Even if you pick & implement any two tips, you will be on your way to win!
Why do some blogs get all the attention and traffic while others, in spite of writing original posts at regular intervals don’t see much happening?
Before we begin answering that question, allow me a moment to make an important revelation for the benefit of my readers who may either be bloggers or blog readers.
The revelation is that the blog reading community is a faithful, enduring, and tolerant bunch of people! They will stick to you for a long time if you give them reasons to.
When this piece of information was first revealed to me I thought it was bizarre; but when I looked within myself as a blog-reader-and-follower, I agreed with every written word.
What I intend to tell you here is that irrespective of whichever high geared software and strategic planning that you may have scheduled to use on your blog; don’t make the mistake of underestimating the power of human connection.
The Mother of All Mistakes!
The worst mistake a blogger commits is that he does not care to highlight the five most important elements of his blog – on his blog; which give him and the blog an identity of its own; which eventually helps him to connect with his reader at an invisible frequency. As a blogger your mistake is that you do not talk about the following things:
- who are you;
- where are you from;
- what do you blog about;
- why do you do it;
- How long have you been into it; and
- How can you help (if you are at all trying to)
The order in which you answer these questions is not important; what’s important is you cover them all; as clearly-and-early on the blog as possible. These add credibility and trust value to your blog. These comprise key information that helps people connect and relate with you; this is what will help them decide if this blog is going to be of help to them or not.
Blog readers basically follow / read /revisit blogs not so much for entertainment; as they do looking for information; so they tend to follow blogs which have a fresh supply of information on an ongoing basis, presented in a non-boring and friendly format.
People get so hooked to such blogs that if they do not visit their bookmarked blogs for some time they almost start worrying about what they might have missed during the days that they did not go there. And it’s not necessary that our favourite bloggers will be only talking what we expect. Sometimes they may just go tangent and we’d still find ourselves reading their stuff. The reason – emotional connect; we’ve begun to relate to them.
I have often caught myself (almost blindly) hanging on to every word that my favourite blogger talks about and recommends. Even when he posts a letter for his five year old son Abhishek on the blog, I am curious to know “what he must have written to his son about this birthday”. And when he mentions the workshop for parents that teach `teaching your child to think and problem-solve by the time he is five or six’ I am frantically looking for details of that workshop everywhere on the net. No connection between what he generally writes on his blogs about but as far as I can I generally don’t like to miss his posts.
Another thing, whether it about blog or us – you decide; I want to share it nevertheless. It’s the general human tendency that we prefer to visit blogs that are talking to us; over those that are talk at us.
The most bizarre delusion related to blog readers and followers is that the readers are gender fixated; it’s not true at all. It’s likely, that women will visit or follow women oriented blogs written by women (or vice versa) but NOT as a rule; never. Men and women read / follow blogs for the honesty which the blogger writes the posts. Writers work hard to earn loyalty of readers, and if anything this bit is a cruel piece of judgement.
Free Blogs vs. Blogs Hosted on Your Own Domain
Then there is a misconception prevailing amongst bloggers, that free blogs will not earn them the credibility, traffic, and reputation that a privately owned domain name blog can. Personally if you ask me I am a supporter of a blog hosted on your own domain; however that does not change the basic facts; and free blogs do earn you the same credibility as your own blog can, provided right ingredients go into the making, at the right temperature.
Actually if you ask me free blogs’ software is a great way to start for the new blogger. He gets an exposure on a user friendly platform; gets access to a variety of readymade templates to choose from, learns the technical aspects related to blogging, like tagging, blog-roll, archiving, creating different pages, handing and dealing with comments, even posting your ads and product photographs on your free blog and start selling. It’s a huge lesson that too without having to pay a penny for it.
Time to Roll out Your Own Blog
As the blogger progresses and matures; and spends some more time blogging, and wants to create his own corporate or business identity, he may consider switching to a more professional platform. With his own blog he can consider designing his blog to suit his business identity and product.
Hire Professional – Avoid Technical Glitch:
The third possibility is that you already have a free established blog and want to switch to a new & professional platform you should seek professional help. He will help you switch from free to paid hosted blog without you having to lose feeds, readership base, back-links and so on.
Is it Wise to Mix Blog and Business?
Next when you decide to mix business with blogging don’t suddenly make is sound like a sales tool. Don’t do anything that will give a feeling to your reader that you are deceiving him.
