blogging

The Common Sense Approach to Becoming A Successful Blogger

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Do you want to be a successful blogger? What's your definition of success? Use these 9 simple steps to make your blog a success.

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Do you want to have a successful blog?

Do you want to be a blogging superstar?

Do you want to make thousands of dollars from your blog?

Have you read articles and income reports from other bloggers telling you how they made over $1,000+ in their first-month blogging?

Well, let me start off by telling you that this is not that kind of post.

I don’t have any promises or tricks up my sleeve that will make you a blogging millionaire or how you can karate chop Pinterest in the neck and make thousands of dollars a month.

What I can give you is a common sense approach to blogging that will help you become a successful blogger.

Here are 9 steps to becoming a successful blogger.

1.Determine Why Your Blogging

  • Why are you blogging?
    • Personal diary
    • Hobby
    • Extra Money
    • Financial freedom
  • What is the purpose of your blog?
    • Educate
    • Inspire
    • Inform
    • Humour
  • Who are you writing for (who’s your target audience)?
    • Parents
    • Millenials
    • College students
    • Women
    • Men
  • What are your blogging goals?
    • Have an engaged audience
    • Sell products
    • Replace your current income

Ultimately, the reason “why” you blog will determine the first few steps to take in setting up and growing your blog.

For instance, I started blogging as a creative outlet and to see what blogging was all about.

I opted to go for a free wordpress.com site and to use a free theme.

This blog was supposed to be about my crafting adventures and my life as a stay at home mom with a dash of faith thrown into the mix.

As I started blogging more I began to think about trying to make money from my blog and noticeably my splash of faith posts have actually become more prominent than my crafting or other focus areas.

If I had started out blogging with the intent to make money I probably would have started with a self-hosted site and this blog would be more of a crafting site, instead of what it is now.

But the good thing about blogging is that even if the reason why your blogging changes, which it probably will, you can still switch to a different path and find success.

Speaking of success.

2. Have A Clear Definition of Success

Despite the reasons “why” you blog every blogger wants the same thing, for their blog (unless it’s a private diary)to be read.

They want what they write to be read by other people and they want to grow and connect with their audience.

Depending on your “why” success will look different for each person.

What does success look like to you?

It’s very easy to get caught up in the comparison game as a new blogger and get discouraged because you don’t have as many e-mail subscribers or as many Facebook followers as someone else.

Or maybe you haven’t made any money from your blog (most people don’t their first year).

The point is that everybody defines success differently.

Don’t let the comparison game make you think that you aren’t successful just because you’re not bringing in the numbers that somebody else is.

Your definition of success should be based on the reason why you are blogging and your goals for your blog.

Even though this blog isn’t racking in 1000’s of views a day and I don’t have 1000’s of followers.

I still consider it to be pretty successful considering I just really started trying to grow my blog a few months ago.

3.Set SMART Goals for Your Blog

Infogrraphic on how to create SMART goals.

The best kind of goal to set for your blog is a SMART goal, if you don’t know what a SMART goal is you can read my post on creating SMART goals.

When I started this blog it was just a creative outlet for me and for the most part it still serves that purpose.

But I didn’t really have a specific goal for my blog or any idea of how to get people to read my blog.

Then in March, I decided I wanted to try and make money from my blog.

I knew that if I wanted to make money I needed to increase my pageviews.

I joined a few Facebook groups and took a free Pinterest course called Pinterest for New Bloggers by Marina.

There were only 9 lessons in the course and each one of them included actionable steps that I could implement the same day.

I learned a lot about Pinterest in those 9 days and I’m interested to see what her paid course has to offer.

Since joining the facebook groups and taking the Pinterest course my page views have been steadily increasing every month.

In June I set a goal to double my pages views from 150 a month to 300 by the end of August.

In July I had a total of 383 page views!

So far my strategy seems to be working.

Once I had a goal in place it was easier for me to focus on what I needed to do to reach my goal and take one step closer to becoming a successful blogger.

4. Should You Have A Niche or Not?

To Niche or Not To Niche? That is the question.

If you’ve spent any amount of time researching blogging I’m sure you’ve seen the word ” niche” being tossed about.

Simply put a niche is a specific topic or category that you blog about. If you are blogging to make money having a niche is probably your best bet.

If you’re not sure which niche to pursue check out this list of the top 8 money making blogging niches (that aren’t about blogging) or you can check out this blog post on the best blog niches for 2019 .

The last site provides pro’s and con’s that come with each niche listed and a few ways to market your content.

