There have been more articles written on the subject of blogging than just about every other topic. It's been beaten to death. So why in the world would I put a piece out there on the same topic.
Because I want to. And frankly, because there are still many people who don't understand the key to long-term success with their blog.
Following are several observations and pointers to help you make the most of your blog.
1) Publish original content
This may seem obvious to many people, but you cannot build a following if you don't have something to say. I've been beating the drum for original content for years. It's amazing how many people still ask me if it is a good idea to build a site using the stack of PLR content they just bought for a song. PLR content is fine to supplement a niche-site, but it should never be the primary source of content. When it comes to PLR, less is more.
2) Be real
We live in an age where authenticity is being touted as a key virtue. I'm glad to see that. Yet, there is still so many "me too" people who are attempting to duplicate other's success. I guess you could say they are authentic at being someone else!
It is my opinion that each person is created by God with a unique set of talents, passions, skills, personality and abilities. You will never be someone else. You are stuck with you. Be true to that person and mine the gold that is within. People will appreciate your unique voice and you will have an easier time creating content.
3) Be consistent
If you are serious about developing and maintaining an audience, blog regularly. There's nothing worse for a reader than to visit your site and see that you haven't updated in several days. There are plenty of other sites that regularly deliver fresh content. You will lose your readers.
I deliberately pulled away from my blog for a time with the full awareness that my traffic levels would be affected. It was necessary for a personal season in my life and I was willing to pay that price. But as I have become more consistent in posting content, I observe my traffic levels increasing.
4) Keep it interesting
I appear to break a number of the rules that I teach by writing about anything and everything on this site. After all, I have always said that your site should be focused on your particular niche.
People expect me to write about business, social media, adsense and blogging. But I also like to write about current events, movies, computer games, travel and iPhone apps. I've also been known to be a stickler for customer service stories.
But I won't pigeonhole my content into other's expectations of me. I'll write about whatever is on my mind. This blog is about whatever is interesting to me. Ultimately, if it is interesting enough to me, there is the thought that others will find it interesting as well.
5) Don't be afraid of controversy
Grab a big ladle and stir the pot every now and then. Talk about the issues that matter to you. Don't be afraid of what others might think or say. Controversy is great comment-fodder. It's unfortunate that raising the hackles of others is one of the best ways to instigate conversation. But it is what it is. We, as a people, like red meat. (No offense to my vegan friends.)
6) Use social media
Be sure to incorporate social media share buttons on your site so others can easily share your content. That reminds me. I still need to add Google Plus to this blog. Practice what you preach, Joel...
Those are just a few things that immediately come to mind. I could go on, but this is where interacting with you becomes fun. What are some of your ideas for maintaining a blog that generates and keeps an audience?
Please post your comments below.