How to Build a Successful Blog - Simple Ways to Be in the Spotlight
What Is Blogging?
A blog, a term derived from "Web Log", is a collection of thoughts or analysis on a topic or topics of the person running the blog.
There are now tens of blogs started every minute of the day. This obviously means it is now a crowded market, which makes it even more important that a blog is good enough to stand out from the crowd.
In the yesteryear, well, actually not that long ago, but when blogs first started appearing on the internet in the 1990's, they were often a simple a collection of thoughts from individuals, often on the daily happenings in their lives. https://www.cerdastekno.com No matter how dreary, they were often compulsive reading, something I guess, typifying our big brother culture.
However, more recently, blogs have become much more commercial with topics that have greater commercial value. People have started to realize blogs, especially popular ones, can make substantial money for the proprietor from advertising revenue.
Potential of a Blog.
There are certain characteristics that are shared by popular blogs no matter which topic(s) they cover.
Why do you Need a Blog?
People love something for nothing. If you provide regular advice and helpful tips on your blog about something, then it is likely to draw regular visitors. Free helpful information - even if it's a collection of links to other sites/blogs can still attract lots of visitors. The key here is to find such information on a regular basis to attract many repeat visitors.
This will also result in increase in popularity of your blog through natural linking - the equivalent of marketing through word of mouth. Links, especially on other high traffic sites or blogs about your blog will lead to a steady stream of traffic from these links, but they will also boost your search engine rankings because major search engines put a lot of weight onto natural linking patterns.
How to Build a Successful Blog?
1. Write your Heart.
One certain way to attract large traffic is to either provide tutorials that people find extremely useful which they will link to, or providing free downloads of useful tools. These tools can be anything such as web tools for people to develop their sites and blogs or help to improve the quality of offerings on their sites or blogs, free financial tools to help people better analyze their income and expenditure, etc.
2. Add Personal Value.
In addition, it greatly improves your reputation on the Internet as so many people start recommending your blog. Of course, with so many people linking to your site, which acts as a "vote" for your blog from everyone linking to you, the search engines will take that as an affirmation that your blog is of great value and move your rankings higher.
3. Spread the Words.
Commenting daily on interesting stories on different subject matters is a good way to draw traffic. Making interesting observations on them together with a link to their original source is a great way to capture regular readers. Let's face it, most of us like to catch up on daily news, but today, we do it in different ways to gone days before when we all sat around our television set.
4. Be an Authority Writer.
Another way to draw many repeat visitors is to provide great analysis on latest news and big stories that are in development on the topics covered on your blog. The analysis has to really stand out. You have to convey yourself to your readers almost as an expert i.e. an authority on the subject matter, which of course acts like a magnet for visitors. So, providing a unique perspective will always have people coming for more.
5. Catch Their Attention.
People love entertaining themselves when they are browsing the internet. This is why entertainment sites tend to draw a lot of traffic. A blog with lots of funny clips and jokes tend to become big hits because they tend to get linked on lots of other sites.
One way to attract attention through your posts is to be shocking by posting something controversial that gets noticed.
Making Your Blog Famous.
Enough of the type of ways to devise the content now lets focus on the steps to make a blog off and running.
1. Blog link exchange.
A blog should exchange link s with other similar blogs, especially if they are highly complementary and have similar levels of traffic. It is unlikely that a blog owner with a lot of traffic would be too keen in exchanging links with someone who has far less traffic, as it would not be deemed mutually beneficial to both parties.
2. Buying high traffic links.
You can also advertise by buying text links on monthly campaigns on other blogs or sites with high levels of traffic. However, this tends to be an option used mostly by site owners rather bloggers.
3. Promoting a blog in forums.
A good way to promote a blog is to go on forums. The idea is to make informative or/and helpful posts in forums dealing with similar topics to those covered in your blog. By making useful posts, you can leave live a link back to your blog in the signature or somewhere in the post, if allowed, of course. This is a widely used technique to draw traffic to a blog.
4. Posting a link on other blogs.
You can also reply to comments on other blogs that have a similar theme to your blog. You can leave a link to your blog so long as the comments you make are both productive and not written merely with the intention of getting traffic to your own blog.
Why I Love Blogging
People blog for many reasons. Originally, I started my blog the end of 2013 as an author platform.
But as time passed, I realized my blog provided much more than an author platform and it wasn't all about the numbers. Blogging served a different and more profound purpose. I would even say that it's changed the way I look at and live my life.
That's why if you're thinking about starting a blog, I'd highly recommend it. That is, if you're blogging for the right reasons.
If you're starting a blog to get rich or even to eke out a living, well, don't count on it. Monetizing a blog is super hard these days. In fact, after three years, I'm still not making money from my blog. By the way, don't believe all the hype from people selling online courses that try to convince you blogging is a great way to make passive income. Make no mistake, writing and promoting a blog is a ton of work. There is nothing passive about it.
In fact, it's so easy to get frustrated when you first start a blog. As a technically-challenged person, I had to learn WordPress. Then, I spent a lot of time promoting my blog and trying to find an audience. Something else I knew little about. As with most bloggers, I quickly became obsessed - and depressed - with the numbers and how many visitors, subscribers, and Facebook followers I had on any given day. Turns out building up readership for a blog takes a LOT of time, effort, and patience.
So Why Blog?
Some people may disagree with me, but I think blogging shouldn't just be about making money, drumming up business, gathering a huge following, chasing fame, or trying to sell books.
Blogging can serve as a creative channel to voice ideas, thoughts, opinions, beliefs, and feelings. On top of that, writing a blog provides a wonderful opportunity to inspire and touch the lives of other people in a positive way.
