Thousands of people a day make the leap of faith to become the next internet superstar by creating a blog. Some of those folks are businesses trying to do the online thing, while many are simply trying to establish themselves on the internet.
Whatever the case may be, there are some definitive steps in building a successful blog – but in order to do that, let’s define what “success” actually is.
According to Dictionary.com:
Success is the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors – attainment of wealth, position, honors, or the like.
In other words, it is the attempt to complete a task, to achieve a status, or to become something we currently aren’t. Growing up, we all had people we looked up to – people we wanted to be.
For me, it was Philadelphia Phillies third-baseman Mike Schmidt and Miami Dolphins Quarterback Dan Marino. For you, it may have been the lead singer of a rock band, or an aspiring Hollywood actress. Either way, we found ourselves looking up to someone for a very specific reason.
They attained success in a way we wish to.
In today’s society, there are many online folks that the everyday person (or aspiring blogger) wishes to become. For bloggers, that might be Darren Rowse or Chris Brogan. For women in the tech space, that might be Cali Lewis or Jolie O’Dell.
The bottom line is that we all have role models who have successful blogs. Ones we wish we could have started, or popular ones we wish we could contribute on. Like all of us, they started somewhere, and had to build from the ground up.
It will take some time, and probably hard work. But those who are diligent will experience the cliche from Field of Dreams, “If you build it they will come…”
Write Well and Write Often
I have to admit that for me this might be the most challenging one. Our lives today are filled with tasks and to-do lists. Filled with places we have to go. Calls we have to make and so on.
It’s critical that you blog frequently. Not every post has to be a novel, or a home run. But to establish traction and movement with your audience, you should be blogging at least 2-3 times a week. If not more.
Understand That it Requires Patience
As the saying goes – Rome wasn’t built in a day. Unfortunately for people who want to get rich quick, this is a tragically accurate statement. While I suppose it is possible to create a successful blog while having it built on sand, it won’t take but a wave or two to come crashing down before it’s wiped out.
Yes, that means you need to be patient and work hard. It means that like an Olympic athlete, you need to train and not just try.
Network Yourself With Others
When I first started out blogging and creating themes for WordPress, I sought relationships with others in the space. The most important person I networked with was Cory Miller. Back in those days, we spent a lot of time brainstorming and talking about our journey.
It consisted of moral support, but also paved the way to meeting other folks within our niche. It’s important to get to know the leaders in your space, and to understand what made them successful. As you get to know them, there’s a good chance that they introduce you to others as well.
Build a Community
For me, this step was easy – as I’ve always been a people-person and a gatherer. Whether it be comments on your blog, or establishing a forum on your site – engaging people and interacting with them is essential in building a successful blog.
Communities are born out of passion – passion for a sports team, passion for a brand of computer, or passion for way of life. After all, isn’t that what social media and the idea of viral loops are all about?
Hang in There and Stay Strong
A few months ago I ran a 1/2 marathon – something I never dreamed I could do. I’ll have to admit that more than halfway into the race I was ready to throw in the towel.
For me, I had hit the wall. I wanted to give up. Building a successful blog in some ways is similar to long distance running. There’s usually a time where you want to call it quits. Ask any successful blogger if they’ve encountered this. I can guarantee every one of them will say yes.
So what’s holding you back? What are the things that cause you to throw in the towel? Leave a comment and let’s talk about it…