As you read more and more about blogging you’re going to see all kinds of tips and “rules” – You should do this, you must do that, and if you don’t do this you’re crazy. The thing is, you could spend all your time chasing these tips and never build a successful blog. The most successful bloggers build on their own strengths.
Look at just the advice you get about social media. These days everyone recommends you join Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest – and that’s just to start with. That’s five social networks everyone says you should interact in, which means you could potentially spend a few hours a day just socializing.
But what if socializing isn’t one of your strengths? What if, no matter how much time you spend on it, you never get any traffic from the social networks? Does that mean you should hang up your blogging shoes and forget about it? Of course not.
In order to be successful in any niche you need to build a blog that’s unique. The Internet is filled with successful blogs that veer away from “recommended” blogging techniques. They’re unique because they’re built on the blogger’s strengths.
For example, check out 11Points. Sam Greenspan’s strength is his writing ability and his ability to research obscure topics and make them interesting for his readers. He doesn’t stick to one topic or niche, which is the number one “rule” of blogging. His purpose for blogging is simply to provide entertainment.
For an even better example of blogs that break the rules, check out IcanHasCheeseburger.com, the blog that became popular by posting funny pictures of cats. Most posts have less than a dozen words – another big blogging no-no, yet this is one of the most successful blogs on the Web because the strength of the owners is their ability to identify what their readers were looking for and deliver it. And if that happened to be pictures of cats in funny situations, so be it.
Not sure about your own strengths? First take a look at your stats to see which posts have the most traffic. Then, look to see which posts have the most comments, which have the most incoming links and which did the best in social media.
Now, look at these popular posts to see what they have in common. What was the topic? What was the post style? What did you do different with the titles? Maybe it was the length of the, or your voice, or maybe you used some really cool images that you created yourself, or provided really useful, actionable content.
You may see two or three different trends in your popular posts but chances are they’ll all have something in common. Whatever that “something” is, it’s one of your strength.
Instead of spending time working on things you think you should be doing, focus on creating more of the content you already know works. Every blogger has his own strengths and weaknesses. Find out what your strengths are and use them to build a better blog.