It does not matter whether you are a blogger working tirelessly to grow your audience volume or a newbie who is just starting out creating a new blog, a few big questions always linger at the back of your mind.
- Do I really have what it takes to become a successful blogger?
- Do I have the ability to capture the attention of my audience?
- Do I have what it takes to promote my content and make a great living from my blogging business?
These are very good questions to ask yourself.
There is good news for you.
The fact that you are starting or have started a blog shows that you have some basic characteristics of a blogger. These are the ones that sparked your interesting blogging in the first place.
Perhaps you naturally have a knack for writing, or you are experienced in marketing, or you simply love reaching out to people and forming great relationships with them.
The great news is that you can develop characteristics that will enhance your ability to become a great blogger.
You just need to know where to focus your energy.
This article will show you some of the characteristics you must develop to become a successful blogger.
Relationship Building (Networking)
Finding and Learning From Your Audience
#1: Develop a High Sense of Curiosity
This is the first and arguably the most important characteristic of a successful blogger.
You have to be curious about the happenings in your preferred niche and be the first to inform your readers about them.
When you develop a healthy curiosity about the things you are blogging about or soon will be, you will be able to stay focused on your topic irrespective of how many hours you have to write or whether you get instant engagement or not.
Without curiosity, it will be easy to burn out when the going gets tough.
- Why is curiosity important?
Individual moments of inspiration or motivation are not enough to develop the long-term personal investment you need to become a great blogger.
For example, it takes a long time to figure out who your ideal audience is, develop techniques to reach them successfully, build a great followership and find ways to monetize your blog, while still having your audience’s interests in mind.
Curiosity helps you learn more, share more, and find ways to better serve your audience when it comes to meeting their needs.
- So how do you go about maintaining a healthy curiosity?
Select a niche in which you have a fierce interest. This will excite your curiosity about the latest and best information that you can share with your audience.
Basically, there are two factors that you should keep in mind when choosing a niche that highly tickles your curiosity:
- Choose a niche in which you have a lot of experience
- Choose a niche that is interesting enough to keep you going for the months and years ahead.
If you love the subject that you are blogging about, then it will be easy to sustain a healthy curiosity in the long term.
Without the internal drive that comes from being intensely curious about what you log about, then it will be difficult to achieve success in your blogging endeavor.
#2: Develop Prioritization Skills
There is a scenario that plays out quite commonly in the blogging world:
A blogger finds a perfect niche, has the passion to help people meet their pressing needs, and is thrilled about beginning a journey to generating a sustainable income from the blog.
The blogger finds the perfect hosting plan, pays for the CMS, and publishes a few posts.
Then suddenly, after reality rears its head, the blogger goes silent.
The blogger has a spouse and kids who need attention, a full-time job, and it suddenly becomes very difficult to assign the much-needed time to attend to the blog.
The little time available is spent writing haphazard posts that do not have the right “feel”.
There is little time to spend on promoting the blog, and this amounts to very little when it comes to making money from the blog.
Within a short period, the blogger has lost interest in the blog, and it suffers a quiet demise.
To be honest, you need to create time and space in your daily schedule to focus on your blog, otherwise, there will be very little progress.
Lack of prioritization is one of the major causes of blog abandonment, even when a blogger has a niche with a great potential for creating a massive revenue stream.
- What is the solution?
You have to set aside blocks of time within your day, week, or month when you will work dedicatedly on your blog.
You can have a calendar that lays out a structure for blogging, depending on your publishing schedule.
Each block should be carefully assigned for a specific task – writing, promoting, sharing on social media, etc.
It does not mean that you have to set less time for your full-time job, or being with your family, but you have to develop a prioritized schedule to work more on your blog.
You may have to reduce the amount of time that you use doing luxury things, such as watching movies, wake up a little earlier than usual to work on your blog, and perhaps reducing the time you spend visiting over the weekend.
Once you develop the ability to prioritize blocks of time for your blog, you will begin to see tangible results in the performance of your blog sooner, than if you have a haphazard schedule.
#3: Cultivate Discipline
Discipline is a character you must cultivate to succeed in any endeavor including blogging. Discipline works hand-in-hand with curiosity and prioritization.
If you don’t have discipline, then how will you stick to the prioritization schedule that you have created for blogging?
No matter how hard you plan for your blog, you will NOT succeed if you don’t have the discipline to stick to the plan religiously.
You have to do away with distractions such as phone calls, social media, or a myriad of other impulses that will take your attention away from your blogging schedule.
If you need some help in cultivating a disciplined approach to blogging, use a free blog planner which allows you to break down your tasks into smaller manageable bits.
However, if you find creating a disciplined approach to your blogging challenging, you don’t have to fret.
There are some things that you can do to overcome these challenges:
- Make small changes at first
It is agreed, the various components of blogging can be overwhelming at first, so start by focusing on small tasks that you can do individually.
Use best SEO practices and ensure that you create one or two blog posts a week.
