Recipe for blog success

I enjoy cooking and baking and have a love for beautiful cook books.

In fact, I would list looking at cookbooks as a favorite pastime.

Finding a recipe that ends up being a “keeper” is part of the fun, as is sharing a new dish with friends and family.

With that in mind, let’s have some fun today.

Today’s Lesson:

Just as a great dish starts with the perfect recipe, to be successful with blogging we also follow a “recipe” of sorts.

For today’s lesson, I’ll list the main ingredients. Your assignment will be to add additional ingredients you feel are important.

When we’re done compiling the recipe, I’m guessing it will win a blue ribbon in blogosphere.

Here goes…

Award Winning Blog Recipe

Into the large bowl we call the internet, add the following…

  1. One each carefully chosen blog title
  2. One each tag line which describes your niche (or non-niche)
  3. One each blog platform – I prefer WordPress, but Blogger, Typepad or another can be substituted
  4. One each web host – a blog can develop without this ingredient, however some prefer to use it.
  5. One each theme – Consider this your starter theme. Chances are it will be replaced at a later date

Mix the above ingredients together until well blended.

Dump in,

One tablespoon of spam blocker
Three heaping cups of your favorite plugins

Continue stirring.

Gradually add handfuls of original content.

Today’s Assignment:

Okay, now it’s your turn.

What ingredients you would add to make a blog a true success? And why?

signature for blog post.


Photo Credit: MShades

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  1. [...] Recipe for Blog Success (tasty!) [...]

  2. Great post! :) What a great idea… I completely agree with your recipe!
    .-= Check out Positively Present´s awesome post: the best ways to organize your living space (and your life) =-.

  3. Debbie YostNo Gravatar says:

    I keep fiddling with my recipe but it keeps ending up in the trash. No one seems to like it. I’ll be interested to see what ingredients others add. :-)
    .-= Check out Debbie Yost´s awesome post: The Books Our Kids Read =-.

  4. I would add “sugar” when you find yourself among a community spread the word and appreciation. Commenting and showcasing excellent blogs/articles is a way of showing gratitude to your fellow bloggers.
    Great recipe ~
    .-= Check out Bunnygot blog´s awesome post: Labor Day Weekend – Summer Sendoff =-.

  5. LisisNo Gravatar says:

    Heart. Lots and lots of heart.

    Every meal I prepare is filled with love because, the love I put into it will be felt by those who consume it. Same with my blog. Quite often I find myself in tears when I’m sharing a story in my posts or in comments because my heart is all wrapped up in it.

    Come to think of it… maybe onions would do just as well, since they always make me cry too! ;)
    .-= Check out Lisis´s awesome post: Adventure: Lessons From Niagara Falls =-.

  6. LanceNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara,
    I have to agree completely with Lisis – love is such a big part of it. The words that have the most meaning to me are always the ones spoken directly from my heart.

    And for one more addition: An “About” page. If I’m visiting someplace new, I often stop at the About page – to get a general feel for what the whole blog is about.
    .-= Check out Lance´s awesome post: The Evolution of Our Heart’s Desire =-.

  7. Wilma HamNo Gravatar says:

    I agree with Lisis and Lance that love is a very important ingredient.

    To add another ingredient, I would say well thought through comments.
    I love good comments who deepen the understanding of posts and the understanding of the commentors.

    Barbara, what a fun way to let us think about blogs.
    .-= Check out Wilma Ham´s awesome post: Forget unfair and luck, integrity is what counts. =-.

  8. LindaNo Gravatar says:

    Don’t forget that nice little expander of RSS feed so that this loving recipe can be seen forever….

  9. jan geronimoNo Gravatar says:

    Just a few words about the manner of cooking: Keep it crisp, fresh and crunchy. Don’t overcook it. Stir it just so – I’m a newbie in alchemy – that it really goes down well and leave the diners feeling nourished and really warm inside.

    Blog posts as food for the soul. Ah keep them coming – as a center piece, as an excuse for us to celebrate life.
    .-= Check out jan geronimo´s awesome post: Travel As A Religious Experience =-.

  10. J.D. MeierNo Gravatar says:

    Beautiful recipe and I like the metaphor.

    I’m no Chef Boyardee, but I would add a heap of fun, flavor to taste.
    .-= Check out J.D. Meier´s awesome post: What’s Their Story =-.

