By Jael Strong
Greatness is associated with unusual power and intensity. When something is “great,” it conveys excellence and brilliance; it is truly impressive. So, is your blog great?
We must face reality. The vast majority of blogs fall short of greatness. Mediocrity seems the aim for many. But isn’t this to be expected? With millions of blogs in existence, and more being added each day, can we expect a flood of greatness? No, of course not. But don’t we want to be listed among the greats? Sure, who doesn’t?
So, what are the ingredients for greatness? I wanted to come up with something witty, but all I can muster is Delicious Chocolate Lollipops, commonly known as Design, Content, and Loyalty.
Blogs should be inviting, accessible, and navigable. Great blogs appeal to the eye. A trademark image and a catchy slogan can go a long way. Readers can easily remember these things, making it that much easier to find you again when they get a hankering for a good read.
Hand-in-hand with this is the concept of simplicity. A cluttered blog is just asking for readers to click away. I hate it when I go to a site and I am inundated with a plethora of useless links and advertisements. It’s like going to the mall around on Black Friday; I feel like I’m being pushed and shoved, and it takes forever to get what I came for.
A well-organized blog will not deluge its readers with nonsense. Rather, it should be like sitting down to eat a decadent dessert made especially for the reader.
Smooth chocolaty content, please
Appealing to the eye is good. Appealing to the mind is great. Once a reader is attracted to a particular blog, the writer should deliver with some great content. An excellent idea delivered poorly is like promising a moist chocolate cake, but bringing a piece of crusty, dried-out, cake-from-a-box instead.
How are you delivering your concepts? Do you try to be original? Are you checking for distracting grammatical errors? Do you mix in some humor? Most importantly, is your content relevant and up-to-date, providing something that readers are really looking for?
The loyalty lollipop
Loyalty is like a lollipop, you love it and you carry it with you wherever you go. A great blog is a blog people will think about even when they aren’t in front of their computers. They’ll recommend it to friends and colleagues, and look forward to being engaged by it again.
How do we build this loyalty? Bloggers have come up with some great tools for this. Of course, we should always encourage comments. Another tool is allowing guest bloggers to write for you. Sponsor contests and allow short humorous submissions that you will in turn publish on your site. Welcome feedback. Make your blog an open room where readers feel like they are part of the process.
Of course, loyalty is not one sided. You must be loyal to your readers as well. If you sponsor contests, allow submissions, or welcome guest posts and comments, keep up with time lines and respond to your readers. Also, keep a schedule that your readers can recognize. In other words, don’t take two months off without writing and then expect a warm reception on your return.
By combining quality design and content with reader loyalty we can all aspire to greatness and rise above the average. Talk to us, what tools for greatness do you utilize?
Jael Strong writes for TheWriteBloggers, a professional blogging service which builds clients’ authority status and net visibility. She has written both fiction and non-fiction pieces for print and online publications. She regularly blogs at Freelance Writing Mamas.
–ME “Liz” Strauss
Work with Liz on your business!!