If you want to make a successful blog - say one that has hundreds or even thousands of regular readers/subscribers - you've got to solve a limited number of problems:
*starting a blog
*topics to blog about
*building a readership
*keeping motivated to blog
STARTING A BLOG:
- Figure out what is the purpose of your blog.
- Know your passion - not what merely interests you. You'll need to write about what you're passionate about to stay motivated to keep a blog. Choose a name/URL for your blog that reflects that passion.
- Get signed up with a blog host site that fits with your needs and HTML skill level.
- Install a free stat counter.
TOPICS TO BLOG ABOUT:
- Your passion.
- Develop many interests. You can use those varied interests for quick posts when you're pressed for time.
- Observe the world around you.
Expand your view. Browse. Look at lots of different things briefly.
Rifle through a newspaper, magazine, click and surf around other blogs and websites.
Flip through a book. Channel surf. Go on a walk - down alleys, in new places.
Seek the new - it's novelty that inspires and excites. Ideas are never just going to pop into your head. You've got to actively put them there.
- Choose one story to tell.
HOW TO BUILD A READERSHIP: # 1 - Create great content.
- Post often.
If you're just starting out, aim for every 2-3 days. Once you get rolling, ratchet that up to once a day, 6 days a week. Later you can add more, maybe post twice a day or several times. You're only limit is time.
- Tell a story.
The best stories are told with good, basic writing. This means correct spelling and grammar, tight sentences that are to the point, transitions between ideas, and descriptive adjectives to create imagery.
Even better blog stories are illustrated with photos.
- Embed images.
HOW TO BUILD A READERSHIP: # 2 - Promote and market.
Once you've got the content part nailed down, you've got to help people find it.
- Comment on other blogs.
You'll get people to click back to your blog more often if you leave comments on blogs that get a lot of comments. It means they have more readers who could potentially click back to yours. Leave insightful comments, even questions — and if you're feeling bold — pointed ones, aka the snarky comment. That will get people to click back faster than anything. Just don't be a jerk, and whatever you do, don't leave spam comments.
You'll also generate more back clicks if you leave comments on blogs that write about similar topics. Soon, you'll be reading & commenting on a network of similar blogs. After a while, you get to know a blogging community this way. My network, and readership, is mostly academics and artists. I could expand that by searching for other like-minded people, such as gardeners.
- Put links to your blog in your emails, other websites and online communities you participate in.
HOW TO STAY MOTIVATED
You will have days you don't have anything you think is worthy of a post. You'll have days you think you don't have time to. Although it's true that those are the only 2 legitimate reasons not to post, they aren't good enough reasons to file a story. If you want to have a successful blog, you have to be productive and keep the quality high.
Readers, loyal ones especially, will forgive you if you have crappy content days. But they will not forgive you if you don't even publish.
Can you imagine if your town's newspaper just didn't put out the paper one day because none of the stories were 'good enough' or the reporters didn't feel they had 'time to write a good enough story' that day? It never happens.
Now think of all the stories that are in the paper. They aren't all universally interesting or well-written, and most aren't even illustrated with photos. But they're there. All the news that's fit to print. Rubbish! It's all the news that fits, prints.
You should adopt the same attitude with your blog. Decide how often you publish (your readers will figure it out and adjust their visits). Decide the minimum length of a story you'll write each day (space your posts will fill). Then — fill it. Even if it is just a photo. At least put a caption in that explains what the photo is. I'd bet before you know it, you have a post.
*********That's basically all you need to know to make a successful blog. Just remember to blog about your passion. Tell a story well and with photos. Do so regularly, and save some time to read and comment on other blogs. If you set aside just enough time each day, and turn these tips into habits, you will have a very successful blog indeed.