How To Find Blogging Success

Posted by Sharon Hurley Hall on October 12th, 2007

This post has been submitted by Sharon Hurley Hall from Get Paid To Write Sharon is the first Freelance Blogger to submit an article to, and I hope there will be a next time. Enjoy.

When you start a blog, unless you’re writing for yourself, you want to make sure that people will visit it. So how do you do that? If you look at the probloggers, you’ll find that there are some things that they all do to create successful blogs. However, you don’t have to be a pro to get started on this route. Anyone can create a successful blog – here’s how to get started.

Find A Topic

Some blogs make a virtue of never having the same kind of content twice. That can be fun, but many of the most successful blogs have a niche which they stick to most of the time. Darren Rowse writes about being a professional blogger; Lifehacker writes about tools and techniques for improving your life; I write about the business of freelance writing.

There must be something you care about enough to write about it almost every day. It might be something in your own experience (like parenting) or something that helps you to make money (like providing information about a particular disease or condition). You get to choose, but you also have to do some work.

When you decide what you want to blog about, find some keywords that describe your topic. You’ll see the words that I chose in the name of my blog. These are the words that will help people to find your blog.

Stay Focused

Once you’ve found a topic to blog about, then stay on topic most of the time. I get the most reads on my blog when I write about something related to freelance writing. Readership is even better if it’s a substantial post of 300 words or more. My take on this is that readers like to get their teeth into a post; giving them just a link to something else is not enough.

Start A Linkfest

That said, part of being focused is linking to other related blogs and blog posts. The key here is to make them ‘related’. I got some of the best hits on my site from pointing my readers to an essay on pay for freelance writers. It’s a topic we all love to think about and discuss, so it was relevant to my readers. Even though my post was short, they still liked it because it was information that they needed.

Make use of the blogroll to link to blogs in your niche that are always worth reading. Sometimes readers will visit those blogs, tell them how they found the blog and unknowingly create another reader for your blog. Word of mouth is a powerful tool. When you link to others, they often link back, as long as you’re relevant to their readers.

Post Regularly

Some people post several times a day, every day. That’s great, if you can keep up the pace. I know I can’t. I post around four times a week on my main blog, and less on the others. I think that posting less often leaves more time for people to see my posts. However, I know that others think that posting daily is a better approach.

From readers’ point of view, all that most people want to know is how often to check for updates. If you stick to a schedule then your readers will stick with you. If you update only occasionally, then you are likely to lose readers.

Blog Talk

The blogs on your blogroll will usually be blogs that you visit, so while you’re there, why not leave a comment on the latest post? When you comment, don’t forget to leave a link to your blog in the appropriate box. You can even subscribe to the comments thread if the topic is interesting and the site permits it. The more you comment on others’ blogs, the more likely those people are to visit yours and return the favour.

And here’s a point of netiquette – don’t leave people hanging. If they have taken the time to comment on your blog, then respond to their comments. It’s polite – and people will return to your blog if you keep talking to them.

Get The Word Out

Once you’ve got your blog started, you need to make it easy for people to keep up with the content. All blogs have an RSS feed which lists the most recent content, either with excerpts or in full. However, you can make that feed prettier and more useful by opening a Feedburner account and burning your feed. That will allow you to put animated headlines in your email signature, add the feed easily to static web pages, and get nice email and RSS subscription buttons to place on your site.

Feedburner also lets you automatically ping services to tell them that you’ve updated. However, you can also do this manually through services like Pingoat. Add your blog to blog directories, with a description that will make people want to read it. And use the social bookmarking services to highlight your best posts sot that others can see them.

If you do all this, you will soon have a successful blog, at least in terms of getting regular readers and consistent blog traffic. I’ll talk another time about ways that you can make money from your blog.

Sharon Hurley Hall

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13 Responses to “How To Find Blogging Success”

  1. Successful Blogging : Get Paid to Write Online Says:

    […] create a successful blog? Everyone has their own recipe for success. I outline some of my tips in How To Find Blogging Success, an article I wrote for PiggyBankPie.Over on another of my paid blogging gigs, I’ve written […]

  2. Yvonne Russell Says:

    Great post Sharon with lots of useful tips.

  3. Laura Says:

    Great tips for someone who is just starting to blog, or who needs to revamp an existing blog.

  4. Dana Says:

    Excellent advice here. I started my first blog with the intent to earn 18 months ago and have earned quite well from it.

    As for getting hooked on others’ blogs, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come across a blog that had good information but that wasn’t updated enough to keep me interested. When I see a great blog that I know updates regularly, I’m more likely to subscribe to it so I don’t miss anything.

  5. Sharon Says:

    Thanks for stopping by and for the kind words, Yvonne and Laura. Dana, I know what you mean; it can be quite disappointing to subscribe to a blog and then wait ages for information.

  6. patbiz Says:

    I agree that subscribing to a blog that does not get updated regularly is not inviting. That’s basically the idea behind PBP (PiggyBankPie). Take the ProBloggers example, they worked FULL time maintaining their blog(s) and surfing the web for content, it is their day job. And I’m sure some also have collaborators to help them. Many NewBloggers jump into the Blogosphere thinking they will be able to post twice a day even though they have full time job + family responsibilities… ends up creating a blog hole. The idea behind PBP is collaboration to help dealing with the pressure of writing quality posts. If you have more time to develop new ideas, chances are you’ll come up with better articles, and therefore… faithful readers.

  7. Sharon Says:

    That’s a great idea, Patbiz, which I think will help this blog be successful.

  8. Rebecca Laffar-Smith Says:

    Fantastic post, Sharon! I think another important point to remember is to be patient. So many people create a blog but give up out of loneliness in the first month. It takes time to develop content and create a loyal readership. You might feel like you’re talking to walls in the early weeks but if you keep writing regularly your reader base will grow with time.

    There are so many small techniques that when added together greatly increase your chances of blogging success. One of the most important to remember is to read/research. Learn about it because there are many fantastic and successful bloggers online who are happy to share helpful tips like these. :-)

    Thanks for being one of those, Sharon.

  9. How To Find Blogging Success - Guest Post : Sharon Hurley Hall Says:

    […] How To Find Blogging Success was my first (paid) guest post on PiggyBankPie. It attracted considerable traffic. If you look at the probloggers, you’ll find that there are some things that they all do to create successful blogs. However, you don’t have to be a pro to get started on this route. Anyone can create a successful blog – here’s how to get started. November 20, 2007 | Filed Under Blogging  […]

  10. Rebecca Laffar-Smith Says:

    Fantastic post, Sharon! It’s great to see you on PiggyBankPie! And PiggyBankPie should thank you for your own Newsletter. *chuckles* That’s how I came here today. :-) Everyone else, go subscribe to it, it’s great!

    There are many little tips and techniques that can do wonders for your blog as you’re beginning. The greatest thing about it all is that you don’t have to know everything to get started. Learning along the way is a part of what makes blogging such an interesting experience.

  11. Rebecca Laffar-Smith Says:

    *ponders* Opps, apparently I’ve read this before. lol See, even relearning things you already knew is a part of the fun for bloggers. *blushes*

  12. Sharon Says:

    Never mind, Rebecca - nice of you to stop by again. :)

  13. Successful Blogging With PiggyBankPie : Sharon Hurley Hall Says:

    […] How To Find Blogging Success […]

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