How to Maintain a Ridiculously Successful Blog
Public service announcement up front: ridiculously successful blogging doesn’t happen with a few posts and a handful of social media shares. It takes quite a while to build a space that draws weekly readers, engagement, and signed contracts.
(But it’s more than worth doing.)
For many bloggers, the task becomes so arduous that the person becomes disengaged. Simply put, blogging can become a chore and a time-suck, especially if it never gets off the ground.
(But don’t fret.)
In other words, it’s hard out there for a thought leader/blogger. These days, attention spans can be measured in mere seconds, so in order to deliver your message, the content needs to pack a little pizazz and personality.
(Which you’re about to learn more about.)
So now that I sound like a persnickety cynic, here’s another public service announcement. Blogging also allows you to express your ideas, help others with your expertise, and attract more clients.
(Parenthetical references will end now.)
I have an incredible amount of fun coming up with topics, conversing with people, and swimming around in the pool of SEO and online marketing. There’s no shortage of blogs in our small business bubble, but not everybody writes about touring Google NYC.
That said, I won’t offer traditional blogging advice for three reasons:
- There’s a slew of meta-blogs on the Internet that offer guidance.
- There is no #2. I’m just checking to make sure you’re paying attention.
- There are so many questions out there, and no one is answering them.
What Should I Write About?
Not “you” in the sense of what you had for breakfast, or whether or not you prefer Diet Coke or Bud Light, but your expertise, your guidance, and your opinions. That last one is the hardest, because there’s a natural fear that comes with even an inkling of controversy.
But stating your opinion doesn’t mean you have to get political, socioeconomic, religious, or even remotely controversial. Instead, try getting “debatable.” To put it a different way, blogs are in part about having a conversation with your audience.
So avoid topics like “10 steps to get more clients,” because let’s face it, that stuff is boiler-plate, and won’t get too many reads, shares, comments, or new business.
Does this mean your blog has to be cutting edge or on the fringe? Do you have to take things to a Hannah Montana level, and make out with sledge hammers?
No. In fact, you can easily convey warmth, knowledge, and educated opinions without giving rise to mass disagreement.
Here are a few top ideas:
Why it’s important to alienate people.
What constitutes real intelligence in the online world.
Why some marketing campaigns are destined to fail.
What if My Content is Not Unique?
So you own a business with a truckload of competition; you work in a saturated market with a metric ton of blogs that center on your expert topic.
That said, I’ll answer this question with a question.
Is Batman unique?
Absolutely not. He’s cool, that’s for sure. But his story has been told 13,495 times in comic books, movies, cartoons, televisions series, etc. Batman has run the gamut of media, and yet a large and dedicated audience still thirsts to see the caped crusader in different interpretations.
So even if many bloggers write about your topic, that’s no reason to call it quits before your blog takes flight. To continue with the Batman explanation, simply think back to the Val Kilmer/George Clooney films that came out in the nineties.
Critics hated them. Audiences over the age of 7 laughed at them.
But a decade later, Christopher Nolan came along with Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, and Gary Oldman…and well, those films did quite well.
In a nutshell, there are very few brand new topics out there. So it’s not about what you write; it’s about how you write it.
How Often Should I Post?
I post 4-5 times a month. Other bloggers post 4-5 times a week.
My suggestion: see how much traction you get on your initial posts, and schedule yourself accordingly. The last thing you want to do is beat your readers over the head with new content. The name of the game is exposure, not frequency.
Time is also a factor. Small business owners have, well, a lot of things to accomplish in a given day. To make sure you keep up with your blogging momentum, it’s best to schedule yourself some non-distracted time to write blogs every week.
What Kills Blogs?
I’ll make a list.
- Repetitive content.
- Boring posts.
- Content with no personality.
- Boilerplate and template-written ideas.
- Lack of opinion. (That’s a big one.)
- Lack of interest (on the blogger’s part.)
- Reluctance toward advertising.
- Resistance to SEO.
Tell me what you think, and if you feel inclined, share some of your favorite blogs in the comments below.