What are the key ingredients for a successful blog?
Be Clever. Think of a really good name that says best what the blog is about. It is not easy because most probably it will not be available, so you have to be clever.
Be Smart. Consider securing a trademark for your blog name as you build your brand. Do the research up front to avoid that awkward situation. You can trademark your brand after you advice with some legal office.
Be Unique. Don’t be shy. Write like you think and like you speak, because no one else can do it in that way. Write about what you know. Personal experiences are unique so start there. Even if it’s just a few tips and you’re not an expert, a little experience is valuable information, so share it.
If you’re a niche blogger (photography, fashion, design, food, etc.) stay mostly on topic, but don’t be afraid to mix it up with snippets of your life, something random, or a self deprecating moment, readers love when you share the personal side, we’re all human!
Be Patient. Producing good content that is unique and useful is the most valuable thing you can contribute. Be prepared to write that good content for six months and go completely unnoticed. But this is not bad since you can use this time for practicing and finalize your writing and posting schedule. Once you’re discovered, you’ll provide readers with a lot of good content to share, and they will share it, if it is unique and inspiring, so keep your focus there.
Be Visual. Good writing is great, but pretty pictures are killer. Having shareable images is one of the best tools for getting your content out in the world and pretty pictures always always help! Want to take better pictures? You can learned how by contacting UnitrustMedia for their upcoming training.
Be Clean & Organized. My favorite minimal whitish style is really relaxing. Your blog design should not be too busy or distract from your content. White space is calming and gives the eye a place to rest with all the commotion going on with content or ads. Consider a white backdrop or subtle wallpaper, nothing glaring or flashy or too bright. Your blog layout is a reflection of your style – clean and simple always trumps busy or cluttered. Make sure you have an About page with a picture and a 2 to 3 paragraph narrative, we want to know who you are, your interests, why you’re blogging! Absolutely have a Contact page for readers to connect and for future opportunities!
Be Nice. Blogging is not high school; there is zero tolerance for meanness. It’s best to treat others with kindness and respect in your comments and your writing. Encouragement not criticism has always been my motto, be gracious and give people the benefit of the doubt before judging. Unless judging is the main theme of your blog, then by all means, do your thing but expect opinions to fly!
Be Social. Make friends in your niche by socializing through comments or joining link parties or tweeting or commenting on Facebook. Most of my blog friendships were initiated through comments online but solidified when we actually met at a conference, so once you’ve been blogging a few months, consider attending one, they’re a wealth of information, inspiration, and it’s great to match faces to blogs.
Be Professional. In the online world, you can get noticed pretty quickly if you do something unique and it gets circulated in social media, so if you do get that email from a magazine editor or publisher, be quick to respond and do so with courtesy and professionalism. They are always looking for high resolution quality images so considering taking photographs with that in the back of your mind!
Be Passionate. So cliché, but so true. Don’t blog to get rich or make money, blog because of your desire to share your skills, thoughts, passions, quirks, and your unique take on the world. There’s plenty of room for blog success, just be sure you stay true to who you are, or really, what’s the point? 🙂
Whether you start on Blogger or WordPress is completely up to you. Be sure to install a Stat-counter, or Google Analytics in the beginning, it’s the best way to track where your traffic comes from and those stats will come in handy in the future when you seek sponsors, advertisers, and the like.
Got questions? Contact me to continue the discussion.