  11. What a fun and innovative idea this recipe is :)
    I myself love cooking…and the blog recipe is a sure fire winner Barbara.
    A few things i would add to my blog recipe-
    1]Love-like lisis and lance and wilma…all of us know how important posts from the heart are :)
    2]New and stop you in your tracks kind of content.
    3]Compassion by the barrel
    4]Sugar Comments as Bunny says.
    5]Color-My own personality to make the blog unique and an extension of me.
    6]Passion for the Title and Tag line(will make for tasty posts for sure ;) )
    Stir all these ingredients with Barbara’s tried and tested recipe ingredients…and Wallah….Blog Melting Pieces of delicious posts are ready to serve ;) Serve Hot atleast thrice a week for optimum Heart&Soul benefits.
    I might add more as i go along….but for now this will do :)
    .-= Check out Zeenat{Positive Provocations}´s awesome post: Self Realization =-.

  12. PeacefulWmn9No Gravatar says:

    Great recipe, Barbara. I will call a great picture on each post…or at the head of a blog…the icing on the cake.
    .-= Check out PeacefulWmn9´s awesome post: Music and Mood =-.

  13. Barbara — So, you’re a cook and baker:~) What a clever idea about the recipe for a blog. Here are some ingredients I would add to yours (just to spice things up a bit):

    Have a passion for your writing — the best cooks to me love what they do and I think the same thing applies to bloggers.

    Be who you are — creative cooking and blogging requires putting in your own special touches, the things that make you authentic.

    Share blogging — When you bake something good; you want to share it, the same is true in blogging. It’s important to not only share your writings, but to discover the wonderful and varied tastes of other bloggers. And let them know you visited by leaving comments:~)

    Be patient — Good cooking takes time to learn. The same is true of blogging. Learn from other bloggers, ask questions, and let the “dough” rise slowly. Blogging is much more than just writing; it’s developing a community.

    Thanks for this idea, Barbara…it was fun:~)
    .-= Check out Sara B. Healy´s awesome post: KindLike.Us: A new kindness community =-.

  14. DotNo Gravatar says:

    I would only add: a way to get traffic!
    .-= Check out Dot´s awesome post: Comment on Lost by Jannie Funster =-.

  15. Lori HoeckNo Gravatar says:

    Let’s not forget the proper apron (“Kiss the Cook”), a kitchen filled with love (your own space to blog build), and garlic (or any “spice” that is YOU). I pick garlic because it goes well in everything but coffee. Some folks may be cayenne or cinnamon!

    What a fun metaphor you chose, Barbara!
    .-= Check out Lori Hoeck´s awesome post: Intuition will save your life – can you access it? =-.

  16. Maybe guest posting to blogs with similar themes that get more traffic than yours does. I think this has been contributing to the rise in my site traffic lately.

  17. HilaryNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara .. I like what Sara said “Passion” .. that was the most important – blog about something your passionate about;

    -I like what Paul Maurice said .. guest posts

    - be unique, if you don’t fall into the disciplines …

    enjoy, enjoy ..

    Thanks I love cooking, but now I have other things cooking and that pleasure has for the moment gone – but the metaphor .. my mother sends me home with “buy a bottle of bubbly .. and enjoy it”!!

    Thanks great to read everyone’s comments .. and cake mixes, or savoury tarts .. good contents say it all!

    Cheers – and a hiccup! .. Hilary Melton-Butcher
    Positive Letters Inspirational Stories
    .-= Check out Hilary´s awesome post: Nuts with Peepholes, a name for talking about … =-.

  18. PeggyNo Gravatar says:

    I cheated a little…

    I bought WordPress Goldmine for my other blog, The Stepmom’s Toolbox (Tips, Tools and Advice for Stepmoms). I followed the directions and the blog is meeting my criteria for success. I get a lot of lurkers with my normal sisterhood of commentors.

    I do have a few affliate marketing ads on the website, though.

    My other blog (Serendipity Smiles) is still on WordPress.com’s free platform. I’ll be looking to transition it to a self-hosted site in the next few months.
    .-= Check out Peggy´s awesome post: Desire in Action =-.

