When it comes to blogging, are you a known quantity or do you operate quietly in the shadows of the blogosphere?
Blogging offers an excellent connectivity venue for millions of people around the world, allowing them to put voice to their thoughts, by finding like-minded folk and building a reputation for excellence.
That reputation certainly did not come overnight and it is also something that must be protected – the appeal of the “dark side” has sunk many bloggers, people who embraced black hat SEO in a bid to get ahead.
We’re not talking about the bad habits of some bloggers here. Instead, our focus is the effectual traits of successful bloggers, not just a Darren Rouse or a Peter Cashmore, but people who not only dominate a niche, rather they define it.
Here are seven effectual traits of a successful blogger:
1 – Passionate
No blogger can claim blogging success without first and always having passion for his topic.
For example, if you’re an automotive blogger, you know the industry and keep up with the latest auto trends, including new models, concept vehicles and customer buying habits. Your writings impart helpful advice and you have found your voice in what may be a crowded niche.
2 – Consistent
You’ve developed a rhythm of blog posting and your readers know that your next article will be published at the appointed time.
This does not mean that you don’t take breaks, but you plan ahead by scheduling your articles in advance. You also curate quality articles from guest writers and generously give them a byline. Every photo you use has been carefully selected and you give attribution where and when it is due.
3 – Dependable
Not only can you be counted on with providing consistent content, but the information you share is reliable and quite good.
Your readers trust that you have done your research, have interviewed the experts and regularly share what you believe is the best angle on the news. You may not be the best writer, but you’re a voice people trust and will go to for advice before making a purchase decision. If you have a sales-oriented blog, effective hooks are tied in with your writings.
4 – Engaging
What blogger can claim to have arrived if dialogue is not encouraged? You may know your niche thoroughly, but you encourage your readers to share their thoughts and you personally respond to all comments.
You reward your readers by giving some link juice either through a Comment Luv plugin or through a carefully constructed shout out in an article.
5 – Usability
Your blog is not only easy to navigate, but it is thoroughly usable. The theme is clean and professional, and it looks as good as any blog out there.
You have made it easy for people to subscribe to your feed, to sign up to your blog and leave comments without fear that they’ll soon be erased. Links are clean and working, your categories make sense and although you do run ads they don’t define your site. In other words, your site is a pleasure to behold and one that is visited regularly.
6 – Marketability
Successful bloggers know how to market their blogs and do so without being a pain in the butt. You’re known for linking out to quality blogs and websites, and are linked to by people in your niche.
Social media is a tool you use to connect with your audience, with Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus and LinkedIn among the sites that allow you to stay in touch with your readers. Your blog is strong enough to survive apart from social media, but you use it to benefit others as much as it benefits your blog.
7 – Authority
How do you define authority? Is it your Technorati rank? Your Alexa rating? Does Google’s PageRank weigh in?
Various measuring tools are good ways to measure a successful blogger, but there are others. Being cited regularly by other bloggers and news sources, contributing to your community with guests posts, and helping legitimate bloggers in your niche are traits that convey that you have authority. You may not necessarily be a friend to everyone, but you’re not a bully or a jerk either.
Contrary to what some people may think, blogging is not dead. Your blog routinely survives every Google update and Facebook is a tool, not an enemy. While other bloggers may fail to keep up with the changes, you’ve rolled with them, by helping your readers adjust accordingly.
About the author: Matt Keegan is a freelance writer, a blogger, an editor and an online publisher. His favorite niches include automotive and writing, managing seven blogs for clients as well as himself.