What are the secrets of successful bloggers?
A lot of successful bloggers make blogging seem deceptively simple. All you have to do is pick a name for your blog, get hosting, install WordPress, and start posting – then the money and page views will come flooding in!
Except it doesn’t actually work like that. That may be all it takes to start a blog, but to actually run a successful blog takes a lot more.
Note: For the purpose of this post, I am defining a “successful” blogger as one who makes money from their blog, be it a few hundred extra dollars a month a full-time income. If you don’t want to make money blogging, that is totally fine! If you blog as just a hobby or a creative outlet, you probably define being a successful blogger differently.
So if you have been trying to monetize your blog for ages now but can’t seem to make more than a few pennies, read on to discover the top 6 secrets of successful bloggers!
It’s 20% blogging and 80% promotion
The advice “write good content and people will read it” gets thrown around a lot to bloggers. But the truth is, that just isn’t true. No matter how many hours you spend slaving away over the perfect blog post, no one is going to read it unless you get it out there!
Most successful bloggers spend about 20% of their time actually blogging (brainstorming blog posts, writing them, editing them, adding photos/graphics, etc.) and 80% of their time promoting their blog (on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, email list, etc.)
In addition to sharing and promoting their blog posts, successful bloggers also promote:
- Their opt-in freebies for their email list
- Any products they may sell
- Any services they may offer (consulting, coaching, etc.)
- Events they may be hosting (free workshops or webinars, etc.)
- Themselves (networking with other bloggers, pitching to brands, etc.)
If you want to see growth for your blog, shift your strategy to focus on promotion and dedicate the bulk of your blogging time to promotional activities!
Your blog posts have to help people
If you are just blogging for yourself or for your family and friends, this may not apply to you. But if you are blogging with the goal of making money, this is very important.
Your blog posts need to provide value to your audience. Most people reading your blog are going to be thinking “What’s in it for me?” Writing valuable, helpful posts will help you build a loyal audience and establish authority.
A lot of bloggers make the mistake of writing totally for themselves and not for their audience. Creating a purpose statement for your blog and defining your target audience can help you create content that people will love.
Bottom line: Writing valuable blog posts can help you make money with affiliate marketing or build trust with your readers so you can sell them a product or service down the road.
You need an email list to make money
Ever heard the phrase “the money is in the list”? The list being referred to there is an email list. Every successful blogger has one. Why? Two main reasons:
- Your email list will always be there. Instagram or Facebook could shut down tomorrow, but you will always be able to communicate with your subscribers via email.
- People on your list trust you and they are more likely buy whatever it is that you’re selling on down the road.
And if you want to make money blogging, you will be selling something. Even if you don’t create your own product to sell, you might make money from marketing other people’s products to your email list, AKA affiliate marketing. (Example: This blogger makes over $20,000 per month from her email list through affiliate marketing.)
If you don’t already have an email list for your blog, you can start one for free with MailChimp.
Once you have your list, you should incentivize people to sign up by offering them some small but extremely helpful freebie. Great freebies include free ebooks, checklists, templates, cheat sheets, etc. (P.S. If people aren’t signing up for your email list, check out this post!)
It takes time to grow
A lot of bloggers get discouraged comparing their page views or social media followers to other bloggers. I am very guilty of doing this.
But the thing is, those bloggers with 100,000 monthly page views and 50k followers on Instagram have probably been at this whole blogging thing for a long time.
You can’t compare you stats as a new blogger to someone who has been blogging for two or five or even ten years!
Yes, there are some bloggers who might have found viral success or become extremely popular very quickly, but that’s not the norm. For most bloggers, it takes months to see any real growth, and then years to build a strong following.
So don’t get discouraged looking at your stats if they aren’t where you want them to be. You can’t get traffic or followers overnight, or make a six-figure salary from your blog in year one.
Which brings me to my next point…
Blogging isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme
If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. For instance, if you see someone claiming they made $5,000 in their first month of blogging, they are lying.
I did make some money during my first month, but that was only because I had spent the previous six months researching how to make money blogging. And I made less than $150. If you calculated my hourly rate based on how much time I spent on my blog during that first month, I probably came out earning a dollar an hour.
So if you’re looking for a way to make money fast, blogging isn’t it. You would be better off getting a side job waiting tables or bartending if you want to make some quick cash!
Blogging takes a lot of time to become profitable. Yes, there are some bloggers who were able to start making a full-time salary within a year from their blog, but they are in the minority. And certainly NO ONE was able to make thousands in their first month.
The truth is, many new bloggers give up within a year and never see any profits. If you want to make real money from blogging, just know you need to be in it for the long haul!
Multiple income streams are a necessity
I remember when I first learned that some bloggers make money blogging. I had no idea how they actually did it. It seemed inconceivable to me that you could actually get paid to blog.
Then I learned that most successful bloggers actually have multiple income streams, some of which aren’t strictly “blogging” but center around their blog nonetheless.
Some of the most popular income streams for bloggers are:
- Affiliate marketing
- Selling digital products on their blog
- Selling physical products on their blog
- Offering services on their blog
- Freelance blogging
- Sponsored posts/brand partnerships
Almost all successful bloggers use at least one of the above strategies to monetize their blog, and most have three or four going. The more you diversify your income, the better chance you have of making your blog highly profitable.
So how do you find blogging success?
Blogging is hard work, and most of what you do as a blogger isn’t glamorous. You will be staring at a little glowing screen until your eyes hurt and putting in long hours for what seems like nothing at first. The key to becoming a successful blogger is treating your blog like a business from the start and understanding that you have to put in the time and work to grow your blog!
Disclaimer: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, and at no extra cost to you, I may receive a small commission if you purchase through my links. I only recommend products and services that I have personally used and love.