Eureka! I’ve finally discovered the secret to blogging success! The good news is that I can’t wait to share the magic potion with all of you! Whoot!
Let’s get started…
What is ‘blogging success’ at the outset? Is it something achievable? Is it quantifiable? For me, a successful blog is one that is loved by all. A blog that is pampered in its niche attracts thousands of visitors, garners hundreds of likes and is home to a never-ending string of comments. A successful blog stands out from the rest because, well, it is amazeballs. But what does it take for an amateur to get there? Did it cross your mind at some point in time that those established bloggers were starters, like you? Yeah? Good!
Passion is the key to unlock the door to blogging success. When you blog, you have to do it out of love, for its own sake; and not for money or for digital attention. Let me share my story with you. As a little child, whenever I was sad or depressed, I closed myself in my room, took a paper and scribbled down my woes. Sometimes they would be letters which I would write to God while at other times I’d be producing personal journals. It turned out that when I looked back the day after and read my musings, they were way better than what I’d have written had I not been miserable. And quite funnily, I would treasure those writings in a well-hidden precious box to re-read them again and again. (I still haven’t let go of this habit.) All just to tell you that you should be driven by your emotions when you blog. Do it for fun otherwise it will end up being a fiasco.
2. Create meaningful content.
This one is pretty straightforward. While facebook might give you the carte blanche for posting things like, “I’m feeling excited to wear coconut leaves on top of the mountain”, the blogosphere will simply regard you as someone as thick as two short planks. When you blog, you have to articulate your thoughts and feelings lucidly. The 5W-1H is your best friend. Explain your sentiments. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information at the US National Library of Medicine, the average attention span of a human being has plummeted from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds in 2013, which is one second less than the attention span of a goldfish. Scary! So, always serve your audience with educative, inspiring and humorous blogs that will keep them hooked till the last sentence.
3. Focus on quality.
You know, good grammar is like personal hygiene-you can ignore it if you want, but don’t be surprised when people draw out their conclusions.
Guys, I’m not asking you to deliver in a ridiculously fake RP English either. The “Golly gosh! It has been yonks since one has last conversed with you, I must say. How d’you do?” is a no-no. You’ll be making a fool out of yourself. Cut the crap. It’s a bit much. You only have to master the rudimentary rules of grammar, punctuation marks and vocabulary. I advise you to avoid the “Haay wutt r yew doin?!” lest a random blogger replies, “about to throw a dictionary at your face”.
4. Be original.
The blogosphere is bursting at the seams with a considerable number of bloggers and the only way to set yourself apart is by confidently using your own voice. Let your personality dazzle through your words. Do not plagiarize, for plagiarism is the mark of the lowest of the lows.
“When you have wit of your own, it’s a pleasure to credit other people for theirs.” -Criss Jami
When you quote something as I have done above, use quotation marks, provide a citation within the text and make sure to link the citation of the quoted material to the reference. By doing that, you will be scoring credibility points. Not to mention, you will sound like a professional.
Without further ado, let’s get down to the next vital factor which is presentation. We might preach about not judging a book by its cover and bla-bla-bla but who turns heads in the street?
Quite similarly, the appearance of your blog matters a lot. Your blog post could contain the most groundbreaking content but if it doesn’t seem inviting, attractive and easy to navigate, you’re less likely to earn social shares or natural backlinks. Use colours, bullet points, photos and gifs, inter alia, as your props.
6. Encourage community.
You have to realise that there is no Sophia behind the screen on the other side of the world. There is a real walking, talking, living human who is probably going through the same struggles as you are. Successful bloggers respect other fellows in the blogosphere. They respond to comments left by their readers, they read, ‘like’ and ‘re-blog’ others’ posts. They are the ones who make friends all along and support them by showing blog-love. You have to be generous and considerate.
The most-watched TV shows with the highest ratings are those that are broadcast consistently. In the same manner, maintaining consistency and frequency in your publishing schedule is a critical component of your success as a blogger. The more frequently you update your site with fresh content, the more chances you have to strengthen your SEO and be indexed higher by search engines. Readers will also notice your pattern, guesstimate your next blog and flock to your site at that particular time. It works wonders in the long-run.
In a nutshell, no successful blogger slid in on a shrimp sandwich. They worked hard, devoted ample time, resources and energy before they were recognized. Take it easy. Be patient. It’s not gonna happen overnight but with the proper techniques and efforts, you’ll get there, too.
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