You make money with your blog or because of your blog, but your blog itself does not make money. Therefore, it’s important to define the purpose of your blog, or the reason you’re blogging, and always keep that purpose in sight. For example, you may be blogging to draw attention to your consulting business, or you may be blogging to promote an affiliate product. Everything you do with your blog should be with your purpose in mind.
Establishing relevancy is a tough concept for many bloggers. They think relevancy simply means “same niche.” But relevant content is content that matters to your reader. It’s not enough to just give your readers information, you need to tell them why that information matters to them. If, at the end of your post, your reader can ask, “So what? Why does this information matter?” then you haven’t made your content relevant.
Blogging consistently doesn’t just mean you publish a post at the same time five days a week. It also means you publish posts of consistent quality. Publishing 10 or 15 posts a week is great, but not if only one is a high-quality post and the rest are just bait for the search engines.
Useful content ties in with relevant content in that it’s meaningful for your readers. Useful content goes a step further, though. While some of your content will be idea- or concept-based, content that gives your reader something to think about, useful content is information they can act on to make a change in their life. How-To posts and case studies are good examples of useful content.
Comments are one indication that your readers are engaged with your blog, but they’re certainly not the only indication. Engaging content is content the compels the reader to share it and discuss it on other blogs and in social networks, and it also compels the reader to take action. So don’t focus all your attention on generating comments, focus on creating engaging content and the comments will come.
Communicating means exchanging information, which generally means there’s more than one person doing the talking. The best way to build a community is to make everyone feel like they’re part of the conversation. Invite your readers to share ideas and opinions and when they do, make sure you join in to help keep the conversation moving forward.
It takes time to build a successful blog, a lot more time than they tell you in those cheesy guides. Be patient. Millions of blogs have been abandoned just before they would have turned the corner to success.
Any business requires tenacity, even blogging. The idea that you can blog when you feel like it is fine – if you’re only blogging for fun. But once you decide this is going to be your business you have to give it everything you’ve got, every day of the week. You have to grab onto opportunities and hang on, like a dog with a bone.
Always be respectful of your readers. Avoid using offensive language and be professional – you never know who’s going to land on your blog. Don’t insult your readers’ intelligence by using a lot of hype or pretending to be an expert when you’re really not. Remember, respect isn’t something you’re born with, it has to be earned, and the best way to earn it is to respect your readers.