“Well, honey, when a topic and a writer love each other very much …”
Many bloggers dream of being featured on the front page of Reddit and StumbleUpon, of having their blog posts go viral and ending up with tens of thousands of readers. It can happen – it does happen, but successful blogs don’t happen overnight. Getting your blog noticed takes both effort and persistence. And even a great deal of hard work won’t guarantee you your 10,000 readers. But your work will mean that you build your subscriber base from where it would otherwise be.
So what makes a successful blog? Well, let’s start with your writing. You probably have something to say, or why start a blog? Say it well, in the way that only you can. It’s best if you bring your own expertise and perspective to your writing. There is a lot of information available on the internet these days, and you don’t want to just be repeating things that have already been said. Read the work of bloggers you really admire, and notice what works and what doesn’t. Think about who your potential audience might be, and what you can offer them.
Your post should be well-written, and enjoyable to read. Check for spelling and grammatical errors. When you publish your post, make sure you’re proud of what you’re putting out there.
Now for the marketing. First off, let’s do a little SEO. There’s a lot of bad SEO out there: paragraphs littered with obvious keywords and phrases. No one reading your blog should instantly know what phrases you’re targeting. You need to think through what keywords and phrases people might search that are relevant to your topic. Use tools like Google Keyword Tool to find popular keywords relevant to your blog. Use these keywords: once in your header, once early in your text (first paragraph if possible), perhaps in a photo caption … but again, keep it simple and natural. Go for quality writing first; keywords are a secondary concern.
Now that your post is up, it’s time to announce it to the world. Social media will help you here, as will having prominent “Subscribe” and “Share” buttons on your blog. Utilize your existing contacts, and move outward. For a quick overview of your social media options, see “Social Media for Cat Bloggers Explained.” You may also consider guest blogging to increase your exposure and reach a wider audience. (It will also give you a link back to your blog, which boosts your search engine results). If you can get your blog noticed by a social media influencer, well, they’re called influencers for a reason. They’ll drive more traffic to your blog, and if you’re very lucky, your blog may even end up on the front page of Delicious. Which means more traffic, more links, higher listing in search engine results … and these effects multiply.
It’s a cycle. The more readers you get, the more new people you’re likely to draw in. Sometimes this can happen very suddenly, when it does happen. But don’t expect to hit top search rankings overnight. Do what you love doing, do it well, and enjoy the journey.