What separates a good blog from the best blog. I've found that most of the best bloggers share very similar characteristics. Here are 7 keys that all of the best blogs have in common.
A lot of people, when they start blogging, worry too much about frequency. How many posts per week do I need to write to get the best results? Posting frequently enough that your readers don't think you've fallen off the face of the earth is important. But, it's more important to post consistently.
When I was little, I used to look forward to every Sunday because I knew that I had an entire sections worth of colorful comic strips to enjoy at the breakfast table. If, all of a sudden, a Sunday rolled around without the comic section, I would have been devastated. This is the way you want your readers to feel. But, if you post to your blog sporadically, whenever an idea happens to pop into your head, you aren't going to achieve this. Post consistently and you will develop a loyal following who make reading your blog part of their routine.
Frequently, if someone has been blogging for a while, they will run out of things to say. This often causes writers to go off on tangents that have little if anything to do with the topic of the blog . This can be distracting and confusing to your audience, which in turn might cause them to stop following your blog. If you ever feel like you're going off on too much of a tangent ask yourself if/how this piece of content adds value to the overall theme of your blog.
Staying consistent and relevant is no easy task. In order to be successful you must be tenacious and strive to do whatever it takes to deliver high quality content to your audience. I'm not telling you to over-commit and try to write a blog post a day. Start small with something like a blog post a week, and increase your volume as you get into a rhythm.
Curiosity is going to be the quality that helps you continue to come up with interesting and insightful pieces of content. If you are constantly reading blog posts and saying to yourself "yea, I agree with that" then you aren't going to be a very successful blogger . You should be constantly questioning things that you read online, constantly asking yourself why the author has a certain perspective, and then working hard to come up with your own.
People enjoy reading unique perspectives. Your personality cannot be replicated by anyone, and this is the reason that you shouldn't be afraid to let it show in your writing. It's great to look to successful content creators for tips on style, but, in the end, your blog posts should be a representation of who you are. Trying to write in order to please your audience will only make your writing dull and boring.
I don't even really feel like I need to explain why passion is so important. If you don't love what you're writing about then it's going to show. Regardless of whether or not people agree with your opinion, they will be able to tell if you are truly passionate about what you are talking about. To me, the first few episodes of American Idol are the only ones worth watching. These are the episodes in which contestants with vocal capabilities equivalent to a parrot are told the sad news that they aren't going to be the next American Idol. It's not the headache inducing singing that is enjoyable to me. It's the passion and belief in themselves that these people bring to their performance.
Blogging should not be undertaken for it's short term gains. It takes a long time to establish a readership, a voice, and the skills required to really thrive. If you don't think that maintaining a blog takes a significant amount of time and effort than you are lying to yourself. I'm not saying this to discourage you, but rather to let you know that you must really commit to every one of these keys. If you do you will be able to produce a blog that's better than 99% of the blogs out there.
Did I miss any keys that you think are critical for producing a succesful blog? Let me know in the comments below.