How Blogging Changed My Life
My blog has certainly seen me through many ups and downs these past few years. I've written about joyful moments like a trip to Chicago with my husband to celebrate our anniversary, a day spent playing in the snow with my grandchildren, watching Paul McCartney and the Rolling Stones at Desert Trip, and a quick weekend trip with my kids to San Francisco.
I've also poured my heart out while caregiving for my Mom who suffered from Lewy Body dementia and wrote about her eventual death. I shared my angst when my mother-in-law died from ovarian cancer and my son went through a painful divorce and custody battle that same year. (Ironically, shortly after I started writing a blog about happiness, I had the worst year of my life.)
Yes, I love reading, which provides a welcome respite from my troubles, but writing is my real escape, outlet, and passion. When I write, I become so focused, my problems fade away for awhile, giving me a much needed break. In fact, if you're truly a writer, believe me, it is a life-long addiction!
The process of putting my thoughts and feelings into writing has brought me comfort as well as help me relive happy moments.writer
As I've written about my life, my blog helped me think about what's important to me and determine if my life is headed in the right direction.
Since I can't write about every event, idea, thought, and feeling, blogging provides a sort of filter, clarifying my life. My blogs have helped me understand what is most meaningful to me. I've discovered along the way that sometimes it's the simplest moments that make me the happiest.
As a professional writer, my blog gives me wonderful creative freedom to express myself. Not to pop anyone's balloon, but writing sounds more glamorous than it is in reality. For most of the past 25 years, I've written articles on subjects that magazines, newspapers, publishers, and clients choose for me.
True, I've written two young adult books, travel articles, humorous pieces, and feature stories on fascinating people that were fun. On the other hand, in order to make a living, I've also written articles that bored me to tears. I've tackled technical articles - and one technical book - that gave me an Excedrin headache and drove me nuts. I've written on demand, meeting other people's deadlines, writing late into the night as my brain is desperately trying to call it quits.
Don't get me wrong. I may sound whiny, but I fully realize that I'm darn lucky to have made a living at something I love. I wouldn't have had it any other way.
The point is, my blog is my baby. I write on subjects I'm interested in and feel passionate about and hope my audience will enjoy as well. My blog allows me to stretch as a writer, explore, experiment, and try new things whenever the muse hits. Writing professionally has given me the discipline to publish a blog every week, but I write my blogs when I choose. And believe me, that's not at the crack of dawn or 10:00 at night! That is luxurious.
So, those are some of the ways blogging has changed my life. But, as I mentioned earlier, the huge bonus is that blogging can change other people's lives as well.
Some people have left comments letting me know that I have in some small way inspired them or provided useful information and that always brings me such joy. Writing a blog has provided an opportunity to connect with readers and other bloggers, which has been so rewarding.
What kind of blogs have proven to be most popular? It's always interesting to see what resonates and hits home. My top ten blogs in order of popularity:
1. Five Ways to Become a Happy-Go-Lucky Person
Every year, this is my top-performing blog by far. Merriam-Webster defines happy-go-lucky as blithely unconcerned and carefree. Synonyms include affable, laid-back, low-pressure, and mellow. I guess we all want some of that!
2. Golden Boys in Concert: Bobby Rydell, Frankie Avalon, and Fabian
I was asked to do a book review of Bobby Rydell's autobiography. This led to an interview, free tickets to his Golden Boys concert with Frankie Avalon and Fabian, and a backstage pass to meet Rydell in person. This was a nice perk that came from blogging! The day they posted my concert review on Rydell's Facebook page, my visitors increased by 3000% for the day. No joke!
3. Keep Laughing with the Seven Dwarfs of Menopause
This blog has held a top-three spot since I began blogging. Hey, it's either laugh or cry through menopause, and wouldn't we all prefer to laugh?
4. Staying Positive Despite Problems
Everyone has problems that make us feel powerless and defeated, so I'm not surprised this blog made the top ten. I offer three simple tips on how we can control our outlook and still choose to be happy despite our troubles.
5. What Are Your Life's Happiest Moments?
If you look back on your life, which moments would you count as your happiest? What would be your biggest regrets? That's the question one study asked participants aged 70 and older. I share the results of their insightful answers in this blog.
6. Why Older People Are Happier Than Baby Boomers
Aww, my very first blog that got my blog off the ground. The idea for this blog was based on studies that show, in general, older people - and even the younger generation - are happier than us baby boomers. One study confirmed there is a U-shaped happiness curve with the early 50's as the lowest point of well-being.
7. Happy as Easy as 1-2-3
"I want my day to feel like there is boundless beauty and possibilities and joy to be felt, discovered, explored, and expressed. And you know what? I can and so can you," I wrote. This article got discovered on Stumble Upon, bringing me my second (after the Rydell concert review) all-time record high number of visitors for one day.
8. Staying Happy Through Menopause
I wrote this article after Hot Flash Daily hired me to write humorous articles about menopause to launch their new website. I had never written humor before, but had a blast doing it for them! I happily shared it all - the scorching hot flashes, insane insomnia, annoying forgetfulness, and crazy panic attacks that ensued for years. Yes, YEARS!
9. Finding Happiness with Grandchildren
This blog was an easy one to write. To be needed and wanted by these delightful little beings is a wonderful treat and privilege. Like many people, I find that the rewards of family life only grew richer and more fulfilling as each new grandchild was born.
10. Five Happy Snoopy Quotes
Okay, this one surprised me a little bit. But hey, don't we all still love Snoopy? Now that I write a happiness blog, I'm impressed with how much wisdom Charles M. Schultz cartoons contain on the subject.
I loved writing all these articles that proved to be popular with readers. With that in my mind, what's my basic advice to all of you who are thinking about blogging? Write about your passions. Let your blog teach you life lessons. And, finally, enjoy the process. Then you can love blogging as much as I do!