Famous Bloggers

5 Practical Tips on Building a Successful Blog

Build A Successful Blog

Putting up a blog is something that can now be easily done in minutes, but building a successful blog is another thing. It requires more time and pondering, more careful planning, and of course, more strategic blogging.

Here are five practical tips to get you started. The first tip tells you how to prepare; the second gives pointers on how to create content; the third teaches how to blog; the fourth offers tips on how to expand your outreach though social media; and the last is about “joining the community”.

Tip # 1: Preparation

Before putting up a blog, make a plan

One of the most important keys to making anything successful is having a good plan. Think of all the blog essentials and carefully craft a blog site that makes up a full package.

Site Design and Structure

Choosing a Domain Name and a Hosting Company

Choosing a domain name is like choosing a business or company name. The domain name refers to the first part of your URL or uniform resource locator. It is usually preceded by “http://www.” and suffixed with a TLD or top-level domain (ex. “.com”, “.net”, “.edu”). Like the site design, it has to say something about your blog.

Here are a few tips in choosing a domain name:

Once you’ve made your pick on what your blog would be called, you can already buy a domain name from a web hosting or a domain name service provider. Here are some tips:

Keyword / Market Research

So you have already planned what your site would be about, how it would look like, what it would be called, and how you’d get a domain. The next thing to plot out is how to penetrate your target market or audience, what keywords to use, and how to use these keywords to get your desired traffic.

In the cyber world, market research is usually conducted through keyword research. As with traditional market studies, keyword research shows what people (in this case, the internet users) look for the most, what exact words they use when they think of these topics, and how much these things or words are “searched” through search engines.

In other words, keyword research lets you know your audience’s language. It reveals the keywords your audience uses when searching about a particular topic. And since search engines are keyword oriented, you will have an idea of which ones to use in your articles so as to get traffic off them.

Keyword research tips:

Now that you’re done with the planning, it’s time to focus on your blog’s content.

Tip # 2: Creating Content

Don’t just write blog entries. Write compelling articles

Blogging means using words, but successful blogging entails using the right words effectively. It requires enough and proper knowledge of your audience to know the entries and information that they need and want. Study them through keyword research; take note of posts that they read, comment on and share the most; and ask them what they want to know through forums, threads and posts.

How to write a compelling article

  1. Have a powerful headline. Use power words but not too much. Grab people’s attention with your title and make them click and read on. Just make sure that your title is consistent with your article.
  1. Capture the audience with your first paragraph. Draw them into reading the rest of your article by following through with your headline and further enticing them with promising content.
  1. Give them what they need. Give them the content and information you promised in a way that still keeps them reading. Provide them with useful information and avoid “filler sentences” that can bore your readers.
  1. Tell a story. Start by raising an issue, continue with answering it and providing backup or proof, then end with reaffirming the solution to the issue you raised. It pays to plan before writing by having an outline and visualizing how to start and end your article.
  1. Make your article easy to read and understand. Internet users have limited attention span when it comes to web content, so the key is giving them what they want and need within that limited time that you have their attention.Bold, italicize or highlight important words and phrases. Use lists and subheads to (1) break down boring bulks of text, (2) help readers easily absorb your content, and (3) facilitate better recall. Use simple words and short paragraphs of only 2-3 sentences each.
  1. Talk to your readers in their language. Aside from using the keywords that they use, write in a way that they can best relate to. Converse with your readers in a more personal rather than business-like manner, except if you really intend to have a professional-sounding or business-like blog.
  1. Enrich your entry with various media. Don’t settle with just words. Grace your article with images or videos to further its appeal and complement your textual content.
  1. Edit before you post. Check for spelling, grammar or factual errors. Fix your format and make sure that you don’t post entries that can negatively affect readers’ trust.

Tip # 3: Blogging

Engage with your readers

In the previous tip, you learned how to create entries that attract readers and lure them into reading your entire post. This time, we will discuss how to get your readers attached to your blog.

When browsing through various blogs, you’d see that there are some which are rarely visited, while others are brimming with life and activities. What sets them apart? Reader engagement. How do you acquire this? Here are a few tips:

Tip # 4: Expanding Outreach

Make use of social media

You’ve learned about the importance of keywords in getting traffic through search engines, but don’t limit yourself with just search engine optimization. Use social media.

As of mid-2011, social media networking has surpassed pornography viewing as top activity on the internet. Facebook alone has over 800 million users as of the end of 2011, and is still counting. With a population this big, social media networks (SMNs) are undoubtedly among the best and most effective venues to get traffic and have more mileage. To penetrate this market, you have to create an effective social media strategy:

Keep track of the following:

Tip # 5: Joining the Community

Reach out to other blogs

Successful blogging doesn’t just involve good relationship with your readers. Being part of the blogging community, especially in your niche, will also help make you the successful blogger that you want to be. Here are some tips on how to make your blog more “social”:

Bonus Tip: Learn SEO

SEO or Search Engine Optimization refers to the practice of bringing or increasing site traffic to a website by improving its search engine rankings. It involves manipulation of various internal and external aspects of a site based on search engine’s criteria of evaluating a site’s relevance, credibility and authority in relation to searches that users do.

Simply put, SEO helps make your site search engine-friendly so that when an internet user makes a search, your website or blog would be among the top search results. You can learn optimization yourself or read blogs about SEO strategies.

With all that, putting up a successful blog might seem like a lot of work, but its rewards can also be limitless. We are in an age where there is so much (and still growing) internet usage that it would be no surprise if taking up space in the blogosphere turns out to be an excellent investment.

Just remember to take the right path and follow the right advices to avoid being among those who have blogged and failed. Most of all, enjoy what you’re doing and love your readers because without them, what’s the use of blogging?

Image © Bambuh – Fotolia.com

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