You are lucky! The blogging success rate is 5 percent, and 95 percent have already failed!
In two basic ways, blogging is little different than any brick and mortar small business in what it takes to succeed.
First, you have to make a good first impression so the customer…or reader, in the case of a blog…will want to hang around your “business” long enough spend some money or do whatever else your “call to action” wants them to do. Second, you have to hang around long enough…stay in business…to give the business time to succeed. You have to be persistent.
Nothing more than a simple lack of persistence kills most bloggers aspirations. Often, just hanging in there can move you towards the head of the pack in dramatic fashion.
Of course, good content will move you further, faster, but at least you can get a head start.
As an example, look at what happens to a fresh WordPress install on a brand-new hosting account and brand-new domain. If you were to call say, HostGator Web hosting service (my preferred host, by the way. If you need hosting click on their ad in the sidebar and check them out free for one month) one morning, and used HayleStorm Interactive’s free WordPress installation service and your site was being indexed by Google, within just a few hours the site would show up with an Alexa score somewhere North of 25 million.
Remember, with the Alexa score the lower the number, the better. Google is number 1.
Take that same WordPress install, on that same domain, with absolutely no content added to it, and look at it in about three months, like this site . Simply by continuing to exist its Alexa score will be down well under 10 million.
If you look at the you will see a site that has been in existence since the first week of November 2012. It had a small amount of content added at its inception, has been ignored since, and it’s Alexa score is just a wee bit over 900,000.
It’s an attractive design that has just sat there for about four months, and simply by existing, by demonstrating persistence, it has climbed well ahead of over 20 million other sites.
So persistence alone can take a brand-new site with no content from an eight figure Alexa score to a six-figure Alexa score. Imagine what would happen with fresh content added on a regular basis!
Most blogs with a six-figure Alexa score can pick up a little change, enough to be a hobby that pays for itself anyway, with affiliate ads. If you want nothing more from your blog than to be a hobby that pays for itself, at that point you probably could say you had a successful blog.
While some people start blogging simply for fun, and a blog it paid for itself would be considered a bonus, that might be okay. For most bloggers though simply paying for itself is not what they expect of their blog. They actually wanted to make some money. When they can start considering their blog as an income producer, then they consider it a successful blog… And that takes Alexa score with five figures or less.
Let’s take a look at five critical steps to having a blog with a five figure Alexa score, that makes some decent income.
Decide what you want to write about
You don’t have to chase the latest “hot niche”to build a successful blog. As discussed here, the really “hot niches” burn fast, and flame out faster, and if it’s a topic you’re not really interested in, but picked because it was the newest hot niche, it’s going to be extremely hard to make yourself (Consistently Create Compelling Quality) Content, and if you have to pick only one thing to do right it is getting content on your site. Whether you are blogging for fun, or start off from day one blogging as a business to make money, picking a niche that you enjoy writing about will make content creation much more enjoyable, and it will be easier if you already have a working knowledge of the topic.
When designing your site remember the KISS principle
An attractive site is good… A functional, easy to navigate site is better. Try for both, but if you have to pick one or the other choose function over form. People go to websites primarily for information, and there is so much information out there to choose from that you need to grab their attention, and keep it, as quickly as possible, and an easy to navigate site is prime in that.
That does not mean that style does not matter, just that it matters less than function. If you do not have any artistic or design skills, are unable to create graphics, don’t know anything about choosing colors, and don’t have a clue about typography decisions, but also don’t know anything about WordPress or how to make it work so your site functions well, learn WordPress first. (There is an excellent WordPress tutorial available. Hailstorm interactive. Click here if you are interested).
Learn how people find a website
That sounds simple, right? They type a search term into their Google search bar, hit enter, and click on one of the search results. The problem for you as a blogger is to figure out how to get near the top of the search results, on page 1 would be nice and in the top five would he be even better.
The number one search result gets 41% of the clicks, number two gets 12%, number three gets 8% number four gets 6%, and number five gets 5%… That is 72% of the clicks resulting from searches on a given topic go to the top five Google search results, and that is where you really want to be, not scrapping with everybody else for the other 28%.
That doesn’t mean that if the topic you want to blog about is obscure you absolutely must be in the top five to generate any traffic. There is a tremendous amount of information on any topic, no matter how obscure, on the Internet. For example: if you were to do a Google search on “how to start blacksmithing” (an obscure topic, for sure) you would find that there are about 757,000 search results for that topic. That means that there are still over 211,000 search results after the top five for people to choose from… But wouldn’t you like to have a shot at the other 545,000 people as well?
That does not mean you have to become an SEO guru in order to get your site found.
It does mean that you need to understand the basics of SEO, and it means you have to have an understanding of how to do on page “keywording” despite the fact that the meta_keyword attribute is no longer used in search results. It means you need to understand how categories and tags can affect your searchability. And it means that while you always write for the human reader, you must always be aware that a search engine spider is reading what you write as well.
Don’t be bashful. Ask for the sale.
No matter what you expect from your blog, from wanting to educate people on topic you love to making a good income, you are selling something with everything you do. It doesn’t matter if you believe all the Internet marketing hype and want to have a Ferrari and a Malibu beach house off the income from your blog, or if you just want to share knowledge with the world… You are selling something, even if it’s just yourself so you will have some authority on a topic which, will generate return visitors. Figure out what it is you want to sell, and then ask for the sale. Be specific. If you want to share information through an email newsletter, and want to do it through an auto responder using a company like AWeber (like that email sign-up form over in the right sidebar of this page), then ask people to go to the sidebar sign-up form and sign up for your newsletter. No matter what you want people to do, no matter what your “call to action” is, be very specific.
Now, before you read number five, go over there in the sidebar and sign up to be on the HayleStorm Interactive email list. We aren’t gonna spam you, you won’t get three emails a day from us, but you are going to get timely tips and information on products and services that can help you be a more successful blogger. So go sign up. go ahead, do it… Now.
If you read HayleStorm interactive much at all, you already know this
Get to work on Consistently Creating Compelling Quality Content.if your copywriting skills are great, and you love to write… Fantastic! You can already write, so do it. If your copywriting skills aren’t so hot, do it anyway. Your skills can only get better with practice. You can pick up some tips by clicking over there in the sidebar in the copywriting category, and reading some of the previous articles there. You can pick up even more tips by visiting what I consider to be the two premier copywriting blogs on the Internet, Copyblogger and Men with Pens. With practice, you will learn to write, so do it.
Notice that whether you already know how to write or are needing to polish up your writing skills, the Nike slogan applies: “Just Do It”.
Having a successful blog…however you define “success” is not easy, but it IS simple.. Persistance does a tremendous amount of the work for you, and the rest, the part YOU have to actually do, has a relatively easy learning curve and not many things you have to do…the most important of which is…drum roll, please…Consistantly Create Compelling Quality Content.