lmost all of the world's top bloggers such as Pat Flynn, John Chow, Darren Rowse and Brian Clark have shared 100s of tips about how they made their blogs successful. But while focusing on small aspects like what plugins to use helps implement a visually-appealing and highly functional website, focusing on the patterns of small choices that grow into habits is where to find the secret behind these bloggers’ success.
After researching some of the world's highest profile bloggers, I've found recurring habits that appear to separate these bloggers from the majority of bloggers online. In this blog post, I'm going to reveal the practical tips and guides that seem to have made a huge difference to these blogs that have separated these blogs from 1000s of others online.
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These are some of the key habits of the most successful bloggers online that set them apart from the average blogger.
1. They Write Fewer Long Posts Instead of Short, Frequent Posts
A lot of new bloggers tend to focus on creating several short posts of 500 words or less per day, aiming to get more content published in order to increase exposure. Most of the time, these posts do not provide much value, and often consist of information that has been published already, which renders the entire blog totally uninteresting or worthless to their audience. This is an issue I talked about in this post about common SEO mistakes bloggers make. As Kelsey Jones of MoxieDot says, “readers will appreciate a heavier meal over a light snack in the long run.”
Blogger Tim Urban of Wait But Why only publishes one post per week. But what makes him successful, and what keeps his readers returning? Instead of a short, 300-word post, Urban focuses on writing one weekly post of thousands of words, providing detailed information and custom illustrations that make content engaging, easy to read, and visual – three key qualities of success.
How do you go about creating great content? Forget SEO. Forget keyword density. Forget LSI. Write content that maters. Write content that changes the way people think.
2. They Have a Blog Post Checklist
Most bloggers tend to work and put all their efforts into the first 50 percent of the publishing process – write and publish their posts.
According to Pat Flynn, CEO of The Smart Passive Income Blog, these bloggers see only 50 percent of their potential results.
“Growing a successful blog takes work, and the work doesn’t end with the content on your site. The other 50 percent [of a blog’s success] comes from what happens after that content is published.” - Pat Flynn.
To make his posts truly effective and successful, Flynn uses a blog post checklist that comprises all of the key aspects concerning the publishing process.
Find Pat's blog post checklist below:
Did I read my published article and check for spelling & grammar errors?
Did I read my published article and check for formatting or spacing errors?
Did I tweet about my blog post?
Did I share my blog post on Facebook?
Did I share my blog post on all other social media platforms that I joined?
Did I social bookmark my blog post?
Have I responded to comments made on my post?
Have I thanked people on Twitter for Re-Tweeting my blog post?
Have I commented on a commenter’s blog post?
If my post contained audio or video, have I begun getting a transcript made for it?
Have I re-written / summarized my post for article marketing distribution?
Have I checked the stats on my page including traffic, click-throughs and sources?
Pat uses this checklist for every blog post he makes. His income reports states that this checklist has contributed to making $3 million blogging, helping Pat support his family and live the passive income dream.
3. They Keep a Regular Posting Schedule
One of the factors that contribute to bloggers’ success is having a regular posting schedule. In other words, publishing posts on specific days of the week, at approximately the same hour (or time of the day).
“One of the toughest things to overcome is the inability to consistently write fresh new content.” - John Chow
Even for seasoned bloggers, publishing eight or more posts per week is unrealistic, making it difficult to find new ideas to write about – and most importantly, to use your own voice to craft the content.
Publishing posts roughly on the same days and at the same time of the day can help you build loyalty from your readership. When your audience knows when to expect new posts, they will be more likely to consistently return to your blog and read your content.
To make your blogging efforts even more successful, you should carefully track analytics in order to identify the best times to post content. This will make it easier for them to stay up-to-date with your blog, and will help you generate more traffic to your website as well. Two free tools that can help with this include the Jetpack Wordpress plugin and of course Google Analytics.
It is always a great idea to plan your posts ahead of time, so you will only have to do the research and put it together, then sculpt it to offer better readability.
4. They Develop Genuine Relations with Other Bloggers
Many bloggers fail to understand the importance of developing relations with other bloggers in their niche. Even if your content is great, if nobody knows you, your success will be largely limited. Jon Morrow, the Associate Copyeditor of Copyblogger, insists on how the blogosphere has dramatically changed over the past few years, especially since there are thousands of bloggers crying for attention.
They publish content, and compete for the same keywords.
“If your content is good enough, you MUST leverage your relationships with other successful bloggers." - Jon Morrow
This means to subscribe to their blogs, leave thoughtful comments, share their posts, and email them personally every once in a while.
If your content is compelling and delivers real value, then these bloggers may even choose to cite you in their posts – and it will not be long until their readers will start visiting your website as well, making your blog successful.
5. They Use Social Media
Social media marketing is now a critical part of your success as a blogger. Content distribution via social networks is critical to the post-publishing process, as it allows their audience to stay up-to-date with their latest posts, interact with bloggers, and share the content further.
Most successful bloggers are very active on social networks. They consistently post updates, engage with industry experts, reply to fans’ messages, share helpful information, and more. This helps increase exposure, which is critical to reaching a wider audience and getting more people to read your posts.
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Here are the Twitter profiles of the bloggers mentioned so far in this post. You can see they interact with their audience everyday, building their reputation and profiles:
Stick to basic platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and Pinterest to distribute your content and interact with your audience. Depending on your particular market and its needs, you may find just 1-2 social media platforms to be the most effective. For example, eCommerce store owners may find Pinterest to be of the most value given its visual appeal.
6. They Link to Other Blogs in Their Own Posts
Read a few posts by Stanford Smith at Pushing Social – if you take a closer look, you will quickly notice that, in nearly all posts, there are at least one or two links to other relevant blogs.
This seems to be a common habit of successful bloggers, as it helps them convey professionalism – linking back to other blogs that provide relevant information on the same subject shows that you have done your research before publishing your own post, right?
The authors of those respective blogs will know that you have linked back, and will likely return the favor in the future. What’s more, linking back to other blogs also shows your interest for providing your readers with complete and comprehensive information on the topic, even if that is promoting others’ websites at heart.
When you do your research, make sure to save the URLs of the blogs that you have taken information from, and embed one or two in the body of your posts
7. They Give Real-Life Case Studies
Have you ever wondered what makes readers subscribe to a mailing list, or simply come back to read more posts? According to Jenna Arak of The Muse, writing posts that tell a story or talk about personal experience can entice one-time visitors into becoming loyal readers of your blog. Take, for example, career blogger Penelope Trunk, who integrates engaging stories in her every post, “weaving her personal life and her advice in a pattern that flows logically while remaining interesting and useful.”
This makes the blog more personal and authentic, giving the blogger a sense of credibility. What’s more, personal stories usually entice readers to share their own in the comment box, increasing engagement and driving more traffic to your website.
Becoming a successful blogger can appear to be very difficult for newbies, especially since there are so many aspects to think of. The key to success is publishing content and knowing how to distribute it so readers who aren’t yet part of your audience will become interested in what you have to say. Keep design simple and don’t stress about fine details such as what plugins or color scheme to use. For your blog to be successful, you must focus on delivering valuable information, so be as detailed as possible in your posts, connect with your audience and share your experiences.
While blogging in 2015 is a competitive place, the tips from these bloggers who have made it can help new bloggers gain and maintain momentum.