When I look back at the early articles I wrote on my first blog I swing between cringing with embarrassment and smiling to myself.
I had no idea how to write for the web.
I wrote for the Corporate world. I’d been in it for more than 20 years and I was great at creating PowerPoints, memos and reports that carefully ensured I never took a controversial position on anything.
Dry, humourless, characterless and perpetually on the fence, there was always a way out of anything I wrote.
Little wonder, then, that my first blog was not a roaring success.
Success is relative. So when you have no readers a day, getting 10 is success. 10,000 readers a day and you’re aiming for 20,000.
So it was interesting to see a question today asking what makes a good blog. One that attracts loyal readers.
The definition of a successful blog will vary depending on its nature.
A blog that’s a reference site – that provides answers to problems – may be wildly successful in terms of visitors but have very few subscribers.
Its bounce rate will be high, because people find it when searching for an answer. If it provides the answer they’ll immediately leave to implement it. If it doesn’t, they’ll leave to keep searching.
In both cases they enter and leave from the same page.
The opposite is a blog that’s a diary, or a news, commentary or gossip site. These blogs can build a fiercely loyal band of followers.
The bounce rate will be much lower and the average visit length much higher than the reference site.
Which one is more successful? Neither (or both).
So before you can say what makes a blog successful you need to establish a) what type of blog you’re building and b) what your criteria for success are.
Is it readers? Money? Length of stay? It doesn’t matter what criteria you choose, as long as you identify how you’re going to measure your success.
8 Steps to Making Your Blog More Successful
So here are 8 steps to making a blog more successful:
- Make sure you know who you’re writing it for.
- Make sure it’s properly set up and optimized for the search engines.
- Make sure the information on your blog is valuable to whoever you’re writing it for.
- Let your personality shine through – whatever your personality is.
- Take a position. Express your opinion and don’t hedge your bets.
- Interact with your readers – ask for comments and personally respond to each one.
- Market and promote your blog
- Recognise that there are billions of web pages out there and it will take time and persistence to get yours noticed, so keep at it.
Leave us a comment and tell us what your definition of success for your blog is