I am currently working on an eBook that logically could not deal with any other topic than one related to blogging. This leads me to many times when I look back to analyze what has been happening on the path travelled by this blog to date.
So today I will tell you my personal thoughts about what these factors have been to get here and that in the end, in reality, they all turn out to be knowledge and skills.
The interesting thing about this exercise is that, in my opinion, all these skills are 100% extrapolated to any other blog and all, except the first, can be acquired if they are not possessed beforehand.
How to make a successful blog
Before talking about the factors in themselves that make a blog successful, we should define what exactly is “success” in a blog.
As I have promised myself, to stop publishing bricks, I will leave this topic for another day, but I will mention, at least, some of the most important indicators in my personal opinion that are a combination of visits, degree of loyalty of those visits ( visits that become regular readers), level of “engagement” of the community (comments, etc.), visibility and reputation.
From here, what then would be those essential factors of success of a blog and more or less in what order of importance?
1. Passion for what you do, faith, patience and perseverance
I think you already knew the first one very well. It is something that almost 100% of bloggers will surely agree on.
Creating a blog is many hours of work, and the situation of most bloggers is that they have to get them from where there are none. That is only possible with passion; in addition, the reader notices whether or not there is passion behind the blog and if you know how to transmit it, it spreads and hooks your reader.
On the other hand, all this is of little value if your passion lasts three days. Just as it is essential to have patience, faith in what you do and perseverance to keep going for months or years without clear results because all blogs go through a long period of drought before starting to bear fruit.
2. Quality content
I know, this is already widely seen … But it is necessary to mention it in this list, even at the risk of repeating things already said in other posts.
Internet suffers a great intoxication, nowadays, with the enormous offer of free quality content, mediocre content is superfluous. However, a second, third or fourth variant of the same theme, if it is produced with quality, still has its place.
Do not get me wrong. We all get bad posts from time to time, it is impossible not to happen. I’m not talking about publishing one brilliant post after another, I am talking about not knowingly creating “bulk posts” that don’t add real value to the reader in order to save time and effort and appear what you are not.
Also, it doesn’t work, not anymore. Forget, every hour you spend doing something mediocre or even worse, copying content from others, is an hour wasted.
3. Understand the needs of your audience and empathize with them
The phenomenon of people who believe that because something seems interesting to them, it also has to be interesting to others is very frequent. It happens in all facets of life and also in blogs.
If you are able to create a bit of quality, getting yours to read is as simple as nailing the needs and tastes of your audience. The better you know how to empathize and detect the needs of your audience, the more successful your content will be.
There are many techniques to achieve this that hardly anyone applies and that many are very simple. For example: ask your readers directly and react to their needs. We ourselves have not yet realized its potential. It’s a safe bet, so take advantage of it. We will do it, do not hesitate.
4. Be kind to your community and build a relationship with it
There are some bloggers who have a bad habit of not taking care of their community: they do not respond to emails or they respond with some rudeness, they never respond to comments, etc.
Someone like this will eventually be seen as inaccessible, distant, borderline or worse, whether you like it or not, that will be part of your personal brand and your community will hardly prosper in that way.
On the other hand, it is true that as soon as you gain some visibility, the time it takes to interact with people begins to overtake you.
But it is that it is not necessary that you roll up your sleeves to solve the life of everyone, a simple gesture is enough, with a short but kind phrase, saying that you are sorry, but that individual attention is impossible is enough. In my experience, people understand it perfectly and you don’t come off as rude. If, in addition, you can think of a link to a related post to recommend, all the better.
So the next time you get that typical email from someone really asking you to check their website (or whatever) to give them an opinion, don’t send them to hell directly, just kindly tell them that you can’t.
On the other hand, if something differentiates blogs, it is the relationship that is created between the author and his community. You may not become personal friends with each of your readers, but simply putting the effort into responding to almost all of the comments and having conversations with your readers already creates a strong bond with your readers. And this is not only something beautiful and rewarding, but tremendously positive because it creates enormous loyalty and generates the necessary trust in your audience to take your blog to the next level, which may consist, for example, in the sale of products or services.
5. Learn to write
You don’t have to be a crack to write well, doing it “reasonably well” is enough. Even small spelling mistakes are perfectly tolerable.
What matters is that your content is pleasant to read and easy to understand.
The point is that, even if you don’t have much talent to write, there are very simple techniques, but very effective, that will mean a great improvement.
These techniques are as simple as using short and simple sentences, eliminating redundant words and expressions, keeping paragraphs small, etc. There are many posts on the subject, so I refer you to them.
