7 ways to ensure you’ve got a successful blog

Ever wanted to write a really kick arse blog? Perhaps you’ve tried to do one in the past but never quite managed to get it off the ground.

Ever wanted to write a really kick arse blog? Perhaps you’ve tried to do one in the past but never quite managed to get it off the ground. Or maybe you currently write a blog but want to know how to grow your readership from hundreds to thouands. Blogger, social media guru and a member of Kettle’s panel of experts, Hayley Carr, lists 7 things that will help take your blog to the next level.

Write about something you’re passionate about
Starting a blog and maintaining it beyond week three is a labour of love. You need to treat it like a baby you want to nurture, not a toy you can pick up and put down again when you’ve got something better to do. It’s for this reason that you need to ensure you can get excited about what you’re writing – don’t try and be something you’re not. If you want to write about the art of decorating boiled eggs, then so be it, just ensure it’s something you can talk about for days on end and not just a topic you think you should be engaging with.

Develop your own tone of voice and blog personality
The reason people like and read blogs is because they like how personal they are. Reading a magazine you can’t tell the difference from one page to the next, even though there are about 50 contributors, but with a blog you instantly feel like you’re being spoken to personally. Use your own terms of phrase and colloquial references – it’s like the reader is actually having a conversation with you. Your text will flow and people will come back for more.

Find your USP
There are a million fashion blogs, oodles of music blogs, piles upon piles of girls writing about lipgloss – what’s going to make you different? It’s so hard to get cut-through and develop a readership now with the bloggersphere growing every single day, so a unique selling point is a must. Is it that you’re going to show us videos of you cooking dinner while styling your granny? Are you going to start reviewing tunes while sitting on the toilet? Do it. If it’s different then your job will be a lot easier.

Get social
Social media is the ultimate tool at your disposal as a blogger. Things ‘go viral’ instantaneously, so social media is the best way to grow a blog and maintain an easy presence in a cluttered space. Twitter is the best forum for talking to other bloggers, getting your name out there and making connections. Set up a Facebook page and invite your friends, encouraging them to share. If you’re into images then set up a Tumblr or join Pinterest. There are loads of ways to spread yourself across the net, so make sure you use as many of them as possible.

Don’t spam
There’s nothing worse than having endless emails, tweets, comments and facebook messages from new bloggers desperate to get their name out there. Take a step back and chill the f**k out. A softly-softly approach goes a million miles as other bloggers are really supportive of new talent; asking someone to follow your blog, enter your competition or come round for tea is just cringey.

Regularly post
Set yourself a target and stick to it, whether you’re posting every day or once a week. In an ideal world there would be something new for your readers to see every day, knowing that there’s a reason to return and boosting your stats, but if you can only manage once or twice a week make sure you stick to it. It’s easy to fall off someone’s radar if you’re not appearing within their google reader.

Blogging can be a very lonely online world – just you, your sofa and your laptop. Take every opportunity to meet up with other bloggers in the ‘real world’ at events and gatherings. There’s always some meet up or other being spoken about on twitter, so butt in and ask if you can join. Keep an eye out for TOWIB too (The Only Way Is Blogging) which is a quarterly event open to all bloggers to meet up, learn new skills and take part in workshops.

The next TOWIB event takes place at the Montague on the Gardens Hotel, London on 11th February. Find out more here