As part of the 31 Days to Build Better Blog challenge (at The Secret Is In The Sauce), I've been analysing my blog and comparing it with successful bloggers from my niche (blogs on writing). I want to share some of my findings with you!
ELEMENTS OF A SUCCESSFUL BLOG FOR WRITERS
- Design - Less is more. Simple layouts without the clutter (oh oh, I can see I need a clean-up!). Orange and hot pink are not as easy on the eye as white.
- Size Matters - Those super wide blogs are hard to read, column width should be easy and quick, you should be able to read the post without scrolling your eyes left and right.
- Content - Posts are always topic related and usually helpful to the reader.
- Regularity - Posts are frequent and usually short. Some post daily but most update their blogs at least 3 times a week.
- Followers - The blogs/websites that impressed me did not use Google Friends or Network Blogs, they used RSS Feeds. Check out ProBlogger's What is RSS? to know more.
- Free Content - Many successful bloggers have free downloads, e-books, widgets or other enticements on their sites.
- Blogger vs Wordpress - I see debates about ease of use vs professional image, but the blogs that impressed me were hosted on their own sites (e.g. www.thecreativepenn.com).
- Monetizing - I found the best sites free from advertising or at least kept it minimalistic (perhaps a group of sponsors' badges to the sides). I'm not sure about taking away the Amazon link - I keep it to share books that I like with my readers, but I assume most will purchase through their own links anyway.
- Promotions - The high-traffic sites are promoted through Twitter and Facebook and receive many retweets (probably because they're helpful articles and worth sharing).
- Imagery - The blogs I enjoyed used relevant images, this makes the page easier on the eye than a lot of text.
- Multi-media - A lot of the best blogs I found also offered podcasts or videoclips on their site. This would, of course, mean more work.
As you can see, I need to review a few aspects of my blog. Is there anything here you think you'll try for your blog?