Is Great Content Enough to Build a Successful Blog?4 min read

Here’s the thing: most of those who blog about blogging tell you to work on writing great content.

And, yeah, most great blogs publish useful and unique content that draws readers in. However, great content is just not enough.

The reality is that there are many bloggers out there who write excellent content and never get past a few dozen followers.

And it’s frustrating, because we all want a clear recipe for success.

Do you want to know why great content is not enough to be successful as a blogger?

Read on.

Content is king.

It’s a principle that I strongly believe in – you need to focus on creating quality content, because no one has the time or patience to read mediocre stuff.

BUT your success as a blogger is also determined by:

  • the way you interact with your readers – the more you interact with readers in a genuine way the more likely they are to stay around, comment on, and share your content
  • the headlines you use– headlines are extremely important, and can make or break a post
  • networking with other bloggers – guest blogging, interviews, just reading other blogs and commenting on them, taking advantage of other social media platforms, all of these matter. A lot.
  • your blog post’s formatting – if your post is one huge paragraph, few readers will feel bold enough to read it. The way you format your post, adding subheads, bullet points, and lists is extremely important especially in this brave new world of short attention spans.

These aspects are important when it comes to blogging, and they make a lot of sense. However, blogging is a bit more nuanced than this: building an online community around your content has a lot to do with some other factors as well, than don’t get talked that often about because they cannot be easily explained, taught, or replicated easily:

Having a bit of swagger

It’s the way you punch those damn keys, the way you write sentences in such a way that people get to feel the real you behind the words. It’s not just the way you write, but the way you deliver a message. It’s not just about information, but about who is delivering it.

Self-confidence attracts, and being confident enough to write what you want, how you want to attracts readers.

Being unapologetically you can do wonders when it comes to building an online community. That’s why some of the most popular bloggers swear so much: it’s their way of standing out from the crowd, but it’s also who they are.

Being trustworthy

People enjoy reading content written by folks who are undoubtedly human. They enjoy buying stuff from other humans as well.

They like to read a blog written by someone who feels like a friend, like someone they’d enjoy listening to in real life as well.

That being said, building trust with your readers takes a lot of time and effort. It’s not just about the content you share, but also about the way you reply to comments or e-mails.

Being an expert in your topic of choice

People tend to follow those who know what they’re doing. It makes sense. A few thousand years, if you followed the wrong guy, you’d be pretty dead. And soon.

I think it’s crucial that you know something about your topic that you can share and help others with – also, it matters the way you share that information, and it also takes a lot of time to be perceived as an expert by your readers.

Having the kind of personality that draws you in

We all fall in love with the words of someone we wish could be a good friend of ours.

A successful blogger often manages to:

  • draw people around them
  • connect those people with one another to create a community
  • empower that community by offering advice and solutions

These people are often glad to help others as a way of helping themselves, and are often focused on not just the quality of their content, but also the way that content helps people connect with each other.

These are just a few of the key features that can make or break a blog. They are also notoriously difficult to define properly. After all, how do you know how to trust one blogger and not another?

What makes you feel that a blogger is charismatic?

It’s not just the content you write, but how you write it.

And blogging is not just about content. It’s also about the way you interact with those reading that content. And that’s charisma. I guess.

Finally, I’d like to say that most of these things can be developed over time. When I first started blogging, as a non-native speaker, I didn’t have any swagger. I did my best to write stuff that was okay, and that was my goal. I also didn’t know much about anything, so I relied on writing passionately about the things I cared deeply about.

So, yeah, a lot of these elusive qualities come with time. So do not panic, and keep punching those damn keys!

Cristian Mihai

Became Internet famous by the age of 23. Never recovered. I write short author bios all over the web. I’m an acquired taste. Don’t like me? Acquire some taste.

30 thoughts on “Is Great Content Enough to Build a Successful Blog?4 min read

  1. I agree with Christian. CONTENT IS KING, BUT CONTEXT IS QUEEN.
    I will sum up your message as understanding the content part of blogging and understanding the context part.
    We could also call it the MECHANICS OF BLOGGING and the PSYCHOLOGY OF BLOGGING.
    REALLY, our readers/followers see beyond the content and see through our trustworthiness, and and see if they really connect with us as human beings.
    The content might attract, but the context makes us stay.
    That’s the way I see it from how you have explained it.
    Hope I’m right?
    Thanks once again for always pouring your heart into each blog post you give to us.

  2. It is the bloggers who interact honestly and with effort who are the ones I keep returning to. Content of course, charisma – definitely required 😊.

  3. I have been thinking the same – every time I buy a book or watch a video on marketing, not just blogging but social media in general, 99% of experts say it is enough to write great content. I have 2 blogs and while they are both very small, one of them started to naturally grow ( the one I hardly ever posted on and was actually more of a personal site) while the other, that I really cared for and posted regularly, reached only 1-2 people. I very much agree with everything you wrote, thanks for the advice!

  4. Cristian, I really enjoyed this article. It resonated with me – not just as a sometime blogger, but as a content professional (yup, I ‘do’ content for a living).

    Many of the points you make are true about all forms of content

    – break your argument into bite-sized pieces.
    – use headings, images and lists etc to give texture to your content.

    I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve taught those techniques to my teams.

    But what really struck me was your comments about putting a bit of yourself in your writing, having a bit of punch and giving yourself time to develop charisma.

    That advice is equally applicable to spoken communication and simple face to face communication.

    Thank you for your wise words.

    1. Yes, the same rule applies to face to face communication. After all, non-verbal communication matters a lot. Something like 90%. It’s not what you say, but how you say it.

      When it comes to the written word, it’s not what you write, but how you write it.

  5. Good read. Everyone needs a touch of “swagger.” My blog is mainly short stories and observations involving all things Texas. I attempt to put myself out there as part of what I create. I like your advice.

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