I am by no means an expert when it comes to having a successful blog. My version of success when I started was a goal to have 1,000 followers and 20,000 views within a year. Within two years I wanted to make money off my blog either by means of a book, advertising or having my blog in a newspaper where I was being paid.
Here I am, just about seven months in and I will tell you what I've learned and how far I've gotten. Why? Because people have asked me for advice or are just curious about what to expect when writing a blog. Anyways, I love the blogging community. There is enough potential out there for anyone to create success for themselves through blogging. The internet is a vast wonderful place full of opportunity and it makes me feel good to offer up what I know.
Currently I have 17,308 views and 807 followers. I have had good months (my best being in April which was 3 months into blogging) and bad months (I pursued a career in Real Estate in May and hit one of my lowest months to date). I have found that if I take a few days off between writing a post, my numbers fall fast and it can take a few weeks to recapture the strong numbers again.
I have read many articles on what to write and how to use keywords. Maybe this way of putting a blog together works for some, but for me it didn't. If I didn't write in my most authentic voice, the response from readers wasn't there. I essentially cheated the readers who had become loyal followers with garbage that I didn't feel passionate about. I also think I'm not techy enough to really catch on to the proper keywords to use, so I wing it and don't worry about it. If you are writing fascinating stories, the readers will find you no matter what words you use to grab them.
I have found that one of the best ways to get and keep readers besides having good content is to make your blog easy to navigate. There should be a like button and comment area that are easy to find. I have read blogs where I would have been happy to comment or show my appreciation, but was unable to find a place to do so. I am also not a fan of writing an email, and name and whatever else is requested just to write a comment. It's a turnoff and a sure way to make someone decide not to bother.
My favorite way of advertising my blog is through Twitter. I have my blog set up so that when something is posted a link goes right to my Twitter account. It's also been a great way to get additional comments, new readers and wonderful people who will retweet the link to their followers.
I am always on the lookout for new social sites to place a link to my blog. Good sites for my type of blog have been LinkedIn, Facebook and Stumbleupon. Sites that haven't done anything for my blog have been Pintrest, Reddit, Tumblr and Digg. You really need to think about what type of blog you have and what type of social site fits well with your style.
There are also additional sites where you can write a blog. I just do a copy and paste from my blog with a link back to this site. It's a pain in the butt and double the effort, but can pay off in small amounts. I have used Bloggymoms the most, and have tried a few other random sites, but got little traffic from them.
Finally, I am always on the lookout for ways to get my blog in more mainstream arenas. That is how I was able to get my blog on the Oakland Press. It's also a great way to get a reference of a place your work was published. Associate Content is another place I have had some articles from my blog published.
I hope you have found something valuable in this article that you can use for your own blog. If you have any additional suggestions or successes you would like to share, I would be thrilled to hear from you in the comment section. Wishing you all success and happiness with your blogs. :)