How to Make a Blog Successful, Part Two


Last week, I shared Suzie Eller‘s presentation from the Write-to-Publish Conference about what makes a blog successful. If you missed it you can Read it here.


The first part of how to make a blog successful was to FIND A FELT NEED.

Today I’m going to share the second part: HOW to IDENTIFY YOUR CORE MESSAGE.

Why is this important? Your core message runs through every aspect of your online presence. If you don’t know it, your audience won’t be able to find you. Your audience needs to Google simple words to fill a need and find you. Will they? 

Your core message is your brand. It’s WHO you are. When people go to Google and do a search will they find you? What words will they type in the search box to find you? Are they simple words or fancy, poetic ones that aren’t typically Googled? Go to Google right now and type in the words to see which ones lead to you. Do those words define your specific message?

Think of the blogs you subscribe to. Why do you go there? What keeps bringing you back?

Maybe it’s Michael Hyatt‘s blog? Or the Blogging Bistro. These fill a felt need. Study these. They’re successful. Why? What’s their core message? Hyatt is focused on “intentional leadership.” The Bistro serves a full menu of social media services. Which words at Google directly link to their blogs? Play around until you understand this correlation.

Ask yourself: What’s the ONE THING that defines you (brand) and what you offer?

If you’re not sure, ask yourself these three questions:

  • What is the one thing I want my audience/visitors to know?
  • How do I want my audience to act or think differently?
  • What are practical solutions that will lead them to change?
I’ll use this blog to illustrate and give answers to the above questions: Ain’t No Mom Jeans
Answer:  She wants her audience to know: that she can still be fashionable with five kids and a budget.
Answer:  She wants her audience to: break out of their mom jeans.
Answer:  She’ll show them how to find great buys at thrift and outlet stores, how to accessorize, and how to have fun doing it.
I Googled: jeans, moms, fashion, budget and this blog site appeared.

Suzie Eller recommended that when we’re analyzing our current blog or starting a new one, to think of a tree and design our blog accordingly.

  • The trunk is our core message.
  • The branches are topics that fit into that trunk or core message.
  • The twigs and leaves are the subtopics that branch out of that core message.


See if you can do this with your blog or one you’re considering.

Let’s take our fashion blog again and dissect these elements.

Her audience:  Moms who are 25 – 45 years old.

Her core message, the trunk:  You can have five kids and still have fun with fashion.

The branches are the topics that stem from the trunk or her core message:  fashion, faith, budgeting, parenting.

The twigs and leaves or the subtopics: confidence, trusting God, beauty on the inside, comparison, joy.

(To read the third article in this series click HERE.)

Let’s discuss your blog. What is your core message? What  should we Google to find you?





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  1. Robin McClure says:

    I love this post, Michelle. It’s very direct and I’m going to try to incorporate it today, into my planning.

  2. Thank you, Michelle. Enjoyed meeting you at WTP, and received a lot from Suzie’s presentation. Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Gayle! Thanks for your note. I enjoyed meeting you, too. Thanks for LIKING my blog today, too!

  3. Beth Steury says:

    Great info, Michelle! I’m seriously treading the waters around starting a blog. My thoughts seemed to line up pretty well with the info in these posts so maybe I’m almost ready to go! Need a big dose of courage to get me over the final hill. Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Beth! Yay, I’m so glad you’re going to start a blog. Tell me all about it. I know what you mean about the courage. Plunge in. Put yourself out there. It’s scary, isn’t it? I’m glad these posts are giving you confidence. There will be another part. I hope to post it soon. This takes work, but it’s fun.


  1. […] To read the second and third posts on this series click HERE. […]

  2. […] the Write to Publish conference, too. (If you missed What Makes a Blog Successful, Part One and Part Two are […]

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