The Only Piece of Advice You’ll Ever Need to Become a Successful Blogger6 min read

I’ve been blogging daily since April 2012. Since then, I published more than 2000 articles on art, inspiration, writing, motivation, and, yes, blogging.. And if I look back on what pieces got the highest exposure, follower growth, and made the most money — 80% of them are about blogging:

The 7 Golden Rules of Blogging

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Bloggers

What They Never Tell You About Blogging

And this makes me think that people who spend too much time reading everything there’s to be read about blogging will probably never become successful bloggers.

Do you know why?

Because reading these posts is a form of procrastination.

You tell yourself that you need to know the “secret” that will make you a better blogger and help you turn a hobby into a full-time income.

And I get that. I used to look for secrets too. I used to search for a “hack,” and I used to think that people who “made it” knew something I didn’t.

The truth is, there is no secret.

You achieve success as a blogger the same way you achieve success in almost anything in life: by doing something regularly for a long time and becoming better at it.

But most articles about blogging success aren’t about that, because it would disappoint the aspiring blogger who thinks there must be a way to grow fast without much work. The aspiring blogger wants tactics, details, tips and tricks.

But the truth is that if you don’t have it in you to put in the work in a consistent manner, none of those tricks will do you any good.

The Only Piece of Advice You’ll Ever Need to Become a Successful Blogger

I find smart people spend their whole lifetime figuring things out. They always trying to figure out an easier way, and a quicker way. And another thing I found out about smart people, is they just don’t get around to doing nothing […] But the winners do it.

What do they do? They do whatever it takes to get the job done. They do it, and do it, and do it, and do it, and do it, until the job gets done.

Art Williams

Let me tell you a story.

My girlfriend and I are working on a cosmetics store.

Now, this has been a dream of hers for quite some time, and she’s been researching products, formulations, and private label cosmetics producers for quite some time. She’s also read articles on how to market, sell, and package cosmetics, watched a dozen tutorials on designing a logo, browsed through a ton of online guides about developing a brand, promoting on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and studied essays about advertising, about creating the kind of product that leaves people speechless.

She also spent one week working on the logo. She downloaded 1,304 different fonts and tried them all. She downloaded images, icons, vectors, you name it. She used three different apps for that…

Now, the logo ended up looking great…

But she’s still to do any real work.

What did I do in this time?

Well… I just do stuff. I try to do stuff. I found out about Shopify’s extended 90 day trial, had the website up and running in about an hour. Added the domain name, found a cosmetics manufacturer, and choose a theme for the e-store.

She’s still writing lists: of products, product names, and some other lists that I’m afraid to look at.

And this got me thinking… and I realized that she’s afraid. Obviously. This comes up in our conversations from time to time.

What if I don’t sell anything?

What if people are going to hate the products?

What if this happens? Or that? Or what if, worst of all, nothing at all happens?

And what do I have to say to all this?

Just do it!

When I decided to sell online courses, I spent half an hour deciding on which platform to use, and then I had my credit card next to me to pay for the damn thing. The next day, I was already compiling tutorials and other material for my first course.

And there were a lot of other things to figure out along the way. A lot of them. Issues I stumbled upon, problems with payment processors…

But I just did it. I worked on it. Every single day.

The same principles applies for blogging.

Just punch the damn keys. You don’t have to have it all figured out by the time you write your first post.

You just have to produce a lot of work. That’s how you realize what works and what doesn’t, what sells and what doesn’t.

Something is better than nothing

It’s okay if you feel that your posts are crap. They probably are. Personally, I hate to look back at my old blog posts.

That’s how an artist’s life looks like: we have to go on despite self-sabotage and fear of rejection.

There’s nothing to fix about a blank page. And this often makes us feel like it’s the right thing to do.

But a blank page does not earn you readers, comments, or money.

A blank page does not make you feel like you’ve accomplished something, does not make you proud, and does not show you your own limitations and fears.

A blank page is just that… blank. Empty. Infinite possibilities that you are reluctant to explore.

A map that can lead you anywhere is not much of a map.

If, on the other hand, you work on creating content, you’ll figure out:

  • if your content is good enough
  • what potential readers want to read more of
  • what monetizing possibilities are out there
  • how much content you can produce on a consistent basis
  • what are your limits

So, don’t just sit there because you think you’re not good enough. English is my second language, and yet I try to blog as much as I can.