And then don’t forget the most important thing: when you write, ask yourself in each sentence if a “normal” person can understand it.
6. SEO and copywriting
Here I will limit myself to saying that the belief that SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is not important in a starting blog is one of the false myths of blogging. In this post, you will see why:
If I could go back to the point when I started blogging, it would be, along with copywriting, one of the first things that I would train myself in because even with an effortless SEO job, there is no colour in the visits that you will receive from search engines . Especially if you take it seriously and work with professional tools like SEMrush.
On the other hand, “copywriting” is a discipline that refers to how to get texts that attract attention and keep it for as long as possible. Something that is especially important in the title of a post, which is where you play 80% whether they read you or not.
A good copy (one of the things I would like to make progress on the most) is so powerful that it can make the second or third result of a Google search exceed the first in clicks.
7. Know how to spread your content
When you start with your personal blog, social networks are almost the only thing you have to start attracting visits. You have no subscriptions by mail, or your RSS feed and Google will ignore you for a few months. So what you basically have are aggregators and social networks.
To use them effectively you have to know them well, each one is different, and to promote your content there are things that will work in some but not in others. And then you will discover little gems like the fact that, for example, LinkedIn groups or Facebook group communities are an excellent source of attracting traffic for your blog if you know how to take advantage of them without spamming.
8. Online marketing
Whether you have a portfolio of products and services or not, and unless you do not care exactly as they read you, in some way, you are always selling on a blog. The difference is that in one case you want to generate passive income and in the other simply readings, even if it is free content. Therefore, it will always be interesting to know the principles and techniques of online marketing, because the same principles apply for both.
You will learn very, very interesting lessons that will have a direct impact on how you design your blog and create your content.
In my case, some of the most outstanding lessons (and that we have not yet been able to implement as we would like):
- Why a good mailing list is a blog’s greatest asset
- How important and difficult it is to build trust and how easy it is to lose it
- How difficult it is to achieve actions from a reader, even as simple as one click
- The impact of copywriting to get visitors and readers
- How important it is to learn how to achieve conversions
- Etc., etc., etc.
9. Design, organization and usability
Landing on a blog is how to enter someone’s house, surely if you find underwear on the sofa and cockroaches in the kitchen, you will not get a good impression and you will have little desire to return.
In a blog exactly the same happens, make your reader feel comfortable and get an impression that invites him to run away.
It doesn’t take any “mega-design” to impress you, just a clean and simple (usable) organization, a bit of cleanliness and good looks. If you use WordPress, you have it relatively easy due to the great offer of excellent themes for this platform.
Capturing and retaining readers will be largely a matter of finding what they are looking for. If you have a clear idea of what added value you want to offer to your reader and how to translate that into content and, in addition, you are able to organize it in a simple way, you will have taken a big step.
10. WordPress.org Technologies
To be really successful with your blog project, of course, the blogging platform you use is key.
The most powerful platform, by far, is WordPress.org, the variant of WordPress with hosting, since it has thousands of templates to customize the appearance of your blog and it has an incredible number of plugins ( +30,000 free ) to add functionalities specific.
It’s just another level, on our plugins page you can get an idea of the wonders that can be done with this.
Of course, it is essential that the hosting you hire is of good quality for your blog to go well. But fortunately, there are very affordable good quality hostings, although the market also abounds with a lot of junk offers.
In addition, a WordPress installation with its own hosting allows you to “put your hand” as you want.
No one will be surprised if I say that if you have knowledge of the basic technologies that a blog uses such as HTML, CSS or PHP you will have a great advantage over other bloggers because thanks to the fact that it is possible to manipulate the code in WordPress.org, this will allow you implement many small (or large) details that differentiate it from the others, or contract these changes and customizations to a professional on sites like oDesk.com, for example.
In addition, you do not need to master it thoroughly, some fundamental knowledge will already be beneficial.
“The 5 technologies that a blog uses and how to use them to your advantage”
A simple example is, for example, being able to create a custom text for posts and pages like the one that appears at the end of all the posts on this blog and being able to insert it with a shortcode wherever you want without depending on your topic. support something like that or find a plugin that does just that.
And if you combine this with a good WordPress theme such as Divi then you will finish the game because it will allow you to easily create a practically professional design for your blog that will make it much more attractive and professional, and will differentiate it from others.
Getting a blog to be successful requires much more than just good content, you need to acquire a series of skills to ensure that such content is also disseminated and read.
The problem is that it is impossible for you to acquire them all at the beginning, usually, it takes years until you really get the whole “pack” of knowledge to really take advantage of the full potential of your blog.