What Makes a Good Blog?

May 3, 2019

Kerrie Ashall

What makes a good blog can be broken down into four segments. Firstly, there are the different forms success takes, secondly there is the marketing boost that all successful blogs need, thirdly there is surprise, and fourthly there is targeting. This post covers all four elements of a successful blog, and also offers a little bit of advice about trying to replicate the success of others.

Success Has Many Forms

Take YouTube as an example: Pewdiepie holds the record for the most total viewers on YouTube, and it is just one guy who used to upload every day; then, take Lemmino. He uploads once per month at the most, and he has the most loyal followers. Both are working alone, both are incredibly successful, and yet both use a very different method for achieving their success.

The key to blogging success seems to be “Experimenting.”  i.e. trying out a bunch of different ideas until you find the thing that works. Many times, you are surprised by what works and what does not.

For example, there was a blog aimed at teenage boys, and the web master tried everything from fight videos to hilarious comic strips. He tried every cliché in the book to attract teenage males. Yet, the web master had his biggest run of success when he posted opinion pieces on local issues, but he put a joke or funny comment in every third line of his blog. That simple format attracted more of his target demographic than all the gun-violence posts he ever uploaded.

Your Face on A Billboard

You may have the highest quality blog of all time, but if nobody sees it, then nobody interacts with it, which means Google ranks it as number 120,000 on its results. You will need to give your search ranking a boost from time-to-time with search engine optimization. Just like putting your face on a billboard, you need to draw a little attention from time-to-time if you want to generate sustained success for your blog. Get people interested by optimising your website and its content for Google, and then, if your blog is good, it will be carried by its own success.

Think of the keywords that you want to rank for. The headlines you’re creating. Do you need visual content? Remember, do not keyword spam and do not make your post too long. People have shorter attention spans – keep content between 500-1,000 words, and use subheadings (H2s) and bullet points if necessary.

What Makes A Good Blog?

Targeting and surprise. Sadly, these are two elements that are often confused by bloggers and people in the publishing industry.

Targeting means you need to produce content that your readers are actually interested in. Your blog needs to fit your niche, and thus needs to appeal to those who are interested in it, while pushing away everybody else. It is the “pushing away” part that most bloggers mess up – many try and create content that would appeal to anyone in the hopes that they gain more traffic. The fact is that if you wish to target certain people, then you have to alienate others. need to alienate some people if you want to target others.

This also means that you need to have a thorough understanding of what your target audience wants and write directly for them. If you’re stuck for ideas, type in some keywords that you’d like to rank for, and look at the questions from the ‘People Always Ask’ section on the search engine results page (SERP). That’s what your target audience are searching, so make sure your blog has the answers.

Secondly, surprise means “unexpected.” It doesn’t mean click-bait titles, it doesn’t mean shock news, and it doesn’t mean being unorthodox.

Examining the Success Of Strangers

You should do learn from your success because they offer the most powerful lessons.

Should you learn from the success of others? You probably shouldn’t. Most people have no idea why they succeeded because they spend too much time examining why they failed and not why they succeeded. Secondly, repeating somebody else’s success is often harder than building a successful blog using your own trial and error.

A wise person examines the success of strangers and takes its lessons on board, but maybe doesn’t try to replicate the success directly.


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