Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Seven Strategies For Successful Blogging

What makes some blogs more successful than others? Here are seven strategies that will contribute to every blog's success.

What's Your Niche?
When people start to blog, they often have little idea what they're going to say today and less idea what they'll be talking about in five years' time. That doesn't matter much at the beginning, but if you're going to stick to blogging, you need to find something you enjoy writing about and can stay current on. Something that's a big part of your life will make a good blogging niche. For me, that's writing; for you, it could be something else.

Keep Your Focus
Once you've found your niche, stick to it, most of the time at least. When your readers get used to the content you provide, your readership will dip if you go off-topic for too long. You need to find a way to make your content relevant to your readers. Sometimes all you need to do that is a good title. Choosing a title that relates to the theme of your blog or post will help readers realize what your topic is and how this post relates to it.

Read Or Dead?
If you want people to read your blog, you've got to give them something to read - and you've got to make it regular. For some people, this means posting at least once or several times a day. For others, it means posting a couple of times a week. If you're a WAHM or part-time blogger, you may not have a lot of time to sit down and think of posts, let alone write them. But as long as there's activity on the blog, there'll be people reading it. Stay away too long and people are likely to abandon your blog for one that's got fresh content. Since people have lives that are offline (as well as online) getting a guest blogger is a good way to make sure your blog is updated if you have to be away. And with some blogging platforms like Wordpress, you can submit blog posts by email.

Tell The World
Sitting around waiting for people to find your content can take a long time. Instead, take the content to them with headline animators from Feedburner, email alerts from Feedblitz, RSS feeds from whoever you choose. Submit your blog to directories and try to think of a description that will make people want to visit. This is especially important if your blog is just one of many in a crowded field. What is the unique selling point of your blog? What makes it stand out from the rest? That's what you need to put in the description. Use pinging services like Pingoat to let people know you've updated your content. Also use the social bookmarking services to take your blog posts to a wider audience.

Read All About It
Read other people's blogs, not just on your own blogging plarform, but everywhere. This will let you know what people are thinking and talking about and may give you inspiration for blog posts of your own. This article was inspired by a post on Problogger, for example.

Talk To Others
When you read other blogs, be sure to comment if you've found the post interesting or useful. If you have something to add to the discussion, that's even more useful. The best blogging has a community feel and you have to keep talking to maintain that community. That also means that you should respond to all comments on your blog. If you get a lot of visitors, you don't have to respond individually, but it's nice for people to know their voices have been heard.

Work Those Links
Use blogrolls and bookmarks to keep track of the bloggers you read. You can also link to interesting posts in your own posts and use the trackbacks feature to let those people know about the link. If you're lucky, those people will also link back to you and you'll get new readers for your blog. But that's only one part of the story. The best way to keep getting readers for your posts is to link to them in other posts. After all, you're the person who's most likely to know if one of your blog posts is related to another.
These strategies are a good way of building a blog readership and a sense of community with your readers. Once you've done that, your readers will come to you with questions and comments that will lead to other blog posts - and you'll be sure that someone wants to read them.
Sharon Hurley Hall gives writers advice on how to get paid to write. Sharon is a freelance writer, ghostwriter and editor who writes on freelance writing skills and writer promotion for For more information or to contact Sharon, visit
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