It’s all the rage now: blogging about blogging. Everyone wants to know: How Can I Make it Big in the Blogosphere?
Since Ree Drummond’s Pioneer Woman website skyrocketed to fame and success, everyone’s out to be like Ree, anxious to get a piece of the pioneer pie. And if you truly want to drive traffic to your website, you apparently need to write a blog about blogs about blogging.
So why are these types of blogs making so many bloggers successful? Because they are feeding the need. The need right now is for easy access to stardom. To be a cyberspace celebrity. To make it big in blogging.
I must confess, I was one of those bloggers desperately seeking the secrets of success. Each site I went to gave the same advice, and as someone who has done all the steps, it doesn’t guarantee instant traffic. It takes a lot of hard work and a real perspective of who you are and what you truly want your blog to become.
Being Sponsored: What Does That Mean?Not much really.
After spending days on end searching for product affiliate companies to “sponsor” my blog, and being selected by a a fistful of those sites, my blog traffic hasn’t increased, nor am I making any money at it. In fact, it was only last week that I found myself jumping around the house, all excited that Clever Girls Collectives accepted my blog and I signed an actual agreement. To be honest, I have no idea what will happen next. I don’t know what I should or shouldn’t be doing. I have no idea what this company is doing for me, if anything at all.
And then I got carried away with nine-million badges on my primary site, NOTE TO SELF: Daily Reminders from God. It began to look like a bored, silly schoolgirl’s notebook cover. I was under the impression that by having those badges, it too, would drive traffic to my site. However, I think all it really did was drive more traffic to their sites! So I decided to be a bit more choosey about what I plastered on my blog page to keep the integrity of my content. Speaking of…
Content is King“Content is king,” they say. Who is “they”? Well, they are the bloggers blogging about blogging. Their content is apparently king, well, mostly queen, because most bloggers seeking instant fame are women bloggers, blogging about parenthood, life, cooking, sewing, and home organization. Then they begin endorsing products for money. Some of these bloggers seem to be making a pretty nice living doing that.
But here’s the real problem: No one is really writing about anything important anymore. The current objective in blogging is to blog about blogging. And the advice most of these sites recommend is to do just that: blog about blogging. Provide blogging tips, even if you’re new to the game because it will drive traffic to your site. Everyone wants to know “How To Blog for Cash.”
I’m very happy for those who are making a lucrative living off blogging, and I won’t deny that I wish that could be me. However, a very smart woman, Lisa Cash Hanson, founder of Mompreneur Mogul, reminded me that my blog is not really a “blog,” but rather a ministry:
“Your blog is centered on your faith so it is an entirely different audience than those who want blogging tips or do product reviews. In your case it is a challenge because the blog in my mind is more of a ministry. In that case, God gives the increase.”
Why did I have to dig through so much garbage in order for someone else to tell me what my blog is all about? The success of my blog isn’t about money, it’s about who comes and who stays and who cares to come back again and again. What matters most to me is that people will find Truth for their lives. I spend a lot of time researching scriptures and praying about how God’s Word applies to the topic I’m writing about, which is usually centered around a personal prayer that people can relate to.
Right Writing for Your ReadersThere’s a problem with all of this, particularly when you write a blog with real content rather than fluffy fluff about fluff. I don’t write fluff. I write God’s Word. I write to encourage people, not sell them on a product. However, with that being said, I have collaborated with Book Sneeze and Blogging for Books, reviewing Christian books. Here’s why this works for me: I love reading, and I get to choose FREE books I want to review. I know my readers, I understand what they respond to, and I have control of my content. I’m writing about the right stuff for my readers.
How to Have a Successful Blog VS. a Greedy BlogSo if you’re hoping to have a successful blog, rather than just a blog about blogging in hopes of driving in traffic or making money, here are my suggestions:
- Be Authentic! Don’t try to be like Ree. She found her niche, but her niche may not be your niche. My niche doesn’t fit into those popular categories, and my readers aren’t looking to be sold.
- Know your readers: What are they looking for? What do they care about? What will they take away from your blog? Don’t minimize their needs.
- Blog for a Cause: What are you passionate about? Write about it! Tell your story. Tell cyberworld why it’s important that they, too, get involved. Find charity organizations online that are looking for bloggers. I blog for Gospel for Asia and Compassion International. Each month I receive a writing assignment and I can blog however I want to on the subject. Those blogs tend to get more hits than others. (I’m currently getting 90-100 hits a DAY on just one post that was written for Compassion International, The Power of One Moment.)
- Find Other Blogs Like Yours: Read their content and write comments on their posts, making sure to include your blog site address. Since I started doing that, I noticed TONS of traffic coming in from their sites. Some sites I comment on are very well known sites, others are just sites I truly love. I don’t write comments merely for hits, I write comments because I genuinely like the content. And trust me, commenting on Pioneer Woman will NOT get you hundreds of followers. There are way too many comments on her site to even get noticed half the time.
- Blog Hops and Linkups: Some of the bigger sites, like Mompreneur Mogul, have a certain number of spots allotted for daily or weekly blog hops. Those who linked up will more than likely check out your site.
- Follow Me: Start following bloggers from their “follow me” and social network links posted on their home page. Most bloggers pay a lot of attention to that and will actually check out who you are and what you are blogging about. This can be the start of a very wonderful relationship, much like when Chellie, from Art from My Table, saw a comment I posted on one of her threads.
- Join or Lead a Group Forum: I run a group forum on CBN.com with only 41 members. This is usually where most of my traffic stems from. I don’t post my actual blog there, though. I post a teaser with a link. Stick to sites that are pertinent to your niche.
- Determine What Success Means: What does success look like to you? For a while I thought it meant hundreds of readers every day, but then something awesome happened through my blog. I will humbly admit my site only gets about 70-80 hits per day. I have very few “followers”, and I very rarely receive comments. However, since blogging for Gospel for Asia back in November 2011, I was informed last month by the organization that 14 children were sponsored through a direct link from my site! THAT is a successful blog.