No Free Lunch For Aspiring Bloggers
There are millions of people looking to launch a successful blog. Some are looking for income, some a voice. When it comes to success in both the traffic and income areas, there is no free lunch. I’ve searched websites for years now looking for that key to blogging success. That key that will put my blog on the fast track to thousands of daily readers and thousands of advertising dollars each month. There is no such thing. There is no free lunch.
There are no big keys to a successful blog, there are only multiple little keys. The three main keys to success are content, link generation and consistency. No surprises there. Any decent blogger already knows about these things.
There are literally thousands of “how to blog” blogs. Most of them say the same thing over and over in an attempt to drive traffic to their own blogs and generate income. Most fail to do so. The reality is that most advice that you get on such blogs is either knowledge you already know or a load of nonsense. With that said, there are some worthwhile blogs on blogger that I visit myself.
But, the important thing is that there is no substitute for the three main keys that I already mentioned. You need to produce quality content. You need to work on generating links to your blog. And you need to do both of these consistently over time with a high level of frequency. Note that all of these things take work, lots of it.
Growth will likely be slow, and most of you have probably already realized that it is going to take longer than you think to get to where you want. It is for that reason that blogging about a topic that you are either very passionate about or already involved in (perhaps your day job is in the same area) is absolutely key. Otherwise, you will likely burn out.
Now that you understand what is required, let’s dive into each area a little bit more…
Blogging is writing content. That’s pretty much it. If you aren’t a good writer and/or an interesting writer, then you’re likely wasting your time. If you aren’t writing about something that somebody wants to read about, you’re wasting your time.
If you’re spending more time thinking about web design & layout, monetization, and driving traffic than you are about what you are going to write about today, tomorrow and in 6 months, you probably won’t see any significant growth for your blog. Focus on writing content that is very high quality. Focus on writing content that is interesting. Have an opinion. Don’t be a news site unless you think you can compete with CNN.com or DrudgeReport.com which of course, you can’t. Be interesting, be passionate, have an angle, talk about specific stuff.
Blogging is writing content.
This is probably one of the most talked about areas although it tends to come with a lot of misinformation. Most people would recommend generating links to your blog through writing comments on other blogs or message boards. Also, most people recommend submitting links to social media sites. For the most part, I think all of these are a waste of time. While these activities hold some value for other reasons, they won’t do much in terms of generating links for your blog for the purposes of search rankings and for driving traffic.
I’m in the camp where I think Google (and other search engines) knows how to weigh accordingly comment links and similar type links. They know the difference between natural organic links and writing comments and forum posts in the name of generating backlinks. It isn’t hard for them to distinguish. Use the rule, if it’s very easy to do, it’s probably not very effective.
If we use that rule, it means that the effective methods are the harder ones. Natural backlinks require quality content. Back to that content thing again! Another good method is to write guest posts for quality blogs. This requires quality content and impressing a blog owner enough to have him publish your content.
Lastly, I tend to think that high quality directories are actually a worthwhile pursuit. Why? Because most bloggers won’t pay $30-$300 to have their blog listed. It’s about differentiation. Differentiating your blog from other blogs in the eyes of search engines and readers.
If the “how to blog” crowd is unanimous in specific strategies like commenting on other blogs, social media, etc. then these are the strategies that you should not spend a great deal of time on. Should you do these things? Yes. But don’t build your core strategy around them. Instead, move toward the areas that the herd is not moving towards such as super quality content and web directories. Sorry guys, like the title says… no free lunch.
Now that you have read in detail what is required in terms of content and link generation, do it. Then repeat. Again and again and again. Maybe after repeating it over and over until you want to throw up, you will have a growing blog in terms of both traffic, readership and income. That’s what you want right? Good luck!