When people think of the term “successful blog”, they almost always think about it in financial terms. To most people, a successful blog is a blog that earns a decent amount of money. We’re not saying that people are wrong, but they’re basically putting the cart before the horse. In order for a blog to earn money, it must be successful first – it needs a large amount of readers. Not just traffic, mind you. Engaged readers. These are people who will buy products you link to or click ads on your blog because they are really interested in what’s advertised. They’re essentially the ones who will bring in money.
With that out of the way, the main problem for people is usually getting from point A to B. How do you go from starting a blog to having a blog successful enough that it actually earns money? Here are a few things that will help you on your way:
Get your own domain name
We get it; you want to save money and don’t want to spend on anything that hasn’t made you any money yet. However, getting a domain name is a must and refusing to do it beforehand will give you a lot of trouble down the line. For starters, nobody will take your blog seriously if you’re still hosted on a subdomain, least of all the advertisers. In fact, majority of ad networks won’t accept your site if it’s hosted on a subdomain.
More importantly, traffic and readership is usually tied to a domain. If you decide to change domains, it’s going to be a long, slow process to regain the traffic that the old one had, unless you find a way to automatically redirect the old subdomain to your new domain. If you had your own domain name from the start, moving to different hosts is a smooth process and your readers won’t notice any changes.
Produce unique and valuable content
There’s emphasis on the unique. It doesn’t mean unique in the sense that nobody’s ever heard of it or nobody’s interested. Just don’t plagiarize other people’s content or avoid producing text that is basically just echoing what thousands of other blogs have already said. Provide your unique take on topics or go against the flow if you think the general consensus is wrong. Produce written content that people will still want to read, even though they’ve already read a dozen other blogs about the topic.
Proofread your content
People understand that nobody’s perfect and that people can make mistakes. But people also recognize the difference between a couple some syntax errors and simply not trying to learn basic grammar. It’s not elitism at all – to people who like to read, it is tedious to stumble upon grammar mistakes and prevents them from focusing on the message of the text. So learn the difference between You’re and Your, Could Have and Could Of. It’s and Its.
Don’t blast your users with ads and content locks immediately
If you’re just starting out, it’s a big No-No to put in ads anywhere on your page. It’s not like you’re going to earn from them with such a small amount of users, anyway. People are less likely to trust the content on your site if they feel that it’s all written for the purpose of getting them to click ads. Wait until your site has enough content and readership to justify advertisements before you bust out the banners.
Also, there’s nothing more frustrating than clicking through to a page, only to find it becomes locked and a pop-up box shows asking you to register to view whatever it is you want to read or watch. Again, there’s nothing wrong with developing a subscription approach to your blog. However, have enough readers and content in the first place.
Last but not the least, don’t forget about user experience
This ties in with not blasting your users with ads. Always remember that the goal of your blog, if you want it to be successful, is to provide people with the best user experience as far as websites are concerned. Choose layouts and fonts that allow easier reading, and ensure that your host provides enough bandwidth so that nobody experiences slow loading times. Remember: the Internet is founded on the concept of convenience, so don’t expect to be successful if your blog isn’t convenient for the readers to consume.
Image credit: Annie Mole on flickr and reproduced under Creative Commons 2.0[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://writingtipsoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/hv1.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Hiten Vyas is the Founder and Managing Editor of eBooks India. He is also a prolific eBook writer with over 25 titles to his name.[/author_info] [/author]