Blogging is something that a lot of people want to get into. Whether you’re planning to do it casually or professionally, blogging isn’t as easy as everyone thinks it is. If you want to leave an impression in the blogosphere, you’re going to have to abide by a few rules.

Blogging can be a daunting task, but by taking to heart the following concepts, you’ll be running a successful blog in no time.

Act like you’re part of a community

Running a successful blog is a very community-oriented activity. You can’t really make it as a blogger all on your own. If you want people to visit your blog, you’re going to need connections. Sure, you can receive hits from search engines and people just accidentally stumbling on your content, but being a part of an established network of writers practically guarantees a steady influx of new visitors.

People write about similar things all the time. As a blogger, it’s your responsibility to connect with people who share the same passion. Befriend other people who run a successful blog in your niche. Help your peers and sure enough, they’ll return the favor one way or another.

Controversy is sometimes a good thing

This idea mainly applies to personal blogs, more so than it does to running a successful blog professionally.

Don’t be afraid of speaking your mind. This is a fundamental rule that every writer should abide by. Sometimes the fear of speaking about something that goes against what everyone thinks can deprive a writer of his courage to compose. But sometimes, speaking out against issues that are otherwise ignored can be a good thing. Anything that can inspire discussion from your peers and visitors alike is something worth writing about. If you can get people to comment and respond to your posts, then that is a good thing. Don’t be afraid to share your opinions on recent and/or controversial events. Remember that a personal blog is a haven for your thoughts. Speak your mind and create content that does not only generate views, but also responses from your readers.

Establish a community around yourself

While it’s important to recognize the fact that you’re going to be part of a community, it’s also important to build a community around yourself if you want to run a successful blog. When you establish yourself in the blogging world, developing a loyal fan base should be one of your priorities. Build a community by engaging with your followers and encouraging discussions in your posts. A dedicated following translates to a consistent number of visits every time you create something new. At the same time, a dedicated following allows you to further expand your online reach. This is because loyal followers are more likely to share your content to people in their own personal networks, compared to the occasional visitor who just happened to find your blog.

Consistency is key to running a successful blog

Consistency is an important part of establishing yourself online. This goes double if you’re running a blog. Don’t just publish things whenever you feel like it. Publish things on a schedule if possible. You want your followers to have something to look forward to every week. Give yourself a schedule and do everything you can to stick to it. It doesn’t matter if you’re publishing something new once a week or twice a month, what matters is that you’re working consistently.

On the off-days when you’re not publishing anything, feel free to share other people’s content. The most important thing to remember is to always keep your blog active.

Social media is your best friend

Social media is probably going to be one of your main sources of traffic while running your successful blog. Remember to build identities in the main social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or Google+. If you’re a photo-heavy blog, consider doing things on platforms like Instagram and Pinterest as well. Don’t forget to always promote your content on these platforms whenever you produce something new. And remember to build friendships and connections with your fellow bloggers through their own social media networks.

Find a niche and stick to it

Don’t try to write about everything in the world. Give your blog a focal point. Find a niche, stick to it, and expand it. Focusing on a particular topic not only makes it easier for you to publish content in the long run, but it also makes you more discoverable. Producing content revolving around a niche makes it easier for you to build a name for yourself. At the same time, doing this makes it easier to build a loyal following. People who are already into a particular niche will have an easier time subscribing to you if they are confident in your ability to produce the same content consistently.

Relevant images increase views

Don’t forget to attach relevant images to your posts whenever possible. Feel free to use photos, illustrations, or infographics to make your posts more presentable. Images can be used as headers or in-article highlights. If you’re promoting your content on social media platforms, remember to include images to improve visibility. People are more likely to click on an article if it comes with an intriguing or interesting image.

Original content is king

Original content is the backbone to running a successful blog. People are going to subscribe to you because of the content you produce. Sure they may discover your content through strategic use of SEO and maybe a bit of social media marketing, but at the end of the day, people are going to subscribe to you because of your ability to produce original content. Focus on a particular niche, but remember to consistently create content that can’t be found anywhere else.

Share other people’s content when you can

As previously mentioned, on the off-days where you can’t produce anything original, share what other people have produced. Consider doing this as an act of good faith, and as a means to build connections and rapport with other bloggers.

    Vary post length

    Varying post length isn’t as important as the other items on this list, but sometimes it’s nice to mix things up a little. Some readers enjoy basking in detailed two-thousand word reviews of their favorite TV shows, but not everyone has the time for that. Your followers can sometimes appreciate short content once in a while. You don’t have to publish everything at a consistent word length. As long as you can properly conclude your thoughts, you shouldn’t be worrying too much about how long your content is.