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The 3 Building Blocks of a Blockbuster Blog

Posted By Guest Blogger 16th of March 2015 General 0 Comments

This is a guest contribution from digital marketer Pratik Dholakiya.

Whether it is to pour out your musings in black and white, or to promote your business among your target audience, or even to create a record of important events that future generations can look back at years later, the reasons for blogging are as numerous as there are blogs on the internet.

The-3-Building-Blocks-of-a-Blockbuster-Blog

Of the millions of blogs currently online, a very tiny handful can claim to have any real level of success. Success can be measured in readership, virality, monetization, and many other different interpretations based on the primary purpose of the blog itself.

What Your Blog Needs to Be Successful

Here we’ll take a look at what it takes for a blog to be successful from the perspective of building a strong reader base and earning revenue from one’s blog.

1. Pick a Blogging Platform That Gives Your Blog Wings

A blog that you intend to build and nurture for years to come ought to be strong enough to bear the vagaries of time and tide on the internet.

By this, I mean your blogging platform needs to be easy to use, a pleasure to browse through, while simultaneously offering the right level of security to prevent any mischievous hackers from breaking in.

Trouble is – once you start looking the mind-boggling variety of options available – WordPress, Tumblr, Medium, TypePad, and more – will soon confound any beginner.

So before you dive headlong into creating a bunch of blog posts on the first platform that you stumble upon, here are a few basic metrics you must compare these platforms on:

  • Ease of use – Does it take you forever to even figure out how to open the blog editor? Is the reading experience painless? Is it mobile-friendly?
  • Customization – Doe the platform allow you to personalize your blog? Can you install plugins, change the themes or layouts, or even write your own CSS and HTML code if you so please?
  • Security – How secure will your data be? Will the subscriber email IDs that you’ll collect from your blog readers be safe and sound? How easy is it to back up your blog?
  • Cost – Is it completely free? Does it need you to buy hosting separately? Can you afford to pay for hosting?
  • Storage Space – How much free data storage is offered by your platform? Would you need to keep upgrading your storage every now and then? Would you need to move to a completely new platform when you run out of space?

Matt Banner of On Blast Blog has put together a very handy comparison of the best blogging platforms currently available. Weigh your options very carefully before you arrive at a decision.

2. Craft Each Post Like Picasso Giving Birth to Cubism

The best way to build a blog that really resonates with readers is to write about a topic that you are an expert about.

You don’t have to write about some complicated technical field, just because it’s in vogue. Are you a good cook? Start a recipe blog. Love to tinker with your car? Share your automobile expertise with the mechanically challenged people in the world through a blog.

Take Neil Patel’s QuickSprout blog, for example. Patel is a SEO and content marketing wizard, and he writes primarily about his core competence in his blog. His complete ease with the stuff he writes about and deep knowledge of his domain are reflected in every single post that he puts up. This particular post answers the question “How long should an ideal blog post be?”

Patel turns this rather mundane question into a detailed, well-researched and scientific analysis of different post lengths and their impacts on readership, conversions and shareability. By quoting live data points like the one below, Patel makes his post educational, interesting and highly readable.

Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 12.02.35 pm

Source

And that is exactly what a blog needs to be successful – valuable content that is important to its readers, presented in a sharp, yet easy-to-digest manner.

Why, the best bloggers have readers forking out good money to read content that a lot of others give out for absolutely free – that’s the power of strong writing combined with solid research!

3. Make Your Blog Findable – By People and Search Engines Alike

Creating fabulous content and leaving it to fend for itself is doing a gross disservice to your blog and to potential readers out there.

To begin with, make sure you stick to one central topic in each blog post. This topic would typically be something your users really care about.

How do you find out what users want to read? By using tools like the Google Keyword Planner, KeyWordTool.io or the Moz Keyword Analysis Tool, you will discover the most popular keywords that users are looking for in your specific domain. Write dedicated posts about one or at the most two keywords – thus automatically making your content keyword rich.