  19. Hi Barbara – Fun and informative! On the post-mixing part of things, I’d add “don’t go off all half-baked.”
    .-= Check out Betsy Wuebker´s awesome post: ALL GLORY IS FLEETING – THE SEPTEMBER GARDEN =-.

  20. I loved this post. :)

    I would add a sprinkle of SEO. :)

  21. All right, see what happens when I wait so long to comment? Everyone took my ideas! (Ha! I was famous for using that line in college.) I read Bunny’s comment and thought, “YES!” and then read Lisis’s, Lance’s, Wilma and Zeenat’s comments and again found myself nodding along.
    What a smart, heartfelt group. Honestly, I’ve never had so much fun blogging as in the last four months when I sort of stumbled into this community. Life has never been the same; it’s infinitely more delicious.
    .-= Check out Megan “JoyGirl!” Bord´s awesome post: It’s a Jungle Out There =-.

  22. Hi Barbara,

    I would have to say a necessary blog ingredient is passion. The person writing has to love what they are doing otherwise they are not going to be able to keep on going.

    Blogging is like any other “career”. If you don’t love it, it will show and the blog won’t last. People may make some quick money but anything that comes quickly, goes quickly if there is no passion.
    .-= Check out Nadia – Happy Lotus´s awesome post: The Night That Changed Everything =-.

  23. MarelisaNo Gravatar says:

    2 dashes of whimsy and a pinch of humor . . . love this post Barbara
    .-= Check out Marelisa´s awesome post: Creativity Primer =-.

  24. JeanneNo Gravatar says:

    Hi, Barbara — Hey, I’m good in the kitchen too! I dislike cooking because I’m not good at it, but I love washing pots and pans. Go figure.

    My small addition is probably for newbies like me: time and patience. Can’t bake a cake in five minutes (unless you do the microwave thing and that’s just yucky).

    And I ditto everything the other commenters suggested!
    .-= Check out Jeanne´s awesome post: “New Age” Spirituality? =-.

  25. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi All,

    As I was watching all of the great comments come in and read the additional ingredients you felt a blog needed, I realized answering each comment via the threaded comments would break up and spoil the “recipe”. Therefore, I’ll answer each comment here.

    Hi Dani – Thank you for your kind words.

    Hi Debbie – I’m sorry to hear your recipes keeps ending up in the trash. Hopefully you’ll find the perfect one real soon.

    Hi Bunny – Yes. Sugar is a great addition. It adds sweetness not only to our blog, and others like having some sprinkled on them, too. Yum!

    Hi Lisis – Ah ha. You’ve learned it too. Adding love to recipes of all kinds makes all the difference in the world. And your right, others taste that love, too. In fact, as you probably know, two people can make the exact same recipe and if only one person adds love, others can taste the difference. Thus, adding love to a blog will make it superb.

    Hi Lance – An about page is a superb ingredient. It’s from that page we learn more about who cooking (on the blog). In fact, many times the current dish/post may not appeal to us, but the about page can.

    Hi Wilma – Oh yes. Well thought out comments are like the pineapple in pineapple upside down cake. It just wouldn’t be the same without them.

    Hi Linda – Another fantastic ingredient. Adding an RSS feed is like being known city or world wide for that “special dish”. With blogs being so individual, it’s’ like we’re all creating an original recipe – and we’re the chef.

    Hi Jan – Well put. Blog posts are food for the soul, aren’t they? And I agree, just like cooking, timing is everything to keep our blog posts fresh, crisp and never over cooked.

    Hi J.D. – Fun is a fabulous ingredient. If we aren’t having fun cooking or blogging, it’s time to call for take out.

    Hi Zeenat – I can tell you like cooking. Your comment is written just like a recipe. Mmmmmm. Yep, adding compassion and color will make all the difference in how our blog posts turn out. And you’re right, we do need to think of how often we’re going to feed our guests. We certainly don’t want them to go hungry…..

    Hi Karen – I hear you. That icing on the cake is the best part, just like pictures in our posts. Eye candy!

    Hi Sara – We gotta love what we do, dont’ we? You’ve also hit on a trait many cooks and bloggers overlook, and that’s letting the “dough” rise slowly. Patience pays off in both cooking, baking and blogging. And yes, sharing our treats with neighbors is like visiting a fellow blogger and leaving a comment – “just to let you know I was here…”.