Pro’s of having a niche:

  • Gives your site a specific focus
  • Makes you look like an expert to google and your audience
  • Easier to monetize

Cons of Having a Niche As A New Blogger:

  • Becoming bored with the content
  • Inability to stand out in an oversaturated niche
  • Lack of an audience makes it hard to find an angle for your niche

My favorite type of blog is the nicheless blog. A nicheless blog doesn’t focus on a specific niche but instead covers a variety of topics or niches that you are interested in.

I would consider my blog to be a nicheless blog because I blog about 4 different unrelated categories: Faith, Family, Crafts, and Blogging.

Pro’s of Having a Nicheless Blogging

  • You can blog about your passions.
  • Easier to come up with content ideas

Con’s of Nicheless Blogging

  • Harder to rank in search engines because you’re not seen as an expert on a specific topic.
  • You have to find creative ways to monetize your site.
  • People may not like your site because it’s “too busy”.

If you chose to go the nicheless route you can still provide valuable content to your readers and make money.

Check out this post from Helen In Between on nicheless blogging and examples of successful nicheless bloggers. I’m hoping to make this list one day!

The real difference between niche and nicheless blog is the audience.

Niched bloggers are blogging for their target audience and nicheless bloggers tend to blog for themselves and, then their audience.

5. Be Passionate About Your Blog

Whether you decided to pick a niche to blog about or you decide to go nicheless there is one thing that you will need to be successful….PASSION.

You have to be passionate about what you are writing about when you are a blogger. If you are not you won’t last long as a blogger.

If you chose to blog about finance then you should be passionate about finance. You should be willing to learn everything you can about finance and share that knowledge with your readers.

If you are in blogging just for the money you will not last long. Blogging is a very competitive occupation, but it is also very rewarding.

Building your blog also takes a lot of time and effort. Most bloggers do not become overnight sensations.

It can take months or years of dedication before your hard work pays off.

If you are not passionate about what you are blogging about you will get burned out, become disillusioned and quit blogging.

So whatever it is that you choose to blog about make sure that it’s something that you are passionate about and are willing to learn more about.

In addition, your readers will know if you are passionate about what you are doing. It will come through in your writing and your interactions, or lack of interaction, with your readers.

6. Check Out Your Competition

One of the best pieces of advice that I’ve read as a newbie blogger, who is trying to grow her own audience, is from The Art of Blogging by Cristian Mihai.

If you are a wordpress.com user you have probably come across a few posts from this site.

One of the best ways to figure out how to grow your blog is by checking out what other successful bloggers in your niche are doing.

In his blog post, Who’s Your Competition?, Cristian provides a detailed list of questions that all bloggers should ask when researching your competition.

A simple Google search on who are the top bloggers in x niche will bring up a list of the top bloggers in the niche you are interested in.

I like to use ubersuggest to figure out what pages on these sites are driving the most traffic and where these sites are ranked on Google.

Not only can you look up information on other websites, but for now it’s also a free keyword search tool! (I’ll have to write another post on keywords and SEO another day.)

Once you’ve scoped out the competition you can figure out the following:

  • What types of post are popular
  • What kinds of post aren’t being written (remember you have to fill a need in your niche)
  • What kinds of freebies do they offer their readers?
  • How often do they post?

You can use this information to build your own content and marketing strategy. It’s a lot of work upfront, but it will be worth it if you apply what you’ve learned correctly.

7. Write Valuable Content

No matter what niche you choose, or how much you analyze your competition if you don’t write valuable content people will not read or follow your blog.

You should always be striving to offer your readers the best advice and information.

It can be hard trying to find a fresh take on a topic, like tips for new bloggers, that hasn’t already been covered 100’s of times.

However, we all have our own unique way of explaining things and our own opinions.

Don’t let the fact that something has already been covered stop you from writing about it.

Tips for Writing Content People Will Want to Read:

  • Let your personality come through your writing.
  • Check for grammar and spelling mistakes.
  • Take time to do some research on your topic.
  • Make it easy to read. (Use headings, bullets, and graphics)
  • Look for a new angle on a topic that’s already been covered and write about it.
  • Use engaging headlines.

8. Be Consistent & Have A Plan

I never realized how much work went into blogging until I started my blog.

Not only do you have to come up with blog post to write.

You also have to figure out:

  • How your going to market your blog.
  • What social media channels will you use?
  • Do you need an e-mail list?
  • What in the world is an e-mail list?
  • Will you monetize your blog? And how do you do that?
  • Do you want readers to leave comments?

I could keep going with that list, but I won’t.

I don’t want to scare you away.

This is where it’s important to come up with a plan and have some sort of schedule in place.

Most bloggers recommend creating or using an editorial calendar to help you keep track of your posting schedule.

I currently, use a planner to keep track of all of my blogging goals and things to do during the week. (I’m a paper and pencil sort of gal.)

Posting consistently is also a great way to build an audience and increase your blog traffic.

