Overnight Success Does Not Exist (And What Success Actually Looks Like)5 min read

Here’s how most people think this blogging thing works: you create a blog, write a few articles, and boom!, one of those posts goes viral.

And that’s it!

Do you know what happens to this vast majority of bloggers? They blog, on and off, for a few months, while they complain about the lack of feedback. They approach blogging the same way you’d buy a lottery ticket: a few bucks, wishful thinking, and a lot of dreams and hopes. Of course, when they get tired of complaining, they quit.

Because blogging success does not look like that. At all.

In fact, one starts a blog. And they post consistently during months, if not years. They network. They learn all there is to know about blogging, about their niche, about content strategy, and social media. They slowly build an audience. They slowly learn new tricks, figure out what works, what doesn’t. Some of their posts start to get noticed by more and more people. Nothing crazy though. They just start to get a sense of what kind of content to write, and how to write it.

And then it happens. They write the right blog post, at the right time, and they release it exactly when their most avid fans need it the most. And the Internet explodes. And they become instant superstars. Overnight successes.

Few will ever be aware that, in fact, the blogger spent months, years working to become an overnight success.

1. You need to actually enjoy blogging.

Because, yeah, who wouldn’t want the rewards, right? Who wouldn’t want the respect and admiration of thousands and thousands of readers, or the financial freedom?

But do you truly enjoy the journey?

Even when nobody is reading your blog?

If you’d much rather be doing something else than blog, you should reconsider, because you are going to get run over by those who wouldn’t want it any other way, those who don’t see the countless hours they invest in their blogs as a sacrifice.

2. You blog because you have something to say, not because you want to say something.

Most of the content out there, it’s just noise. The incessant ramblings of those who just don’t know when to shut up.

Do you have something to say? Something you believe in? Or do you have to brainwash yourself into thinking that you are doing the world some sort of favor by writing about stuff no one else seems to care?

3. You need to stop disguising your procrastination as perfectionism.

Actually, perfectionism is a side-effect of fear. Maybe it’s fear of failure, maybe it’s fear of success.

But trying to make something perfect means you will never have anything that is good enough to be published. Or rarely.

Don’t delude yourself into thinking there’s any other way to write blog posts other than punching those damn keys, because there isn’t.

4. You need to read. A lot.

5. You need to spend a lot of time thinking.

If you want to be a successful blogger, you need to think. A lot.

6. You must punch those damn keys.

Bet you didn’t see that one coming.

You need to punch those damn keys. Don’t think, just write.

Unless you create a huge volume of work, you will never develop a style of your own. You will never understand what works best for you.

7. You must be able to experiment.

Most bloggers fail because they do the same thing over and over again.

Here’s the thing: even successful strategies tend to fail over time, as more and more people employ them.

So, not only do you need to change something that isn’t working, but if you want to be successful as a blogger, you have to change even the stuff that is working, in order to grow even more.

8. You need to be willing to steal like an artist.

If you’re too in your head, you won’t see the endless number of ideas out there. You might disagree with another blogger in your niche. Write about that. Or you might find some words that you absolutely love. Use them as a headline for one of your blog posts.

You can always mention the blogger that inspired a particular post of yours.

Unless you are willing to steal like an artist, you’ll never find enough ideas to write about to become successful.

9. You need to express, not impress.

Don’t think, just write.

That’s awesome advice.

Stop trying too hard to impress, but rather focus on what you want to express.

Why are you writing this article?

What feeling compels you to write?

What would you like your readers to feel?

10. You need to learn from everyone.

Also, let yourself be inspired and motivated by someone else’s success, rather than wallow in self-pity and jealousy.

11. You need to understand that the hustle keeps you humble.

The hustle keeps you humble. If you are busy working, doing your thing, you have no time to think about haters, to imagine yourself as the best blogger ever, or to start fights with others in the comments section of this or that blog.

You must never, ever, ever quit.

One word after another.

That’s how it’s done.


  1. Express to iimpress. Don’t impress to express. It seldoms works.

  2. This is a great article and so true! Thank you for these reminders. ☺

  3. Very informative and inspiring

  4. Great post. Thanks for telling the truth

  5. Appreciate your help and know that it is heart felt.

  6. Your post is so encouraging. You have painted reality with words. The ‘Title’ says it all.

  7. As always, Cristian, your blog inspires and educates. I always find something new or am reminded of something I had put on the back burner. Today this one caught my eye: “You need to express, not impress.” I need to beware of writing to impress ANYBODY! I just need to be passionate about what I am blogging and then write to express that passion. I think your advice, ” Don’t think, just write,” is intended for the first draft, right? That time you are just punching “the damn keys.” After that initial draft, it IS time to think, to edit, to review, and to cut out any superlatives and to correct any misspellings or grammar problems. Time to THINK about the format and make sure it is eye appealing. Right? You didn’t mean “Don’t Think.” Right?

  8. I have been blogging for 3.5 years and have had one post go really big. The rest do well and I am happy with that. I am more interesting in having blogging friends who come over to chat and make conversation that going viral once.

  9. As always, you have written a great article to encourage and help fellow bloggers in their journey. Thank you and God bless you.

  10. Very similar to professional songwriting. There is no such thing as overnight success. My advice in songwriting classes: If you don’t want to put in the time and pay your dues, there’s always a job a Walmart!

  11. So I’ve been blogging for just over a year and this is the best thing I’ve read in months!
    Personally, there was one time when readers stopped coming to my blog. It was then that I asked myself a big question, Am I blogging for people or because I have something to say?
    I followed the latter and in no time, readers came back. Bigger even!
    One thing I’ve discovered is consistency wins in blogging.

  12. Great advice once again.

  13. Thanks for teaching us how to be an overnight (ok, over a year) success!

  14. Woww. “You blog because you have something to say, not because you want to say something.” This says a lot about blogging.

  15. Consistently brilliant.

  16. Brutally in your face writing that actually inspires one to pause and take stock. Well done Cristian.

  17. This is beautiful, I’m inspired. You are righ about everything. I was actually reflecting about the reason why I started blogging. I realised that it was because i wanted to let off steam and to just write. I love to write but recently, i noticed that it was taking me too long to think about anything and I soon realised especially after reading this that monetising my blog had clouded me. I feel inspired though after reading this that passion is KEY. THANKS!

  18. Top tips with practical insight and wisdom…well written Cristian. Keep it up.

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