Blogging ain’t easy. Well, anyone can start one and throw up a few posts. But turning a fledgling blog into a successful (this is relative) one is something else. Even though I’ve been around for a while, I still have my moments of frustration where I wonder why things aren’t progressing as quickly as I’d like? Then I beat myself up with comparisons to other successful bloggers before reminding myself to just be great. Hey, I’m flawed and I’m working on it.
I’m sure if you’re a blogger, you’ve had similar feelings along the way. And if you’re just getting started, you probably wonder what it takes to get to the next level?
After beating my head against my keyboard for a while, I’ve realized there are seven things great bloggers have in common.
1. Successful bloggers have done their time.
The bloggers you look up to a
nd compare yourself to didn’t get to where they are overnight. They’ve been around for a while. Many writing for five years or more before their site really took off. Take a look around at all the sites you visit. Check out the about page or ask the author how long they’ve had an online presence? I’d wager my last cheddar bay biscuit that it’s been more than a few months.
2. Successful bloggers have a unique voice.
One of the most important elements of online writing is having a distinct voice. Honestly, people don’t like cookie cutter shit. The standard (and rigid) rules of writing you learned in high school English class don’t apply here. People should feel like you’re having a physical conversation with them. Write how you talk. It may take time to find your voice, but when you do, you’ll know. You’ll read your work before publishing and say “yep, this is me.”
3. Successful bloggers are honest.
Most of the successful bloggers I know are very candid. They tell you what’s on their mind regardless of how you feel about the topic, which builds trust. They embrace disagreement and know their words won’t be for everybody. People admire and respect their ability to put it all out there and say what some people are just thinking. And when people admire them, they follow them.
4. Successful bloggers find ways to get featured and get seen.
There’s a good chance you discovered your favorite site somewhere other than google. You saw a guest post or write up on them somewhere. Maybe an influential person tweeted or shared their post on Facebook. Successful bloggers know how to get where they’ll be seen by any means necessary. Many are great networkers that know how to get into the power circles. And because you admire and respect who endorses them or who they roll with, you check them out…and follow them. Are you seeing the pattern here?
5. Successful bloggers stand for something.
It may not always be clearly stated, but I’m yet to meet a successful blogger that doesn’t stand for something. It could be as simple as the freedom to voice their opinions regardless of how they may be perceived. There’s something bigger about what they do that draws you to them. Ask yourself why you really read the sites you read. The lesson here? Be about some shit.
6. Successful bloggers are consistent
Whether it’s one post a day or one post a week, successful bloggers are consistent. You know when you’ll find new content. And if not that, when you see something happen in the news or on social media, you expect that they’ll have an opinion on the topic and you looks forward to reading it. These folks also have a primary niche. Again, it may not be directly stated, but there are topics you associate with them and look to them for their perspective on. I hate to say it, but they essentially train people on what to expect from them (part of the whole branding thing).
7. Successful bloggers add value.
Sounds obvious, right? Well, value is relative. Laughter is value. Making you think is value. Providing you with a community of like-minded readers to engage with is value. Or maybe they get the inside scoop on news you wouldn’t have heard about otherwise. Regardless, they add something to your life. You should strive to do the same.
Of course there are other things like SEO, maximizing the sexy of social media, and writing dope headlines, but I’ll save those things for another day. What would you add to the list? Why do you follow who you follow?