One question that newbie bloggers often ask is, “What are the habits of successful bloggers that make them so successful?”
It’s no secret really–the answer is literally right there in front of you on their blogs!
Thus to know and understand the habits of successful bloggers, all you need to do is put in the time to read their posts, examine their sites and analyze what they’re doing.
It would be overwhelming though to read ALL of their posts–fortunately that’s not necessary!
Most of the methods and habits of successful bloggers are pretty similar, mainly differing in relatively unimportant details.
1. Analyze Your Numbers
If you want your blog to suceed in a monetary sense, you need to think of it as a small business.
And as any good entrepreneur knows, you need to keep a close eye on the numbers and always be analyzing!
Make sure you learn to know your way around Google Analytics, tracking where people are coming from, what keywords they’re using to find you, what your sources are etc.
You can then use this information to improve your marketing tactics based on understanding the type of content your visitors most enjoy, and get much better results with traffic, conversions and growing your mailing list.
Moz.com is a fantastic site for info on Google Analytics and SEO generally – here’s a great introductory article that covers most of what you need to know.
2. Write an Outline
Creating an outline before writing your post can save you a lot of unnecessary time and trouble. A good outline is also handy for overcoming the dreaded ‘writer’s block’.
Once you’ve selected a blog topic and created your headline, the next step is to come up with some key points.
If you’re having trouble coming up with more than a couple then you probably need to do more research before you commence writing.
Once you’ve written enough key points then you should be able to create a rough draft that will form the basic skeleton of your post.
Remember too that each post should have one major key message that you’re trying to convey to your readers.
3. Delay Editing
Don’t try to edit your work as you go, or you risk losing your writing flow, as well as focussing on how it’s written rather than what is written.
If you’re trying to edit every sentence after completing it there’s a good chance you’ll forget your ideas and lose your writing momentum.
Most experienced writers recommend to make it a rule to forgo editing until you’ve completed your first draft. Then you can check your spelling, grammar and capitalized words etc, with many these days using a tool like Grammarly to help find their mistakes and omissions.
4. Produce Original Work
Creating good quality original content takes a lot of time and trouble, so for many a quick solution seems to be to simply copy and paste someone else’s work (usually after giving it a quick run through a ‘content spinner’) and then slapping their own name on the finished article.
So (apart from the obvious ethical objections) why shouldn’t you try this?
Well for one thing it’s bad for SEO (Google will penalize your blog if it detects it), and for another it’s bad for your reputation, since it’s probable that sooner or later someone familiar with the original source will stumble upon your stolen prose and kick up a fuss about it.
However Google has made a massive investment to detect spun content, and if they detect enough of it on a site that site can get hit with a huge search ranking penalty.
From postmm.com: “The Panda and Penguin algorithms were specifically designed by Google to detect the sort of fraudulent SEO practices exemplified by content spinning. If you contract with an SEO company that uses content spinning, you’re liable to get smacked with a massive search ranking penalty that could be impossible to recover from.”
So do the right thing and take the trouble to create your own original content – you’ll reap the rewards with SEO, traffic and conversions.
5. Publish Consistently
I’ve seen several studies (neilpatel.com has produced some good ones) showing that the more often you post, the better your traffic. Most successful bloggers publish two or three times per week, though some get away with once a week once they’ve established a regular audience.
Studies seem to show that if you can manage to post daily you’ll do best of all, so long as you can maintain good quality (very rare!) This isn’t something I would recommend to any but the most prolific writers.
I’ve found that it’s best to stick to a schedule, keep distractions to a minimum and try to keep at least one post in reserve for those periods when you’d otherwise fall behind due to emergencies or illness.
In recent years it’s been generally agreed among top bloggers that it’s far better to post one excellent post a week than two or even three mediocre ones.
So–quality, not quantity when it comes to content!
6. Share Your Content Widely
Once you complete a post and hit the ‘Publish’ button your job isn’t yet over – that is, if you want more than a trickle of people to read it.
It’s often stated that you should aim to spend 20% of your time producing content, and the other 80% promoting it (the famous ‘80/20 Rule‘.) How good you are at promoting your content will have a direct correlation with how much traffic you get to it.
Pinterest is my number one traffic source, due mainly to the fact that Pinterest pins have a much longer ‘shelf life’ than Facebook posts or Twitter tweets.
There are a lot of people out there offering Pinterest courses, but I’ve found one of the most knowledgable Pinterest experts to be Carly Campbell of mommyonpurpose.com.
Viral Content Bee is also an excellent source of free traffic, where I can get people with up to hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers to share my blog posts for me, as well as on Pinterest, Facebook, Linkedin and Google+.
Just share others content first to gain points, which you then spend to have others share your own posts. You can read my review of Viral Content Bee here.
Twitter is another useful traffic driver, though not nearly as good as Pinterest due to the short life of the average tweet (not to mention the tiny percentage of your following who’ll actually see it.)
You also need to build up a much larger following than you do on Pinterest to have much influence, but a good way to do that is to use the ‘Follow/Unfollow’ method as described in my review of the book ‘How To Gain 100,000 Twitter Followers‘ by M Le Mont.
Crowdfire is also very useful to quickly grow your Twitter (and Instagram) following, as I describe in my review here.
What habits of successful bloggers have I left out? Let me know in the comments.
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