Success reads pretty much like a recipe. You can describe it as a number of habits. Simple, right? Yes. Simple. Not easy, but simple. And most people expect easy and simple.You shouldn’t.
But these habits make the difference between successful bloggers and somewhat successful ones. Or ex-bloggers.
1. They are consistent.
Consistency is key here. This is not the hundred meter dash, it’s a marathon. Successful bloggers have a schedule and stick to it. Forget about writing brilliantly. Have a schedule and stick to it no matter what.
You don’t have to post every day. You can do so every other day, every week… it doesn’t matter. What matters most is that people can rely on you. Readers know what to expect, know when they’re going to get more content.
Being predictably reliable is one of the surest ways to get readers to keep coming back for more.
2. They feel deeply about the subject matter of their blog.
No human being on this planet managed to please everyone else, so don’t even try. Don’t try to write what’s popular, don’t copy other folks who are doing well. You’ll just water down your own voice.
Do you know why people read? They want to feel something. They want to feel a part of something greater than themselves, they want to feel inspired or even get angry.
So write what you feel strongly about. Yes, some people will hate it, some will disagree, but it will all make for great dialogue in the comments section anyway.
If there’s something that makes you cry, that elicits this kind of reaction from you, write about that. You’ll need courage to do it, but if you don’t have the guts for that, maybe blogging isn’t for you.
3. They offer one of two things: information or entertainment.
People read blogs for information on topics, for information they can use for various skills, or for entertainment. Because it makes them laugh or smile or inspires them to act or think in a certain way.
Successful bloggers know this and use it to their own advantage. They don’t blog about their daily chores, about stuff no one cares about. Unless you’re incredibly famous, no one cares about your day to day life.
But even though you’re not incredibly famous, everyone one wants to read something that they can relate to, that adds value to their own lives.
Ask yourself: is what I am blogging adding value to other people’s lives? What am I accomplishing with this blog?
People will come back for more, if they learn something new from the stuff that you write.
4. They are not afraid to take a stand.
Because successful bloggers feel deeply about the subject matter of their blog, they are not afraid to tell it as it is, even if this is going to piss some people off. If they feel there’s something wrong with something, they say it. They have opinions and articulate those opinions, without regard to what others might feel or say.
The written word has long been used to give voice to those who had none. To help the oppressed against the oppressor. To give hope and courage. To give meaning to one’s life. To find meaning and translate it and give its powers to other people.
You can’t do that if you’re afraid to take a stand, if you’re afraid of someone from far away disagreeing with you. On the Internet.
5. They know it takes time.
It takes time to become good at this. It takes time to develop an audience. It takes time to develop a unique approach to blogging. It takes time.
Successful bloggers know that if they invest the time, they’ll have the results.
Failure is temporary. But so is success.
On a final note, I’d like to say that no amount of failure is ever fatal. Intelligence isn’t fixed, so neither is talent. We’re just a bunch of skills, and we can develop those. We can evolve at a rate that just scares Mother Nature. But we still can’t do it overnight.
That being said, success is also not final. You reach the top of the mountain… at some point you’ll have to come down.
Ups and downs… that’s what every successful blogger has experienced, that’s what the successful blogger knows to expect.
Ever changing like the seasons, like day and night, it is an inexorable law of life.
So expect the good days, knowing full well there will also be some bad days ahead as well.