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.
So, if you want to become a successful blogger, here’s what you need to do.
1. You need to actually enjoy blogging.
You need to ask yourself if you enjoy the process, or just love the idea of being a blogger.
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.
This makes a huge, huge difference.
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.
If you don’t read, you can’t write. As simple as that.
Reading is how you feed that beautiful brain of yours. Otherwise you wind up writing the same things over and over again.
5. You need to spend a lot of time thinking.
Once you feed your brain, it’s time to think. About ideas, about ways to appeal to your readers, about content strategies, about marketing and promoting your blog.
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.
There’s a big difference between plagiarizing someone and being inspired by them. The difference lies in the fact that you are using someone else’s words to jumpstart your own.
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?
Good writing is emotion. Always.
10. You need to learn from everyone.
You simply don’t have the time to make all the possible mistakes, so you must learn from someone else’s mistakes too.
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.
There’s no other way to put it.
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.
Also, if you want to be a successful blogger…
You must never, ever, ever quit.
Successful bloggers develop the habits that help them achieve their goals. They keep their eyes on the prize and keep punching those keys.
One word after another.
That’s how it’s done.