    Hi Dot – Your comment reminds me of how when I go to the mall and I can smell the scent coming from Cinnabon. It makes me want one, just as a blog that’s well written keeps us captivated and going back for more.

    Hi Lori – A proper apron is a must as is love and our favorite spice. You’ve picked garlic. Mine would be cinnamon. Let’s spice it up!

    Hi Paul – Those guest posts remind me of how we might let our kids or friends use our kitchen to mix up their favorite dish. It gives us a break from cooking up posts, and in the meantime, they have a change of scenery. Everyone wins.

    Hi Hilary – Yes. Just like cooking, with blogging we do need to be passionate about what we’re sharing. If we’re not, often like food, our posts may come out tasting bitter. We certainly don’t want that.

    Hi Peggy – It’s okay to take shortcuts when we cook or blog. Look at Sandra Lee (Food Network). She has made a name for herself with “Semi-Homemade”. If it can work for her (with food), it can work for us, too.

    Hi Betsy – LOL. Hopefully not too many of us will “go off all half-baked”.

    Hi Vered – Good one. Adding a sprinkle of SEO helps to not only have others find us, but if we’re lucky, we may get discovered by Iron Chef of blogging.

    Hi Megan – *smiles* Life is delicious, isn’t it? And just like in real life when we end up at a place like “Cheers”, blog communities can be the same. Everybody knows your name, and we feel like we’ve come home.

    Hi Nadia – Definitely. We must have passion for what we cook, or what we’re blogging about. If we don’t, it’s kind of like burning a meal and then expecting our family and friends to eat it. Ugh!

    Hi Marelisa – You’re right. We shouldn’t forget the humor. After all, who doesn’t like to laugh? And whimsy. That reminds me of something I read long ago – we should all have something whimsical in our home to remind us to have fun.

    Hi Jeanne – You’re my kind of gal – I also enjoy washing dishes (pots, pans and all). But you know, as much as we might love to blog/cook, clean up also needs to be done. Taking time to go behind the scenes and perform updates and saves is just as important as the meal we’re serving. Plus, isn’t it great when you wake up to a clean kitchen/blog?

  26. PatriciaNo Gravatar says:

    Yummy post
    Just a tad hard to read as I am healing with Vegan Raw right now and would love that little treat at the top of the page!

    “Just the berries – hold the cake for now! Please”

    Keep learning would be the ingredient I would add. This would come from reading folks “How To” e-books, books and posts, but also from reading comments and asking for suggestions from your readers.

    I need to come back and keep reading all the comments that come into this post, because I am learning a great deal.

    Thank you for creating this recipe oh great, wonderful teacher and writer – and here is an apple from my tree to your desk!
    .-= Check out Patricia´s awesome post: I Have Been There =-.

  27. Love the post! I would add patience and honesty.
    .-= Check out Jacqueline Hough´s awesome post: Still hanging in there =-.

  28. WalterNo Gravatar says:

    You’ve got a creative recipe here. In addition to your recipe I also invited some guest to come and experience what I’ve made. :-)
    .-= Check out Walter´s awesome post: Deciding point: conquering limitations =-.

  29. I think the most important part is your own unique personality…delivered in such a way people crave to read more more more!
    .-= Check out Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach´s awesome post: 9/11/01 – Remembering 8 years ago =-.

  30. A big chunk of my blogging recipe is the circle of friends I do have who are all uber blogger for me.

    I haven’t really thought of title and all the technical stuffs when I started blogging. My friends just urged and supported me coz I just want to write and blog.

    And all the other ingredients just soon followed. :D
    .-= Check out elmot l PinoySoundingBoard´s awesome post: Kris Aquino Yap as Noynoy Aquino’s Spokesperson? =-.

  31. Barbara, what a lovely post!
    I would add *passion, simplicity with creativity, and appreciation for my readers*.. ;) I love what you shared as the positive starter recipe! This visual helps me to remember this whole process with a slightly new outlook! Pleasant enjoyment! I am learning more and more as much as I commit to blogging, I am also committing to having more fun LIVING out loud! ;)
    enjoy your weekend! light and luv~Jen
    .-= Check out Love’s Leading Companion´s awesome post: Leading Transparent Lives and Giving a Loving Response =-.

  32. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    You’re welcome Patricia, and thank your for the “apple”. :)

    I love your addition to the blog recipe. Just as we continue to keeping learning when we’re cooking up meals, we’re on that same path with blogging.

