Blogging has become increasingly popular in the last 5 years. Today it has become so mainstream that it is difficult for a new blog to establish itself simply because there are thousands of blogs on every thinkable topic.
Most Blogs Fail
It is widely known that popular blogs can generate a positive cash flow sufficient for a very nice lifestyle – this has further fueled the onslaught of new blogs. The sad truth is that more than 95% of new blogs fail to gather a significant readership and will be abandoned soon after launch.
Today I am going to reveal the 2 most important things that you need to know to make your blog popular. These ideas are in fact so simple that almost everyone knows about them but most bloggers still fail to use these principles consistently.
The fact that I am writing a post on something that most of us already know shows how important these ideas really are.
Blogging Success Formula
Blog Popularity = Content + Marketing
The popularity of any blog is a direct result of the content the blog puts out and the marketing the blog is doing to get new readers.
Principle 1 – Produce new quality content
Content is the single and most underlying cornerstone of any blog. If there is no content there is nothing to read. If there is nothing to read no one will visit your blog.
Importance of new content
A potential reader can bookmark your blog after reading an interesting article but after several times of coming back and not finding new content the visitor will cease to return. Depending on the quality of your former blog posts it will vary how long this will take but after not finding new content the blog will sooner or later die out.
Importance of high-quality content
It is also important to make sure that the content produced is high-quality. If the articles produced are inferior to the blog posts of your competitors there are no real reasons for a reader to follow your articles.
There are probably hundreds of ways how a blog post can be low-quality – It can mean an article with a lot of spelling mistakes, a blog post that really doesn’t say anything new or a superb article that talks about something that is not interesting to your readers. Hopefully your blog doesn’t correspond to any of these categories.
What to keep in mind
Producing new content is by far the most important principle of successful blogging. One has to keep in mind however that only concentrating on producing new and quality content is the best way to fail at blogging. In order to become a successful blogger you have to be consistently producing top notch articles and at the same time excel at the second principle of successful blogging – marketing your blog.
Principle 2 – Market your blog
Having great content is not enough for success.
In order for your blog to become popular people will have to know that it exists.
If William Shakespeare had never published his books he would still be a great writer with the exception that absolutely no one would know of him – none of his stories would have been made into plays.
After writing a new blog post your goal should be to get as many people reading it as possible. If you don’t get people to read the exceptional content in your blog it can never become popular.
Be a proactive marketer
By marketing your blog you give people the chance to decide whether what they are reading is worth reading for them. If it is – you can be sure that they will let other people know as well. That means that the more you market your blog the easier it will get – people who like your content will tell their friends about it.
It is possible for a blog to grow big enough that there is no need for active marketing but this is only the case when a blog has thousands or tens of thousands of daily readers.
If you think that you have enough readers and you can stop marketing your blog you are wrong.
How to market your content
Choosing the marketing methods that work best with your blog or website depend on your niche and what exactly you want to accomplish. A good way to market could be anything from leaving comments on blogs with similar content or printing and handing out flayers in your the local mall.
What to keep in mind
Producing and marketing your content only work hand in hand. You can’t have one without the other. If you have content but don’t have marketing you will never get any visitors. If you have marketing but don’t have any content your visitors will never return.
Keeping track of progress
Producing new content and marketing it are the two most important factors for a blog’s success. Contrary to what you would expect – at some point most people stop following one or both of these principles. As a consequence they will get little traffic, feel discouraged and eventually stop blogging.
In order to combat the problem of not doing what I know should be done I created 3 simple graphs that help me stay in control of my article writing and marketing activities.
Here they are:
Graph 1 – goals for my everyday activities
At first glance this graph looks rather stupid – all the lines are parallel and they don’t seem to indicate much. The idea behind the graph is simple – it shows the every day goals of my blogging activities. The blue line represents the number of articles (1) I need to write every day this month. The yellow line is the maximum amount of time I am willing to spend on my daily blogging activities (4 hours). The upper line shows the amount of comments (10) I want to leave to other relevant blogs in order to market my content.
I printed this graph out and every day after finishing my blogging activities I will draw a line representing the actual daily figures. If the hand-drawn lines fluctuate from the pre set one’s it will indicate a possible problem.
Graph 2 – totals
This graph shows the total amount of work done after every day of reaching my goals. By the end of October I will have written 31 new articles, left 310 relevant comments on other blogs and spent about 124 hours doing it.
Graph 3 – results
This graph represents the expected rise in visitors and RSS subscribers if I manage to fulfill my daily blogging goals for October. Currently I have on average about 315 daily visits and hopefully it will rise to 571 by the end of the month. The amount of average RSS readers will hopefully go from 72 to 130.
This is the only graph that represents the things that are not under my direct control. I can control how many articles I write and what I do to market it, but I can not directly control the amount of people coming to read my content – I can only make educated guesses.
Control the controllables – focus writing new articles and marketing your blog. These are the only 2 things that you have direct control over. By consistently doing these activities you can influence more people to read your content.
Blog Popularity = Content + Marketing
This is a repost of an article I wrote in October 2008. Since that time my RSS subscriber count has gone from 70 to over 350 and the average daily readership of this blog fluctuates between 600-1000 people per day!
Keep in mind that all this has been done without any money! If I can do it, you can do it as well.
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