7 Elements Every Blog Needs To Succeed

Is Your Blog Built To Last?

built to lastIs your blog just a flash in the pan or is it built for the long term?

Many blogs are started without thinking through the full implications of what blogging entails. As a result, they don’t achieve their intended objectives.

In their book, Built To Last, Jerry Porras and Jim Collins develop, based on extensive research, a framework for creating companies that continue to be viable and profitable for the long-term. Here are the major elements of their blueprint that can be applied to building a successful blog.

1. Determine your blog’s core values.

Just as a business must extend beyond an individual, so should your blog. It’s your blog’s values that drive you forward and, while a blog can be started and kept going by a single individual, blogs that aim to either support and/or drive sales or are media entities must be a team effort  united by these values.

Actionable Blogging Tip: Select your blog’s core focus and put it on paper. Don’t keep it hidden in someone’s computer files. Rather share it with a few people and see how it resonates with them. Include it in your About Page.

Questions To Answer:

  • What does your blog stand for?
  • What niche will you cover?
  • Who will create your blog content?


2. Set Big Hairy Audacious Goals (aka BHAGs).

When it comes to your blog, you must push yourself outside of your comfort zone and make a commitment to accomplish stuff that’s beyond your reach. In terms of your blog, this means showing up at the page on a regular basis. At a minimum, aim for publishing at least two blog posts a week.

Actionable Blogging Tip: Set objectives for your blog aligned with your business goals. For most blogs this means building your brand, driving traffic, supporting sales, celebrating your fans and/or establishing thought leadership.

Questions To Answer:

  • What have you always wanted to do but been afraid to try?
  • What are your business objectives and how does your blog relate to them?


 3. Create a “cult” culture.

While created by individuals, blogs take time to develop their unique identity. The goal is to create a brand with which your target audience wants to be associated.

Actionable Blogging Tip: Decide the values at the heart of your blog and use these to develop your blog’s brand.

Questions To Answer:

  • What are your blog’s house rules including topics and language use?


4. Plan for both short and long term.

Blogs are on-going entities that are both social media and content marketing at the same time. It’s critical to ensure that you have content that’s evergreen around annual events, as well as regular columns and newsworthy announcements.

Actionable Blogging Tip: Create an editorial calendar that continually provides fresh content for your blog. One of the most difficult elements is determining regular columns. To this end, think like a magazine.

Questions To Answer:

  • What topics do you need to cover every week or two?
  • What type of content should you publish on a regular basis?


5. Adapt and respond to market and other environmental changes.

In today’s content-dense world, your blog’s audience is being bombarded with information. Therefore you must ensure that your blog provides real value on a constant basis in order for readers to continue consuming your content. Therefore, it’s important to assess what’s changing and how that has an impact on your readers’ needs.

Actionable Blogging Tip: Monitor the social media ecosystem to determine what’s being said about your core topics. Also, include a question at the end of every post to engage your readers and respond their comments in a timely manner.

Questions To Answer:

  • What information do our readers expect you to cover? Don’t assume that they will communicate this to you directly.
  • What’s happening that has an impact on your readers and what should your coverage and perspective be?


6. Be prepared to change.

While your blog’s core beliefs should remain constant, it’s important for your blog to continue to evolve with the times. This doesn’t mean have a focus that never remains constant because you’re continually chasing the hot new thing. Remember you don’t want to give your readers whiplash.

Actionable Blogging Tip: Provide information related to your core topic that’s relevant to your core readers’ needs. If you’re not sure what they are, then survey your audience. Alternatively, place a suggestion box on your blog.

Questions To Answer:

  • What are other blogs in our category writing about that we’re missing?


7. Always be testing new ideas.

Blogs aren’t publish it once and forget about it entities. Instead they’re on-going platforms that enable your to try new features and content out to determine what works best.

Actionable Blogging Tip: While it’s important to continually try new topics to see what resonates best with your target audience, it’s also critical to try different formats to determine how your audience takes in information. See what works, best  get rid of what doesn’t.

Questions To Answer:

  • What are the top blogs doing that we aren’t?
  • What other topics do our readers want us to cover?

A blog isn’t a one time publishing platform. It’s at the heart of your content marketing and social media. As a blogger you need to think about the long terms impact of your content because you have a responsibility to your readers. 

What else would you add to ensure that your blog is built to last?

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen

P.S. If you’re really serious about taking your blog to the next level, download our new FREE e-book entitled, What Every Blogger Needs to Know – 101 Actionable Blogging Tips.



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