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posted on January 17th, 2013

5 Elements of Successful Blogs

Unless you’ve been living under a rock somewhere in the Andean desert for the last several years, you’ve probably learned that interruption-driven marketing is dead. Blasting traditional sales messages at your audience won’t just lead them to ignore you – it could very well make them abhor you. If you want people to tune into your marketing messages, don’t cross your fingers and hope that the media will write about you. Be the media by starting your own blog and writing in an engaging way so that you can draw prospective customers directly to you.

Blogging can help you attract and convert leads while building up your reputation in your industry, but it isn’t the holy grail of Internet marketing. Today’s consumers are bombarded with an infinite number of choices, so if you want them to listen to what you have to say, you must take the time to develop a unique and authentic blogging voice. This is no easy task.

In the US alone, there are an estimated 31 million blogs, so competition is fierce and it has become increasingly difficult to build a blog that attracts and retains attention. So, what is it that makes some blogs so popular and others collect dust in the darkest corners of the blogosphere? Here are 5 elements that you’ll find in most successful blogs.
 

1. Passion

When you are passionate about a topic, it shows in the way you write and communicate. Passion alone has allowed many people to rise to online stardom. You don’t have to be an expert in the traditional sense to have a successful blog about a particular topic. You just need to enjoy the topic you’re writing about, write in an engaging way, and have unique viewpoints. For example, the most popular happiness bloggers don’t have PhDs in psychology, and acclaimed bloggers who write about food and health are not necessarily trained nutritionists.

Passion isn’t something you can fake. You either have it or you don’t. If you’re launching a business blog and are not feeling eager to write about the topic, consider hiring a passionate copywriter to ghostwrite for your blog. Passion shines through and encourages people to share and spread your work.

2. Aesthetic Appeal

There are extremely popular websites that have simple or even unattractive designs, but they are the exception to the rule. If you want to attract readers and earn their trust, steer clear of templates and invest in a unique website design. You only have a few seconds to make an impression on your website visitors. If your site looks amateurish, people may click away and visit one of your competitors ’ websites instead. In addition, make sure your posts are formatted to be web-friendly and user-friendly by breaking them up with sub-headings, pictures, videos, and bullet points. Big blocks of text overwhelm readers.
 

3. Important content is easy to find

Important content on your blog, such as your “About” page and most popular posts, should be highly visible and easily accessible. Your “About” page is one of the most-visited pages of your site – it allows people to get to know you and it’s your chance to convince people why they should listen to you. Making your most popular posts, recent posts, etc. easily accessible is also important because it allows readers to explore your content further.

4. Targeted niche

The blogosphere is saturated, no matter what industry you’re in. Let’s say you’re a real estate agent. If you start yet another blog about real estate, you have to keep in mind that there are already thousands of other real estate blogs to compete against. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel in order to get attention as a real estate blogger, but you would definitely be better off focusing on a specific niche. For example, you could focus on green real estate, real estate in your local area, or specific property types (e.g., condos).

5. Entertaining

Trying to appeal to everyone generally means that you’ll appeal to no one. If you want to stand out in the blogosphere, take a stand and voice your opinions. It’s better to express polarizing viewpoints than to be boring. While it’s not recommended to stir up controversy just to get attention, you shouldn’t be afraid to write what you believe. Most popular blogs become popular to begin with because they are biased.

Bloggers build communities around shared viewpoints, ideas, and identities because people want to read blogs that confirm, not challenge, their worldview. Generally speaking, people are attracted to blogs that promote positivity and make them hopeful.

To attract a like minded audience, be honest and write about your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. Of course, if your blog starts to gain traction, you may attract a few haters (aka trolls) here and there, but that’s just one of the pitfalls of being Internet famous.

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