4 Foundations to a Successful Blog
How do you define a successful blog?
For me, this is a blog that creates impact with your target audience, provides them useful information, creates influence and ultimately makes money.
There is no set procedure to create a successful blog, but I believe there are 4 key foundations that will give your blog every chance of success – content, design, SEO & Social.
When I created my new blog recently, Allinstagram – I carefully thought over these 4 points to ensure the best possible start for this new site.
Producing quality content is one of the hardest tasks for any blogger. You need to write about a niche topic that is not already overly competitive and where there is room in the industry for you to become an authority or well known figure.
With Allinstagram, I noticed there is not a lot of competition for ‘Instagram News’, but there are many leading blogs out there that solely discuss 1 particular social network. So this is the opportunity I saw here. Setting up a Google Alert to send you a daily digest is a great way to keep across a particular topic.
Content doesn’t mean just writing, you will often have to source photos for each blog post and with Instagram being a photo specific social network this makes it very easy to legally source photos for blog posts. Just make sure you attribute correctly.
There are many blogs on the internet, some reports put the number at around 200 million, so you need your design to stand out from the crowd. Most bloggers use WordPress and some also use Blogger.com. If you have a standard design/ theme that is common on many other blogs – this will not help. You need your design to be unique and custom if possible.
Don’t go out and steal other blogs designs, but of course you can use other sites you see as inspiration. For my blogs I believe it’s important to use a more advanced WordPress theme (maybe a premium theme you purchase – that way you won’t see your exact layout on many other blogs). I also go to that next step to customise the theme a little so it looks totally unique. This is a very important point in my opinion and will give your site that authority feel from day 1. I’m personally seen enough of these same old WordPress themes and blog layouts. Be unique, be different – take the time to achieve this.
Also – other leading websites, popular figures and industry players will take your blog much more seriously if you have a custom design. If you become good at customising Wordpress you may eventually be able to sell your skill as a service.
With Allinstagram if you look at the design this is totally custom, no other blog has this exact layout (that I have seen). The layout adheres to modern design principals utilising the latest web development methodologies.
Once you have your site setup and the layout looks professional, you now need to bring more visitors and readers to your blog.
Pay Per Click, in my opinion is not a suitable traffic generation method for bloggers as often you will be paying more than $1 per visitor.
This is where organic search traffic is most important. This is valuable traffic looking for your particular topic and keywords, so it’s important that your website ranks high in organic search results. SEO however is no easy feat, this will take time. If you have existing website, link to your new site. Ask colleagues and friends to link to your site if appropriate.
Link Building is still a very important aspect of any SEO strategy, especially for new websites. Have a read over this article on SEO principals for most SEO advice.
Social Media has changed the internet and where previously webmasters just relied on SEO traffic, we can now see just as much referral traffic coming from social networking websites.
Social sharing is the internet acknowledging and endorsing your content. Have a read over this previous article on Social Media sharing impacts Search Ranking to see further information how social shares can boost your websites search ranking. It’s important to understand Tweets, Facebook Likes, LinkedIn Shares and Google +1′s on your content is very important and valuable to your blog.
If you can really focus on these 4 points when setting up your blog, this will give you a nice boost from day 1. It will create that all important initial first impression that you readers are visiting a quality website.
People are more likely to come back, subscribe, share and link to you if you take the time and effort to make your blog better than the average site.