“Making a product is just an activity, making a profit on a product is the achievement.”
By Amit Kalantri.
Before talking about the factors themselves, we should define what exactly “success” is in a blog.
I will mention some of the most important personal indicators that are a combination of visits, degree of loyalty of those visits (visits that become frequent readers), level of “engagement” of the community (comments, etc.), visibility and reputation.
From here, what would be then those essential factors of success of a blog and more or less in what order of importance?
1. Passion for what you do, faith, patience and perseverance
It’s something that almost 100% of bloggers will surely agree on.
Creating a blog requires many hours of work and the situation of most bloggers is that they have to take them out of where there are none. That is only possible with passion, in addition, the reader notices whether or not there is passion behind the blog and if you know how to transmit it, it is contagious and engages the reader.
On the other hand, all this is not worthy if the passion lasts three days. As it is essential to have patience, faith in what you do and perseverance to move forward for months or years without clear results because all blogs go through a long period of drought before they start to bear fruit.
2. Quality content
I know, this has already been said loads of times… But it is necessary to mention it in this list, even at the risk of repeating things already said in other posts.
Internet suffers a great infotoxication, nowadays, with the enormous offer of free quality content, mediocre content. However, a second, third or fourth variant of the same subject, if it is elaborated with quality, still has its place.
Do not get me wrong. We all get bad posts from time to time, it is impossible that it does not happen. I do not mean to post one brilliant post after another, I mean not knowingly creating “bulk posts” that do not provide real added value to the reader in order to save time and effort and pretend what is not.
Also, it does not work, not anymore. Forget, every hour that you dedicate to do something mediocre or even worse, copy contents of others, it’s a lost hour.
3. Understand the needs of your audience and empathize with them
It is very common the phenomenon of people who believe that because something seems interesting to them, it must also be interesting for others. It happens in all facets of life and also in blogs.
If you are able to create a bit of quality, getting them to read your thing is as simple as hitting the nail on the head with the needs and tastes of your audience. The better you know how to empathize and detect the needs of your audience, the more successful your content will be.
There are many techniques to achieve that hardly anyone applies and that many are very simple. For example: ask your readers directly and react to their needs. We have not taken advantage of its potential ourselves. It’s a safe bet, so take advantage of it. We will do it, do not hesitate.
4. Be nice to your community and create a relationship with them
There are some bloggers who have a bad habit of not taking care of their community: they do not respond to emails or they respond with a certain rudeness, they never respond to comments, etc.
Someone like this will eventually be seen as inaccessible, distant or worse, whether you like it or not, that will be part of your personal brand and your community will hardly prosper in that way.
On the other hand, it is true that as soon as you gain some visibility, the time consumed by interaction with people starts to improve.
But it is not necessary to solve everyone’s life, a simple gesture is enough, with a short but kind phrase, saying that you regret it, but that it is impossible for individual attention is enough. In my experience, people understand it perfectly and you do not stay as rude. If, in addition, you think of a link to a related post to recommend, more than better.
On the other hand, if something differentiates blogs is the relationship that creates between the author and his community. Maybe you do not make personal friends with each one of your readers, but the simple fact of striving to answer all or almost the comments and having conversations with your readers already creates a solid link with your readers. And this is not only something nice and rewarding, but tremendously positive because it locks up enormously and generates the necessary confidence in your audience to take your blog to the next level that may consist, for example, in the sale of products or services.
5. Learn to write
You do not have to be a crack to write well, doing “reasonably well” is enough. Even small spelling errors are perfectly tolerable.
What matters is that your content is pleasant to read and easy to understand.
The issue is that, although you do not have much talent to write, there are very simple techniques, but very effective, which will be a great improvement.
These techniques are as simple as using short and simple sentences, eliminating redundant words and expressions, keeping small paragraphs, etc. There are many posts on the subject, so I refer you to them.
And then do not forget the most important thing: when you write, ask yourself in each sentence if a “normal” person can understand it.
