Successful blogging?

I love reading list articles. Here’s one that appeared on my radar today:

6 Pillars of a Successful Blog

And just for fun, I’ll run thru the list and assess my own private blogging chez moi.

So let’s get started…

Purpose/Message/Mission
This is a private blog. The main purpose is to learn and reflect.

It’s an ever-evolving mix of learning, reflection, discovery and knowledge management. I’ve always said it’s like a scrap book. Chiperoni.ch will no longer do well from an SEO point-of-view, because the topics are too diverse, too sporadic. I write about the Internet and online marketing. I link to my huge Flickr collection of snapshots. I write about architecture and travel. I post Youtube videos. I try out WordPress plugins and themes.

If you’re setting up a blog for business purposes, think about your purpose. Brainstorm ideas. Put together an editorial calendar. This will help you stand out from the crowd.

Email Newsletter
I don’t send out an email newsletter for this blog. While this Google service still exists, you can get an email notification via Feedburner:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

There are some pretty cool email newsletter plugins for WordPress. I briefly tried Wysija. There’s also Sendpress and Email Newsletter to try. And yes, I wholeheartedly agree… if you want your blog to grow, send out a regular email newsletter.

I do have a cool WordPress plugin called Thank me later, which sends auto-sends thank you messages to people that leave a comment.

A Free E-Book/Manifesto
There is no free e-book to download. There is no manifesto to link to at Chiperoni.ch. Yet. I have plans to write a book or two. Maybe. Some day.

David Meerman-Scott uses e-books very effectively for his topics.

I am a regular reader of the e-books at Hubspot.

IMHO, you should spend some $$ on your e-book layout to get a better return.

A Product/Business Model
There is no business model at Chiperoni.ch. I am here for fun. This is a private, non-profit blog. There is no advertising. So far I have not published any paid blog entries here. If this changes, I will publish a disclosure statement.

Again if you’re planning to offer a product or service, put some thought into your business model. A good starter is this business model generation canvas. It leads you through various business questions.

Site Design
I like minimal blog designs. Currently I am using themes by Elma.

If you’re building a business, test your site design using a poor man’s usability test. Ideally before coding; using a paper test. Find 5 people that fit your site’s target audience. Think of some site tasks you would like to test, e.g. how to contact you; how to ask for a quote. Ask your test person to think out loud while performing the tasks. And then sit next to them and quietly observe how your test person navigates through your site.

Check your site design from an SEO point of view. Are there enough text areas for your key phrases on your main landing pages? I would avoid overusing fancy carousel and slider plugins. Do you have one sentence explaining your main mission, written in HTML?

Effective Self Promotion
It’s 2013. You need to find creative ways to promote your business blog. The Internet is a vast ocean of data. Nobody is waiting for your cool product or service. If your self promotion is too low-key, nobody will notice you. If your self promotion is too heavy and your service offering doesn’t match, you will put people off.

I am stating the obvious. My only advice is to try various ideas and find a marketing mix that works for you. Trial and error.

Or build a private, non-profit blog like Chiperoni.ch. And as such I don’t need to join the success theater.

looking closely

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