I keep getting asked what is the secret to successful blogging. Which baffles me as folk seem to be suggesting I’m a successful blogger. I don’t see it that way at all as there are many, many better writers than me out there in the bloggersphere. But for what it’s worth here are my two cents. You can take from it what you regard as useful and ignore the rest. These thoughts are just my personal opinions.
I blog every day. That’s my personal choice. I realise that doesn’t suit everyone due to other commitments but if you are serious about building a successful blog you should get into the habit of posting on a regular basis. If you propose to blog every day, every other day or 2-3 times a week, your readers will know when to expect new material from you.
There’s nothing more frustrating than a blogger you really like, posting sporadically or going AWOL for long periods of time. Building a readership doesn’t happen overnight. You need to work at it and that involves earning the loyalty and trust of your readers. They will keep coming back for more if they know you’re going to be there. Inconsistent bloggers won’t merit that trust.
Every blogger needs a message, a vision statement if you will. Why are you blogging? What are you seeking to convey to your readers? If you want to write about your passions for fishing and pot holing, then go for it, but don’t after three months decide you want to ‘do a 180’ and blog about North Korean politics and architecture.
Content is key. Focus on quality and building a niche for yourself within the community where you feel most at home. Readers know what they like and if they like the topics you discuss, then they will keep coming back to your site. Writing about what you know also equates to more efficient and effective writing. Your passion for your content will shine through and become infectious to others.
There is an argument that ‘shock blogging’ will get you noticed, but I don’t buy into that. At best, it’s a short term tactic that soon wears thin. Always be courteous and civilised in your blogging. Considering I’m Northern Irish, I largely steer clear of writing about religion and politics, two contentious areas on this island I live on. I tend to keep my thoughts on such topics private.
Call me churlish, but I’m also not a fan of unnecessary swearing. Where I see the ‘F Bomb’ in the title or first few lines of a post, I tend to stop reading. I’m no prude but is that really the best you can manage? I’m all for passionate blogging but I tend to disengage in a person’s argument if it involves a lot of shouting and swearing. Offensive images, memes and videos are also a personal no no.
Communication is a two way street. It’s all very well penning award winning posts, but that’s only half the battle. You need to reach out and engage within your community. If someone takes the time to comment on your work, then reply to them. Read other blogs, like their content, follow them, encourage and support fledgling bloggers. WordPress is a caring and supportive community.
I’ve found it a world apart from the vain, self absorbed platforms of Twitter or Instagram. Bloggers want to build friendships and relationships. It’s a safe place to learn and explore your emotions. I’d say 99.9% of my interactions on WordPress have been positive. I’ve made friends across the world, people I engage with more than my next door neighbours. That’s the joy of blogging.
I hope you’ve found these pointers of use. Please feel free to add your own thoughts in the comments section below.