With millions of blog websites already in existence and many more sprouting daily, you might already be aware that there are a relatively small number of incredibly popular and successful blogs out there on virtually any topic you care to think of.
When you visit a number of these successful blogs you quickly see a common thread – there is a certain quality inherent in most of them and furthermore, they provide something useful or amusing for the people who follow or visit them.
Conversely you may have also come across a disproportionately larger number of not-so-good blogs that don’t seem to provide any usefulness or make any sense because they are so poorly put together or badly written or jammed with so many spammy advertisements that the first word that comes to mind when you see them, is “junk”.
So it might not surprise you to know that the number of poor quality blogs far outnumbers those that are even remotely useful or interesting. When I first came to this realization I was excited because this means that the opportunity for people like you and I to produce a blog which shines amongst the competition should be fairly achievable given that the majority of our competition is in the “junk” category. (I’m an incurable optimist! :))
Producing a good blog or website isn’t rocket science but it does involve some science. Just like cooking or chemistry there are certain ingredients that are critical to how the end product turns out. I’ve listed 3 of what I believe to be the most important ingredients to maximize your blogging success although I’m sure other people will have differing opinions which may all be just as valid.
Before I go on, I want to point out that “success” in terms of a blog can mean different things to different people, but ultimately the common ground of success in the blogosphere is usually the amount of people who actually visit your blog – ie, the amount of quality organic traffic. The more visitors you consistently get who actually spend some time on your blog, the more successful your blog is perceived to be. What you then choose to do with the traffic is up to you; you may try to monetize it or simply just enjoy providing your visitors with some good reading or advice etc.
So the 3 main ingredients of the secret sauce of successful blogging are as follows:
1. The Subject Matter or Niche of your blog
This ingredient determines what your blog is about or the purpose of your blog’s existence. When you create a blog you usually do it to showcase something to the world that you’re interested in or that you’ve created. In other words, your blog’s subject matter should be something that not only you’re interested in, but also other fellow web travelers may find useful or interesting too. This can range from writing about your daily experiences as a vet to writing reviews about products such as hi-fi systems or coffee machines.
Alternatively, if you’re providing a service or selling a product via your blog then the service or product you’re offering should be something that will provide value or be useful to other people to make it worthwhile doing. When creating a paid product or offering a service for money, there’s a basic rule of thumb which you should keep in mind: if it solves somebody’s problem OR makes their life or job easier OR helps them make money, then they will usually be happy to pay you for your service or product.
2. (Quality) Content
I know it’s probably beginning to sound like a cliché, but quality content is KING! Actually let me slightly rephrase this: Original, quality content is king. A lot of people get frightened by the word “original” because they think they’re not smart enough to produce something new. But by “original” I simply mean that you’ve written something using your own words and perspectives and have NOT copied or plagiarized or badly recycled someone else’s work using some crappy spinner software.
It really isn’t that difficult to do. For example, maybe you might write about something you learned from a book or article you recently read, or a song which inspired you. Doing this will increase your chances of connecting with your readers because when you write the articles using your own words you are presenting a fresh perspective on what might be a not-so-fresh topic.
This will also have a beneficial effect on your search rankings over time because Google is continuously rewarding those websites that are producing original, relevant and quality content by ranking them higher in search results. As time goes on and you become more successful, you can of course always hire someone to write the original, quality content for you.
This ingredient has two aspects to it. The first is that you will have to give some of your time and effort to build your blog up with the quality content discussed above. The amount of time required is really up to you but even half an hour a day spent writing an article or working on an e-book or other digital product over a period of months will significantly increase the chances of your blog’s success. Regular submissions of fresh content are an excellent way of getting the search engine crawlers to visit your site more regularly which will in turn speed up the time it takes to index any new pages or posts you create.
The second aspect of the time ingredient is related to your patience. Just like growing a vegetable patch, a good blog usually takes time to bear fruits. A rudimentary inspection of blog sites which rank in various top 100 lists for popularity and success will reveal something in common – ie, almost all of these blogs have been in existence for at least a couple of years and are aged nicely just like a good wine.
In other words the owners of these sites have nurtured and honed their blog over years with fresh, mostly useful information or products which always keeps people interested and coming back for more.
It is also believed that the age of a blog site is one of the factors which Google uses to determine the Google Page Rank (PR) of a site. Sites which are more than a year old and consistently drawing quality organic traffic and producing fresh relevant content, usually rise higher in the rankings over time.
Just like any cooking recipe, you can always add some extra ingredients or things you can do to spice up your blog, but invariably, the above 3 ingredients will usually determine your blog’s basic success.