Blog successfully and you can smile all the way to the bank. Your website traffic will grow, your company will flourish, and your reputation could swell to the point where business finds you. Bloggers like Michael Arrington rake in up to $800,000 per month!
But it’s not quite that simple. In order to achieve success, there are things every blogger must have – things you can’t blog without. In this post, I highlight five of the most important. If you’re just starting out with blogging, hopefully you will find this useful.
1. A Plan
In the words of Benjamin Franklin, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” This applies to bloggers, too – especially if you are doing it for business. Having a clear and documented blogging strategy is essential. It sets the destination, keeps you focused, and enables you to measure performance. What is the purpose of your blog? What are your business objectives? Who are you targeting and why? How will you reach this audience, and which tools and resources will you employ? Important questions to ask. To blog successfully, you will also need to plan your topics, determine posting frequency, etc.
2. The Right CMS/Theme/Plugins
Whether you’re a small business or niche blogger, you need a website that is flexible and efficient, not one that requires paying an agency every time an update is needed. Open source content management systems like WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal are good options. Offering a variety of themes, plugins, extensions, etc., you can use either platform to create custom, visually stunning websites that are responsive and functional. Updating is quick and easy regardless of which CMS you choose (it’s like working on MS Word), and you get total control of your blog.
3. High-Quality Content
You can’t blog successfully without quality content. You just can’t. Sure, you may have a spiffy new website with all the trimmings, but it is what you say (and how you say it) that will ultimately attract and build an audience. Search engines like Google tend to take notice of this, too. Are you blogging about topics that your ideal prospect actually cares about? Are you presenting the information in a manner that appeals to them? Is your content fresh and unique, or is it is just a rehash of old, tired material? Is it useful and interesting enough to prompt your readers to share it?
4. An Online Presence
It’s not enough to have a website or blog. People need to find you, which requires ongoing promotion. Do you have active profiles on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+? Are you guest posting, commenting on other blogs, and getting involved in forum discussions? Speaking of comments, you will find it hard to blog successfully if you do not respond to the ones on your own blog. Interacting with your audience is the key to building a community. Additionally, you may want to work on the on-page SEO of your site, as search engines can deliver valuable free traffic.
Every day, scores of companies and aspiring bloggers enter the blogosphere with hopes of building a strong community and generating leads and profits. Here’s the thing, though: blogging isn’t easy, and success takes time. There are hard blogging truths to face. Most blogs go down within a year. Why do some blog successfully while others fail? Several reasons, but a big one is that most bloggers give up when they don’t see fast results. Those who do make it keep at it. They learn from their mistakes. They follow through with their plan and continue to produce quality content. They persevere.
The Importance of Blog Networking
The support of other bloggers, particularly those with influence and experience in your industry, can play a pivotal role in your online success. Don’t see them as competitors, but rather as allies. They can link to and share your content. They can guide and mentor you. They can boost your credibility and help you blog successfully.
Have you managed to find success blogging for business? What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them? Let me know in the comments.