While I really wish there was some magical number for how often you should post on your site there isn’t one.

Do what works best for you and your schedule.

Just remember that whatever you decide it should be something that you can handle and do consistently.

Your readers will thank you and your sanity will thank you.

Having a plan for your blog is another key ingredient to having a successful blog.

At the very least you should have a content plan and a marketing plan.

If you plan to make money from your blog you will also need a monetization plan.

9. Invest in Your Blog

I’m one of those people that believe that if your going to do something you might as well do it to the best of your ability.

Whether you are blogging as a hobby or blogging for money you should take some time to invest in your blog.

What should you invest in?

A nice theme and stock images.

You can find themes on sites like Creative Market and Fontbundles.net.

Take a few courses.

There are plenty of bloggers out there offering free and paid blogging courses, there are also courses on how to use Pinterest, Canva, list building, and email marketing.

Here are a few of my favorite free courses:

Start. Grow. Earn by Elna Cain

Design Your Blog Growth Challenge by Kara

Pinterest for New Bloggers by Marina.

Join relevant Facebook groups for bloggers in general and bloggers in your niche.

These groups can be very helpful for new bloggers especially if you have a self-hosted site and need technical help.

I’ve joined a total of 9 facebook groups, but these four have been the most helpful in terms of support and helping grow my blog traffic:

Blogging for New Bloggers

Blogging Babes Collective

Mom to Mompreneur

Christian Women Bloggers Unite

Sorry fellas most of these blogs are for women, except the Blogging for New bloggers.

These are just a few of the groups I’ve joined to help me on my blogging journey.

Final Thoughts

As I stated earlier this wasn’t a post about what magical tricks you can do to become a blogging super star.

The truth is that in order to become a successful blogger by the traditional standards of success (i.e. making 6 figures and having 1000’s of pageviews and followers) you have to put in a lot of hard work, time and effort.

What I can tell you from one blogger to another is that the steps I just shared with you are the same steps that the “big” bloggers used to get where they are now.

I believe that you have the potential to be a successful blogger as well if you are willing to put in the work and dedication required to run a successful blog.

They didn’t become blogging sensations overnight and most of them definitely didn’t start out making that kind of money with their first blog.

Don’t let other people define what your success should look like and don’t compare your blog to anyone else’s.

I believe that you can become the successful blogger that you desire to be if you are willing to put in the work to get there.

Now it’s your turn.

What is your definition of success? Which step do you feel is the most important to having a successful blog?

Leave me a comment in the comments section.

As always don’t forget to like and share this post.

Are you a new blogger? Do you want to be a blogging success? These 9 steps will set you on the right path to creating a successful blog.

Until Next Time,

EJ

Categories: blogging

Tagged as: , ,

23 replies »

    • I totally understand. My blog just turned 1 this month. But I didn’t really start trying to grow my blog until March. Having goals has definitely helped me focus on which things I need to learn to help my blog grow and get to the next level.

      Like

  1. I tried commenting before, but I’m not sure if it went through. So . . . just in case . . .

    what a fabulous post! I love all your insights and the links you shared. I’ve blogged for a while, but I haven’t had the time to really figure out how to make my blog grow more. I’ve had slow, steady growth for the past few years. 🙂 I look forward to clicking on the links and really studying what you’ve shared.

    I think the most important step you shared is to write valuable content. This is going to be the foundation to keeping readers. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ji Jeanne! I think I got both of your comments. They don’t always show up right away for some reason. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. That’s great that your blog is growing. Mine is growing slowly, but surley as well. Sometimes I think that word “valuable” content is really vauge in the blogging world. What’s valuable to one person may not be valuable to another. I guess the main thing is that your readers find value in what you write.How long have you been blogging?

      Like

      • You’re right! Value is in the eye of the beholder, so to speak. 🙂 I guess that’s why it’s good to know what we’re about when we blog, so we can share what we’re passionate about, and trust that readers who resonate with our thoughts and words can find value in what we offer. 🙂

        I’ve been blogging for six years.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. EJ, what a fabulous post! I love all your insights and the links you shared. I’ve blogged for a while, but I haven’t had the time to really figure out how to make my blog grow more. I’ve had slow, steady growth for the past few years. 🙂 I look forward to clicking on the links and really studying what you’ve shared.

    I think the most important step you shared is to write valuable content. This is going to be the foundation to keeping readers. 🙂 Great post!!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. These are really wonderful tips. Thank you for sharing all of them. The pros and cons in the different sections are really helpful for deciding between all the options.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. These are all really great tips you have shared. I especially like the fact that you can blog about your passion without worrying about niches. I too, want to be able to do that. I am into crafting as well but is yet to blog anything about that. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

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