You research, write, edit, publish, promote.
You know you have a strong writing style.
Your teachers told you in school; your friends and family tell you now, so you are mystified when your posts get a lukewarm welcome reception.
Perhaps you are doing everything right in isolation.
This post is based on the theory of blogger Gertrude Nonterah who explains that characteristics of a strong blog independent of each other are not sufficient.
According to Nonterah, there are seven factors that go into having a successful blog, and you need all seven because none of them alone will be successful.
What are the seven? Her answers may surprise you.
Gertrude Nonterah knows her stuff. She is a respected member of the blogging community and has guest posted for Sue Anne Dunlevie’s Successful Blogging.
Factors That You Need in Order to Have a Successful Blog
1. An About page that answers three questions for your readers. Your About page should explain:
- Who you are: Give background information about yourself. Readers seek connections when they blog. They want to know there’s a human being behind all those words. Let them know who they are connecting with.
- Who you help: This will help you focus your reach. Who is your intended audience? For example, I blog about blogging. There are 450 million blogs in the world. Are all those site creators my intended audience, or am I just trying to get my writing to appeal to new bloggers? You need to think about who you want to focus your efforts reaching.
- What you do for those people: In my case, I focus on three actions that I hope will help my readers. I try to empower my readers to engage their own readers, improve their content, and increase their traffic.
2. A way to collect Emails. For self-hosted bloggers, this is easy. Sumo.me has a wonderful opt-in box that is free to use. You are able to change the font style and the colors to grab the attention and interest of new visitors to your site.
According to Bryan Harris, also a guest author for SuccessfulBlogging.com, you should wait until they have gone 25% of the way down the page, and then have your optin box come out. That way readers have time to digest what they are reading before you try to collect their Email address.
If you are not self-hosted, capturing Emails from visitors you will not otherwise see again is not so easy. My post How to Easily Increase Your Page Views with an Email List explains how to do it. However, you want to make sure the legality of you capturing Emails, which the post explains how to do, is not in question.
I solved it this way. Before I self-hosted, when a new visitor to my site complimented my blogging tips, I let them know that I offer similar blogging tips regularly, so I would take the liberty of adding them to my Email list. On my Email it lets them know they can unsubscribe at any time if they don’t want to receive my Emails. Hardly anyone has ever removed themselves from the list.
Nonterah explains the importance of an Email list. Suppose you want to contact your readers without publishing a post, you could do it if you had their Emails. Reasons include trying to sell them your product or service or simply trying to forge and maintain a connection with your readers.
3. A picture of you: This tip is not unique to Nonterah’s method. A strong headshot which you use across your social media is important for branding.
4. Quality content: According to Nonterah, you need a blog niche. This is important in order to have Criteria #7. You need to have a theme that your blog is about. You should focus on helping readers with a problem, and your blog posts should be about how. Successful blogs solve problems for their readers or entertain their readers.
5. Strong headlines: Readers won’t click your link to read a word of your post without a strong headline. Strong headlines are so important in my recent post about 31 tools bloggers can use, eight of them were devoted to writing strong headlines.
6. Links: Your posts should have links to your older posts that are relevant to your current article. By clicking links to older posts, readers will stay on your site longer, which lowers your bounce rate, and get information they may not have already read.
You should also have links to other writers with relevant information. You will be empowering your readers, gaining credibility for yourself, and strengthening a connection with another blogger.
(Note: If you follow this blog and would like access to links from other bloggers in your niche, put your blog URL and blogging niche in the comments section of the Link Exchange.)
7. A Pinterest account: Nonterah is specific in how to use Pinterest, in conjunction with these other factors, in your post.
- If possible, make and verify a Pinterest business account. She explains the pins work as advertisements thanks to a recent change Pinterest just implemented.
- Make your pins long, at least 700 pixels or as close to that as possible.
- Join Pinterest group boards.
(Note: If you follow this blog and would like an invitation to pin to our blog’s Pinterest Community Board, please write in the comment section to this post that you’d like to pin to our group board, and I will send you an invitation.)
Clearly, if you are going to take Nonterah’s advice, you need to focus on those seven factors for a successful blog. Nonterah says do not prioritize them. You need all seven to be successful.
Nonterah increased her blog traffic 135% by following the technique described in this post, and you can too if you follow her suggestions.
Please share this article so newer bloggers and bloggers struggling to find that winning combination of factors that equals blogging success can benefit from Nonterah’s tips.
Did any of Nonterah’s tips surprise you? Number 1 asked you to state who you want your audience to be and what you want to do for them. Who are your readers? What do you want your blog to do for them? I look forward to your views.