It was once the most sensational aspect of the Internet; today however, blogs have been relegated to the background because of social networks like Facebook and Twitter. The immense popularity enjoyed by social networks has forced many bloggers away from their blogs and left them at the mercy of these sites, so much so that they’re now driving traffic to their pages from their Facebook fan page or Twitter account. However, it’s not that hard to maintain a successful blog that’s independent of social networks, if you know what to do and do it earnestly:
- Content matters: Your blog’s USP is its content, not the jazzy photographs that make the page look more attractive. Of course, if your blog is about photography, then the pictures matter; and while you can always use appropriate photos to augment your writing, your main focus must be on the content of your blog. Choose a niche, identify a few tags that will direct visitors to your blog (for example, if your blog is about cooking, your tags could be recipe, eating, fine dining, home cooking, healthy recipes, fat-free recipes, and so on), and provide content that is related to cookery. While a slight deviation once in a while is ok, for the most part, stick to your niche when writing content.
- Update regularly: You cannot afford to succumb to laziness or boredom if you want your blog to be successful. Most part-time bloggers fail because their blog is an afterthought, one that they devote time to if they don’t have work or social commitments. If you want to achieve success as a blogger, you must update your content regularly, at least once every day. If you’re going on a vacation or taking time off for personal reasons, get the services of guest bloggers to fill up your empty space while you’re gone. This serves more than one purpose (continue reading for the advantages of exchanging links and guest blogging).
- Exchange links and fraternize with other bloggers: Blogging is a social media, one that depends on interacting and networking with other bloggers and helping them boost their blogs even as they help in popularizing yours. When you link to other blogs, they are more open to linking to your blog; this way, your blog is mentioned all over the web and your ranking climbs higher with the search engines. Respond to reader comments on your blog, and leave genuine and appropriate comments on other blogs along with links to your website. However, be careful not to adopt this practice indiscriminately as you could be accused of spamming.
- Write guest posts: When you write the occasional guest post and other bloggers are willing to publish it on their site, you get to display a link to your site on their page. The more number of guest posts you write, the wider your links are spread over the web. Focus on sites that have a high PR when looking to publish your guest posts, and make sure you write great copy that advertises your writing skills and brings you new visitors.
Remember, while social media may help bring in new visitors to your blog, it’s your content, personality and attitude that holds them there and keeps them coming back. So focus on getting these right, and you can bet that your blog will be successful in its own right, without having to lean on social networks.