How To Be Influential In Your First Year Of Blogging

Are there hard and fast rules to making one’s blog popular and influential?  When I started blogging I was bombarded with many advices on how to run my blog.  They all sounded helpful but the bitch in me decided to do it my way.  How naive of me to do so because in the end I went running back to the more seasoned bloggers for advice.  Thanks mainly to Kuya Avel and Lyle Santos for keeping me back in track each time I lose my sense of blogging direction.  I am paying it forward by sharing with you, faithful readers, what helped win as Emerging & Influential Blogger.  Read on…

  1. You have to really enjoy your blogging experience. You cannot fake it.  You can start blogging anytime – kick off with blog posts here and there.  But you have to love what you’re doing or you’ll end up with a blank wall and lose interest just like most people that I know.  Blogging is not easy so you have to make a commitment to yourself.  Love what you do and everything else will follow.
  2. Don’t box yourself within a limiting niche. Start a personal blog.  Write about everything – then discover your niche.  In the beginning I wanted to revive my Sun*Star column here.  Eventually I realized it was too limiting.  I tried every manner of writing.  Be it about being emo, funny, lovelorn or whatever – my faithful readers just lapped it up.  Then my “Tips Posts” began to catch attention followed by my food reviews which opened a whole new world of invites for checking their restaurants out for free.  I have found out that my faithful readers wants my blog the way it is – Honest and in-your-face!
  3. This one’s the opposite of Tip #2.  Find your niche that you really care about and evolve your blog around it. Case is point is Donna’s Kikay Much.  Having been exposed to the Beauty Care industry, Donna’s choice was expected.  And this exposure made her a subject-matter-expert which helped her dish out posts upon posts about everything she can be her Kikay self.  It definitely helps when you are well-versed of your niche.  Suffice to say, Donna’s blog is a shoo-in for the 2011 Emerging and Influential blog award.
  4. Don’t be shy to plug your blog posts. What good would your blog be if it’s only shared among your small circle of family and friends?    In marketing, we call it “pakapalan ng mukha.” Sell, sell, sell!  Use the different social networking platforms like FaceBook, Plurk, Twitter, Yahoo Messenger and the like in ensuring that people will know about your blog.  And talk about your new blog with your friends and other people.   Plug, plug, plug.
  5. Visit other blog sites too and make sure you drop a comment or two. Chances are that their comment boxes have the Comment Luv application that will link their readers to your most recent blog posts.  That’s additional traffic for you.  You also get the “mingle” with other active bloggers.
  6. No man is an island.  Exchange links with other bloggers and put them in your blog roll. This one’s kinda sensitive.  You have to really check out the blog sites first before you decide to exchange links.  Choose blog sites that you really like.  That way people who click sites in your blog roll will not be disappointed.
  7. Expand your horizons and grow your network of friends. When I started blogging, I gained a whole caboodle of new friends who are fellow bloggers.  They became faithful readers of my blog and they started talking about it to their friends who eventually became my friends too.  And hey, you cannot fake friendships.  You have to be sincere in your desire to grow your network.  People who loves you will unconditionally help make your blog popular.
  8. Write about your personal experiences. Share your life  escapades and just be yourself.  Because when you do, you break the  wall between you and your readers.  And when this wall is broken down, you relate more effectively and write as if you’re just talking to your faithful readers.  The good part about sharing your personal learnings is that people learn from them too.  I have observed that the Tips Category in my Archives are popularly shared to other social networking platforms.
  9. Don’t think about earning money immediately. Doing so takes the novelty off your blogging experience.  It also distracts you from what you are supposed to do – enjoying your blogging experience!  First things first:  Put some sense in your blog site before you think about Google Adsense!
  10. Write interesting blogs that will bring in readers traffic. I found this one out with my blog posts that most people can relate to.  Visitors traffic spikes upwards when this happen and the good thing is that they share your posts in other social networking platforms.
  11. Encourage your readers to comment on your blog posts and find time to post a reply. Since this is your personal blog then engage yourself with your readers.  Painstakingly read all the comments and reply when necessary.  Thank your commenters all the time.  They are your best walking advertisements.
  12. Get an eye-catching blog theme. And don’t just stop there.  Your blog should be reader-friendly and easy to navigate.  What attracted me with my free theme were the hands on the side that went along each time you scroll up and down.  Although this freaked out some of my readers it became a good conversation piece.  But what really mattered was the whole theme itself.

So there.  Take this to heart and you will see how it will work wonders to your blog!  Blog on…

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