Larry BraunerNearly every day I hear from people who want to know how to start a blog or how to have a more successful blog.

I admit that I’m still learning myself, but I’ve made great progress in the nine months since I started blogging.

This past month alone my Online Social Networking blog received 5,202 visits including 1,993 visits from search engines.

My Google PageRank is up to 3, and my Alexa traffic rank is 181,032. These stats put my blog in the top 1% of all websites.

What are the critical success factors contributing to my rapid progress?

My Personal Blog Philosophy

There are ten success strategies that shape my blog philosophy.

  1. Blogging Mindset - Writing and publishing a successful blog is a major project that requires very big commitment. Blogging requires that you move forward at all times. So often people start blogging and give up. They didn’t have the blogging mindset, and they weren’t willing to do what successful bloggers do.
  2. Research and Planning - Before I wrote one word on my blog, before I decided what to call my blog, before I purchased a domain name for my blog, I did plenty of research. Where should my blog be hosted? What platform should it run on? What will I write about, and which keywords will I optimize for? These questions and more were addressed up front and their answers formed my initial plan of action.
  3. Bias for Action - Getting started and keeping your momentum going is essential if you want to have a successful blog. While adequate preparation is important, a time comes when you must “draw a line in the sand”, stop preparing and begin writing. Your ongoing research and writing need to become routine. Don’t worry if your articles aren’t perfect. You can edit your posts after publishing them, and it could even help with the search engines to do so.
  4. Experimentation and Tracking - Every blogging enterprise is different, and you’ll need to find the mix of strategies and tactics that are right for your blog. If you install Google Analytics, you’ll be able to track your blog’s traffic. You’ll know what is working and what’s not. Materminding with friends and mentors is another way to gain valuable insights.
  5. Correction as Needed - When you discover something that’s not working, you’ll look to refine it or replace it. Ongoing tracking will provide you with the feedback you need to make the necessary correction in your direction to stay on course.
  6. High Quality Content - Quality content to me means writing with both the reader and the search engines in mind. It means writing well, revising the text many times, proofreading, etc. It also means choosing topics that will make readers want to return to your blog. Please don’t write long run-on paragraphs. Make it easy for your reader to go through your article on the screen without having to print it out… Because they won’t. And one more thing, until you have tons of visitors reading your blog every day, don’t even consider cluttering it up with cheesy ads.
  7. Online Social Networking - The best way to find readers and subscribers for your blog is at social networking sites. For this purpose you can use most business networking sites or networking sites that cater to bloggers such as Entrecard and MyBlogLog. I happen to prefer Twitter and the Ning family of social networking sites. Carefully inviting site members to visit your blog is a nice way to reach out to them — not at all spammy. Make it easy for your readers to subscribe. My readers have two ways to opt in RSS Feed and autoresponder.
  8. Search Engine Optimization - Treat every blog post as a website that will one day stand on its own, because it will. It will eventually works it’s way down and off your blog’s cover page. Use keyword research to find the best words and phrases to use in your articles. Make sure that your main search terms are neither too general nor too competitive to earn you good placement in the search engines. Don’t limit yourself to using only your primary keywords in your text. Using all relevant search terms, even the ones that are hard to compete for, will turn you article into a search engine magnet.
  9. Social Bookmarking - Using social media sites such as Digg and del.icio.us to anchor and promote your blog posts is very important. Social Marker will help you find more bookmarking sites and facilitate the bookmarking process. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the terms of service of each of the social media sites you use, so that you don’t get banned. Bookmark articles using their individual URL, not your blog’s URL, since each article is its own website, not just a part of the blog.
  10. Patience and Time - Over time your traffic will increase, so will your credibility, and you’ll gain subscribers. Don’t expect much before three months, and give yourself a full year to become a blogging superstar.

For more articles on blogging, blog marketing and SEO see Blog Marketing and SEO Training.

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13 Responses to “Top 10 Blogging Success Factors”

  1. Jesse on August 8th, 2008 1:26 am

    Excellent article! I found it very encouraging and helpful as a beginning blogger. Thanks for sharing what you did!

  2. Steven Gans on August 8th, 2008 2:02 am

    Hi Larry,

    Sorry I was unable to be on your call. The lines were maxed out (which speaks for itself).

    Appreciate the recap here.

    As an about to be blogger I do take to heart everything you say in these ten points.

    Thank you for these really useful tips and advice.

    All the best,
    Steve

  3. Andrea Goodsaid on August 8th, 2008 9:30 am

    Hey great list Larry!

    I’m just starting an email series to go with the new ebook “Blog Your Brand” (a free marketing tool for Network Marketers) … mind if I point people here as one of the ’steps’?

    Appreciate you,
    Andrea
    www.NaturalNetworkers.com

  4. Dali Burgado on August 8th, 2008 11:01 am

    Hey Larry,

    Great 10 Steps Here. I just had an “ah ha” or “duh Dali” moment :-)

    Thanks for helping me realize each article is its own website! Very important thing to know.

    I appreciate your sharing your blogging wisdom!

    Dali Burgado

  5. ILYA on August 8th, 2008 11:31 am

    Larry, this is a superb post - your dedication and patience are inspiring….
    quality content as always…

    Best
    Ilya

  6. Linda P. Morton on August 12th, 2008 9:59 am

    Larry,

    Your post is better than my notes from your call. Thanks for providing a summary here.

    I encourage all your readers to participate in your tele-seminars. I’m learning loads.

  7. John Feeney on August 12th, 2008 10:49 am

    Patience, patience, persistence….

    The current rush by most may in part be due to the economic crunch and seeking a “quick” result. There still is the mis-understanding or mis-conception of what a blog can or cannot do.

    Your “10 Points”, readers should understand is a type of format that is a “Staple” most search engines love to see and readers react to.

    If I may add two additional:

    1. Post Comments on Blogs - This is a shared community. Many lose site that to get something you need to give now an then.

    2. Widgets are a simple way to dress up a blog’s appearance. Your site has perfect examples.

  8. Philipp Sauber on August 12th, 2008 2:58 pm

    Top 1% is not bad I have to say.

    What I consider important too (amongst your points) is, that you leave comments on other posts (as John above says). But write wisely and don’t do it for the purpuse of getting another link. That doesn’t help.

    However, interesting post.

    Thanks.

  9. stormwhistle on August 16th, 2008 9:21 am

    Very interesting and highly informative. These 10 keys are indeed a vital action plan for every serious blogger.

  10. AhLiang on November 12th, 2008 5:38 pm

    Nice site :)

  11. Bella Casa on January 11th, 2009 7:53 pm

    Great post, Larry!

    I like the one about writing each posts as if it were a stand-alone website, that is something to really think about.

    Thanks!

  12. Magnetarmbänder on March 1st, 2009 7:49 am

    There’s always something to do if you got yourself involved into blogging - updating it, promoting it, interacting with readers.. These philosophies are really helpful especially for those who are just starting out with their blog. You have to be ready to put a lot of effort on it if you want it to succeed.

  13. Bianca Solei on April 10th, 2011 5:12 pm

    As a writer for a new travel blog I appreciate the tips you’ve offered here, some presented in a new way that has re-invigorated my intention to do everything I can to master the art of blogging in a way that treats my readers well and also helps me develop a business that I can both love and live by.

    It truly does come down to being committed to taking action and to have a well thought out plan to follow. With dedication, time and regular effort I believe you can see some great resutls.

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