Karl Long, a Web/Social Media Integration Manager at Nokia, identifys three traits of a successful blog – focus, passion, & originality:
“Focus – I think one of the most important choices a blogger makes when they start their blog is what their focus is. Think about a first time visitor getting dropped on your blog from a search engine or stumbleupon, are they going to understand in 2 seconds exactly what your blog is about? If the answer is yes you will have a much better chance of building a readership quickly and you will have a successful blog. If not, you may well build a successful blog but it will take years as opposed to months.
Passion – This is the only possible way that you will be able to sustain regular posting of a high enough quality over the course of years. If you don’t have the passion your blog will become a ghost town very quickly. People talk about the passion in the writing, and how important it is for readers, but IMHO the passion is all about the ability to sustain you through the emotional roller coaster ride of writing a blog. Sure your passion will come through in your writing, but it is your passion that will keep you plugging away when no one is coming back, no one is commenting, and no one is linking to you. Passion may not be the only thing that will drag you along, but it is the most enjoyable so unless you are a masochist you better love what your talking about.
Originality – In branding terms, what differentiates you from the crowded playing field of blogs all talking about the same thing. They don’t call the blogosphere an echo chamber for nothing, because most of the time everyone is reflecting and amplifying what else is happening around the blogosphere. Original content and original ideas in the blogosphere stand out like beacons in the night, and not to labor the metaphor but they also attract other bloggers like moths to a flame.”