    Maybe that’s why blogging becomes so much fun. Just when we think we’ve “got it”, something new pops up, or we spread our wings a little further, and the learning process begins again.

    Hi Jacqueline,

    Patience and honesty are great ingredients to add to a blog. Just as we can’t rush a great recipe, we certainly shouldn’t rush blogging either. And honesty – that’s an honorable trait in all aspects of life.

    Hi Walter,

    Oh yes. Let the party begin. Isn’t it a wonderful experience when we cook a good meal and have our friends come over? It can be party time on the blog, too.

    Hi Barbara,

    Mmmmm. I agree. When we show our readers we’re not like anyone else they’ll ever meet, they’re bound to keep coming back. Seconds are always allowed on blogs, aren’t they?

    Hi Elmot,

    Isn’t it great how that works? Your friends KNEW you would be able to “cook up” great posts, and they’re not only there for you, but you’re all lifting their glasses and saying “Cheers”.

    Thank you Jen,

    Those are all tasty ingredients. Passion spices up our posts. Then when we plate them with simplicity and a big dash of creativity, it shows our guests we’re making time to take care of their wishes too – giving them nourishment for the soul.

  33. DavinaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara. This was a great idea. I’d say, add lots of sauce as in sauciness ;-) A little personality goes a long way. I enjoyed this post and the comments… fun stuff.
    .-= Check out Davina´s awesome post: Island Thyme Bed & Breakfast =-.

  34. Don’t forget a dash of salt, a.k.a. get people thinking.

    And if one dish catches on, switch up one ingredient next time. Spices are variety!

    WONDERFUL post, sorry I got here so late to the party.
    .-= Check out Jannie Funster´s awesome post: It’s All Picnics And Cartwheels Until The Fire Ants Bite =-.

  35. In my own recipe I use highly personalized content (my own story or the stories of others depending on the flavour I’m going for), and sharing (whether it’s with other cooks/bloggers as guest posts or as comments on other sites).

    For me sharing is the secret ingredient – without that one it doesn’t matter how good the recipe looks on paper the blog will never rise the way it’s supposed to. ;)
    .-= Check out Alex Fayle | Someday Syndrome´s awesome post: No, I Won’t Talk to You: Why Someday Syndrome Offers Email-Based Coaching =-.

  36. janiceNo Gravatar says:

    What a feast your comments box has become! I’d add authenticity and instinct plus the willingness to connect honestly and appreciatively with other bloggers in comments boxes, links and posts. It’s good to know who you’re cooking for, even though there are two schools of thought; the one that says please yourself first or you’ll never be happy, and the other one that says cook to please others. I reckon a combination based on integrity works best. If you enjoy fancy, do fancy. If you like plain and rustic, go for that. If you like things elegant or simple, do what inspires you. It’ll show. Oh, and keep it simple if you’re tired. Tiredness causes accidents in the kitchen.

    Sweet post, barbara; it’s good to be back!
    .-= Check out janice´s awesome post: The House of the Thousand Horrormoans =-.

  37. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Jannie,

    No need to apologize. The party never ends. :)

    I like your idea of adding spice to our posts. Just like spices can make a simple dish taste marvelous, a little spice added to our posts can make them memorable, as well.

    Hi Alex,

    Oh yes. Sharing is a great ingredient. Like you said, you put your special touch on your blog posts, and then release them out to the world. By sharing, others are often inspired to read more after getting a taste of our delicious treats.

    Thank you Janice,

    It’s great having you back, too.

    Wow. I love all the ingredients you’re adding – authenticity, instinct, willingness to connect, honesty, appreciation and integrity. Those all make for a yummy blog. And like you said, by being ourselves and presenting our dishes to our readers in way that reflects us, gives them a look into our kitchen (blog) and what they can expect.

    P.S. I agree. When we’re tired not only do we make mistakes in the kitchen, but can make mistakes in blogosphere, too. Rest is more important than worrying if we get a post published, or not.

  38. Nice recipe in blogging you have here. And I also agree that friends should also be included in the recipe. Blogging is one way to connect online but what’s more important is to interact offline.
    .-= Check out Millionaire Acts´s awesome post: Change Your Mind to Achieve Success! =-.