A guest post by Jered Slusher of Mass Influence Leadership.
OK. So everybody wants the answer to the million dollar question: How do I create a successful blog?
You wouldn’t believe the number of people I’ve watched over the years run blog after blog into the ground (including myself).
The majority of failures occur because the blogger fails to provide enough value to keep the readers coming back for more.
Think about it for a second. If you don’t have something of value to offer your readers, who will want to come to your blog?
It’s like opening a restaurant that doesn’t serve food. It doesn’t make much sense.
People want value. That’s what it comes down to.
When your readers are surfing the net, they want to find something that’s going to add value to their lives.
You have to provide your readers with the value that they want.
Why do you think so many people get addicted to Farmville and Mafia Wars? Trust me, people wouldn’t be playing those games if there wasn’t some kind of payoff.
So the questions you have to ask yourself are: what value does my blog give readers? What will keep them coming back? What do my readers have to look forward to?
If you look at the most successful blogs, you’ll find three things that they all have in common:
1. Strong Purpose.
Why does your blog exist?
Take ProBlogger for example. ProBlogger exists to help bloggers succeed. Everything that ProBlogger does is geared towards providing valuable blogging resources. People who are interested in blogging flock to ProBlogger because the blog offers such great insight into their passion.
What about TMZ.com, the celebrity gossip site? Their purpose is to provide coverage of the latest celebrity news. People are glued to their computers trying to figure out which celebrity got arrested and who checked themselves into rehab.
And, of course there’s Kotaku.com, the video game news site. Kotaku exists to deliver the latest and best coverage of video game news and reviews. The gaming crowd devours every post because they can’t get enough video games.
It’s not just that these blogs tout a strong purpose. Their blog’s purpose matches the wants of their readers and they go to great lengths to provide massive value that relates to that purpose.
Every successful blog has a purpose that corresponds with a reader’s desire, and the blog lives the purpose, providing the greatest value in the chosen topic.
2. Strong Vision.
Where has your blog been, where is it now, and where is it headed?
Every successful blog has a past, present, and future that the blog owners use to their advantage.
One of my favorite examples of a blogger with a strong, constantly developing vision is Leo Babauta of Zen Habits. Leo is one of the most famous productivity blogging gurus ever, and for good reason: Leo Babauta is a master of The 3 Secrets to Mass Influence Blogging.
Everyone that follows Leo knows that he preaches living a minimalist lifestyle and doing things in their simplest form. He uses that guiding principle to shape his blogs.
For example, Leo accepted advertising on his blog in the past. In fact, his sidebar used to be cluttered with multiple advertisements and affiliate links. Don’t believe me? Check out what Zen Habits looked like on October 12, 2007, courtesy of The Internet Archive.
Along the way, Leo got a new minimalist blog design and accepted fewer and fewer advertising links. In fact, in 2009 he was down to just one accepted advertisement, a tiny 125 x 125 ad square below his links.
Now Leo doesn’t accept any advertising on his site, making the site even more minimalist, directing the reader’s sole focus on his content and keeping visitors on his site.
The evolution of Leo’s advertising strategies are a true testament to someone with a strong vision. When it came time to eliminate the ads all together, Leo could see where he had been, where he was at the moment, and where wanted to be.
Leo knew he had previously used a cluttered advertising strategy that wasn’t in tune with his minimalist beliefs and that he wouldn’t support returning to that stage ever again.
Leo knew that he was accepting one advertisement at the time. He also knew that he would gain a serious advantage if he eliminated the ads altogether.
So, Leo saw into the future that his blog could be ad free, and as a result he worked towards that goal until it happened.
Bloggers like Leo Babauta have the ability to leverage what they know about the past and the present to create the idealized future they dream of. They have a clear map of where they’ve been, where they are, and the direction that they are headed.
Every successful blog has a vision that is shaped by the desires of the blogger and the readers.
3. Strong Integrity.
How does your blog provide consistent value?
The third secret to Mass Influence Blogging is to have tremendous consistency in your blogging efforts. People return to your site because they know that the value you provide is consistent.
It’s not enough to have a home run post every couple of months and fill the rest of your blog with a bunch of garbage that has nothing to do with your purpose. You have to continuously provide high quality content so that your readers are practically knocking down your door to get more.
Every visit to your site should give the reader a sense of “wow” so that they continue to come back for more time and time again.
If you look at any of the most successful blogs online today, you’ll find that they’re consistently current in their communication with their readers. That’s no accident. People want fresh, valuable content on a daily basis.
Why do you think Copyblogger has over 100,000 subscribers? They’re so popular because they consistently deliver high quality content. Readers return because they know that they’ll be treated to the best copywriting and marketing tips. In fact, Copyblogger even states that “the first rule of Copyblogger is you do not publish content that sucks.”
I wonder why? Maybe because content that sucks drives people away from your blog.
I mean, honestly. Who wants to waste their time on a blog that, for lack of a better word, sucks?
Every successful blog provides a consistent high quality experience to its readers.
The Dirty Secret About Mass Influence Blogging:
Mass Influence Blogging is about becoming a leader in the blogosphere. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen overnight.
A successful blog takes time, and every successful blog owner knows that there’s an intense engineering process that occurs behind the scenes to manufacture a blog with a strong purpose, vision, and integrity.
To become a massive influence in your own blogging niche, you must develop your blog’s purpose, vision, and integrity over time to reflect the wants of your readers.
The reality is that not everyone will be able to turn their idea into the next greatest internet blog. But if you’re able to satisfy an intense desire of a large group, if you have a keen vision of the blog’s direction, and if you’re dependable in providing highly valuable content on a regular basis, then I’d say you might have a shot at achieving a successful blog.
Your Turn: Are you clear on your blog’s purpose?
Bio: Jered Slusher is the founder of Mass Influence Leadership, an elite community of leaders driven to gain control over their future, lead other people, and achieve massive amounts of success. For more information, visit Mass Influence Leadership at http://www.massinfluence.org