Optimizing your on-page SEO is another critical part of having your blog discovered. Invest in free (or paid, if you can afford them) SEO plugins like Yoast or All-in-One SEO, which optimize various aspects of your page without too much manual effort from your end. If you want to take your on-page SEO a notch higher, make your meta data work for you.

Spend time on creating great meta descriptions for each post that will inform your reader what your post is about straight from the search results page.

Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 12.02.51 pm

Make it a habit to cross reference posts on your blog in new posts that you write, and link to them – this increases visibility for old content and makes it more authentic from the point of view of a search engine.

A key platform that you MUST harness to promote your blog is social media. Put up links to your latest blog post on social networks like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn depending on what type of audience you’re targeting. Organic posts on social media can only take you so far. If your budget permits, create a serious advertising plan on social media platforms to market your blog.

Related:
Tips and Tricks to Nail Facebook Advertising
The Lowdown on Facebook Advertising, and What We’ve Found Works Really Well

One of the first steps you need to take once your blog is live is to work towards collecting a strong subscriber list. A prominent subscription widget on every page accompanied by maybe a lightbox message as the reader moves to exit your blog are good options to start quick. All it takes is one email to your entire subscriber base to jumpstart your readership.

Take up speaking opportunities at local events in your field to widen your audience and raise your reputation in your niche. Attending workshops related to your field exposes you to experts who can help you through both information and contacts from their industry networks.

In Closing

Data shows that 77% of all internet users read blogs.

With half the world’s population now online, that makes it 2.3 billion people who form your potential audience.

Equal portions of hard work and digital marketing savvy tempered with a dash of patience result in a smash-hit blog. Give it a shot. Your blog will thank you for it.

Pratik Dholakiya is the Co-Founder and VP of Marketing of E2M, a digital marketing agency and MoveoApps, a mobile apps development company. Pratik has contributed on sites like Moz, Fast Company, Social Media Examiner, KISSmetrics, and Content Marketing Institute to name a few. He’s a ‘must follow’ SEO expert according to Search Engine Watch and has been named one of the top content marketing influencers by Onalytica. He’s passionate about fitness, entrepreneurship, startups and all things digital marketing.

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Comments
  1. These 3 building blogs if applied to any blog would definitely boost it way up in the search engines.. Thank you very much.. i will try this on my new blog

  2. Couldn’t agree more this post makes you see the road to success all you need is to ask yourselves if you are doing what it takes to be at the top, if you already do then how do you maintain your blog in that successful destination, SEO is not a one time thing its a process you will have to done on and on as you grow your blog.

  3. Great Pratik
    very simply explain yet a good post.

  4. These are never ever the building blocks for a blockbuster blog. The platform doesn’t matter if you go with wordpress. Its just a detail people love to talk about instead actually starting to do the things you really need to take your blog off the ground. Even worse the next two. Just because you write awesome posts you want be successful. I do think that great blogs have great content, but it is not the only and neither the most important part of the equation. As well as relying only on google traffic won’t get you last for very long. How about these points as the real building blocks: 1. You take your Audience in mind and offer them something unique about your topic. 2. You build a ongoing and lasting relationship with your audience, before even thinking in monitization. 3. Instead of just writing awesome content you concentrate on promoting it as well. Build and they will come never worked and you will probably be better playing the lottery.

  5. Jascha, everything you say is very important especially regarding audience engagement. However, I think Pratik is concentrating more on some fundamental TECHNICAL building blocks for blogging. Choose a platform wisely. Don’t just phone in your content. Get visibility by doing A, B and C.

    As a relative newbie to blogging (I only have a placeholder up right now on my site, am familiarizing myself with Mailchimp and am making the rounds commenting on different blogs so people see my name), if I were to hear you give your three reasons for blogging success, my first response would be: well, how do I do that? And then I think you would have to turn to some things that Pratik is proposing.

    Nothing wrong with what you propose as key important building blocks. It might be better to say though that an effective technical strategy AND an effective marketing strategy (along with patience and persistence) represent a winning equation.

