Maintaining a popular blog means following the rules of the “i”s; insightful, innovative, interesting. If you can make each and every one of your blog entries follow one or all of those rules then you are well on the way to blogging success and maintaining a popular blog with great traffic, and lots of return visitors.
However, sometimes inspiration does not come easy, sometimes writers block can set it, your blog posts can start sounding a little stale, and worse, your traffic might start to drop off. If you ever find yourself in a place like that, with subscriber numbers slowing, follow my three critical steps for Blogging Success below and re-invigorate your blogging!
Step 1 – Fresh Ideas!
If you are suffering from writers block and cannot think of the next subject for your blog there are a number of ways to find new subject matter of interest to your readership. Do you use bullet point lists in your blog entries? I hope so because they are a great way of making your blog posts pleasing to the eye and less hard work for the lazy reader. Just make sure you get your points out in a nice orderly matter. There is another use for these bullet lists in old blog posts though, and this tip is gold – read on!
Revisit the most popular posts on your blog, identified either by visitor stats, or by comment count, and take another look at those bullet points you have in there. Every one of those listed items can be a blog post of its own! You have already proved the blog post was a popular one, so now create a new blog post for each of the bullet point items! In this way you can find inspiration for half a dozen, a dozen, or even more brand new blog posts. This is a golden tip that keeps your blog relevant, interesting and insightful! Trust me, this stuff really works.
Here’s another golden idea for finding inspiration for your next blog post – check print media for ideas! Offline sources such as printed media can offer a blog owner a lot in addition to online sources. Many bloggers will simply Google for related topics to find inspiration for their next blog post, but there are even more powerful ideas waiting for you in the offline world – namely magazines. There are magazines for just about every subject these days and there is almost definitely at least one for your blog’s subject matter. There are two major benefits with researching offline articles; First, your blog is less likely to be penalised for duplicate content. And second, Professional writers from magazines come up with some great titles and innovative content!
So, visit your local magazine stand, find the best magazine in your niche, and buy a subscription for a regular stream of new ideas for your blog! Or, just google it and you will find tonne of good ones related to your niche.
You don’t have to steal any ideas or copy other’s stuff; instead, you can curate it
Step 2 – Connect with your Audience
When I say connect with your audience, what does it mean to you? When you are blogging, you are writing for people and not bots. When you write about a topic, try to solve a problem, direct a problem and seek solution or talk about personal experience/story. Post questions that people can comment on, post something that can be related to a group of people. Always remember your target audience for whom you are writing. You have to get this straight: connecting means relating to another, helping, answering questions, getting back, responding to emails and feedback etc. Here’s some more tips for making that all important connection:
I’ve already told you the first way to connect, that’s right, the three “i”s – insightful, innovative, and interesting. If you re-read your latest blog post and you can honestly say it has at least one of those elements, it’s all good. If it is lacking by either not having any, or perhaps having all three, but in diluted form, you have a decision to make. Do you publish the blog post and let the search engines put a value on it, but at the expense of boring your readers and losing a subscription opportunity – or, do you scrap it and go back to Step 1? Only you can decide, but for a long term successful blog, you should take the brave step of scrapping it and starting again!
Another way of connecting with your blog’s audience, is to harness the power of social media. Twitter and Facebook alone have accelerated beyond all belief to reach unprecedented membership. If you can offer your visitors a means of connecting your blog to their social media, with a simple click, they will do it at the drop of a hat – no hesitation! So jump on the social media bandwagon if you still haven’t and make sure you have like buttons and all those cool social icons posted with every blog post. WordPress has several cool plugins for it such as Digg Digg which is my favourite.
I also suggest that you Install the facebook comment platform on your blog because over 800 million people are on facebook and most are always logged into it. When they land on your blog post, they might simply post a comment because there is no hassle of logging since they are already logged in. On top of that, their comment gets posted on their profile which means more exposure and more connection.
Make your blog appealing to the eye. This does not mean you have to employ a graphics artist, but making “reading your blog” an easy process for the eye. This is an important step that many bloggers either forget or are blissfully unaware of. Make your blog easy to use and easy to read. In practice this means following these vital guidelines; Focus on a simple design and easy navigation. Do you like the design of this green blog ? What about the simplicity?
Make use of paragraphs, bold, italics whenever necessary.
Paragraphs make it easier to read and focus on sentences.
Make proper use of bullet points to list out points and important stuff.
Remember, don’t make its difficult for readers to be able to read stuff on your blog.
Having a strong Black Background with a weird light font will be a pain in the eyes. Try to keep it simple stupid. If you don’t like how it looks or if something sucks in your eyes then you know that you have to work on it.
Step 3 – Retain your Readership!
If your blog is leaking readers, or if your subscription stats are on a downward trend, it’s time to reassess and figure out why you are losing subscribers. I have experienced this before; Wise are those who make mistakes and take steps to fix it. So if you start losing subscribers all of a sudden, don’t panic. There can be many reasons for this, for example, perhaps your blog is based on a seasonal niche and will naturally have peaks and troughs of interest. However, here are the top three reasons why your blog is losing subscribers.
- Too many updates! Yes it is true; you can update your blog too often. There is a misconception that Google expects to see updates every day to be of value – don’t fall into this trap. Maybe 1 post a day can get indexed and bring you more search traffic, but your subscribers will hate you for it. Let me explain why. First of all, if you really don’t have anything awesome to post then its better to sit down, think about it, come out with something awesome and then post it. Secondly, you might be able to commit to your blog and make a post everyday. But, in reality, we all know that most of us are busy in our trade and it’s hard to keep up with several blogs on a daily basis. You don’t want to annoy your readers by sending them daily updates through aweber, feedburner, or twitter feed EVERYDAY. Make your readership wait, then hit them with the three “i”s couple of times a week. They’ll love you for it.
- Don’t be negative. There is always a way to put a positive spin on almost everything, and your readers will appreciate positivity more than negativity – every time. Some bloggers even agree that it is better to say nothing than to be negative, while other bloggers make a habit out of being negative and it becomes their Unique Selling Point. For the most part though, as a blogger looking for both new and returning visitors, keep it positive! If you are addressing something negative then try to find a positive outcome
- Over Promoting sucks. Are you writing promotional blog posts more than quality and informational ones? If this is the case, then your blog sucks and I wouldn’t doubt if you are losing subscribers. As a blogger, you should try to post useful and informational articles that will help others or make a difference in the community. There is nothing wrong with promoting stuffs and I love doing it myself but there is always a right time for everything. A lot of my readers emailed me asking why don’t I have that many promotional posts on this blog and how am I still able to make money from it ; well the secret is : the ultimate guide to blog monetization . Promote stuff that is worth it; a product that you will personally use and can vouch for. When is the best time to make a promotional blog post ? Let’s say, you are a regular blogger making 3-4 posts a week. In this case, you can make 2-3 promotional blog posts per month. I would try not to go above that.
Always remember, the more you share free ideas and help others, the more money you will make in the long run. Its a crazy psychology , I know, and maybe i’ll write a blog post on it someday soon.
Successful blogs were not created over night and the fact is that you need to work hard on your first blog if you really want blogging success. Be truthful to yourself and take the shot. If you think your blog sucks and is not doing well then stop procrastinating and implement the three important tips mentioned on this blog post for your blogging success.