4 Essential Keys to a Successful Blog

Written by: Sandeep Challa

Updated: November, 3, 2011

This guest post is contributed by Lauren Bailey, who regularly writes for best online colleges.
We’ve already published an article on the various aspects of a Successful Business Blog. This post tells you about the Essential keys which need particular focus to make any blog successful at the end of the day.
It’s easy to get caught up in social media strategies and search engine optimization (SEO) tactics, perhaps in part because their effects are hard to measure. How do you know if you have enough backlinks? Are you using the right keywords in your articles?

Successful Blog
Key to Success

Even if they you’re not planning to monetize your blog, you’ll want to have more traffic. It simply legitimizes your work. But too many people put the cart before the horse. They think, “If I market my site well and direct traffic with good SEO practices, I will get more traffic and have a successful blog.”
What they fail to realize is that a piece of excrement on a high-traffic walkway is still a piece of excrement. People won’t stop to look at it and poke around, and they certainly won’t come back.
There are certain principles of good website design and content management that many sites and blogs are losing. And they are left wondering why their marketing and SEO tactics aren’t working.
Before you can really start directing traffic to your site, you have to make sure your site is worth navigating and revisiting, and there are key ideas that can get your blog to that level.

1. Good Design and Navigation

No matter what your blog is about or how amazing your content is, people won’t want to look at it if your design is an eyesore or your navigation is nonexistent or gives headaches. You don’t have to be the next Banksy to implement a great design.
Really, choosing any one of WordPress’s standard themes would serve you well. Then you can maybe add some tweaks here and there like creating your own custom header for your blog or customizing social media buttons or sidebars and a good navigation menu wouldn’t hurt either.
Of course you can always design from scratch too, but make sure that the content and navigation of your blog has a natural flow. If readers can’t find out what’s what and how to get where in seconds, your design or navigation is too complicated.

2. Finding an Interesting Niche Topic

Don’t write on a topic that already has a million blogs dedicated to it unless you have an extremely interesting perspective or angle in which to present it. Even then your chances of success are still pretty slim.
Rather than writing a blog on photography, perhaps you should write a blog about large format film photography. While large format film photography is not very popular, there also are very few great resources on the topic, particularly in the form of blogs.
So even with the worst possible SEO tactics and marketing, your blog would still rank extremely high in niche searches.

3. Making Web-Friendly Content

If your blog posts consist of only a title and a long slew of paragraphs (or worse, one incredibly large paragraph), you are not catering content toward your readership. As much as I hate to say it, readers on the web have no attention span and will not waste their time on articles that take them more than a minute to find the information they want.
At the very least, use lots of sub-headers and make your paragraph lengths short. Bullet points should be used whenever possible. Also avoid using a challenging vocabulary, but of course try to keep in mind who your audience is and how they would prefer seeing language.

4. Having a Strong Brand

One of my biggest pet peeves is when a blog has a title that doesn’t even remotely resemble its URL. Sure, you can be clever and try to play your title and URL off each other, but make sure that this is obvious, deliberate, and memorable.
Try to keep your content focused. Of course your blog can evolve to different topics over time, but if you just have posts that are all over the place, your readers aren’t going to know what to expect and may even become frustrated. The more people understand what your blog is actually about, the more they will actually be able to make the decision to come back to it.
Would love to read what you think about these ‘keys’ in the Comments section.


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