People put a lot of effort into their blog platforms. Building editorial calendars, carefully curating subjects, putting together
endless lists of blog topics, measuring engagement on promotion through social media…
All of those things can be valuable, but really, there are only three things you actually need to have a successful blog.
Always start your blog with Context
Tell us who the article is useful to. Are you writing for your business partners? For your product’s owners? For the people who are considering a purchase?
You’ll also want to let us know what the blog’s useful for. Does it help people use your product better? Are you trying to reveal industry trends? Are you helping representatives to sell your product on to end users?
This stuff should be really clear as early on in both your post history, and your individual articles. That first paragraph up there? Context. The line above each article’s image, on our main blog page? Context. It’s what lets the reader decide whether or not they want to spend their time with your blog.
Next, demonstrate competence.
If you’ve decided to share your wisdom, it’s important to do so accurately, and communicate that wisdom as clearly as possible. The best way to do this is to talk about what you know well, in a way that your readers will understand.
Sure, creating a well-defined content strategy will help – and reducing the amount of low-value buzzwords you use is a start, but those are parts of a bigger process. What demonstrates competence best is writing with a sense that what you’re sharing is authentic, either as new information from an expert source (that’s you), or backed by a range of sources through appropriate research.
People often perceive competence as speaking from a position of Final Authority over a piece of information. This can be true, but more often speaking as a good judge of existing knowledge works just as well.
Lastly, the tricky part. Confidence.
Like any sales tool – even if you’re not explicitly using your blog to sell products (which, pro tip, you usually shouldn’t) – confidence is a key factor in building authority. Transmitting a firm belief that you’re speaking from a place of knowledge and understanding, that the details you’re including are important, and your reader will benefit from the content allows you to cut a lot of chaff from your posts and stick to the core message much more easily.
In speech, we see a number of things undermine this confidence. Constant “ums and ahs”, coupled with fidgeting or defensive body language can sabotage your in-person communication. Some signals in text do the same thing.
Any variation of “Your mileage may vary” or use of weasel words (such as maybe, sometimes, and even “if” in certain cases) weakens your statements and loosens your apparent hold on your subject. It’s worth writing without these – or editing them out wherever possible – to be certain your message is clear and concise.
There are all kinds of systems you can build around your blog to make it run better.
Whether you design your content or write off the cuff, follow a strict publishing structure or post when you feel like it – how you run your blog is a reflection of yourself and your business.
Which means, thankfully, that building a successful blog is as easy as these Three Cs.