6. SEO and copywriting
Here I will limit myself to saying that the belief that SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is not important in a blog that is starting is one of the false myths of blogging.
If I could backtrack to the point when I started blogging, it would be, along with copywriting, the first things I would be trained because even with a very simple SEO job, there is no color in the visits that you will receive from search engines. Especially if you take it seriously and work with professional tools like SEMrush.
On the other hand, “copywriting” is a discipline that refers to how to get texts that attract attention and keep it as long as possible. Something that is especially important in the title of a post that is where you play at 80% that read or not.
A good “copy” (one of the things I would like to progress most) is so powerful that you can get the second or third result of a Google search to exceed the first clicks.
7. Know how to spread your content
When you start with your personal blog, social networks are almost all you have to start capturing visitors. You do not have subscriptions by mail, or your RSS feed and Google will ignore you for a few months. So what you’re left with are basically social networks.
To use them effectively you have to know them well, each one is different and to promote your content there are things that will work in some but not in others. And then you will discover little gems like the fact that, for example, LinkedIn groups or Google+ communities are a very good source of traffic capture for your blog if you know how to take advantage of them without spamming.
8. Design, organization and usability
Landing on a blog is how to get into someone’s house, surely if you find underwear on the sofa and cockroaches in the kitchen, you will not get a good impression and you will not want to return.
In a blog exactly the same happens, make your reader feel comfortable and take an impression that invites you to run.
You do not need any “mega-design” to impress you, simply a clear and simple organization (usable), a little cleanliness and good looks. If you use WordPress, you have it relatively easy because of the great offer of excellent themes for this platform.
Capturing and retaining readers will be largely a matter of finding what they are looking for. If you have a clear idea of what is the added value you want to offer your reader and how to translate that into content and, furthermore, you are able to organize it in a simple way, you will have taken a big step.
9. WordPress.org technologies
To be really successful with your blog project, as is logical, the blogging platform you use is key.
The most powerful platform, by far, is WordPress.org, the WordPress variant with hosting, since it has thousands of templates to customize the look of your blog and has an incredible amount of plugins (+30,000 free) to add functionality specific.
It is simply another level, in our plugins page you can get an idea of the virguerias that can be done with this.
What are the differences between WordPress.com, Blogger and WordPress.org and what is it for me?
Of course, it is essential that the hosting you hire is of good quality for your blog to go well. But fortunately there are good quality hostings very affordable, although in the market there is also a lot of junk offer.
Nobody will be surprised if you say that if you have knowledge of the basic technologies that a blog uses such as HTML, CSS or PHP you will have a great advantage over other bloggers because thanks to the fact that it is possible to manipulate the code in WordPress.org, this will allow you to implement many small (or large) details that differentiate it from others, or, hire these changes and customizations to a professional on sites like oDesk.com, for example.
A simple example is to be able to create a personalized text for posts and pages like the one that appears at the end of all the posts of this blog and to insert it with a shortcode where you want without depending on your theme support something like this or that you find a plugin that does just that.
And if this is combined with a good WordPress theme, for example Divi, then you will finish the play because it will allow you to create in an easy way an almost professional design for your blog that will make it much more attractive and professional, and will differentiate it from others.
Getting a blog to succeed requires much more than just good content, you need to acquire a set of skills to get those contents, in addition, be disseminated and read.
The problem is that it is impossible for you to acquire all of them at the beginning, it usually takes years until you actually get all the “pack” of knowledge to really take advantage of the full potential of your blog.
So, if you want to start your own blog or have already started but you have relatively little time, let me recommend a much faster way forward in this and that is our basic course of blogging and WordPress that we do shortly in which no you will only learn to use WordPress, but also to lay the foundations so that your blog can be successful learning the basic SEO techniques for bloggers, how to write to get read and how to achieve maximum diffusion of your content.
And in your blog, what things have been the most essential? Or what things do you think I left in the inkwell and should I have mentioned?