I was going to begin this post by saying something like “I’m certainly no expert”, or “I’m not an authority on what constitutes a great blog”, but let’s just put all that nauseating false modesty aside, shall we?
I am an Internet tornado.
Don’t believe me? Google “katdish”. You will find multiple pages of links to this blog and others. Compare that to just three short years ago when googling “katdish” would prompt Google to ask, “Did you mean kaddish?”
With this in mind, I provide the following hard and fast rules of successful blogging with all the confidence and authority my status of Internet tornado affords me. You’re welcome:
- Decide on a posting schedule and stick to it. Whether that means daily, weekly or somewhere in between. Consistent posting retains your audience because they know when and how often to expect a new post from you.
- Only post when you have something to say. Forcing yourself to write a post just for the sake of posting something–anything–is a waste of your time and energy. You also run the risk of wasting your reader’s time with a substandard post.
- Reply to every comment on your blog. If someone takes the time to read and comment on your site, it’s common courtesy to acknowledge them and thank them for visiting.
- Don’t reply to every comment. You started the conversation, allow your readers to input their thoughts without you jumping in and interrupting the flow of conversation.
- Write about current events and hot topics on the interwebs. Inject your unique perspective and opinions about controversial subjects. Be sure to use tags and categories on your post so people can find your blog post via search engines. Controversy = more hits to your site.
- Write what’s on your heart and/or mind. Writing a post about a current event just because everyone else is writing about it may come off looking like a desperate attempt to attract a bigger audience to your blog. Especially if you don’t have anything significant or valuable to add to the conversation.
- If you’re a writer seeking to expand your platform, write helpful posts about your journey into publishing. Share helpful tips and strategies you’ve learned along the way with fellow writers. The mere fact that you’ve landed an agent and secured a contract for your upcoming book is proof enough that you have valuable insights to share. Other writers will flock to your blog and will appreciate you generously sharing all that you have learned.
- If you’re a writer seeking to expand your platform, write helpful posts about your journey into publishing occasionally, but not all the time. All writers are readers, but not all readers are writers. By only writing about writing, you greatly limit your audience. Give your audience a sample of the type of writing they can expect to see in your upcoming books. You’ll build brand loyalty that way–from both writers and readers.
- Determine who your audience is and write for that particular niche. If you’re a mommy blogger, write for other mommy bloggers. If you’re a big fan of LOL Cats, write for other LOL Cat enthusiasts, and so on.
- Write about an array of topics. Some posts may get more traffic than others, but good, consistent writing will bring people back to your site.
Follow these rules and rest assured, your blog will attract a vast audience and you will become a rock star of the interwebs.
“But katdish, that’s ridiculous! These rules contradict themselves. You can’t follow all of them!”
Well, of course not, Silly. That’s because I have no idea what the hard and fast rules of successful blogging are, and neither does anyone else. I can only tell you why I read certain blogs on a regular basis.
Some inform, some challenge, some make me laugh and/or cry.
Some do all of the above.
But the one trait they all share is this:
A unique, honest voice all their own.
So, how do you write the best possible blog you can write?
Do you remember that scene from the movie “The Breakfast Club” where Anthony Michael Hall’s character writes a collective essay for the members of The Breakfast Club? The detention teacher, Mr. Vernon instructed each of them to write about who they thought they were. After he’s finished writing, he smiles, sets down his pen and gives himself a “Way to go” slug in the arm. He didn’t seem to care if Mr. Vernon (or anyone else, for that matter) thought it would be a great essay. He knew that it expressed concisely and exactly what he wanted to say.
Write more posts like that.
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(Oh, grumble…”embedding disabled”. Oh, well, you can watch it on Youtube.)