How to Create a Successful Blog
Part One: Defining Success

How to Create a Successful Blog Part One: Defining SuccessSo you’ve taken the plunge and you’ve started a blog. You bought the domain name. You’ve got everything set up. You’ve published your first post, or maybe even several. You’re off and running, ready to roll up your sleeves and build a successful blog.

But… what now?

There’s a lot of confusion, angst, and mystery about how to build a successful blog.

Clients often ask me, “What’s the right approach? Should I be posting daily? Weekly? What’s the secret sauce that gets people reading and coming back for more?”

Clients also want to know, “How can I make sure that blogging is translating into sales? This isn’t just a hobby for me. I’m building a brand and running a business. I need my blog to generate money. So, how?”

These are great questions. But before we can answer any of those questions, we have to begin with a different question, which is:

“What does having a ‘successful blog’ actually mean to you?”

Most bloggers never really consider this question, but it’s an important one. It’s the foundation of everything that comes next. Let’s give it some thought. For example…

– Does having a “successful blog” mean that you’ve got 100 fans who love what you post and who regularly purchase your services, too? 1,000 fans? 100,000? A million? Rather than just picking a number randomly, ask yourself, “Why? What are my goals? What makes sense for my business model?”

– Does having a “successful blog” mean you’ve got 20 loyal clients who read every post you write and always leave gushing, appreciative comments? (And they rave about you to their colleagues, too, leading to more sign-ups and bookings and sales?)

– Does having a “successful blog” mean you’re getting noticed and you’re being approached with new opportunities—someone wants to option your blog and turn your story into a screenplay, for example, or someone wants to offer you a book deal or a brand ambassadorship? Maybe for you, blogging is all about unlocking new doors.

– Maybe having a “successful blog” is primarily a “feeling” for you. Maybe for you, success feels like: courage, intention, creativity, or the excitement of having a platform and using your voice and sharing important ideas, regardless of how many people are reading/listening at first.

– Or maybe the type of “success” that you crave would be something like… getting one piece of fan mail from a teenage girl who says, “Your blog literally saved my life.” Maybe that one fan letter, alone, would make everything feel worth it.

– Or maybe you want everything I just mentioned. All of the above… plus more!

Try to define what “success” means to you as a blogger. Get specific. Write down the results you’re hoping to get (new fans, new mailing list subscribers, new customers and clients, more media recognition, more visibility and prestige, more sales, building a community of brand evangelists who rave about your work, more referrals and recommendations, etc.) and also the feelings you want to experience as you work on your blog (pride, excitement, curiosity, energy, the joy of self-expression, etc.).

Success means different things to different people, so start by clarifying what it’s all about for you.

This will give you a clear vision of what you’re trying to build, in the first place, which makes it much easier to make decisions about smaller details—like whether to include videos or not, or whether to post daily or weekly, and so on.


Next Up:

In part two of this series we discuss how to come up with a structure and schedule for your blog, so you’re not staring at a blank screen and constantly wondering, “What should I blog about?”


Speak Your Mind