Previously I have argued, that for most people, Blogging is a waste of time. However there are a number of successful blogs. Let's look at some criteria for having a successful blog.
Blogging is your business
Every successful blogger that I have met, the blog is the business. For example, they are running a technology or cooking blog and it generates income directly.
If providing information is part of your business then a blog can make a lot of sense even if it isn't core to the business.
Your blog has unique and interesting content
I tend not to follow blogs that much, however I read a fair amount of blog content at times that I usually through a google search. If you a blogging about a problem people have and few people provide advice about, then they will find you.
You need to be unique to stand out
If you can't say something original find the people that do and see you can't be mentioned in their blog, because that is where the action is. Otherwise there is not reason why people should find or follow you.
People will follow you
While not a pure blog, one of the best examples of using a photo blog was a pool company that started by putting up pictures of amazing pools from around the world. The response to that was a resounding "Meh". They then changed the pictures to those of the pools they were installing, showing the process and the results. This proved wonderfully popular.
Do you have something to share where people want regular updates and information. Blogs on technology and cooking work well, as do those helping with a big purchase, such as cars, or regular purchases such as stock market tips.
If you want to blog for your business, ask, is there information you can share? A surfing business could share information about waves and beaches, a design company could providing information about design trends, and social media marketing companies can update their readers about what is happening in social media.
News, not olds
Blogs are postings listed in date order with the latest first. Basically they are news, and when thinking about your content, make sure it is news, and not olds.
It is news not olds
Do you have genuine news to share with people, advice and information that they don't already know, or are you just repeating what they already know or providing information that people don't want to know about?
You have compelling content
When I am busy I just want content and most blogs are that, just content. Few capture our imagination or entertain us, which is a pity. Maybe our attention spans are becoming shorter but I still think there is great value in telling a compelling story and people will keep coming back for more entertainment.
If you are writing about the most humdrum topic and make it interesting and exciting with stories and anecdotes then you will generate a unique following.
Your blog isn't a blog
Blogs can be used for other reasons other than just being blogs. One way is to put up content in blog simply as a place to store that information. If you are lucky people will share it, follow you, link to it and maybe even find it with a search.
What really matters is that it is just a place to have the information. Then you can send it out using facebook, twitter, linkedIn groups or even old fashioned email lists. Sometimes you can simply provide a link to a customer rather rewriting the answer.
Standard blogging is not the end of it. There are numerous other publishing formats, including video or photo blogs and I know some people doing well with regular pod casts.
Also the newest first format of blogs is not always appropriate. Maybe you want people to start reading the information you post from the beginning, such as a training course or guide.
If anyone tells you that you have to have a blog, ask yourself why? If you meet the criteria of a success blog then, by all means, blog.