If you’re new to blogging, and you’re committed to it, you absolutely can become a successful blogger.
Below is a list that walks you through the steps of how to become a successful blogger.
I’ve been doing it for 3+ 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!
Here are blogging tools to get started with:
- How To Start A Blog (tutorial blog post)
- Launch Your Blog (course)
- 5 Day Blogging Bootcamp (email course – use the form below to join)
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.
You can also take Launch Your Blog and the creators of the course will walk you through how to set up a professional blog that makes money. I took this course and it helped clarify how to design, which plugins to use, what not to do, etc. I highly recommend it.
3. Use High Quality Photos
To be a successful blogger, you need to use high quality photos. So many bloggers underestimate this. It’s crucial to your success. You need to have amazing photos.
Good photos can absolutely make or break 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: Create & Go
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.
This can be from any jquery search engine, including Google, Pinterest, and YouTube.
Google is a tough one. But you can start by reading my blog post 21 SEO Tips To Increase Your Traffic Right Now.
Pinterest is the best way to grow your blog and get people to actually read it, in my opinion. But you can’t wing it. You have to have a strategy. I took and highly recommend Pinterest Traffic Avalanche. This course will give you everything you need to know to build a Pinterest following that drives traffic to your blog.
8. Grow Your Social Media Platforms
To be a successful blogger, you need to grow your social media platforms. This will increase engagement with your fans. It’s so important.
Each platform is different. The key is to finding what works for you and where your readers are.
Join my Facebook group to get started with a community of people who can help you learn how to grow your social media accounts.
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. After all, “the money is in the list” is something pro bloggers say all the time.
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 engagement 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.
- 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.
This means you need to understand how to turn your blog into 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. Read this post about How to Make Money Blogging to learn the main six types of monetizing your blog.
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.
If you are a beginner blogger, take Make Money Blogging For Beginners.
If you are an intermediate blogger, take Six Figure Blogger.
Both of these courses will show you how to monetize your blog. I took them and I make over $4,000 per month blogging. You need a strategy in place and both of those courses will show you how to implement a strategy to make money blogging (one for beginners and one for advanced bloggers).
Blogs that do this exceptionally well:
- Affiliate income: Making Sense of Cents
- Products: Create & Go
- Freelance Writing: CatherineAlford.com
12. Invest in Your Blog
To be a successful blogger, you need to invest in your blog. I have linked to a few courses in this post already, but it’s important for me to point out in a separate bullet that successful bloggers spend thousands of dollars investing in their blogs along the way. This is what gives them the knowledge and strategies to take their blogs to the next level. When you first start out, this is hard to understand, but it’s so important that you learn this. The sooner the better.
The blog courses I’ve taken and highly recommend are:
- Launch Your Blog
- Pinterest Traffic Avalanche
- Make Money Blogger For Beginners
- Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing
- Six Figure Blogger
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. This is how I feel with my Instagram and Facebook group.
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. You need to be a leader to get people to follow you.
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. No one was born blogging – every successful blogger learned how to do it.
For all of my blogging posts, visit my Blogging Page.
P.s – here are my favorite free blogging resources:
- Blogging Quick Start Guide – this is my blogging eBook
- 5 Day Blogging Bootcamp – this is my 5 day blogging course
- How I Made $45K Blogging In 1 Year While Working Full Time Free eBook – this is a look into how I made $45k blogging in 1 year while working full time
- 2018 Blogging Trends eBook – this is an amazing eBook I devoured in about 10 minutes about today’s top blogging trends
- 7 Surefire Ways To Boost Your Blog Income Overnight – this download has really applicable tips for taking your blog income up a notch asap
- 120 Awesome Blog Post Ideas – this gives you soooo many blog post ideas
- The New Blogger’s Guide To Guest Posting – this is a download that shows you how to get started guest posting on other blogs
- Blog Structure Blueprint – this is a template that gives you a visual for how to organize your blog (I used this when I started)
- 10 Steps To Take When A Post Goes Viral – this is a download that gives you specific tips for what to do when a blog post goes viral