Most of you know by now that this little blog here was never intended to be anything more than a hobby site, ironically enough but it has turned out to be a nice little home business. I just really had a passion for starting up businesses, the online space, and really know the ups and downs of working from home. .
From my professional background in online business development, plus with my passion for psychology and helping people, I will have to admit I have a knack for getting into the heads of people. So I have been carefully studying what I have done to date to determine what I am doing right – not only so that I can duplicate it in the future, but so you can duplicate it yourself.
Some of my ‘secrets’ aren’t very sexy, and certainly some aren’t even fun. Some sound totally fluffy and inconsequential.
How to Make Your Blog Successful
A long time ago, I would have even dismissed some of these items. But I do believe each one are key ingredients to my success thus far, so here they are:
- Search your soul before you start.
I mean dig deep, too. As in, the big questions of life. What are you on this planet for? What is your ultimate purpose in life? If your family was reading your eulogy after you had passed on, what do you want them to say about you? I have spent years getting very clear on who I am, what my values are, and defining my professional, personal and spiritual paths. I made the decision long ago that anything I say is worth saying from the heart. Everyone I talk to in person, whether they be friends, family, or clients know this to be true about me. My authenticity comes through as I write, and people pick up on that. My ultimate purpose on this planet is to help people get in touch with their own hearts. This is what led me to start eSelfHelp and eMoms at Home. Your ultimate purpose is probably different. You need to know what it is, and let that purpose be the compass for your content development.
- Let the real you shine through.
I talked with several individuals who I highly respect, and their feedback was overwhelming. eMoms at Home is my voice, my experience, and especially with photos, people can connect with me. I wouldn’t put pictures up of my children online unless I was the real deal, with nothing to hide. I have shared my successes and my challenges – the transparency of the real me on the blog allows the readers to relate to me. Not everyone will, but of course, not everyone is reading my blog. Simply put, those that don’t read this blog are finding other bloggers that they can relate to. But in the end, people are drawn to people who have common interests and values. The more you can share about who you really are, the more people can find something to relate to.~
- Study the success stories.
Some of my favorites include StevePavlina.com, ProBlogger.net, CopyBlogger, BlogHer, Guy Kawasaki’s Blog and one of my new favorites, Duct Tape Marketing. To be even more honest, I haven’t even been around long enough to know about many of the other big bloggers. I’m certainly not advocating any form of copying, which is why this tip comes after the first two. These blogs are doing lots of things right, and I am always looking to learn from people more successful than I am. I analyze what I like about their work and figure out how I can apply the knowledge in my own way.
- Add value in every post – well, almost every post.
You wouldn’t care a bit about me if I didn’t offer you something to come and read this blog – even if I was the most charismatic person on the planet (and as much as I like to think I am, I know I’m not 😉 ). I’m here to impart knowledge, to make sure that when you come, you come to get something of value. And my goal when you leave is to tempt you back with the promise of more things of value. I’ll admit to a bit of self-indulgence every now and then, but my goal in nearly every post is to give you more than I expect to receive from you.
- Network like crazy.
Although my traffic is growing in leaps and bounds, I have gotten my biggest boost from associating with other bloggers online. I’ve learned a lot from them, offered them my expertise when appropriate, and by doing so, I’ve started to rapidly grow inbound links and exposure to the blogging community. This is true of any offline business, so it makes perfect sense that it would be critical to online blogging success as well.
- Be passionate about your chosen topic.
If you are bored, your readers will be too. Same goes for blogging about a topic that you think will bring in the traffic and the money but in the end, isn’t it really what you are passionate about. I LOVE starting businesses. I LOVE online marketing. I LOVE coaching people. I could write about this stuff for free and be happy which is the key right there. If you are happy with your work, I mean really happy with what you are doing, the fun and passion will be so obvious to your readers they will catch the great feelings from you. Everyone wants to feel good and be happy the more enthusiasm that comes through in your blog, the more your readers will catch it and come back for more.
- Trust your intuition and your instincts. Be true to them.
I’m certainly not the biggest blogging success story around, not by a long-shot. But something within me said, “Write This Article.” I kind of backed away from it for a few days (weeks, even!), thinking, who the heck am I to be writing about this? I am no BoingBoing or Engadget. But I do know businesses, I know sales and I know people. I know what motivates us to take action, and what keeps us in inaction. I know in my heart the eMoms at Home blog (now Sparkplugging) is the start of something bigger than I had dreamed it would become. So I took the leap of faith and listened to my intuition and wrote the article. I may get flamed, I may get laughed at, and I may make a difference for many, many people who really want to be professional bloggers. If I help one person do that, then this article is a success to me.
- Do your homework about blog set up, SEO, and site design:: Techy Stuff.
This is basic online marketing and eBusiness stuff. If you want your blog to go anywhere someday, use a strong blogging platform such as WordPress. Be sure to incorporate good keywords into your posts and post titles (but not at the expense of good copywriting), and get the blog listed in as many directories as possible. Use Technorati tags. Set up your feed accurately with someone like FeedBurner. And make sure your blog has a clean design and is aesthetically appealing. All of these things are like going to a professional networking event in a business suit with your business cards, rather than your grubby painting jeans and no contact info on hand.
- Be disciplined.
I post a bare minimum of 4 times a week. And now that my blog is getting consistent traffic and subscribers, I am posting more often. There are definitely days when I don’t feel like writing and when I don’t have a lot to say. But I have made it a MUST to continue to write and make the content good. On my dry days, I turn to a list I have made of blogging topic ideas as my backup content. As one blessed with ADD, I really don’t enjoy being disciplined. But with ANY business comes frustration and boredom at times, blogging included. It’s s up to you to get over these things and continue to deliver valuable content to your readers who are depending on you, period.
- Blog with a higher purpose in mind.
The big bloggers are blazing a trail for the rest of us and thus, are making a huge impact on the internet as we know it. Even blogs with commercial content are adding value to society, by putting information out there in a format that invites a conversation vs. pure marketing hype. They are spreading information on how to start your own blog and make money at it, they are giving great advice on personal and business challenges. All of these things inspire and help us to become more informed, grow our expertise, and enable us to connect with others all over the world that we would never otherwise know. I really want to help moms who want to work at home, but even more so, I want to inspire people to pursue their dreams and follow their hearts, no matter if they do it in a home office or not. Can I do this via blogging? Absolutely. And other ways too of course, but blogging has laid such a strong foundation for future success; it has been a critical component to pursuing my own dreams. There are others out there who need this platform for the pursuit of their own dreams, and I am happy to be a stepping stone on the way.
Are there other “Success Secrets”? Of course. Even things that aren’t so secret. Visit some of those favorite blogs of mine mentioned in #3 to learn even more from the pros. Study up. But don’t spend too much time researching – it’s more important to find your own voice than to spend all day listening to someone else’s.
Creating a blog that makes money is a great home business idea to implement so go on and innovate.
Then go dig deep and get writing!