If you’re new to blogging, and you’re committed to it, then I have some gems to share with you.
Below is a list of the top traits that make up what it means to be a successful blogger. I’ve narrowed it down to the most important 14 steps to become a successful blogger.
I’ve been doing it for 2.5 years, I get about 200k pageviews / month, and I supplement my income with the money I earn from it (in an effort to repay my student loans faster).
I’ve learned so much about blogging, including how every successful blogger who I know runs her blog differently than the next blogger. But with the differences, there are similarities.
The successful bloggers I know are doing all of the following habits.
1. Start a Blog
To be a successful blogger, you need to start a blog.
Every successful blogger I know started from nothing. They had to start somewhere. This is obvious, but it’s really important to remember. The big-time blogger that you look up to started from zero. It’s taking the risk and leap of faith to know that you can create something amazing that is required. You have to believe in yourself and actually follow through.
To be a successful blogger, you must start a blog. The faster you do this the better – time won’t wait for you!
2. Create a Cohesive Brand and Design
To be a successful blogger, you need to have a cohesive brand and design.
Successful bloggers prioritize branding and design. You know a blogger is successful immediately because when you visit their site, you’re instantly impressed. This is something that you can fake if you’re a new blogger. You can hire someone to design a really pretty site for a couple hundred bucks. Trust me, it’s worth it! My go-to for that sort of design work is StudioPress. I have themes from StudioPress on both this blog and NatalieBacon.com. Definitely worth it to have the sites looking very professional.
This is something that you can fake if you’re a new blogger. You can hire someone to design a really pretty site for a couple hundred bucks. Trust me, it’s worth it! My go-to for that sort of design work is StudioPress. I have themes from StudioPress on both this blog and NatalieBacon.com. Definitely worth it to have the sites looking very professional.
3. Use High Quality Photos
To be a successful blogger, you need to use high quality photos.
Good photos can absolutely make a blog. If you are still working on your photography skills, then I recommend purchasing stock photos for your blog. Find a way to make sure your photos look really good!
- Blog that does this exceptionally well: Gimme Some Oven
4. Produce Content Consistently
To be a successful blogger, you need to produce content consistently.
Professional bloggers know the importance of blogging consistently. Whether it’s 5 days a week, 3 days a week, or once a week, they post at the same time every week so their readers know what to expect. If you want to turn your blog into a successful business, showing your readers that you’re reliable and post consistently is really important. You can change your schedule over time, but be consistent. For example, I used to post three times per week and now I only post once per week.
- Blog that does this exceptionally well: Club Thrifty
5.Be Transparent and Honest
To be a successful blogger, you need to be transparent and honest with your readers.
Successful bloggers are completely transparent. They always tell the truth and are brutally honest. Readers are connected to these bloggers because they trust them.
This doesn’t mean you should make your blog a diary because people need to learn something from you, but whenever you weave in personal stories, make sure they’re 100% honest. A popular thing for some bloggers to do is to share their income reports. This is something really popular with readers because you can see inside a successful bloggers financial life. It’s really motivating.
- Blog that does this exceptionally well: Smart Passive Income
6. Know Your Voice
To be a successful blogger, you need to know your voice.
Really successful bloggers know how to provide value to their readers and make it so personal that their readers become obsessed fans. If you can own and know your own voice right away, you’ll get a following that will turn you into a successful blogger really fast. Knowing your own voice on your blog is really important because your readers will know what to expect (this is why you have to be careful that guest posts sound similar to how you would say things on your blog).
7. Master SEO
To be a successful blogger, you need to master SEO. Do this by reading Master SEO
I know two main ways to drive traffic to your blog and SEO is the best way (social media is the second way). When you search in Google and see the first page of recommended sites – that is SEO at work. Search engine optimization is what makes your blog appear in search results. The goal is to get your blog to appear as high up as possible in search results.
- Blog that does this exceptionally well: Debt Roundup
8. Grow Your Social Media Platforms
To be a successful blogger, you need to grow your social media platforms.
Really successful bloggers focus on the platforms where their readers are, and they show up. The best bloggers on social media are actually using social media to engage with their audience themselves. If you do this successfully, your readers will love you for it!
9. Grow Your Email List
To be a successful blogger, you need to grow your email list.
It’s a well-known fact in the blogging world that your ability to monetize your blog is heavily dependent on your email list (the size and quality of it). Successful bloggers grow their email list from the beginning and learn how to use email marketing to turn their blog into a success. (Read how I grew my email list to 10,000 here.)
- Blog that does this exceptionally well: The Busy Budgeter
10. Run Your Blog Like a Business
To be a successful blogger, you need to run your blog like a business.
Really successful bloggers learn quickly that their blogs have to be treated as a business to be successful. It’s important to either be “on the train” or “off the train”. Either you’re working on building a successful blog or you’re not. If you’re all in, then you need to treat your blog as a business. I don’t know a single blogger with a successful blog who doesn’t treat it like a business. And more than that, you can eventually build other businesses from your blog (the blogger below does this really well with books and courses).
- Blog that does this exceptionally well: Living Well Spending Less
11. Monetize Your Blog Doing What Works For You
To be a successful blogger, you need to monetize your blog in the best way that works for you.
- Related: How to Make Money Blogging
Successful bloggers build a blog that they can make money from. They take their time and find ways to get paid for their blog. You can monetize your blog in many ways, including ads, sponsored posts, selling digital products or courses, and freelance writing. Every blogger monetizes their blog in a different way, so I’ve included three examples of successfully monetized blogs in three different areas.
Blogs that do this exceptionally well:
- Affiliate income: Making Sense of Cents
- Products: Just a Girl and Her Blog
- Freelance Writing: CatherineAlford.com
12. Invest in Your Blog
To be a successful blogger, you need to invest in your blog.
Successful bloggers know that it takes money to make money. They know it’s important to invest in their blog to take it to the next level. This can be through rebranding, hiring a personal business coach, or something else. When I first started blogging, I never did this because I wanted to make money so badly. But soon I learned that it really does take an investment to take your blog to the next level.
- Blog that does this exceptionally well: StephanieOConnell.com
13. Engage With Your Tribe
To be a successful blogger, you need to engage with your tribe of readers and followers.
Really successful bloggers engage with their audience on all platforms. They’re present and available. Their audience feels connected to them and like they’re friends. If you can engage with your audience, then you will build a following that loves you. This is really important if you want to focus on building a successful blog. People will come because of you more than anything.
- Blog that does this exceptionally well: GaryVaynerchuk.com
14. Be the Best in Your Niche
To be a successful blogger, you need to be the best in your niche.
Successful bloggers know that providing value is the most important part of blogging. Providing your best content you possibly can is the foundation to a successful blog. You may not be great in the beginning, but if you focus on your readers and not on yourself, you will learn how to provide tremendous value over time. This is vital to any blogs success.
- Blog that does this exceptionally well: MichaelHyatt.com
A Final Note
If you follow the 14 steps above, you can become a successful blogger, too. No one was born blogging – every successful blogger learned how to do it.
If you are interested in learning more about blogging, you can join my blogging community using the form below.
You may also enjoy these posts about blogging:
- How to Start a Blog: A Step-By-Step Guide
- How to Make Money Blogging
- The Best Resources for Bloggers
- 5 Books Every Blogger Needs to Read
- Join #SocialHack (my Facebook group for bloggers)
For all of my blogging posts, visit my Blogging Page.