It is absolutely okay to mix blog with business. There is no harm in selling stuff on your blog; actually it’s an excellent platform to do it, but blogger should learn the tact to do it cleverly.
And if you are selling a good product worth the money, people will not think twice before buying it from you but ensure that your blog is worth the time spent even for those who may not have come to your blog for the product. When you are in this kind of space and competitive mainstream, I think design of your blog does become an important issue.
Can Good Content Blogs Survive Shabby and Bad Design?
Let the message (purpose and objective of the blog) on your blog be clearly and outstandingly written. So much so that even if all the thrills and frills on your blog are done away with, like software, and buttons; headers and footers; your blog should still have content and substance remaining that speaks about why the blog is here in the first place; because second important revelation that I want to make and share with my fellow bloggers is that I have seen many good content rich blogs survive and reap rich dividends in spite of bad designs.
Purpose of Installing Software on the Blog
Another important designing aspect of a blog is that all the functional as well as no functional software that you decide to add on to your blog remember that finally they should come in handy for the user and support him in exploring the blog and not distract him from it.
If not, then such a stray addition can cause threat to the design of the blog and when considered from the long term aspect, it can go to the extent of adversely impacting success as well as life of your blog.
Privacy Page on Your Blog
Whoever Claims Money Making Via Blog is a Simple Business Has Never Made Any Himself!
The last revelation that I want to share with my readers is that I receive more than ten emails a day where people ask me how to make money blogging. There are more people wanting to know how to make money off blogging than what is blogging. And they think it must be easy and they will be able to achieve it in a few months time. The ideal order would be people learn what blogging is and then find ways to make money with it. People who have made a success of themselves on the blogs have actually chased information, and they still are; the good part is money is chasing them.
You decide; do you want to chase money or would you prefer money to chase you? If you choose latter, you will have to chase knowledge.
Its great to see young people, fresh blood joining the world of blogging everyday with great enthusiasm and stars in their eyes; but the experienced lot knows that young will not remain young forever, and soon will be on their way to growing, adding experience, learning, tasting failure, meeting challenges, getting on their feet… fighting the odds and finally emerging strong and wise. Winner, not yet!
Content on the Blog
Various Categories; Which Type is for you?
Now if we were discussing blogs and did not discuss content on the blog, it would not be considered right and complete, so here we are;
There was a time when I was stuck with the concept of `original content’. It remained my only criteria for writing for a long while. I had learnt the art of writing original content and was thrilled with it. But like all bloggers who want to finally succeed online I decided to look beyond. And this is what I learnt:
Original content can be divided into several types;
Lowest quality of original content is original but does not go down well with the reader or visitor on the blog for whatever reason, the tone, the words, the composition of sentences, flow of thought…
Slightly better quality of original content is what your visitor feels just about okay reading through it; but if you notice, your have created it mainly with an objective on getting back-links; not full marks to this type too.
The third, the top quality content is original; sounds great to reader to the point that he wants to explore a few more things, hang on the blog for a little longer, recommends it to friends, and, finally finds it link worthy; its also something fellow bloggers will not mind using it for citation purpose either. This is real top quality content. If you can achieve this with your content, people will not miss noticing a winner in you and your blog.
The first two types of content will make your blog rank on many search engines. But to come up on the most sacrosanct ones content will have to be link worthy. Quality of information; frequency of information; the sound of it; sequence in which it flows, the way it connects and engages with readers, everything counts.
Understanding And Learning Getting Into the Mind of Your Reader
So when you plan to build a blog, understands your reader to decide the tone of your content; competitor strategy to decide the aggression with which you will promote your blog and develop content style; know your product; and then decide what will you do to bring your costumer & product closer to each other without sounding overbearing; or shouting from the rooftop with 36 points bold headlines in daring fonts and colours.
Poor planning will spell doom for your business even before you’ve begun.
- Therefore do not be impulsive, harried
- Research into your niche; narrow it down as much as possible
- Plan and build content that is link and citation worthy
- Reach out to your audience slowly and steadily
- Say no to software that will sound cool but won’t add value
Time and words can never be enough whet it comes to learning to blog or writing about it. So we will stop here, with a hope that whatever is written will make sense. Its practical advice from my own experience and observations that I have made over time, so I do hope through the article I am able to help future bloggers to get started right.