    Joe

  6. Hi Pratik,

    Great stuff, I just had a look at all points. I really loved to read these building blocks. But seriously this is really informative and helpful for any blog.
    Many thanks for sharing. :)

  7. Best result you get when there is lot of genuine traffic coming to your blog to read your content and also subscribe to your blog for future and that’s our motto..

    Thanks for your sharing Sir.

  8. I agree with @Pratik statement “valuable content that is important to its readers” , Neil Patel’s provide SEO related services and nice thing that he never published irrelevant content on his blog.

    Chhers .

  9. Hi Pratik,

    I am big on the crafting point. Really dig deep to create something memorable. I post one, 7,000 word, pillar style post each week to wow my audience. Then on most Mondays I post a 1,000 word piece sharing some new eBook I released, or some other pressing update. Either way I am making a serious impact because I thoughtfully and mindfully spend 3 to 4 days writing for about an hour a day to create such depth. I also do the formatting bit to make for easy scanning. This is like doing the Picasso bit, going in depth and building a foundation for a pretty inspired blog.

    Since using this approach my subscriber count has jumped and I reach so many more people in so much less time. It’s easy, peasy really, once you get super clear on your audience AND why you want to blog. Many bloggers post, for the sake of posting, and share stuff that’s less than inspired. A select few create something super inspired, high energy and thrilling each time they publish a post, and these folks are the foundation builders, the most successful bloggers of the lot, the high rolling influencers that everybody wants to be like. Be mindful. I treat each long form post as an eBook, a resource, instead of a blog post, which is why I am Blogging from Paradise ;)

    Thanks Pratik!

    Tweeting from Bali.

    Ryan

  10. Great advice. To the point and simple. Thanks for reinforcing the basics. Keep up the great work, Pratik.

    Neil

  11. Great article, especially the potential amount of readers is shocking to me! Thanks!

  12. Thanks for valuable information. Best points to keep in mind before starting new Blog for beginners, Problogger is a Giant in its niche. Take the Blogging to the Next Level.

    an Loyal reader of Problogger.net
    >>>Ashik<<<

  13. Great post! Thanks for this. I think the best advice is to pick a topic you not only know a lot about but are passionate about. If you jsut dont care that much, then you will get bored quickly!

    Chris

  14. Great post. As far as the blogging platform is concerned, WordPress stands ahead of the rest in terms of Ease of use, Customization, Cost & Security.

    Thanks
    Praveen.

  15. After getting my blog started and on its way. I spent forever trying to find my voice and I think that it grows we you. Making master pieces is great but making sure you are seen is also important

  16. Fantastic guide and it’s very reliable sources article. It’s very helpful and useful about these 3 Building Blocks of a Blockbuster Blog. Glad to read this. Thanks for sharing this article. Great post!

  17. Great article and straight to the point. Thank you.

  18. reat stuff, I just had a look at all points. Good

  19. Hello there Pratik,

    Incredible stuff, I simply observed all focuses. I truly wanted to peruse these building pieces. At the same time truly this is truly useful and supportive for any site.

    Numerous much obliged for sharing,Great exhortation. To the point and basic. Much obliged for strengthening the essentials.

    • Thanks for your helpful insight for someone who wants to improve blog content and design. I need to learn how to link/cross reference posts on my blog. I think social media could be key. I want to attract a strong subscriber list on my blog. Mostly I want to meet other bloggers who desire to hop-nob with this blogger who wants only to receive and give encouragement in the blogosphere.

      Thanks also for respecting my anonymity.

  20. One more advice to keep your blogging successful is to use plagiarism detection tools. There is a good article with an overview of such tools and the methods of how they can improve your blog: http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/02/17/apps-make-blog-writing-suck-less/

  21. shakir says: 03/24/2015 at 7:15 pm

    Hi Pratik,
    This is truly useful and supportive for any site.
    Thanks.

  22. At first I thought, how can you need 3 blocks only to build a blockbuster blog. You got to need more than 3, that is what they do in LEGO movie.

    But after finish reading, then i realize that the 3 blocks are the philosophy and the true essence to build a successful blog.

    thanks

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