Building a Better Blog

The Simple Dollar is running a special series on building a better blog. These posts assume that you’re already blogging, that you have a passion for improving your blog’s long term traffic, and that you’ve gone through many of the ups and downs that come with blogging (big spikes in readers, periods of slow or nonexistent or even negative growth in readership). This series is borne out of the success I’ve had with The Simple Dollar, which is the culmination of many years of lessons learned as a less-successful blogger.

How to Build a Better Blog Series

Without further ado, here are the posts. The goal of these posts is singular: each post is devoted to a specific aspect of building a healthy long-term readership of your blog. I’m not going to write about optimum ad placements or Google keywords or how to cut down on spam comments; there are countless other resources for that. Instead, this series seeks to grow your readership in a healthy fashion, from which will come nothing but success. There’s some more explanation at the end.

1: Essential Reading
2: Love What You Write
3: Addressing Your Readers
4: Define Your Own Success
5: Don’t Leave Them Hanging
6: Don’t Be Insular
7: Keep Something In Reserve
8: Reach Out
9: Be Yourself
10: Length Doesn’t Matter
11: Respond to Comments
12: Inspire Yourself
13: The Content Comes First
14: Money Doesn’t Matter
15: Don’t Give Up
16: Be Lucky
17: Guide Your Users
18: Leverage the Past
19: Search Engine Optimization Doesn’t Matter
20: The Mini Audience
21: Don’t Chase Away Your Readers
22: Social Bookmarking
23: Don’t Know It All
24: Use the Senses
25: Write in Series
26: Post Consistently
27: Engage the Casual Visitor
28: Talking To Other Bloggers
29: Don’t Clutter It Up
30: Don’t Forget the Fundamentals
31: Celebrate With Your Readers

Why write about this topic on a personal finance blog?

The biggest reason is that many bloggers (and especially personal finance bloggers) are interested in long term growth. We’re interested in building a relationship with our readers, one that will grow over time as more and more people find our blog. We’re not in this just to dump out a lot of posts – we want people to be able to find our site, get interested in it, visit it regularly, and tell their friends about it. We want to be able to share our ideas with a wider world.

Hand in hand with that comes the fact that bloggers of all stripes are interested in long term earnings. Along with that relationship and larger reader base comes the potential for more ad revenue, and thus more money earned from the hard work of regular, consistent, quality blogging. We’re not out to become millionaires, but we would like to at least see some return on the investment of our passion.

The biggest reason for blogging (for me, at least) is the desire to teach what I’ve learned to readers who might be interested. A solid slice of the readers of The Simple Dollar are bloggers themselves, who face many of the issues that I also face on a daily basis. I learned many lessons from earlier attempts at blogging, and applying what I learned here at The Simple Dollar (so far) has brought success far beyond what I hoped for – I was hoping for regular traffic at this level around the one year mark, not in just over a month – so it makes sense for me to share what I’ve learned.

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