I don’t believe you need to have an enormous following or tons of brand partnerships to have a “successful” blog. They’re great things to experience as a blogger, but they’re not what being a success really means, at least not to me. As long as your blog grows in readership and relevance, engages a supportive community, and brings happiness to you and your readers, you have a successful blog.
In order to develop a successful blog, you need to do a few things. I started this list of the 10 things every blog needs to be successful a few weeks ago (catch-up with Part 1 if you haven’t read it already). In this post, I’m sharing the rest of the list. So here are five more things you need in order to have a successful blog (based on my experience, anyway). Let me know what you think!
10 Things Every Successful Blog Needs [Part 2]
6 // Options for easily sharing content.
A successful blog has a dedicated and active community that leaves comments, shares posts with others, and participates in blog-sponsored events or activities. This community of readers thrives because they LOVE to share what they LOVE about your blog. So make it easy for your community to do just that. A successful blog should be one where it’s easy for readers to share posts on social media. An easy way to do this is to add a widget to the side of each post (oh, you know…like the one on the left) or to have a custom “pin it” button added to each blog post image. Social media is HUGE, and successful bloggers use it has a helpful tool for allowing their readers to share the posts they love.
7 // More than one way for readers to keep up with new content.
Not only does a successful blog make it easy to share posts, but it’s also really easy for readers to keep up with new posts. Creating a newsletter for your mailing list, sharing your Bloglovin link and getting the word out about new posts on social media are all great ways to let your community know that something new is on your blog that they may find helpful or interesting.
8 // Clear and consistent branding.
Lots of new bloggers I talk to seem overwhelmed by the concept of “branding,” but really it’s nothing more than a unique personality. Branding includes your blog’s name and logo, your unique blogger voice, your clear focus (see Part 1), and a style guide, which includes all the fonts, colors, and other visual elements that remain consistent throughout the blog in each and every post, on the home page, in the sidebar, etc. Successful blogs maintain clear and consistent branding that sets them apart from other blogs and consistently associates their blog with high-quality content.
9 // Good relationships with other bloggers.
Bloggers that work successful blogs develop relationships with other bloggers, especially those within their niche. I call these “Blogger Boos.” It’s so important to build this network of fellow bloggers you can turn to for advice, whose events you can support, and with whom you can collaborate on blog posts (which helps grow both of your audiences). Successful bloggers spread the love and visit (on comment on) other blogs too!
10 // Integrity and standards.
Successful bloggers write their blogs with integrity. They don’t intentionally copy other bloggers’ ideas or posts, and they cite their sources (and provide a link back to the original blog) when borrowing from another blogger’s content or materials. Successful blogs maintain a level of transparency with their community; bloggers are very clear about the extent of their relationships with brands and disclose when they may receive affiliate income or when they’ve received compensation for a particular post. It doesn’t ever make sense to sell your integrity short in hopes that your readers won’t notice. Your readers are intelligent people, and they will resent your dishonesty. If you’re honest with them, you may be surprised at how quick they are to celebrate your partnership with brands and continue to support your blog (as long as you don’t lose sight of your unique voice and end up with a blog that’s just one big advertisement).
What you think about the full list of 10 things every successful blog needs. Is there anything I left out? Let me know in the comments!