If you had to choose your #1 rule for what it takes to create a successful Blog, what would it be? Mine is: create real interactions between human beings.
Finding your passion is one thing. Uncovering a unique niche is another. Attempting to turn a six-figure income from your Blog might be what drives you, but what will really keep the momentum going and your readers engaged is if you create a platform to not only share your own insights and personal thoughts, but use it as a place to really connect with those readers and enable that to turn the entire Blog into a thriving community.
It's something that will take a lot of internal and personal struggle (especially if it's a business Blog).
There will be moments where you will want to self-promote. There will be instances where you will wonder if you are betraying your clients or your employer for some of the things you would like to Blog about. There will even be instances where you will want to see if you can monetize the property as your popularity and interest grows. It's not a question of ignoring those impulses, it becomes more of an exercise in returning to your roots. Always focus and cherish that first moment where you came up with the name of your Blog and published that first post in the first place.
If everything you do Blog about has an end-game of making you slightly more famous, how does that help, grow and nurture your online community?
Without question, one of the best quotes recently about Blogging was from Hugh McGuire (LibriVox and The Book Oven). In the comments section of this Blog, Hugh said: "Don’t Blog to get known, Blog to be knowable." It's not about Blogging with a tone of "look at me, look at me!" It's about Blogging and sharing who you are, how you connect to your passion and what you think about that will (hopefully) get others excited and want to contribute, join or (hopefully) even start their own Blog.
The conversations are everywhere.
You can find some gems on Twitter and you can see some flashes of brilliance on FriendFeed. There's something warmly beautiful about a well thought-out editorial piece in the newspaper and real modern literature can be found in some of the best business magazines. Blogs fill another arena of media culture. Blogs give every individual the place, space and environment to really dig down deep or blast something out furiously. It shows a different side of an individual and how they flow into their work. It makes people stand-out and be original.
Blogs are one of the few (and only) places where words do, indeed, become real interactions between real human beings. A great Blog is personal and displays the humanity. A great Blog can move and inspire people and teams. A great Blog takes words and makes them human. A great Blog is not doing it because there is a schedule to keep or ads to sell. A great Blog is published when it is published. No sooner. No later.
What is your #1 rule for creating a successful Blog?