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The Ultimate Secret of Blog Success

Submitted by on Saturday, 1 November 20088 Comments

I read a book called “Blogging Heroes” and can safely say that I now know the ultimate secret of blog success.

When I blog, I am like a guitar-playing busker on Granville Island on a cool autumn weekday.  I do my thing, and occasionally someone stops by to watch.  The odd person might leave a few cents in my guitar case, and sometimes I play for no one but me.  Either way, I am having fun and doing something that I enjoy.  It is also a time for me to practice and hone my skills at my hobby.

Will I ever be a rockstar, playing for a huge audience that pays $100 a ticket to see me?  It might be nice in some ways, but it is a fantasy that lies far away and seemingly out of reach.

To get into the minds of those blogging “rockstars” out there, find out how they think, what makes them tick, and how they got to where they are, I bought “Blogging Heroes,” and read it from cover to cover.

“Blogging Heroes” contains interviews with 30 of the top and most prominent “rockstars” of blogging.  It is an ideal book for the busker like me who wants to gain insights into what it takes to build a successful blog that is visited by the masses.

When asked their opinion on the secret of a successful blog, every one of the 30 blogging heroes gave a similar response.  If 30 of the web’s most successful bloggers cite the same secret of blog success, then it truly must be the ultimate secret of blog success.

What is the big secret?

In a word:  Passion.

Every single one of the 30 most successful bloggers on the web cited passion as one of the most important ingredients of a successful blog.

This means, to increase your chances of having a blog that is a success, you should find a niche in a topic area that you are absolutely passionate about, and blog away about it with consistency and passion.  If your passion for the topic shines through, people will notice, and they will come, and come again.

Going back to my guitar-playing busker analogy, if you see a busker just strumming some random chords nonchalantly, and he looks like he is only strumming there to try and make some cash, you are likely to just walk right by without a glance.  If the busker is really playing with his heart, on the other hand, and really beating out those chords with a passionate expression on his face, you might just get interested and stop and listen for awhile.

What is the ingredient of a great rock concert?  A band that puts on a great show filled with passion for playing and the music.  (How many times have you heard someone say, “The concert sucked… the band was wasted and wasn’t into it at all.” vs. “Man, they rocked, they were so into it and played all their best stuff!”)

The niche aspect is important too, because there are a lot of blogs out there and just about every topic in the world is covered (blogs about bacon notwithstanding).  The popular, broader topics are covered by many well-established blogs, making it harder to break into those areas.  If you take the example of a social media blog, a very narrow niche blog would be a blog that focuses solely on Facebook and covers all things Facebook.

The Dad Jam is about fatherhood and parenting, but it could be much more specific than that.  There are many parenting and fatherhood blogs out there, and a lot of good ones at that.  A fatherhood blog that focuses on how fathers can be more green, or one that focuses specifically on fathers raising sons, are examples of very narrow niche fatherhood blogs that could be successful.

What does this all mean to me?  I am passionate about fatherhood and being a good dad and husband, so I chose the right topic for this site (although I could have gone into a narrower niche).  I hope my passion about this topic shines through in my articles and that it gives my passersby something to stop, look at, and think about.

Whether or not I gain a huge following will be something that only time will tell, and although it would be nice, I still have my day job and I won’t hold my breath.  I am happy to just keep on strumming away at my favourite songs, enjoying the cool autumn weather, and hoping that those who do stop by to watch enjoy the show and maybe come back to visit The Dad Jam again.

Or maybe they’ll take a free CD by subscribing to my RSS feed :-) .

Flickr photo courtesy of Steve Crane

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