Long-Term Blogging Strategy: What’s Yours?
Contrary to what all those ebooks tell you, nobody sets up a successful, money-making blog in one weekend. In fact, if you’re like me and a lot of bloggers I know, you’ll set up a few blogs before you finally start hitting your stride. It takes months to develop a strong, loyal following and it sometimes takes a couple of years to start earning a predictable, full-time income. You can, however, help the process along if you have a long-term blogging strategy.
They key to building a successful blog that produces long-term income is planning, or strategy. Your blog is your business and no one sets up a business on a lark. Even the guy who owns the local ice cream shop has a business plan. He researched his location, checked out his competition, analyzed his customer base and considered the time and energy he’d have to invest to make his business successful. You need to do the same thing if you want to build a sustainable blogging business.
Keep in mind that it’s going to take at least six months to a year of solid effort before you start seeing any real, measurable gains. That said, you want to choose a niche that offers you plenty of things to blog about but it should also be a niche that you find interesting. That guy running the neighborhood ice cream shop isn’t successful because he loves fishing. He’s passionate about ice cream and he enjoys dealing with the public. If he wasn’t he’d never have been able to stay in business long enough to start turning a profit.
Decide what type of blog you want and how you plan to handle the posting. Most successful bloggers publish a post at least five times a week but your schedule is really up to you. It’s important to post frequently but it’s more important that you publish regularly, so if you don’t feel you can commit to five days a week then don’t start out that way. You’ll have plenty of other things to attend to.
Plan ahead for blogging emergencies or those days when you either don’t feel like posting or there’s something else you’d rather work on. Remember, this is a long term commitment. On the days you do feel like writing, tuck an extra blog post or two into a file so you have a backlog of available content to tide you over.
Don’t forget to include socializing in your strategy. It’s not enough to simply bring traffic to your blog, you need to engage your readers and make them feel like part of a community, give them a reason to keep coming back. You can do this with an email campaign and the comments on your blog, but these days you’ll also need to reach out into some of the social networks. After all, that’s where everyone’s really hanging out.
Start setting goals right from the very beginning, focusing first on just getting traffic. You won’t sell anything if no one’s visiting your blog. It’s easy to get distracted when you’re working online, and in the blogging world someone’s always suggesting you try this new method or try that one. Set specific daily, weekly and monthly goals to help keep yor blog moving in the right direction.
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