6 Pillars of a Successful Blog

Blogging

6 Pillars of a Successful Blog

Blogging

When you first start, blogging seems as easy as typing up a quick thought about your day and hitting publish.

But the thing about blogging is this: There is so much more to blogging than blogging.

A successful blog, however you define that for yourself (traffic, income, book deals, etc.) is like the top of a table.

Although the top of the table usually gets the most attention, it's only one part of what makes a table useful, right? There happens to be a whole support system just below the surface that creates balance and support and holds the whole table up.

Oh, the lonely and often forgot about table legs. The legs are what make the table a table. If a leg is missing? Watch out, it's all gonna fall. But in a lesser sense, if one leg is say, not as developed as the rest, not the same length, we get the dreaded wiggly table.

And I don't know about you, but a wiggly table drives my up the friggin wall! I'll sit there and giggle that bad boy all day.

This model is exactly how your blog works too.

On the surface you see a successful blog but below it are the pillars that make everything possible.

The 6 pillars of blogging

1. Foundation: This is the one pillar to rule them all. Without getting this pillar right, it's hard to succeed at the rest.

Your foundational pillar is all about developing a clear vision for your blog.

  • Who are you writing for?
  • What are your unique talents?
  • What is your brand?
  • How do you want to help people?
  • What does success look like for you?
  • What does success look like for your readers?

2. Design: Obviously blog design is a pillar very close to my own heart but you don't necessarily have to break the bank on design when you're first building your blog.

If you're on a budget (and who isn't?) think in terms of layout and organizing your information in a clear, simple and helpful way. Don't try to get crazy fancy like that blogger you look up to. Just get the basics right and you can grow into something more advanced later, when time and money allow.

  • Small design elements can go a long way, what can you do to make a big impact? (Maybe a logo or new headshots?)
  • How can you help readers find what they're looking for with just a few clicks?
  • Can you streamline your navigation to provide less, but better choices?
  • Can you remove visual clutter in your sidebars so the site is more about your reader's experience?
  • Do you have an email subscriber list for you blog?
  • Is everything working on your site? Broken links, buttons, or janky images make a site look uncared for.
  • How does your site look on various mobile devices? (Check Google Analytics for a breakdown of your mobile to desktop visitors to see how important this is for you).

3. Content: The stuff that makes a blog a blog – the posts and articles that set you apart.

Great content serves a lot of purposes in the online world. It helps you have something to share on social media. It gives people a way to learn more about you and your views and it brings in the search traffic.

  • What should you write about to attract the right readers to your blog?
  • How do you come up with fresh ideas and populate an editorial calendar on a regular basis?
  • What's your ideal posting frequency for blog posts and email communication with your readers?
  • What do you need to do to optimize your site for search?
  • What else can you do to optimize individual posts that already get a lot of traffic?

4. Growth & Outreach: This pillar is about getting your blog and your name to the top of everyone's mind in your blogging niche. It's about getting you shared, interviewed and well known because once that happens, the rest gets a whole. lot. easier.

This pillar is tough. It requires you to put yourself out there and it's going to lead to feelings of vulnerability and being exposed. BUT this pillar is what sets an average blogging apart from a successful blogger.

  • How can you optimize and bring in more quality traffic rather than just high quantities of traffic?
  • Who are the influencers in your space that your need to study and know?
  • Who in your space is an up-and-comer that you can get to know?
  • What systems can you put in place to make guest posting as painless as possible (so you actually do it!)?
  • Which podcasts or video shows are popular in your space? What can you talk about to get featured?

5. Social Media Marketing: Part of growing your name and online presence is getting known. Social media is a fabulous and free way to get in front of the right readers so they begin the process of getting to know you.

Do you hide out on your blog, posting and posting, waiting for people to find you? They won't. You need to help them discover you, by spending more time off your blog than on it, especially in the beginning building stages.

  • What social networks do you readers frequent?
  • Can you focus on just one or 2 networks so you see faster results without the overwhelm?
  • What social network brings in the highest quality traffic for your blog?
  • How can you create a posting schedule that serves you, your audience and doesn't drive you to drink?
  • What can you automate and what do you need to do live?

6. Blogging Systems: Having the workflows, routines and schedules in place to get done what you need to get done. And still have time to have a life so that you have something to blog about.

This last pillar is vital to success and if you're feeling frazzled and time starved, this one should be your starting point.

Blogging will expand to eat up every last spare minute of your life and you can still manage to not get the big stuff done. Creating a plan with boundaries, bard edges to bump up against, will keep you focused and help you achieve more in less time. It's a clique and it's true.

Bonus Pillar 7. Income Streams: The reason this is a bonus is well, because not everyone wants to make money and that's cool. We've got to do what feels right for our blogs and embracing your true calling is the most important thing.

Income also looks very different for each blogger and if you decide that a blogging income is in your future, you've got to figure out how to get there.

  • What income streams are you going to cultivate? What's the first step to make that happen?
  • How much do you really need to make per month?
  • Can you provide a service, coaching, ebook or online course?
  • Do you want to create income solely off ad and affiliate income?
  • Do you want to use your blog more as a jumping off point for paid speaking and writing opportunities?
  • Are there other bloggers who share your beliefs hat might be good partners for you?

Back Over to You

What pillar do you neglect the most? What's one small step you can take today (as in right now!) to make progress on that?

When you first start, blogging seems as easy as typing up a quick thought about your day and hitting publish.

But the thing about blogging is this: There is so much more to blogging than blogging.

