How to make your blog successful

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Sorry I lied, I have no idea, but as I surpassed 800 followers I thought I would share what I did, you never know it might get you a few extra follows too.

Why Blog?

For me this is the most important thing, decide why you are writing your blog. To write mine I have to give up valuable free time so it needs to be worth it. I started writing one to gain a platform for my still unfinished book. I soon realized there are only so many ways you can write; ‘I did a bit of writing today, I think it went ok.’ So I started writing about other things, usually connected to books and writing but not always. Sometimes I write about me and the family, I’ve even written about my dog. I’ve now branched out into even more random subjects.

There are few blogs out there that are simply blogs for the sake of a blog. I want to be a successful blogger so I will blog. Often, they are the same old rehashed posts and frankly a bit boring.

The purpose of my blog is to improve my writing, and let’s be honest I need all the help I can get! I also use it to connect with the blogging community, who I discovered are very nice group of people. If I sell a few books through it, all the better. By the way if you read this far you are now legally obliged to buy the book when it comes out.

How often should you blog?

There is a massive amount of conflicting advice, the one that tells you to post five times a day (I know!?!?!) those usually can come into the camp of to have a successful blog for the sake of it. However, if you want to build a following you do have to post regularly. I try 3 times a week but I tend to write a lot of posts at once, when I have the time, then schedule them. I would say you ought to try at least once a week. I don’t know how important it really is to post on the same day, I do, but I don’t believe my readers are sitting on the edge of their seats waiting for my regular post. The blogs I follow, many whom post regularly, I tend to check in on them when I have time rather than when I know they are posting.

How long should a post be?

I don’t like long posts; my time is short I like to read a short witty to the point post. All sorts of people disagree, but then ask yourself how often do you a skip a post when you see how long it is? I know there is a spot of irony here, this post is longer than I normally write.

Engage with your readers

This is obvious, but respond to comments. I try and put a bit at the end of each post encouraging a response so if they do respond make sure you do as well. Also visit other blogs and respond to their posts.
Tricks for getting more traffic

I can’t help you too much with this but share your blog on Facebook, twitter and other sites. Use tags and hash tags, they worked for me. Tricks are well and good but if your post isn’t worth reading when they get there…..
Well there it is the longest post I think I have done, if you have made it to the end and not wondered off to look at pictures of cats please feel free to share your tip or tell me I have no idea what I’m talking about, it wouldn’t be the first time!

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32 thoughts on “How to make your blog successful

  1. Useful to me, I have been asked to write a blog for a young man who has Autism and is trying to make all libraries and museums Autism friendly. As you may remember anything more technical than a matchbox is not good for this old lady. By the way the young man is Jack Welch, he lives in Plymouth. I have spoken with him via the phone and he is a real ambassador. Take care

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Good tips – and congrats, btw. My tips are obvious, but I’m amazed how many bloggers don’t do it:
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    1. Don’t send messages in bottles – engage with the people who comment – then check out their blogs and engage THERE as well. (btw: “thanks for commenting” or “good post” isn’t engaging. It’s better than nothing, but make sure you actually SAY something once in a while too.)

    2. Enable comment likes (different from up and down thumbs – and different from page likes) – even people too busy to comment will hit “like” to let you know they were there and read the comments. Before you know it, they’re chatting. I also appreciate the notification when somebody “likes” one of my comments – and I go check them out when time permits.

    3. Make sure you are easy to find when you comment or like – link your Gravitar to your blog at the very least – nobody has the time to hunt you down, even if they find your comments fascinating.

    4. Fill out your About page and tell us your name (or at least what we’re to call you) – Hi, “name-of-your-blog” is off-putting, and if I don’t know anything about you, why would I want to engage with what you write?
    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

    Liked by 3 people

      1. It happens. I give them a another shot before I stop engaging. At that point, they have to come get me on my blog if they want me back. (not speaking of blog buddies who comment a great deal and then can’t for some reason, btw).

        I read so many blogs I have to “sprinkle” commenting, and if the writer doesn’t comment back to other’s comments, I skip them. If all they do is copy “thanks for commenting” etc. under every comment, I’m outa’ there. After a while I don’t even read what they write – with the exception of some of the scientists and science writers (research). I don’t think those guys even know the comment section exists. 🙂
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Agreed – but WordPress & Akismet glitches, illness, personal tragedies (like when I was gang-mugged at gunpoint) etc. sometimes have left comments languishing in my own feed for days (MUCH longer to those who commented on queued auto-posts after I was mugged because the thugs smashed my dominant hand and I was in a bulky cast for 3 months — hunt & peck and too frustrating, mostly) — even tho’ I almost always respond within 24 hours (often within an hour).

        So I tend to give others the benefit of the doubt – especially among those in the chronic illness community I support. Sometimes they are struggling in ways you and I can’t understand.

        But if a blogger hardly ever responds to comments left for them (not just mine), I’m not going to expose myself to that kind of me-me-me thinking (rude, imho), and they’re off my list.
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Gosh that sounds awful. I do give people a few chances but when you have commented and they posted new articles but don’t reply I tend to stop commenting. Although there is a danger you have been consigned to the spam folder. A regular commentator on my blog was suddenly sent there, fortunately I check it every so often and found them. It must have looked like I had been ignoring him.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Thanks, it was awful. I’m still recovering from the after-effects, actually, financially and emotionally.

