It is funny how sometimes the one blog post you write off the top of your head on a whim ends up being the one that gets all the attention. It hits the main page of Digg, gets 100s of comments when most of your blog entries get fewer than a dozen and gets more trackbacks than all of your other blog entries combined. Or maybe it is a blog post you spend weeks carefully researching and crafting, and it paid off. But when you have that many new subscribers that inevitably come with one of those hot blog entries, it can be your very next blog entry that many of those new subscribers will consider when they decide whether to keep subscribing or whether they decide you are a one hit wonder and remove it from their feed reader entirely after reading the next few entries you publish.
So in the evolution of your blog, your very next blog entry can really make or break your blog’s popularity, so it is crucial that you springboard off that popular blog entry as much as possible. So when you go to write your next blog entry, there are definitely some things to keep in mind, so that those new readers will continue to read all your future blog entries.
Since it was the popularity of that one blog post that got you all the new subscribers, it makes sense that your next blog entry be in the same general topic area. That way, you are serving the new subscribers with what their specific interest is that brought them to your blog in the first place, while keeping your longtime subscribers happy with the kind of blog content they are used to seeing.
Can you write about something that would lead you to link to some of the blogs that linked to the popular one you did? Not only do you link back to those who generously linked to you (and likely sent you traffic) as a way of saying thank you, you can also increase the odds that the blog you link to might eventually add you to their blogroll.
What was the response?
Often, reading what others have written on their own blog about your blog entry can give you a spinoff idea on what your next entry could be. Maybe someone took an opposing point of view, and you can address the “other side of the story”. Or maybe someone took one of your points and raised some questions about it, so you can then do a more in-depth look at one of them from that popular blog entry. Even reading the comments – particularly the ones where someone has asked something – can provide great ideas on what else you could write about.
Keep the style going
If the blog entry that brought all those new subscribers and readers was an in depth look at a topic, but you tend to post short paragraph length entries pointing to other blogs or news stories you found interesting, try and resist the temptation to follow that pattern too closely! If people read your 2,000 word entry about being a business on Twitter, but the next eight blog entries you write are all 250 word blurbs pointing elsewhere, you have to expect you will experience a subscriber drop off rate. So it is important to find the time and do another in-depth look at something, since it was what brought people to your site in the first place.
If your successful blog entry was due to breaking the news on something important in your market area, this can be a bit trickier, because this is often the time when bloggers can find themselves becoming one hit wonders, at least when it comes to breaking news. So be sure to cultivate your relationships with those that can give you the tip off to the next hot news story, so you can gain a reputation of being the one to go to when it seems newsworthy is lurking on the horizon.
It is those popular blog entries that can really be a springboard to success for many bloggers, so be sure you have a plan as soon as you see one of your posts gaining traction. By taking advantage of your sudden newfound popularity, writing some great followup blog posts can easily keep people interested and keep them subscribed. Plus, one of your followup blog entries could also become one of your super successful ones, meaning even more traffic and more subscribers