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Picture a castle. It’s monstrous and beautiful, complete with ornate arches and stained-glass windows.
When you look at the castle, your eyes are drawn to these beautiful components – the landscaping and the arches and the drawbridge and the stained glass. No one considers the foundation, the ugly cement blocks holding up this gorgeous mansion.
But without a solid foundation, the beauty found in the arches and the windows would never exist. The drawbridge would lead to no-where. The whole castle would crumble.
And so it is with our blogs.
We’re building castles, and we like to focus on the landscaping and the stained-glass. But have we first focused on our foundation? If not, our castle will soon crumble.
What are these foundational blocks?
The Four Foundational Pillars of a Growing Blog
It seems silly to even mention this, but it’s worth throwing out there. We often overlook the importance of excellent content.
Here is what I’m noticing: bloggers are so focused on traffic that they are willing to sacrifice content to receive pageviews. After thirty minutes of scrolling through my Pinterest feed the other day, I had pinned two articles. Two.
Because many of the titles were tantalizing, but when I clicked over to read the content, it didn’t provide what the title had promised. I realize this sounds harsh, and I’m not trying to start a discussion about Pinterest pins or titles or traffic.
Rather, I’m holding out my hand with an offer for you – an offer to truly consider whether your content is excellent, and whether it delivers what you’re promising. And as I’m offering you this question, I’m thinking through the answer for myself.
Excellent content is critical. Excellent content is a foundational block holding up your castle.Are you delivering on your promise as a #blogger? Excellent content is key! Click To Tweet
2. Email List
It’s been said before that email lists offer the best return for your time. Growing this community of people will prove beneficial over and over again. These email subscribers will encourage you when you want to quit, provide inspiration for new content, and purchase your products when you’re ready to monetize your blog.
I don’t have a huge following on social media. I also don’t have hundreds of thousands of visits to my blog each month. But I do have a growing email community – a group of people who enjoy my writing style, love my content, and want a more personal connection.
Some of these people will probably never visit my blog again, but they will purchase a product I create. And they frequently offer encouragement and inspiration when I’m feeling down.
If you do anything well, do this. Nurture a community of people who support your message and like you as a person. Love them well. In return, they’ll love you well.
It’s a relationship, and it feels a whole lot more fun and long-lasting than hundreds of thousands of pageviews.
Whether you like the term or not, creating a brand is a foundational component of any blog. Because I like to know what works and what to throw away, I watch several bloggers with a larger audience than I have. How do they communicate with their audience? How frequently are they posting? What tactics have proven successful for them recently?
Without a doubt, every “big-name” blogger that I watch has a consistent brand with a consistent message. When someone reads a Facebook post, the message is consistent with their tweets. If a reader comes across a post on their blog, the message matches that of their Instagram feed. This is branding and it is key.
So, it’s essential that you brand your content and keep a consistent message, but it’s also important to brand your image. Your colors, fonts, website design, and graphics should all point to you. Nailing down a standard for these things will make your life as a blogger so much easier.
4. Consistent Schedule
Having a consistent schedule is one of the most powerful blocks of your foundation. If you have taken the time to craft excellent content, nurture your email list, and hold to a brand, then the ribbon that ties those components together is consistency.
How often will you share your excellent content? Whether it’s once a week or once a month, keep it consistent.
When will you show up in your subscriber’s inbox? Pick a day and a time and remain consistent.
And finally, what will your brand look like? How will you sound? Keep these elements consistent across all platforms.Check out these four foundations of a successful #blog! Click To Tweet
Your castle has the potential to grow larger with the passing of time. But without these pillars of a growing blog, the walls will cave in and your windows will shatter. Building a foundation takes time and effort, but the work you put in now will pay off later.
Finally, there is one more piece to this foundation-creating process: you will always have to focus on your foundation. Your message may change in the years to come. Your colors will need to be updated. The email list you’re nurturing will grow and need to be segmented. Your writing voice will improve.
This is a good thing. It means you’re excelling as a blogger.
Embrace it. Focus on the foundation even as your castle grows.
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