        I just found a long and thoughtful comment that had been auto-spammed for no reason I can fathom, and languishing for some time, sadly. Since my topic seems to attract an unusually large amount of link-spam (millions, according to Akismet’s counter at the top of my sidebar), I rarely have the time to dig through the spam-trash. I only ever find one or two that may be legit among hundreds that clearly are not when I dig, and there goes over an hour of my life scrolling down, repeatedly hitting “delete permanently.” I warn people in my side-bar, especially about links, but I doubt many have ever read it.
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 2 people

  3. What an excellent and interesting post! I think the amount of posts depends on your niche. If you blog about politics there might be new things to blog 5 times a day but if you have lifestyle blog I don’t believe that nobody’s life is so special every moment that posting 5 times a day would a good thing to do.

    I used to have a baking blog to which I posted 1-3 posts a week which worked well. With this broader lifestyle blog I like to post 3-5 times a week. That’s because some posts might be shorter and faster to write (outfit of the day, make up look, etc.) and some other posts require more time to write (travels, etc.) I think there is not one right answer to this question. Just go quality over quantity, and don’t stress about the amount of posts.

    Best,
    Nora / http://dreamerachiever.com

    Ps. There is a big giveaway open in my blog in case you’re interested 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You are right the number of posts can depend on the type of blog. I think there are no set rules you just have to do what works for you. Since posting I have decided to go to one post a week so I have more time for my book. I will hot foot it over to your blog to check out your give away.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Thanks for this Eric (and Madelyn). I’ve been posting flash fiction every day for the last six or seven weeks and am trying to read as much of other people’s work as I can to engage with the writing community and my followers. I’m doing all the social stuff, but I find Twitter brings very few people. I have about 1,000 followers and I get maybe one or two clicks. It may be something I’m doing wrong. I’m getting the WordPress followers trickling in – three or four a day – but feel if I just stick to working hard and writing what I think is good stuff, it will pay off. We’ll see.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Yeah I haven’t worked out how to effectively use Instagram. I use Pinterest but only for research purposes. Great for getting location or character ideas

        Liked by 2 people

  5. I usually blog once a month but I also blog on two separate platforms, with a third blog that I don’t post much on. I should really have thought this through before I started, and condensed at least two of them into one, but they have differing subject matter. When I post, I try to make it a good, informative or personal post. My posts are usually quite long – about 1000 words – but because I don’t post every day, I want the reader to feel they are getting something worth reading when I do.

    My favourite blogs to read are those that tell me something I didn’t know and find interesting; a personal or emotional reaction to something the blogger feels strongly about or has an interesting job or hobby that I enjoy reading about; or posts that are witty and well-written and make me laugh. There is one blogger who writes excellent short stories and I will always find time to read those – I think she posts twice a week.

    I think bloggers who post between once and three times a week are the easiest to follow. As for people who post every day: how do they find the time? There are only two I follow who do that, and I follow them because their content is consistently engaging. I have un-followed many other daily posters because their content became lacklustre and boring.

    People who post five times a day just get un-followed because I have a life even if they don’t…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. There is a danger of just posting because they have too. The more often you post there harder it can be to be interesting. Since posting this I have decided to go to once a week so I can concentrate on my book. Thanks for taking the time to write such a comprehensive comment

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Good advice here.

    I have to admit I get turned off by excessively long posts. I try to keep mine around 500-700 words. It is also amazing how steady my numbers can be and then when I don’t post for a couple of days, how sharp the drop off is!

    Ahhhhhh! LOL

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Excellent tips and, as you know, I’ve shared lots of my own blogging tips over the years I’ve been blogging.
    Building you own blogging commuinty is vital, as is joining the communities of other bloggers and interacting with them by reading and leaving comments. If people don’t respond to comments or questions, then don’t bother leaving any more comments on their posts.

    I’m always amazed not only by the number of bloggers that have no ‘about me’ page but at those that do and do not respond to the comments left on their ‘about me’ page.

    One question I get asked a lot is “how do I increase the number of my blog followers.” I respond by asking “do you engage with other bloggers by reading and commenting on their posts?” Most respond by saying “I don’t have time to do that.” There lays the problem.

    One final tip from me, don’t leave a comment saying “Great blog/post. Please visit my blog and follow me.” That’s one sure way that they’ve not read the post. If they had, then they’d at least said something about what they liked about it. Oh, and don’t leave a link to your blog in your comments. Right from the beginning of my blogging journey, I’ve been told that it’s a big no-no in the blogging world. Leaving a link to a particular post that has something in common with the post you’re commenting on is fine, but a link just to the home page of your blog isn’t considered polite.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. All great tips, but I have an even better one for you. Check your spam folder which is where I found this comment languishing hence the late reply! It might sometimes explain why people don’t always reply to comments. Thanks for stopping by and beware the spam curse it has you marked!

      Liked by 1 person

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