[image courtesy: hisks]
Running a successful blog is just like running any other profitable business out there. It requires commitment, time management, maintenance, innovation, and creativity. Without these big five, your personal blog may struggle to gather a strong following and will unlikely be able to sustain itself in the years to come. Yet when you’re all alone in your efforts to run a blog, the struggle to keep things fresh, creative, and running well can be difficult. ‘How can the efforts of one blogger really make a difference?’ you may wonder to yourself. Well, here’s the good news: all blogs have small beginnings.
Some of the greatest, most famous blogs started out as miniscule personal blogs. Take for instance, Design*Sponge, which started out as a freelance writer’s design blog and has grown to have an estimated 100,000 visitors each day. Even the website Perez Hilton started out as a simple Hollywood gossip blog and has now become one of the most reliable sources for celebrity news.
I’m not suggesting that your blog will necessary turn into one of these ultra-popular blogs overnight, but with the right work ethic and commitment, you can expand your blog’s following over time. And if you keep working and pushing forward, it’s likely your blog can become as successful as blogs like Gawker, Buzz Feed, and Jezebel. Check out these five tips below on how to keep your blog running like a well-oiled machine on its way to becoming one of the most popular blogs on the web-verse.
Start with daily updates and then increase
There seems to be a huge misunderstanding about the number of times an author should update their blog. Let me clear the air and be honest about the matter: It is of dire importance that you update your blog at least once a day, if not more, when starting out. You may be thinking to yourself, ‘Well, I’m just getting started. Why do I have to update it so much?’ If you don’t, your visitors will start quickly falling off the map. Some of my favorite blogs are updated numerous times a day; can you imagine how confused I would be if they suddenly stopped updating their content for a week? Not only would I be confused, I’d likely stop reading most them. Start with one update a day and then increase from there. Perhaps set goals for how many posts you’d like to increase each month until you reach a manageable amount of daily posts.
Get big names on your blog
One thing that draws a lot of attention to a blog is when the author writes about something unique or features someone or something relatively popular in society. The greatest posts I’ve written generally feature a well-known person or public figure. One of the most wonderful things about having a blog is that people will inevitably want to speak to you for self-exposure purposes. I was lucky enough in that I was able to get authors such as Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, to speak to me. No, it wasn’t easy to get in touch with Ms. Gilbert, but once her literary agent got back to me to schedule an interview, I was able to talk to Ms. Gilbert and get the post up on my blog. To this day, that post is one of my most viewed ones of all time. So, find out how you can interview innovators, inventors, CEOs, authors, actors, etc. for your blog. It will help generate a lot of traffic your way.
Self-promotion is necessary
I find that a lot of people shy away from self-promotion. It’s an uncomfortable thing to have to do when you’re humble and shy, but there is absolutely no way around it. If you want your blog to gain followers, you have to get your name and blog out there. And why shouldn’t you put your blog out there? You’re likely writing it in the effort to get people to see your work, so don’t be afraid to use Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest to show off your posts. If you are confident enough, ask other bloggers, fellow readers, etc. to feature your blog post on their websites. You may find that it is one of the most reliable ways to gather more followers on your blog.
Imagery is key
Imagery is one of the most important parts of any blog. Without any imagery, we are stuck staring at a canvas of words and second-rate graphics. Many bloggers like to stick to the romantic notion that the power of the written word is so much more important than images and that a blog can make it without them. I firmly disagree with this assertion. Images have a way of creating an atmosphere or spirit, and if your blog is stocked full of them, not only will readers feel like they are visiting a new world, they’ll feel engaged with your content. So do yourself a favor and invest in a small digital camera, if you have to, and starting painting your blog with imagery.
Sometimes it’s hard to come up with new content when you’re fresh out of unique ideas. If you find yourself struggling to come up with new blog ideas as the days go by, perhaps it’s a good idea to start developing recurring columns. The benefit of recurring columns is that you already know what your theme or topic is going to be; you’ll just need to find the subject. Most popular blogs have recurring columns that keep the flow and the schedule of the blog going. Take some time and develop one or more recurring columns you can do each week. Not only will this help you manage the content of your website more easily, it will also help pull in more readers.
It may seem like a faraway dream right now, but soon enough your blog will be growing in followers and popularity if you keep the hard work up. These five helpful steps will aid you in your quest to transforming your personal blog into a well-run, creative machine.
This guest post has been provided courtesy of Mariana Ashley, an education blogger who offers accredited online colleges news to those investigating their career options. You can find her at firstname.lastname@example.org.