I’ve seen it so many times.
Someone has a passion to start a blog. They get set up on a free account. They post some killer content.
After a week, they lose steam. Weeks, maybe months, go by without a post.
The first week or month of a blog is the honeymoon phase. You have tremendous vision for it only to run out of ideas after a week of sprinting.
Or, you start posting randomness that nobody cares about.
Has this been your story?
Maybe it’s not your desire to become a professional blogger or to blog with consistency. That is fine and wonderful if you just like to journal your thoughts and have a few readers.
But if it’s your desire to have a widely read blog, there’s a few things you should do.
With this post I hope to infuse some new life into your blog. Or maybe you’re thinking of starting a blog. This post will get you started with realistic expectations and set you up for long term success.
1. Laser focus your content
The watermark of a successful blog is its narrowed focus.
Notice the tagline of mine? A blog for worship leaders and musicians.
Yea, this excludes a lot of people. You’d think it would be better for me to write “A blog for humans everywhere”. But the most successful blogs pick a niche and stay there.
Why does this work? Because you attract an engaged niche of people. They want to know what you are saying because they are involved in your niche.
Truth be told, I don’t stick around blogs that bounce around 400 different topics. I lose interest. Too random. Laser focus your content.
2. Develop a workflow
If you haven’t, you should familiarize yourself with David Allen’s Getting Things Done. One aspect of successful people is that they think about their work before they work.
A successful blogger is a blogger who plans.
If your plan is wake up every day for the rest of your life and publish a masterful blog post, you are mistaken. Carve out an hour or two on the weekend and plan your posts for the upcoming week.
Write posts in advance. I can’t stress this enough because if you don’t, YOU WILL BE STRESSED!
Don’t wait for perfect surroundings and circumstances to write. Have a 10 minute break? Start the idea for a new post.
Sometimes I’ll simply fire up wordpress and write a title that interests me. Then next time I write, I have an idea waiting for me to explore.
My goal is to always have a bank of 2-3 posts that I can publish. This keeps me from the stress of “what should I write about?”
Have a hard time coming up with ideas? Do some brainstorming.
I learned a helpful technique from Darren Rowse over at Problogger:
- Write out the titles of your last 5 posts.
- Underneath each one, brainstorm follow up post ideas.
- Don’t think too hard. Just write anything that comes to mind.
Give yourself space to be creative. Take risks.
If a post fails, great. It means you attempted something instead of just sitting there. Brainstorm in different locations as well. Sometimes a new space can increase your creative mind.
4. Read, Study, Learn
Don’t ever assume that you know anything.
Do yourself a favor and never stop learning. Read and study the best blogs in your niche. Read great books that inspire new ideas.
Sign up for a course on improving your blog. In the morning (after I post my blog) I’ll spend a good half hour observing other blogs and taking notes on what I could try.
Even the best run out of inspiration sometime. Being a constant learner will ensure that you continually grow and develop.
5. Build your community
Blogs rise and fall on the community they develop. If you want to blog successfully for more than a week, spend time everyday improving your community.
Build relationships with other bloggers in your niche. Retweet their posts, offer good comments on their blogs. Don’t be a jerk. I
t’s your desire to build a dedicated community that helps each other, right? Invest in it. It takes time, sometimes months of time. Don’t expect that just because you post it people are going to read it and comment.
Ask questions. Post consistently. Offer great content that solves people’s problems. Stand out as an authority.
Question: What have you done to make your blog successful?