The explosion in the number of blogs doesn’t seem to be slowing down, and I doubt it will for quite some time. With so many blogs out there, many bloggers will find it a struggle to get their voice heard. In this article, I will offer five basic tips that every blogger should consider.
1 – Ask yourself why you are blogging?
Ideally, you should ask yourself this question before you even get started. However, there is still some relevance in the question for those that have already taken the plunge and are publishing their own blogs. If you are blogging because everyone else is, you will struggle to find success. If you are blogging to make money, you will soon realise that you have set yourself one hell of a challenge!
You should only start a blog based on a subject you are passionate about. You should only start a blog based on a subject that you could talk about all day long, for ever and ever. Remember – blogging is a long term commitment. The last thing you want to do is start a blog, publish great posts every day for two months then lose motivation and inspiration.
If you want to start a blog, ensure you are aware that you need to be in it for the long haul.
2 – Consider avoiding certain subjects
If I come across one more ‘make money online’ blog I think I will throttle myself! Whether or not John Chow is to blame for the proliferation of blogs about making money online, there is just no need to have millions of blogs catering to the same subject. Most talk about the same subjects and methods, and once you have read a few you will notice that most feed off each other and simply recycle the same old content.
Sure, every now and then you can come across a great blog in a saturated niche but this is often a rarity. Unless you are confident you have something truly valuable and unique to say on a certain subject, if the niche is saturated consider avoiding it.
3 – Use your blog to network, but do it properly
During my first six to eight months of blogging, I did a huge amount of networking with other bloggers to get my name and blog ‘out there’. Unfortunately, most of the blogs I used to do this networking weren’t really related to my niche. Sure, I got some exposure but the traffic I gained wasn’t particularly well targeted.
On reflection, my biggest issue was the fact that there weren’t many blogs out there dedicated to online community building, so I simply networked through the blogs I had found through other blogs. Unfortunately, because the first blog I read on a regular basis used to be John Chow dot com, almost all the blogs were in the ‘making money online’ or ‘blogging tips’ niches.
Blogs can be a fantastic networking tool, but you need to ensure that you are reaching the right audience and the right people!
4 – Understand that a blog is an online community
There are still some people out there that feel a blog is not an online community. They could not be more wrong. Sure, the majority of the content on a blog comes from one person – the author. However, a huge amount of value comes from the commenting system built into all blogs.
If you ignore the commenting system, you are doing yourself a major disservice. Invite and encourage feedback and comments, and respond to them. Establish a genuine two-way dialogue with your readers. Not only will you be showing them just how much you value their opinion, but they will be far more likely to return and continue to get involved.
Great content and an active community are the sign of a successful blog.
5 – What are your goals?
Nobody can tell you whether you are successful – they don’t know your goals. Only you can determine your success based on your own aims. Do you want to generate ten comments per article? If so, and you get ten comments per article then congratulations – you are successful. Do you want to make $500 per month from your blog? If so, and you reach that figure – then congratulations, you are successful.
Don’t worry about what other people consider ‘success’ to be. Success is simply the achievement of goals, and only you can decide what your goals are.
Are you a blogger? What things did you consider before starting? Do you have any regrets as a blogger? Have I missed any tips or points that you think bloggers need to consider? Share your thoughts and opinions by leaving a comment below.