what makes a successful blog

While The IT Skeptic is not a hugely popular site I think it's fair to say it is a successful one. Certainly some people seem to think so: I'm often asked to comment on others' blogs or advise how to go about one.

The first question is why you blog; and hence what defines success for the blogger.

A blog serves any of three purposes:
To communicate/share.
To record ideas.
To create and promote brand, to be a presence.

For the last two purposes, a blog just has to exist to succeed, if you're happy with it.

You may measure success in the first purpose, commmunicating, by the level of traffic.

The primary driver of traffic is good content. Without content, all other factors are irrelevant.
There are a number of blogs out there with
great content, and great writing.
Unfortunately this is true of thousands of blogs. And the world is short on time and drowned in content.

So what else does it take for a blog to get attention?
I'm sure we could get rich quick if we really knew the answer but I have a few ideas.
1) Luck. Fluke. Right place, right time.
2) Differentiator: something different, weirdly fascinating, standing out
3) Identity: cult of personality. Content matters but so does who said it.
4) Insight: interpreting the world: tell them what they should think so they don't have to think about it
5) Value. Not just good content but fixes, useful tools, shortcuts, inside information, advantage.
6) Dogged persistence. An established presence.
7) Humanity. Community, belonging, interaction, connection.
8) More luck.

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