One question I have seen many times is what does it take to be a successful blogger? Is it luck? Is there something they are doing that maybe I am not?
I have been studying blogging for years (more than 8 to be exact). In doing so, I have been able to measure not only my own success, but the things others are doing that also make them successful bloggers. There are common threads that tie them all together.
Today, I’m going to share this with you. I’ve rounded up the habits that successful bloggers all follow that…well…make them a success! Best of all, these are things that anyone can do, no matter where you find yourself on your blogging journey.
HABITS OF SUCCESSFUL BLOGGERS
1. They have goals
Without goals, you don’t know where you want to go. It is one thing to say, “I want to make more money.” But, if you change that goal to “I want to make at least $1,000 a month and do this six months from now”, you’ve got an actual goal.
Your goal needs to be SMART. That means it should be: Specific. Measurable. Attainable. Relevant. Time-Bound.
When setting your goals, make sure that you include all the requirements to turn a goal into a SMART goal.
2. They plan ahead
Successful bloggers know what they will be posting tomorrow, in a week — and even in a month. They plan ahead so they know exactly what they will need to do every single day. This comes back to reaching those goals.
When your goal is defined, it helps you determine what you need to do to reach them. The content you put onto your site is what it will take to help you not only achieve but even surpass the goals you have set.
Create a content calendar so you know exactly what you will post and when you do it. This will help establish your own consistency and set you up for success.
3. They have a schedule
This is one that that many bloggers struggle with. You must create a regular schedule for yourself so that you know what you will need to do every day of the week. This is part of being consistent.
Consistency comes from publishing your posts on a specific day of the week. It also includes your social media sharing schedule and even when you send your newsletter.
Create a regular schedule so you know exactly what you need to do every single day of the week.
4. They monitor what works (and what doesn’t)
Part of being a successful blogger is knowing what to continue doing, but even more, to know when to stop. The simple way to do this is to watch your analytics.
Once a week (or even a month), dig into your Google Analytics. Learn what posts have done well and review those that did not. If it performed well, come up with other ideas along this same format or concept as they will probably provide positive results as well. However, if an article is not doing good (i.e. no traffic), maybe you need to change the title or the graphic. It may need to be updated with better keywords or content. However, it might also mean that you should not do that again.
It is also smart to check the analytics of your social sharing accounts. What had a good reach on Facebook? Which articles were pinned the most? Did you get many retweets on that recent post you made?
It takes time, but it is important to always monitor what works, and what doesn’t and then shift your goals or strategies to ensure that you are on the path you want.
5. They market themselves
You can’t push publish on that new article and just hope that someone will read it. That is not how successful bloggers do.
To get people reading and interested in what you write, you have to market yourself. That means pushing out your post on all your social media accounts. It includes networking with others and sharing content for one another. It can include a new email to your subscribers.
The marketing of your content is almost more important than the content itself. Because, if people don’t know it is there to read, they won’t find it on their own.
6. They know their audience
Successful bloggers also know exactly who it is they are writing to. They know their audience.
You may think that you are appealing to 39-year-old work from home moms, but the truth is, more 25-year-old stay at home moms read what you have to say. That means you need to change your focus and who it is you are writing for.
The simplest way to find out your audience is through your Google Analytics. That site has so much juicy goodness in it, it’s amazing!
First, log into your Google Analytics account.
Next, look at Audience and scroll down. You will see demographics, interests, geo, behavior and technology.
Now comes the fun part!
Demographics – This is the age and gender of your reader.
Interests – Learn if they are into recipes, family, etc. This helps you know what your reader loves (so you can push out more of that type of content).
Geo – Learn where your audience lives and the language they speak.
Now, you can better understand who is reading your blog, so you can create the content that works for those already following you (even if it differs from who you thought your reader was, to begin with).
Not only that, but if you are trying to blog about blogging because you think it will make money it may not. Not if your readers are there for fashion tips. Successful bloggers only blog about the topics they know their audience wants to read.
7. They never stop learning
The minute you think you’ve got it all figured out and you don’t need to learn from anyone else, you stop growing. There is always something new that you can learn whether it be social media, SEO, writing techniques, monetizing. Successful bloggers know this. That is why they are always finding new people to read and follow. They are willing to invest in courses and books to continue to learn and grow.
8. They don’t compare themselves to others
There is a saying “Never compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.” I love this because it is true. Successful bloggers never compare themselves to others.
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When you start to do this, you begin to lose a piece of yourself. Instead of being true, original and authentic, you will often find yourself doing what everyone else is doing. What makes your readers love you is YOU.
While following others can inspire and encourage you, never allow what they are doing to change what you do. Take a new angle on a topic or go a different direction. Whatever you do, don’t try to be someone else.
9. They treat their blog as a business
Successful bloggers want to continue to grow and make money. Therefore, they treat their blogs as a business. When you change your mindset from it being a hobby to a way to make an income, your attitude and the way you look at your blog also changes.
10. They know their limits
Every time you blink, it seems there is a new social media platform popping up. It can be tempting to jump in and try to market yourself through all of them. That never works. All it does is stretches you too thin and you fail.
One thing you will see successful bloggers doing is finding 2 – 3 platforms where they know their audience lives and put in the time and effort to grow them. Then, if one does well and is a bit easier to maintain, they may add in another new platform.
Dig into your Google Analytics to see where your traffic is coming from and focus your efforts there. There is no reason to tweet like crazy if no one clicks through those posts. However, if you see a large amount of traffic coming from Pinterest, you would be wise to invest your time and efforts there.
11. They are not afraid to fail
I previously shared a post explaining why my failure ended up being my biggest success. Successful bloggers are not afraid to fail. They know that if they don’t try something new, they never know what will happen. Failure often lead so to success as it gives you the unique opportunity to learn from your mistakes and then grow from them.
12. They follow trends
Look back at your Facebook newsfeed and you can probably remember a trending video or story that was everywhere. Successful bloggers can often find a way to also capitalize on these trends. One example was an open letter to the mom of the child who fell into the gorilla cage. That story went viral like crazy. While she did not write the post for that hope, it did provide her with a unique opportunity to reach a massive audience.
Of course, you must also make sure that the trending topic is relatable to your audience, or you can have the opposite effect (and lose readers for not being authentic).
13. They are self-starters
To be successful means that you need to be able to motivate yourself. When you have a traditional job, you have someone to answer to. There is someone managing your work.
However, when you work for yourself, you answer to …. yourself! If you are not a self-starter, you will not succeed.
Use schedules, to do list, apps — anything you can think of to remind you of what you need to do every single day.
14. They know when to ask for help
Successful bloggers know when to quit. They also know when to call for help.
For example, if you are not good with creating images, it can be a daily struggle. The images you take are only good enough to show your mom (and even she thinks they suck). This is the time when it can be worth hiring a photographer or even an image creator. These people can provide you with what you need to make a great eye-popping post and graphic for social media.
I no longer do any of my own technical work. I can research and figure things out, but it is not worth my time (or stress) to do this. Instead, I have an expense on our monthly budget that is allocated to IT work. While I hate spending the money on it, I also know that it is a smart investment in keeping my sites up and running properly.
Decide what you can work on and what you need to outsource. When you do that, you allow yourself to focus on what you are good at and become much more efficient with your time.
Smart and successful bloggers were not created overnight. It takes time and dedication to make it happen. It also means creating good habits that will lead you towards your goals.
Make sure you download my free Blogging Habits Sheet so you can post it where you can see it and remind yourself of what you need to do to become a success!!