Building a successful and profitable blog does not happen by accident. In order to achieve a high level of success, a blog needs to have a number of different characteristics. In this post we’ll look at ten things that all blogs must have in order to achieve long-term, sustained success.
1 – Quality Content
The most important part of a successful and profitable blog is the content. A blog is really nothing without content. Of course, there are a variety of strategies when it comes to content. You could provide informative articles, you could break news (or attempt to break news, you could write humorous content, you could write opinion pieces, etc. Whatever your approach, the content needs to be of high quality.
2 – Unique Content
Not only does the content of your blog need to be of quality, but it should also be unique. If readers can get essentially the same information at any number of other blogs or websites, you’ll have a much hard time converting visitors into repeat visitors and subscribers. With unique content you’ll attract more links and recommendations, and those who arrive at your blog will be more likely to subscribe because they won’t want to miss future posts.
3 – Targeted Audience
Hopefully before you started your blog you took some time to think about who you would be specifically targeting and catering your content towards. Without a targeted audience the blog will lack direction and growth will be difficult. A targeted audience is also critical for selling products or advertising space. Developing products or selling as an affiliate is much easier when you know exactly who is visiting your site. Additionally, advertisers will be much more interested in buying an ad on your site if they are confident that your audience is a good fit for their product or service.
4 – Consistency
It’s very difficult to build a substantial readership and to gain loyalty and involvement from your readers without consistency. This doesn’t mean that you need to publish a new post every day, but it does mean that you should avoid long gaps between posts. In these cases your readers will get in the habit of going somewhere else for the information, and they may even wonder if you’ve given up the blog. Posting consistently shows that you are serious about providing a high quality blog, and it will impact how others see your blog as a resource.
5 – Effective Monetization Strategy
Profitable blogs will usually make money from a few different sources. Ads (including AdSense) are the most common way to monetize a blog right now, but affiliate programs, selling your own products, services, and memberships are all options for increasing your income. Often times, these will become better sources of income than the ads. Your monetization strategy should be a good fit with your audience and with your long-term goals for the blog.
6 – Inbound Links
Attracting links from other bloggers is a huge part of building a blog. Inbound links are coveted because of search engine rankings, but they also send click-through traffic and they represent an endorsement by the other blogger. Visitors that arrive through a link from another blog will generally be much more likely to subscribe and to browse through the site for a while before leaving.
7 – Traffic
Obviously, a blog needs to be seen in order to make money. Traffic is especially relevant if you’re selling ads. Other forms of monetization can be accomplished without huge amounts of traffic (with the right approach), but having more visitors can’t hurt.
8 – Community Environment
Think about the most successful blogs that you visit. Regardless of what niche they’re in, I’m confident that they all have a strong community surrounding them. The readers and the community are just as important to the health of a blog as the person writing the posts. Take time to get to know your readers and make an effort to build a strong community around your blog.
9 – A Business-Like Approach
A profitable blog should be treated like a business, not a hobby. Those who view their blog as a hobby are unlikely to ever reach the level of financial success with their blog that they could reach if they simply took a different approach. Treat your blog seriously and you’ll see the results of your work.
10 – A Plan for Growth
Building a blog requires a long-term focus, because it rarely happens overnight. Rather than just going from day-to-day and week-to-week, take some time to think about the long-term prospects, and develop a strategy for your blog. How do you plan to reach new readers, attract subscribers, or convert traffic into income?