A successful blog, however you define that for yourself (traffic, income, book deals, etc.) is like the top of a table.

Although the top of the table usually gets the most attention, it's only one part of what makes a table useful, right? There happens to be a whole support system just below the surface that creates balance and support and holds the whole table up.

Oh, the lonely and often forgot about table legs. The legs are what make the table a table. If a leg is missing? Watch out, it's all gonna fall. But in a lesser sense, if one leg is say, not as developed as the rest, not the same length, we get the dreaded wiggly table.

And I don't know about you, but a wiggly table drives my up the friggin wall! I'll sit there and giggle that bad boy all day.

This model is exactly how your blog works too.

On the surface you see a successful blog but below it are the pillars that make everything possible.

The 6 pillars of blogging

1. Foundation: This is the one pillar to rule them all. Without getting this pillar right, it's hard to succeed at the rest.

Your foundational pillar is all about developing a clear vision for your blog.

  • Who are you writing for?
  • What are your unique talents?
  • What is your brand?
  • How do you want to help people?
  • What does success look like for you?
  • What does success look like for your readers?

2. Design: Obviously blog design is a pillar very close to my own heart but you don't necessarily have to break the bank on design when you're first building your blog.

If you're on a budget (and who isn't?) think in terms of layout and organizing your information in a clear, simple and helpful way. Don't try to get crazy fancy like that blogger you look up to. Just get the basics right and you can grow into something more advanced later, when time and money allow.

  • Small design elements can go a long way, what can you do to make a big impact? (Maybe a logo or new headshots?)
  • How can you help readers find what they're looking for with just a few clicks?
  • Can you streamline your navigation to provide less, but better choices?
  • Can you remove visual clutter in your sidebars so the site is more about your reader's experience?
  • Do you have an email subscriber list for you blog?
  • Is everything working on your site? Broken links, buttons, or janky images make a site look uncared for.
  • How does your site look on various mobile devices? (Check Google Analytics for a breakdown of your mobile to desktop visitors to see how important this is for you).

3. Content: The stuff that makes a blog a blog – the posts and articles that set you apart.

Great content serves a lot of purposes in the online world. It helps you have something to share on social media. It gives people a way to learn more about you and your views and it brings in the search traffic.

  • What should you write about to attract the right readers to your blog?
  • How do you come up with fresh ideas and populate an editorial calendar on a regular basis?
  • What's your ideal posting frequency for blog posts and email communication with your readers?
  • What do you need to do to optimize your site for search?
  • What else can you do to optimize individual posts that already get a lot of traffic?

4. Growth & Outreach: This pillar is about getting your blog and your name to the top of everyone's mind in your blogging niche. It's about getting you shared, interviewed and well known because once that happens, the rest gets a whole. lot. easier.

This pillar is tough. It requires you to put yourself out there and it's going to lead to feelings of vulnerability and being exposed. BUT this pillar is what sets an average blogging apart from a successful blogger.

  • How can you optimize and bring in more quality traffic rather than just high quantities of traffic?
  • Who are the influencers in your space that your need to study and know?
  • Who in your space is an up-and-comer that you can get to know?
  • What systems can you put in place to make guest posting as painless as possible (so you actually do it!)?
  • Which podcasts or video shows are popular in your space? What can you talk about to get featured?

5. Social Media Marketing: Part of growing your name and online presence is getting known. Social media is a fabulous and free way to get in front of the right readers so they begin the process of getting to know you.

Do you hide out on your blog, posting and posting, waiting for people to find you? They won't. You need to help them discover you, by spending more time off your blog than on it, especially in the beginning building stages.

  • What social networks do you readers frequent?
  • Can you focus on just one or 2 networks so you see faster results without the overwhelm?
  • What social network brings in the highest quality traffic for your blog?
  • How can you create a posting schedule that serves you, your audience and doesn't drive you to drink?
  • What can you automate and what do you need to do live?

6. Blogging Systems: Having the workflows, routines and schedules in place to get done what you need to get done. And still have time to have a life so that you have something to blog about.

This last pillar is vital to success and if you're feeling frazzled and time starved, this one should be your starting point.

Blogging will expand to eat up every last spare minute of your life and you can still manage to not get the big stuff done. Creating a plan with boundaries, bard edges to bump up against, will keep you focused and help you achieve more in less time. It's a clique and it's true.

Bonus Pillar 7. Income Streams: The reason this is a bonus is well, because not everyone wants to make money and that's cool. We've got to do what feels right for our blogs and embracing your true calling is the most important thing.

Income also looks very different for each blogger and if you decide that a blogging income is in your future, you've got to figure out how to get there.

  • What income streams are you going to cultivate? What's the first step to make that happen?
  • How much do you really need to make per month?
  • Can you provide a service, coaching, ebook or online course?
  • Do you want to create income solely off ad and affiliate income?
  • Do you want to use your blog more as a jumping off point for paid speaking and writing opportunities?
  • Are there other bloggers who share your beliefs hat might be good partners for you?

Back Over to You

What pillar do you neglect the most? What's one small step you can take today (as in right now!) to make progress on that?

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Rita Barry

Rita Barry is a marketing measurement and paid traffic specialist who helps online entrepreneurs understand how their marketing is driving sales so they can sell more. You can learn more about her here.

Rita Barry

Rita Barry is a marketing measurement and paid traffic specialist who helps online entrepreneurs understand how their marketing is driving sales so they can sell more. You can learn more about her here.