Blogs are becoming the ubiquitous calling cards of cyberspace, and it seems like everyone is starting one: from your sister, to the mom next door, to corporate marketing professionals trying to carefully cultivate their brand's public image. I've been blogging for the past five years, and my green design sites Inhabitat and Inhabitots rank in the Technorati top 100 - and I'd like to pass on some of the tricks of the trade I've learned through relentless trial and error. Hopefully my tips will allow you to skip some of the trial and error part and get started in the right direction. In order to be successful at blogging, one must follow certain criteria, while also blazing a unique trail. Here are five surefire tips to help you pave a successful path to growing a relevant and profitable blog.
1. Choose your niche wisely Decide on a topic for your blog and then deliver your news and information in a fashion that will entice and engage readers. Select your theme well, and make sure it’s something you’re passionate about, as you’ll be married to it day in and day out, constantly sourcing information for content. Also, consider the competition in your genre. The more unique your chosen topic is, the more chance of success you will have. If your topic is well-covered on the Internet, find a way to set your blog apart with unprecedented delivery or a larger than life personal perspective.
2. Find a unique perspective Set your blog apart by making it a first hit, go-to resource for people interested in its subject. Conformists needn’t apply to the blogging realm. The most successful blogs are the ones that offer a highly unique, specialized perspective that can’t be found anywhere else on the Web. Be the first to break stories, publish noteworthy posts frequently, say something original, and provide unique, compelling content.
3. The medium is the message Blog visitors are a new breed of readers who value their time and are looking for instantaneous access to information. They want information to be chopped into bite-sized, palatable pieces that are interwoven with eye-candy imagery. Pictures really are worth a thousand words in the blogging world, and punchy, well-written, concise text will always be preferred over long, explanatory prose.
4. Network, Network, Network The backbone of a blog’s success is that people know about it. Get the word out about your blog by establishing meaningful, reciprocal connections with other bloggers in your field. Feature link roundups on your blog to showcase the efforts of other bloggers, putting you on their radar. Build a community among the readers of your blog by asking questions in your posts, soliciting feedback, holding contests and giveaways, and encouraging involvement.
5. Become a student of other successful blogs Check out Technorati's list of the Top 100 Blogs, and study them to learn what makes a successful blog tick. Blogging is a relentless state of trying to outperform not only your competitors, but yourself. The more you know what works and why, the more you can tweak your blog and shape it into an ultimate success story.
Photo credit: DeclanTM