You shouldn’t spend too much time thinking about the quality of your work. Your (only) job is to produce. Finished a post, a book, an article? Great. Publish the damn thing, then start working on another one the next day.

Your effort is the only thing you can control

There are certain things you can control in life — effort, intent, preparation, work ethic. And there are things you can’t — rejection, praise, follower growth, your post going viral.

And you should only focus on the things you can control. In 99% of cases, that is: writing the best you can, as often as you can.


So what if nobody reads your blog? So what if this week no one subscribed to your blog?

Blogging is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.

You need to stop looking for shortcuts or hacks. You need to stop procrastinating. You need to stop rationalizing fear.

You want to reach the top of the mountain?

Realize that you don’t just fall there…

You’ve got to climb. One step at a time.

Cristian Mihai

Became Internet famous by the age of 23. Never recovered. I write short author bios all over the web. I’m an acquired taste. Don’t like me? Acquire some taste.

37 thoughts on “The Only Piece of Advice You’ll Ever Need to Become a Successful Blogger6 min read

  1. There is a simple and fundamental truth to this. We have to do the work.
    If we’re looking for hacks, or cheat sheets as though was a game to be finished, we miss the point.
    If blogging is a tactic, or a strategy, that’s fine- sort of PR on the cheap. It has a function.
    But I think the great blogs, and I include this one, are part of an ongoing dialogue in search for something important to the writer, and the blog is a journal of the journey and a sharing of what we learn along the way for others to use if it helps them.
    Go Cristian.

    1. Indeed, Richard!

      I think that all great writing is like drawing a map of your soul… the readers benefit because they too, can catch a glimpse of their own souls, or they gain insights as to how to aspire towards higher levels.

      1. Indeed. I think sort of captures it:

        The Way It Is
        There’s a thread you follow.
        It goes among things that change. But it doesn’t change.
        People wonder about what you are pursuing.
        You have to explain about the thread.
        But it is hard for others to see.
        While you hold it you can’t get lost.
        Tragedies happen; people get hurt
        or die; and you suffer and get old.
        Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
        You don’t ever let go of the thread.
        ~ William Stafford

  2. EXCELLENT POST!!! I WROTE ABOUT FEAR IN A SHORT BOOK I FINALLY DRAFTED!!! Fear was taking over my process to keep going and I was failing to move forward!!!!!

  3. That is a real truth, and it is really perfect that you write about it. I myself have tried the thing with just sitting and reading too much about a thing I want to do. But to actually do the thing is a big step, and probably there were most people tend to give up. So, really excellent post!

  4. I agree to just get out there and do it. That’s the only way you will learn and get better is by making mistakes as well as trial and error.

    With my 1st book it was literally a learn how to make an ebook project I didn’t expect to do anything with. As I made progress on it and started learning in related fields such as self publishing or blogging the rest was history. I now have 2 books published in less than a year and working on more projects. I consider myself in the beginner stages of learning but hey if you don’t get up and take a chance nothing will ever get done.

    Always appreciate your posts and your honest as well as encouraging words.

    1. I see your point and it points at me. I’m new so I have been reading and trying to figure out how to place things on my blog. So I made up a logo and haven’t got it to the Home page yet.🙂I’ll keep going though.

  5. Wonderfully solid post. I resonate with the way in which you express just do it, and learning as you go along, across life. As an artist as well, that process fills a lifetime. The marathon and the mountain are poignant examples. One cannot get a runner’s high without running the 20 or so miles, can’t get an unfettered view of the world without climbing to the top. And, I feel it’s our job to take those experiences with us as we move down into the daily, disciplined ritual of writing and creating. I thoroughly appreciate the tenor of your post that basically indicates to not sit around and wait for an AhHA or validation. Those are better when they occur in real time, grown as one work from the Garden of Creativity. Thanks much for your post!

  6. I was introdoced to this quote mid-career and it provided a lot of focus to me: “Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”
    —Calvin Coolidge

    1. That’s one of my favorite quotes ever.

      And it’s so, so true.

      Without the ability to persevere, we are never, ever going to be successful. It’s as simple as that.

  7. Wow! so well said! For so long I have had exactly that – an empty page, because i was looking for the “secret”. Totally agree with each and every line in this blog.

  8. Love this post! As a new blogger I catch myself having days scoping out the “trends” of blogging but i just remind myself how much I love it and love the community surrounding me that nothing else is even important!

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