my kitchen’s recipe book. 🙂
I’m just deriving this from the analogy mentioned above that the structure of your blogging success is the relationship between YOU and YOUR BLOG, the blogging subject, and object.
Here are the four basic and simple elements of blogging for achieving success.
4 Essential SOUP Ingredients Of Blogging
The blogging success structure for bloggers always starts with the subject.
The Blogger is the subject. The process of achieving blogging success should start with the analytical self-introspection by the blogger.
Unfortunately, bloggers, in general, miss this important step. They start towing the line of others; they do what is done by other bloggers before them.
Instead, what needs to be done is as follows:
1) Know your interests
2) Assess your skills and abilities
3) Check your resources
Let me briefly explain these points.
Imagine that you have no interest in automobiles, but you start blogging about cars! You do that because everybody is doing that, and they suggest you pursue it.
There are some chances that you’ll be successful but would eventually end up doing a reasonable job. That is because your interest is not in automobiles – that is not your forte.
There may be a steep learning curve to excel in it, which may not be your cup of tea (or coffee, if you will)!
It is likely that you might fail at the job and quit after some time because this is not what you like to do.
If you start a blog about Internet marketing and have no marketing skills, you might not be able to make many sales and end up being burnt up.
One solution is to learn the marketing skills and keep practicing them. That is not bad if you have the ability, desire, and time to learn new skills.
You never know, you already might have the skills inherent in you and they just need an opportunity to unleash themselves.
It happened to me – I never knew I had the writing skills until there were circumstances bundled with an opportunity, which knocked at my door.
However, if you do not have the required aptitude and interest, you may not make much headway.
Finally, you may have big plans, but you have neither the time nor money to accomplish them. It may turn out to be a futile attempt forcing you to leave the project midway.
Now, I am sure you do not want to face such embarrassing situations.
Therefore, it is better to understand yourself first, know what you are good at, and want to do – go after your passion and be passionate in blogging!
The more you know about yourself, your motives, and your blogging goals, the easier blogging will be for you.
Your blog is the object of attention (yours and everybody else’s too!).
It is where all the action takes place. It is the heart of blogging and should be crafted to suit your blogging requirements.
You should focus on your blog and provide what the visitor looks for, along with giving them the best browsing experience.
Here are a few factors that you need to consider to make your blog better:
Your blog theme makes a difference. No matter what blogging platform you choose, you can select from a number of available themes or templates.
If you can, it is always better to go with premium themes as they are coded better and offer you support. Besides, they may also have more features that contribute to your ease of blogging.
You may want to use a theme design that is appropriate for your audience. This may also include a proper layout and perfect color scheme, which may impress your audience.
There are plugins for creating opt-ins and tools for managing your leads as well as lists. You need to do a lot of A/B testing to know the best spots and styles for your blog.
Have you made your blog different or special in some ways?
I hope you have already made your blog easy to navigate with quick access, besides making it attractive and de-clutter it, so it creates less confusion to the end user.
Your site hosting also matters in aspects of your site speed and better user experience.
I shifted my blog from a small shared hosting to a big shared hosting and finally to a VPS hosting, and observed a lot of difference.
I’d suggest taking regular feedback from your site visitors about their preferences, experiences of your blog, and make appropriate changes.
The more you know about your audience and the ways to improve your blog, the easier blogging will become for you.
The utility is the advantage that your blog gives to your visitors.
How useful is your blog to the reader? Does it offer any special service or quality that sets it apart from other blogs in your niche? Why should people visit and revisit your blog?
I think this is the ultimate factor that determines whether your blog will be successful in the long run or not.
The following ingredients of your blog can provide the delicious recipe that may make your visitors come back for more!
Your blog will be successful if you know –
1) Who is your target audience?
2) What your blog audience needs?
3) How can you engage with them and help them?
The more you know about your blog audience, the easier it will be to achieve your blogging goals.
Once you have defined your niche, you also have to narrow down to a select audience. Now you need to cater to this target audience in specially targeted ways.
Suppose you selected the health niche and zeroed down to “weight loss” as your specific blog niche.
It is likely that most of the visitors are overly healthy or obese and look for articles, instruments, techniques, and food recipes that may help them lose weight.
