Blogs are created for a number of reasons. Some people simply want to have their voices heard and their thoughts shared with the public. Others are trying to sell something or promote business products and services. Still others want to build a community around their blog, presumably profiting from advertising revenue when the blog’s audience reaches an appropriate critical mass. Every one of these reasons is legitimate and there are blogs that have succeeded following each path. But for every blog that succeeded, there are many thousands that have failed. The common ingredient among all successful blogs is the tremendous amount of effort and time devoted to building it.
Without going into a detailed examination of the various types of blogging platforms out there, it’s sufficient to note that a solid platform is almost always a pre-requisite for good blog performance. But again, it’s not anywhere close to as important as the quality and volume of the content on the blog. As you might imagine, content quality is the first priority, followed closely by content volume and then post frequency. The struggle for many bloggers doesn’t come initially. Most blogs start with a burst of energy and a clear idea of what the blogger wants to say.
Quickly, however, things can get difficult. After a few weeks of blogging happily, a first-time blogger is likely to look up and notice that absolutely no one is paying attention to their blog. They’ve gotten no comments, Google Analytics shows that they’ve had very few visitors and no relevant visitors. They re-read what they’ve written and, even if it looks good, it probably doesn’t look quite as good as they thought it did. And this is usually the time when blogs begin to die – sometime around the end of the first month of existence.
This is also the same time period when successful bloggers begin to understand just how much work blogging can be – and they decide that they want to do it. Thus begins the long, slow process of building the blog after the first month. After the first month of content has been posted, it usually becomes a little more difficult to find topics that are engaging and to continue to write about them in a way that is likely to interest would-be visitors.
Eventually, if your blog content is of a high quality and you have spent time visiting other blogs that are relevant to your own, someone will stop by and post some comments on the posts in your blog. That’s always a welcome surprise. Then, if you’re lucky, another blogger will link to your blog from theirs or from a separate website. Now you’re getting somewhere. Eventually, a trickle of comments and incoming links will grow to a slow stream of them. In order to maintain interest in your blog, it’s always important to return the favor by frequenting other blogs and contributing to conversations happening away from your own blog.
By building credibility on other people’s blogs and relevant websites, bloggers can bring instant credibility to their own blog. It’s usually poor form to invite others back to your blog in the comments you post elsewhere, but as you become an active member of an online community of bloggers, you’ll find that you can do many things that would have been impossible or highly ill-advised in the early days of your blog.
The process to build a successful blog is usually a long and slow one. But the momentum gained can usually be sustained by continuing to post quality content and by remaining active in relevant blogging circles. In the world of blogging, a year is an eternity. If you are able to build your blog consistently over the course of a single year, you will probably find yourself with one of the more respected blogs in your niche. From that point forward, it is still a labor of love, but it will probably come with some of the rewards that you may have envisioned when you launched the blog in the first place.