Have you ever contemplated quitting your job to pursue your dream of being a professional writer? If so, the Internet era is the best time to jump into the action. There are many people who have fulfilled their dreams by writing about things they love on their own blog. The best part about doing this is, many of them are able to make a good living from their blogs.
That being said, there is a science to making a blog successful–unless you are already well-known, you will need to take a few steps and put in a little hard work to make your blog the place to be. To clarify: if you build it, they may not come–but, if you built it and get people to start coming, they may keep coming and bring others with them. The following steps will help you get started on the path of building a successful blog:
1. Decide what you will write about. The first step is deciding what your blog will focus on. Blogs that generally lack specific focus will generally fizzle and die. The foundation of a good blog is finding something to write about that you love and know a lot about. The most successful blogs have a specific theme and direction that other people who are looking for that specific content will be driven to. If you love photography, find some special niche that you can focus on and present to others who also love photography. Finding the right focus in a more general area–like photography–is important to establishing your blog as something separated from the rest.
2. Build your blog. Step two is building your blog. There are a variety of places that will let you build a blog for free. Sites like Blogger.com and WordPress.com are great sources for getting started. These types of sites provide a template and easy to use instructions for personalizing your unique blog. There is also the option of building your own website through sites like intuit.com, or having a professional build your own complete website; however, the free sites seem to be just as good as anything a professional could do–so that may be the best rout as you are getting started.
As you choose templates and/or build your website, remember what your blogging about and be sure to insert your own personality in the design of your blog. Doing this will help further set you apart from all the other blogs out there and will help bring more interest in the overall presentation of your blog.
3. Create content. Step three is creating content. Before someone announces the grand opening of their store, they will make sure their shelves are stocked with product–so it goes with blogging. You will want to have several quality posts ready before bringing people to your blog. Having several interesting posts will give newcomers a good first impression of your newly created blog, and it will make people want to return. First impressions are everything when trying to get people to come back. If your posts are sloppy or poorly written with bad grammar or there isn’t enough content to keep someone on your blog for a long time, then people will usually lose interest or quickly forget they ever visited your blog. Work hard on putting out several interesting posts that will keep visitors on your site as long as possible.
4. Advertising. The next step is similar to the third. Before launching your blog you will want to place ads on your blog to help generate money. Most bloggers do this by adding Adsense to their blogs. If you are using Blogger.com, for example, it is really easy to ad an Adsense ad to your page, which is also content specific. By putting ads on your website, you can generate income based on visitors clicking on your ads. The nice thing about content specific ads is that the people coming to your page and reading your content will quite often be interested in those things advertised about the same stuff. Keep this in mind as you write. As your visiting traffic grows, your advertising income is also likely to grow.
5. Generate traffic. The last step in building a blog is generating traffic. This is generally the step that is most difficult, but is also possible with hard work and consistency. First and foremost you must regularly post to your blog to keep those who do come coming. Remember that content is key to maintaining interest. The next most basic thing you can do is tell family and friends about your blog to get an initial following.
The next part is a little more difficult. In order to generate traffic you will need to work hard at creating interest from people you don’t know. One of the best ways to do this is reaching out to other bloggers with similar blogs as your own. If you have a photography related blog, go to forums and chat rooms and blogs that discuss photography. There you can discuss your blog and also participate in similar blogs. This is a great way to put your name out there and generate interest in your site. Again, establishing your site as something that has a unique edge is essential to keeping people interested.
Another method of generating traffic is through paid advertising, such as Adwords. Adwords can be a great way to establish a base of people who are searching for your specific content. The only downside is that it can get expensive. If you have some extra cash to spend on advertising to your blog, it can be a very effective method for creating an initial rush of traffic to your neck of the Internet. But the free methods are also very effective if enough time is put into promoting your blog to others with similar interests.
If you will take the time to be creative with your blog and establish your blog as something different than the rest, people will eventually come. The amount of people who come to your blog will always depend on the quality and frequency of what content you provide. With hard work and dedication you will eventually build a base and a successful blog that can be profitable to you. Now go get started!