You can also add related information, tools, and resources that may engage the visitors. Say, add a calorie calculator, BMI calculator, videos, or have health-related quiz as resources.
There are many things you can do – it is all limited by your imagination!
You can create a forum or a question and answer section where visitors would put forth their queries and come back to seek the solutions. Such helpful features add value to your blog.
Try making your blog useful by making sure it has the following ingredients:
Provide compelling content that offers solutions or useful information. Don’t just rehash the content but add freshness, spice it up with new perspectives, and sprinkle your experiences in it.
Remember that content will always remain the king, so offer your best.
Comments are the best form of interaction on your blog – make sure you reply to them all.
I consider comments like an important extension of the post as it comprises of useful personal experiences and views of the readers related to the post.
Who does not like freebies? Give your visitors something more than what they want.
Add up some resources as mentioned above in this section. More value your blog has, more useful it becomes.
There are so many aspects of your blog that you can focus on to win over your blog audience and make them your loyal friends.
The promotion is mainly about increasing your blog outreach.
You need to feed your blog to help it grow. It needs visitors (aka – traffic), and more visitors.
If the growth of your blog remains stunted, you may not be able to achieve your objectives.
Many new bloggers are only able to acquire a few followers on social media, hardly some comments on their blog, and not more than 500 daily site visitors.
Somewhere, something goes wrong for them.
So, how do you increase the outreach of your blog?
Here is something that I did, which might help you as well:
1) Blog Commenting
Blog commenting is what got me started and later made me popular as the “Queen of commenting” and helped create a distinct identity for me as a blogger.
I stuck to writing quality comments, reciprocating visits, and making sure to follow all the blogging etiquette.
My focus was not on promoting my blog but to create real relationships with fellow bloggers.
As a result, I get plenty of comments on my blog posts.
2) Social Media Promotion
You must be already doing social media promotions. However, are you getting the desired results?
Speaking of myself, I made sure to promote the posts that I commented on, and those blog owners mostly reciprocated. I didn’t forget to thank those who promoted my posts.
Moreover, I promoted my posts heavily on social media. This includes Twitter and Triberr, Facebook, Google Plus communities, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and others.
3) Join Bloggers’/Blogging Communities
Joining blogger’s communities helped me, especially when I became a part of Triberr and joined several Tribes. There we promote each other’s posts on Twitter.
Many new bloggers join blogging communities because that helps them receive comments and visitors on their blogs.
Are you doing all this?
Yes, such extensive promotional activities require time. This is why blogging is not easy!
You need to follow the 80/20 Pareto principle – Promote others 80% of the time, yourself just 20% of the time; promote your content 80% of the time and spend 20% of your time creating content.
If you are not doing your promotion right, you should not complain if your blog fails to take off.
You can also take the guest blogging approach. However, make sure to contribute your best guest post, reply to all the comments, and promote it to your social media followers.
If you do not do that, you will not be doing justice. Remember that as a blogger your reputation matters. Be friendly and helpful.
How Did You Like The SOUP
Was my chicken soup for bloggers tasty? 🙂
I hope it helps you in some way or the other. These are just some simple blogging tips, yet the very basics that are utterly essential.
Here are my takeaway tips for you:
Make sure that you –
- Blog about something that you are passionate about – find a blogging niche that catches your interest.
- Choose to blog about something that matches your existing skills or that requires a skill that you can learn.
- Find your USP – Unique Selling Proposition. Think about what makes you different from others – and are doing the same thing that you want to do.
Take it from me that if you follow the blogger’s SOUP, you’ll never land yourself in a thick soup. 🙂
Here’s wishing you all the best to earn the name, fame, and money in blogging!
For those of you, who are new to the blog – you can learn more about my journey from here, my mentions and interviews. You’ll find more information on this blog about page.
I cannot end this post without thanking YOU and all the wonderful readers of this blog. I appreciate your constant support and express my gratitude for making me a part of your life. It means a lot to me. 🙂
I wish you have a very good time during this holiday season, as it’s the time to bond with your loved ones and take a break from blogging and your work! You deserve the much required get-away too!
Thank YOU for being a valued reader!
Season’s Greetings and Happy Holidays everyone. 🙂
Over To You –
What did you do to make your blog successful? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments of what more should bloggers do to avoid failing in blogging and what would your soup for the blogger’s soul contain.