You’ve carefully selected a niche, and you’re ready to start blogging.
Don’t be daunted by all the stats on how most blogs fail, just be aware of what it takes to make yours a success.
What do the world’s top bloggers know that can jump-start your new blog and keep it on track?
The Start Matters
When you’ve got 50, 500 or 5,000 posts under your belt, do the first few really matter? Yes. It’s important to begin with a solid foundation so everything else you build is secure. Roll out with at least five posts. Always keep your About page relevant and current. Immediately link your blog to your Facebook page, and stay active the first two to three days. This is the period of time established bloggers are checking you out and making their determination on who you are and what you’ll become.
Newbie to Pro
A good rollout is good, but now we’re shooting for great. Add links to RSS feeds on your page. Be sure it’s easily visible. Put up subscriber links to top RSS feeds like Bloglines, My Yahoo!, and My MSN. Also offer an email version of your RSS feed, and put up links to Delicious, Digg and other bookmarking sites.
Next, you’re going to want to fill your posts with quality outbound links. What do these do? Outbound links give your readers easy access to reputable information from other bloggers, but they also tell the other bloggers about you. If you’re linking to their content, they’ll be likely to return the favor.
Blogging doesn’t just happen when you’re sitting at your desk. The best bloggers take it on the road, using smartphone apps and software to blog from anywhere. Download apps like Hootsuite so you can keep up with social media, and be sure to get your blogging platform app to post on the go, such as WordPress or Blogger.
It’s All About Relationships
You may think your blog is about your infatuation with no-bake cookies or your writing abilities, but you’re wrong. Blogging is not just writing about your niche. It is a process of building relationships with your readers and other bloggers. Connect with bloggers similar to you by posting well-thought, informative, helpful comments on their posts. Read comments on your blog with an open mind. Connect with others, and they’ll connect with your blog.
Take It to the Next Level
Once you’ve begun establishing connections with other bloggers, begin expanding your reach with guest posts, giveaways, and promotions. If you’re really good, you’ll likely be invited to guest post on another blog. Or, reach out to bloggers you know and ask. Have a good topic in mind that fits well on their blog before approaching them. Free giveaways also boost readership, as do promotional mentions on Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Reddit and other news feeds.
Riding the Tide
When your blog is chugging nicely along, don’t get lazy. Technorati reports that most blogs fail because they’re abandoned. If life gets crazy, blog about it. When you get bored with your blog, blog about it. The only way to be a successful blogger is by blogging.
The Verge and Mashable didn’t become Technorati top-100 instantly, and neither will you. But doing it right from the ground up and sticking with it is the surefire pathway to blogging success.