It Takes More than Great Written Content to Make a Blog Successful

by Michelle Salater on July 29, 2011


As part of our Love Your Blog Series, where we interview blogging and marketing experts, we interviewed Doug Stewart, owner of DSC Web Services, Inc., to share valuable advice on running a successful blog on Specifically, Doug outlines essential design elements, discusses plugins, and offers tips for blog optimization.

See below for this exceptional interview:

1. Can having the right WordPress plugins increase traffic to your blog? If so, which plugins do you suggest?

Installing the right plugins is one of the fastest and easiest ways to get more traffic to your blog. Some plugins help you craft blog posts that rank higher on the search engines. Some plugins help your blog pages load faster (Google really likes pages that load fast). Some plugins help people stay on your blog longer. Some plugins help people share your blog with their friends. And some plugins help new blog visitors signup for your blog updates.

Here are eleven plugins we recommend for increasing traffic to your blog:

1. SexyBookmarks Plugin:

2. Facebook Like Button Plugin:

3. TweetMeme Retweet Button:

4. WP Greet Box:

5. Google XML Sitemaps:

6. Stats:

7. WP Google Analytics:

8. WP Super Cache:

9. Popular Posts:

10. Broken Link Checker:

11. SEO by Yoast:

2. How important are blog stats when it comes to analyzing your blog’s success? What other elements should you look at when measuring blog success?

Stats will open your eyes to new opportunities and hidden issues with your blog. I don’t know how many times I’ve been surprised by the keywords people used to find a blog. Stats give you this information. With a little bit of effort, you’re able to tweak your content or improve your blog’s content based on what your stats tell you. These little tweaks can have a dramatic effect on your blog’s success.

Here are a few other signs your blog is becoming more successful:

  • Growing number of newsletter signups or RSS feed subscriptions
  • People start calling or emailing you questions
  • People share information from your blog with their friends
  • People start asking you to speak about your area of expertise
  • Reporters and bloggers ask you for interviews

3. Your WordPress blog uses the Thesis theme. What are the benefits to using Thesis and is it user-friendly for businesses that are new to blogging?

Thesis is one of the most search-engine-friendly WordPress themes available. I find that Thesis also saves me a lot of time. If I want to create a special landing page for a promotion, I’m able to do it quickly and easily without knowing programming languages. I’m also able to create custom pages quickly and easily.

With Thesis you don’t have to buy another theme if you want to change the look of your blog. You’re able to have a completely different look fairly quickly. And you don’t have to mess with learning a new theme every year or two.

4. As a business blogger yourself, what elements of a blog do you believe are the most essential in engaging readers?

  • The headlines of your blog posts and opening paragraphs
  • Ease of navigation
  • Having a design that visually communicates the benefits of the blog
  • Having a blog that communicates one major benefit to your target audience

5. What three tidbits of advice would you offer to small business owners who are new to blogging?

Tidbit 1: Clearly define your blog’s purpose and audience.

Tidbit 2: Before you write a blog post, think of one person you want to write your blog post to. Even if your blog post is meant to benefit thousands of people, write to one person.

Tidbit 3: Stick to a schedule. And if you don’t get immediate results, be patient. You’ll be glad you did.

About Doug Stewart and DSC Web Services, Inc.:

Doug Stewart, the owner of DSC Web Services, Inc., built his first website back in 1998. At that time, he was working for an IBM Business Partner selling printers. As a commissioned salesperson good quality leads were extremely important to him. And the company’s website wasn’t bringing in any leads. No one could find the company website on the search engines – until he built and promoted his first website for them.

That first website ranked high on all the search engines and brought in a bunch of leads every week. Soon the IBM Business Partner wanted more. So Doug built 4 more websites for that first client. All the websites brought in a lot of leads. This was DSC Web Services first taste of helping a business dominate their space on the web. In January 1999, Doug Stewart Consulting was born, which later became DSC Web Services, Inc.

Area of expertise: DSC Web Services, Inc., offers professional web page design—including Flash and graphic design work, as well as custom programming services, and HTML or web updates / maintenance.

Want to find out more about effective WordPress design elements? Visit Doug’s blog.

If you like this post, you might also like:

  1. Top 5 Posts on Blogging for Business
  2. Do You Have What It Takes to Run a Blog For Your Business?
  3. How To Effectively Weave Your Brand Message into Blog Content
  4. Are You Hungry For SEO, Social Media, and Blog Content Tips?
  5. How One Attorney Took His Passion for Law and Motorcycles to Create a Successful Blog
  • SEO web design services

    I totally agree with the author, not just having afresh unique good
    quality content you can make your blog successful, there are few more
    important factors which you need to take care of to make you blog run

  • webcopywriter

    Yes, Doug is an excellent blogger and knows exactly what it takes to run a successful business blog. We love his advice and glad you benefited from it, too!

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