Monday, April 22, 2013

Three Important Steps to Being a Successful Blogger

 Three important steps to being a successful blogger, from an unsuccessful blogger;

1) Building Communities
2) Self Promotion
3) Consistency

Blogging is about Building Communities. The relationships you build don't necessarily have to be ones that translate into real world experiences. Basically, you're not looking to collectively increase your Facebook friend list. What you are trying to do is increase an online presence where people read, enjoy, and comment on your content - basically a following. There is an interaction process that happens, in some way shape, or form. Some of the best video bloggers I know actively engage their audience into their routine, and consistently encourage interaction. Using hash-tags (#), or directing your tweets (@) at a likely responder is key to interaction. Speaking of which, Seth Rogen - why won't you answer my tweets bro? I feel like you would totally give a shit about what I ate for lunch. I digress. Being realistic about who your audience is, will also increase the chances that people will discover your tweets and blog. Considering there is close to 5 billions tweets in existence, it is easy for your tweet to get lost in the shuffle.

For the TL:DR crowd (Too Long: Didn't Read), NEED MOARR FOLLOWERS!!!

Self Promotion is huge, because if you're not promoting you - then who is? I've had some qualms (yes qualms), in the past about Twitter as I thought the purpose was purely based off of interacting and following the daily lives of celebrities. I'm not denying that Twitter caters to that, but there is also some really cool people with interesting things to say and share on Twitter. Linking your blog to your twitter account is essential, so when someone reads a witty comment you made they click on your name. Once they click on your name they see a quick bio, and a link to your blog. When I see someone say something interesting I click on their name, see who they are, and then click on the website associated with their name. Lay the trap, trap goes off, rinse and repeat.

People want Consistency. Not only do people, or readers want consistency it also increases the likelihood that you will be successful at anything you do - not just blogging. Success can take years, luck takes seconds. Providing relatively re-occurring content increases the chance that viewers or readers will stick with you. Blogging and Video-Blogging is a commitment, just as a consumer reading or watching your content is a personal investment. Sometimes it comes easy, and sometimes it doesn't. I've been able to write a post in twenty minutes flat, and other times individual posts have taken up to two days for me to refine, edit, and post. There's nothing wrong with taking yourself seriously, as long as it's not too serious.

Here's some other ideas that I've come across
  •  Post your blog on a blog directory (good luck, who uses those things anyways?)
  • Comment on people's blogs more than you blog (I don't follow this rule) 
  • End on a question, turning the focus back to the viewer/reader 
  • Don't be afraid of failure. Even the most talented and creative people have made huge blunders along the way, a single post or video in the grand scheme of things doesn't matter  
  • Theme your blog. I'm going to do a social experiment, in the future where I create a blog about one of my pets - and wait to see how long it takes for that blog to surpass the amount of viewers this blog gets on a daily basis. I give the future blog one week before Google will be writing me cheques bi-weekly, how do you like dem-apples? That's what you call appealing to the lowest common denominator
  • Link your blog to social media like Twitter, Facebook, etc

What other ways can you can foster and promote an online community, or following?

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