Yep, you read that right, there are only 3 things you need for a successful blog. Who knew it was that easy ! You spent hours trying to figure out what could make a blog successful, what is the secret, what is the magic trick to finally make your blog grow. Well, here is a lil hint: There is no magic trick, and there is no secret. Only hard work, and these three things.
A Kick Ass Design
We already talked about that in my post on how to start a blog the right way, but I’m going to say it again, because this is so important. The design of your site represent its identity, and tells a lot of things to your readers about it. First impressions matter when it comes to blogging, so you want to make sure that the first impression your blog gives to your readers is a good one.
There is of course NO NEED to spend $1.500 in a custom design for your blog to look great. There are tons of free design that do the job very well, or you can also buy one here on Etsy for a reasonable price. I got mine from there for 50€, which is already on the expensive side to me (it was my christmas gift from me to myself !) , but you can find good themes on there for less than that.
There are a couple of things that your blog design must have in order to be a good one.
- First of all, it has to look clean, and user-friendly. Nobody wants to spend five minutes trying to figure out how your blog works and where are the things that they want to find. Your readers are not supposed to have to make an effort to find the post or category they want to find.
- A good design must include a (or several) way(s) to follow you. Include your social media and newsletter buttons, somewhere easily accessible and visible.
- Make it easy for people to contact you. I really suggest that you pick a design that has a navigation bar where you can put a “contact” and an “about” page (Do not underestimate the power of those two pages).
High Quality Content
Yes dear, even if your blog’s appearance is important, is does not replace quality content. What do I mean by that ? I mean helpful, valuable, interesting content that YOU would actually enjoy reading. Put yourself in the reader’s position for a minute. Always ask yourself if you, as a reader, would read that post if it was on somebody else’s blog and enjoy it.
But high quality content doesn’t stop there; it also implies a good, catchy title. Your title is the thing that makes people click on your post or not, so it’s kind of a big deal. I mean, why would you ever click on a post to read it if the title doesn’t attract you in some way ? People need a reason to read your posts, because they don’t know what your post contains yet, they don’t know if your content is great or not. All they see is that title, and that title should give them that reason to click on it. You could write the most amazing post in the world, if its title is bad, then honey, no one’s gonna want to read it.
Finally, quality pictures are a must. Now, I know that not everybody can afford to put $500 in a camera, but I think everybody can afford to download a free software to edit their photos. I’m using Photoscape, it is completely free, and enough for a beginner ! Bright pictures, took in a natural light, are always best.
Be A Reader, Not Just A Blogger
The last thing, and probably the most important, is to put your reader’s shoes at least once a day and read and comment on other blogs. Because this is actually how you get other bloggers to visit your blog and become a part of your community. I spend one or two hours everyday just reading blogs, like their posts and comment. And when I say comments, I mean a real, genuine comments, not just the traditional “Nice post” that basically just means “I didn’t even read your post, but I want you to go on my blog and comment back“.
It might take going on the same blogs several times for them to really notice you and remember you. But show those bloggers that you are interested in what they do, and most of the time, they will give it back to you. Now I know this is very time-consuming, but it’s the quickest and most effective way to build your community and generate quality traffic on your blog.
Tell me, what do you do to grow your audience?
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