Mar 29, 2011

6 Secret Steps to a Successful Blog [Step 1 - Why?]

6 Secret Steps to a Successful Blog is a series of posts helping you transform your blog into wonder for yourself and your viewers. Whether you have a blog or not, following these short steps will help you create one optimized for productivity. Check back regularly for more in this series!

Step 1: Why?

What if my work doesn't need a blog? What if I don't have anything to say? What if I don't have enough time?
Why should I create a blog?

Whether you think so or not, a blog is necessary in today's society. We are constantly moving towards a more technologically dependent setting, and that isn't going to change.

Yes, of course, not everyone agrees with the technological advances. I have friends who refuse to use e-readers and even iPods, and that's fine. Not everyone will agree; it's impossible on any given topic.

But you have to look at the majority. Most people lean towards the growing technology, blogging included. This is only going to grow. It's a fact. If you don't have a blog yet, you need one.

What if my work doesn't need a blog?

If you think your work isn't blog material, think again. Even if you have static content, that doesn't mean you are static too. If you have a website with the same material from five years ago, that doesn't mean you are the same way as you were five years ago, and your material has probably evolved as well.

For example:

Let’s say Steve wrote and published a non-fiction book on writing in 2009. He marketed the blurb defining the book and its outcomes on his website. This static content sits there because it isn't changing.

But Steve decides to come out with an updated second version of his book this year. The blurb will have to change to market this new book and generate Steve more sales. If he doesn't update his content to match the new evolved version, he won't get as much traffic, sales, audience etc.

If Steve updated a blog frequently - announcing the decision to release a second version, updates on the writing and publishing process, and prepared his audience for release date - it would build hype within the audience of his initial readers, as well as new readers. Excitement and anticipation for an event, such as Steve's book release, spreads like wildfire.

But what if you don't have a second edition of a book? This technique is still useful.

For example:

Let's say Julie has published some sort of fiction book. In this case, most likely, she won't change the content, or come out with a second edition. Her static content will stay the same.

So why should she update?

Julie is hosting a book signing at her local bookstore. She's lecturing at a school. She's going to a writing conference. She's working on her next book and can keep the world in the loop of her progress. She can announce how it's coming along, what difficulties she's having, and once it's finished.

Again, news and anticipation is crucial. It keeps you alive and relevant in the society. Using the internet, you can reach more potential viewers/readers/customers/whatever than you could just by meeting face to face.

What if I don't have anything to say?

You have something, I know you do!

What are you working on right now? What can you offer to the community? How can you write to help others? What's going on with your business? What's your latest exciting news? What are you thinking about, at this very second, right now?

You have to have an answer to one of those.

Keeping the world informed of your happenings is the minimum effort you can do. Go beyond and that's even better! At least put something out there. Get involved. As I said above, people like to know what's going on - news, events, thoughts... anything.

It can't hurt you - unless you're evil and insane, but that's a different story.

P.S. The author who basically destroyed her career over comments on a book review? Don't do that. Just have some professionalism and class, and I think you're fine.

What if I don't have enough time?

The time factor, which I will address more in-depth as a later post in this series, can seem overwhelming. Of course, the more frequently you post, the higher traffic you will receive and the more helpful your blog will be for you. However, posting every day or every other day is not quite a reality for most people.

The best way to do this is pick one day and focus on your blog. Figure out what you're going post about this week and write it out. You can schedule your posts to come out on different days of the week so it looks as if you are writing and updating daily, but you're not!

Even if you only take five minutes and post what's going on this week in your story, work, life, that's more publicity for the world than if you haven't.

Why should I create a blog?

I haven't convinced you, yet? Well, you're just a tough cookie!

Overall, it will keep your readers updated with you, which will bring you more traffic, which will bring your more clients, which will bring you more money, all of which will bring you more happiness. It's only good things.

Start a blog. Start today. It will help you.

Why not?

Stay tuned for more posts in the 6 Secret Steps to a Successful Blog Series! Next up, where to host your blog.

Anything you would like to know more about? Let me know!


  1. Great steps!!!! I love these post! I do some with some of my fellow bloggers and some of my own. I think it's so important that people have fun while blogging but also make it fun for those who visit as well!!!

    I'm stopping in to welcome you to the a to z blogging challenge!!! I'm a co-host so should you need anything just ask away! Oh... and you're allowed to stalk me too... as I'll stalk you :)

  2. Thank you! I'm glad you like it! And thanks for welcoming me! I'm excited, and will definitely stalk back (:

  3. I think you're right, in todays publishing world its necessary for writers to take a lot of things into their own hands, and that includes publicity and networking and that includes blogging. Good tips here. And best of luck on the A-Z :)

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)