Did you know that following a few simple blogging tips and tricks can mean better results for your blog in the search engines and when it comes to traffic? It's true. When you are in the process of planning your blog for the next few weeks keep these things in mind and see how beneficial they become to the blogging process.

1. Have a plan. In the past there have been a few highly successful blogs that were “seat of your pants” types of operations. The successful blog today is a business venture and requires something a little more substantial than a wing and a prayer to build upon. Create goals and then make a plan to achieve those goals. When you have a solid plan of action, put it to work for you. It's not a guarantee of success but makes success a much more likely outcome.

2. Do your homework. Very few businesses get off the ground with no research at all. Check out the competition. See what they have to offer and make sure that you go them one better. The competition, real or perceived, will drive you to greater success and make them work even harder if they want to stay on top. It's healthy for both of you in other words. However, if you do not take the time to see what the competition is doing you run the risk of always being second best.

3. Stay focused. You should have identified your niche before you began blogging in the first place. Do not risk your blogging efforts by straying from your niche or losing focus. If you notice this happening, take a break and reorganize. It is difficult to find your way back to the straight and narrow if you go too far astray sometimes so make every effort to work towards your narrowly defined goals at all times.

4. Become part of the community. Blogging is a social activity whether you believe it is or not. You must become an active participant in that community if you want your blog to be successful. This means you need to comment on other blogs and respond to comments on your blog. Open up to the dialog that is created and plan to have long discussions. The longer the discussion the better and the more likely that you will bring in a wider range of participants.

5. Do a little keyword research. While you do not want your entire blog to appear as if it is nothing more than a contrived attempt to play the search engines it is important that you blog as much for the readers as you do for the high search engine ranking. This can be accomplished by working a little keyword magic into your blogging efforts.

There is no absolute right or wrong way when it comes to blogging but following these tips will certainly help your blog find its way to the top of the blogging heap within your niche.