The One Secret You Must Know to to Build a Successful Blog

The most important work you’ll ever do on your blog happens before you create the blog. You need to know your audience. Otherwise you’re just shooting arrows in the dark… You have no hope of hitting your target. So what’s the one secret you must know?

I’ve been blogging for ten years. Until 2005, blogging was regarded as a weird preoccupation of geeky types. Then businesses caught on: a blog was a powerful business tool.

Once that realization dawned, blogs proliferated, and it was no longer enough to have a blog, you had to sharply target your blog to appeal to a particular audience. If you didn’t, you received little traffic. Other, more sharply targeted blogs, stole your traffic.

Therefore, that’s the ONE secret you must know in order to build a successful blog-site.

In a nutshell: know your audience and build a rapport.

Let’s look at how this works when you want to create a new blog.

You want to create a new blog for your business — a gym. You decide to target “health”. STOP! That’s much too amorphous. Enter the search term “health” into Google, and you’ll be face with over two trillion pages which reference health in some way.

That might be way more competition than you want to face.

If you’re sure you want to go with the health topic however, you can. Just focus a little more. A laser is much more powerful than a flashlight.

You could target:

* “Health” in your local area (your city). This gives you an excellent entree into Google, because Google Places lets you claim your local business listing, and this provides instant traffic to your website and blog; or

* Sports health, if your gym’s clientele is made up primarily of people who engage in various sports. (Or any other topic which is relevant to your gym’s membership.)

For business blogs, always think local, because local relevance is the direction in which the Web is heading.

But what if you’re an individual, rather than a business?

The same rules apply. Think local, and think targeted traffic.

Let’s imagine you’re working in a medical field, and you want to create a “health” blog, because you feel you have lots of valuable information to share.

Enter “health + _________ (your city)” into the Search field on Google. What’s the competition?

Whether your competition is huge, or minimal, you’ll still need to target further. How about preventative health for pregnant women? Or people who are under stress?

I hope I’ve given you something to think about. Remember, the secret to building a successful blog is knowing your audience, writing for them, and over time, building a strong rapport.

Essential Ingredients For a Great Health Blog

A great health blog has everything that an online health conscious reader could be looking for. Starting from the latest updates on health related issues to the health benefits of the many food items, a health related blog needs to offer a wholesome reading experience for its readers.

One of the most important ingredients of a good blog is the quality of information. Since health is an important issue with everyone, those reading health related blogs are naturally looking for something substantial. Providing useful and valuable information on health on a blog should be first priority. Filling up a blog with too many images and advertisements and very less information would defeat the purpose. A health related blog should contain interesting and informative information on health related issues that appeal to the readers.

The content on a blog is another important factor to consider. The language used needs to flow easily as most online readers don’t have the patience to make sense of long winded sentences. The content in a blog should be crisp, clear and to the point. The key to a successful blog is content that is easy to understand and read.

A successful blog can comprise of much more than blog posts. A link to various other health websites, a glossary of health related words, and much more can be included in the blog. The more attractive features a blog contains, the more number of readers it will attract.

Making a blog interactive is also a great way to grab the attention of readers. There are many blogs that ask readers for their opinions and have regular contests to sustain their interest. A blog can similarly encourage readers to participate by leaving their comments, or posting questions and queries about their health.

It is also important to regularly update a health blog with newer blog posts on a wide array of health related topics. Since readers of health blogs will regularly look up the site for new information, blog owners cannot afford to not update the content and other information. It is equally important to promptly respond to any queries or messages from readers; this will set a good impression of the blog and a sign that the blog owner is attentive to the opinions and views of regular readers.

Another key ingredient for a good health related blog is the design of the website. Since the health related blog will mostly involve reading, it is a good idea not to clutter the site with too many images and other distractions. The blog should also be designed in a convenient, user friendly manner. Readers should be able to find any related links easily and navigate comfortably from one blog post to the other.

It is also a great idea to add a little bit of information about the owner of the blog. Most readers like to know about the face behind the blog, and some personal and professional information on the blog owner would fit the bill just right.

Please, Develop an Effective Health Care Blog

The internet has no shortage of reputable, reliable sources of medical information. WebMD solicits content from physicians and medical researchers; it routinely features articles from medical specialists at the top of their professions. The Mayo Clinic’s website summarizes up-to-the-minute information from the physicians and caregivers who practice at the nation’s top-ranked hospital.

The internet does, however, suffer a critical shortage of health care blogs that look at medicine, fitness, and wellness from an ordinary person’s point of view. Many wellness blogs turn-out to be not-so-clever cover-ups for snake-oil sales; others turn-out to espouse nineteenth century quackery as “the new age of medicine.” Some health care blogs pile-up medical jargon so high and deep that not even doctors can read them. And some just insult their readers with proclamations like “sadness is a sign of depression.”

The internet needs a reliable source of medical information for ordinary readers; the internet needs a dependable health care blog that maintains high standards for reporting and shows respect for the readers. A good health care blog absolutely must be…

· Up-to-date and accurate- Modern medicine continues to evolve and advance, and it especially has become far more responsive to findings from “complementary” or “supplemental” medicine, more commonly known as naturopathy. Research into the human genome has changed scientists’ minds about the aetiology of some genetic diseases, and controversies rage in epidemiology-especially over causes of and treatments for autism. A reliable health blog regularly will discuss new findings and credible new studies; it also will not hesitate to discredit unreliable reports.

· Intelligent-A good health care blog must strike the balance between doctor-speak, which is a little to arcane and esoteric for its readers, and bonehead bullet points, which dummy-down complex subjects and trivialize serious medical issues. A truly valuable health care blog frequently will look at common medical problems “from the inside out,” detailing how people cope with or manage their chronic diseases.

· Open-minded and objective-Nothing so deeply offends readers as health care blogs that promote pseudo-science for the sake of selling products of questionable value. On the one hand, readers do not want to see a blog that advocates nothing but the medical establishment’s “settled science”; on the other hand, no one can trust citations of “emerging science.” An everyday health care blog will follow the canons of journalistic ethics, reporting the news objectively, factually, and in detail, relying on authoritative sources.

· Practical-Readers want news they can use. A skilled healthcare blog-writer will deal with subjects of interest to large, diverse audiences. Nearly seventy million Americans, for example, want to know how they safely can lose weight, prevent diabetes, and restore their cardio-vascular fitness. By contrast, very few readers need to know that modern psychiatry largely has discredited diagnoses of “multiple personalities.”

· Consistent-For most readers, consistency is the hallmark of integrity. Readers especially want to see the blogger asking and answering the most difficult questions about an issue or condition; and they want to see that the blogger is their representative and advocate in scientific discussions.