So You Want to Create a Successful Blog: The Formula
In between the thought, "I could write a blog about this," and the registration of your account with a blogging platform, it is worth some self-exploration about your likelihood of finding success as a blogger. Successful blogs share several fundamental characteristics that can be summed up in one formula:
purpose + specific or unique interests + opinions + urge to share + commitment to posting regularly
Purpose: One's blog should have a primary purpose. What are your reasons for wanting to start a blog? If the answer is, "to broadcast my thoughts to the world at large," then you don't want to keep a blog, you want to keep a journal. Whether your purpose is to educate, to entertain or to call your readers to action, a successful blog will invite interaction and allow readers to help shape a dialog.
Interest: Your blog's theme can be anything about which you have a deep or wide knowledge. If you have established the right purpose for your blog, you can talk about many topics, or few. A successful blog crafts content that falls clearly within a category, whether it's a broad category such as personal finance, or a specific topic such as the practice of apitherapy. If you have interest in a theme, then someone else is interested in that theme, too. Give that person a reason to find you when he or she performs a search on that topic.
Opinions: Engaging content gives the reader thoughts that challenge his or her established point of view. What do you, the writer, have to say that goes against the grain of public conversation or contributes to greater knowledge of a subject? Your reader will want content that is fresh, not rehashed from other sites. Find the angle that makes your site unique and worth returning to visit; this will go far as you work to create a successful blog.
Urge to Share: Do you have a burning desire to give your thoughts on this topic to the world? Sharing here means interacting, responding to comments and engaging your readers in extending the conversation. You must also be willing to maintain reason when commenters attempt to derail the conversation. A good moderator allows, even encourages, multiple viewpoints—not only does it create a thriving environment, but it also provides fodder for potential future blog posts.
Commitment to Posting Regularly: A blog serves no purpose except digital clutter if it's abandoned after a post or two. Your audience loses interest if you update infrequently. However, that doesn't mean you have to post every day. The great thing is, you can set the schedule that works for you; you just have to communicate it to your readers. It's about finding the sweet spot that enables your readers to look forward to upcoming posts without overwhelming their newsfeeds.
As you prepare to start writing, consider the elements included in the formula above. However you choose to define success, if you can check off each of these characteristics, you are well on your way to creating a successful blog.