Once you have got a manageable rhythm, schedule more time for launching an email newsletter, creating landing pages, etc.
- Find excitement in your work
When you are working on something that excites you, it will be much easier to be disciplined.
This is where picking the right niche for your blog comes in. Once you have a niche that excites you, you will find it joyful to spend time writing about products or services in the niche.
Use smart habits rather than goal-focused habits alone.
The book, Atomic Habits, by James Clear, explains how small changes can significantly help people to become more productive.
He says that one should have a love for the process that leads to a specific goal.
“When you fall in love with the process rather than the product, you don’t have to give yourself permission to be happy, You will be satisfied anytime your system is running. And a system can be successful in many different ways, not just the one you first envision.” – James Clear, Atomic Habits.
#4: Learn to be patient
There is one irrefutable fact that comes with blogging. It will take you a while before you can start earning money from your blog; sometimes a year or more.
This is where patience comes in. Most people will abandon their blogs when they take too long to start generating an income.
It requires a lot of commitment to following proven blogging principles and try out various ways to drive traffic to your blog, till you finally reach the point where revenue and growth become easy.
It requires a lot of patience to hold on for long until you finally start making some returns on the time, money, and effort you have put into your blog.
“Without patience, you are likely to abandon your blog before all the work you have put into it starts paying off.”
That fantastic post that you have posted today, may not start getting readers until several months down the line.
Creating a successful blog requires a lot of work upfront. The time for earning will come a little later and this is why being patient and being satisfied with simply adding more content to your blog is crucial.
The gratification will come later; be patient.
#5: Be thorough in your research
Another common phrase in the blogging universe is:
“Write what you know!”
To a certain extent, this is true, since most bloggers draw from their knowledge and experience when creating blog posts that will have a profound impact on their audience.
However, no matter how much knowledge and experience you have, you must do great research when creating your blog posts.
You need to affirm the knowledge you have – also find out what is the latest news or trends about the topics you write about.
Being an expert in your field is not enough when it comes to growing into a successful blogger.
In-depth research is an effective way of getting a deeper understanding of the topic you are writing about. This allows you to share insightful solutions that offer greater value to your audience.
If you have not cultivated a habit of performing deep research on your blogging topics, here are some things that can help you:
- Confirm your facts
Not everything you read on the internet is completely true. There are blog posts that may have been true at one time and are no longer true today
For example, SEO guidelines have changed significantly over the years. You need to research existing guidelines if you want to provide current and actionable solutions when blogging about SEO today.
Check your facts, then check them again and again till they ring true according to the recent information available online.
At times, people create clickbait information on their blogs to shock people into reading their posts. Although some of these facts may be true, others are not.
For example, you may have heard that swallowing gum will clog your intestines for years to come; or cracking your knuckles leads to arthritis.
These facts are wrong, but some people believe in them anyway. So, make sure that you double-check and triple-check your facts when writing your blog posts.
Similarly, if you are sharing facts that may have been true 10 years ago, then you should check if they hold true today.
- Choose your research sources carefully
There is a lot of information floating around the internet, and you have to find the best places to do your research. Here is a list of sources that you should adhere to:
- Get information from other experts
Always visit authority blogs and websites covering topics that you are writing about. Keep updated on recent trends, news and learn from those who are taking an intimate look at subjects that you want to write about.
- Listen to podcasts
Today, podcasts have become a popular channel for disseminating information. Find podcasts hosted by experts in your niche.
- Watch YouTube videos
When you want to learn about a topic that is not clear to you, YouTube videos created by experts can always clear things up for you.
It is also a great way of learning more about your niche topics when you are having breakfast or taking a break.
- Subscribe to email lists and magazines
Although magazines may be becoming obsolete, they are still a source of in-depth information about a wide range of topics, given by experts.
You may subscribe to emails from trusted magazines that have embraced digital publishing.
- Visit the library or buy books
Reading books can help you understand a lot more about your topic and even guide you on how you should write your topics.
They becoming useful at fleshing out content so it rings true to your readers.
- Chat up the experts
One of the trending writing techniques is interviewing experts in your niche. There are people who have a lot of expertise to share even if they do not have blogs of their own.
For example, you can identify with a successful businessman, and then interview him on how he grew his business.
This person might not have a blog and the information he shares with you will benefit your audience who would otherwise have lost a chance to learn from this businessman.
When doing your research, go through various mediums and craft blog posts that are useful to your audience ad set you apart as an authority in what you are writing about.
It is prudent to have a healthy dose of cynicism so you can filter out what is real and what is fake.
- Track your research
When you perform your research, you should take useful notes that will empower your content more.
Start with a strong headline and then write notes about the research you are doing, make sure it follows a flowing structure, and then start writing your final copy after that.
Writing notes also helps you cover every possible angle concerning the content that you are writing.
It ensures that you are providing a comprehensive solution so your audience does not have to go to other sites to find missing bits.
When performing research for your blog posts, add links to the outline. This allows you to have a point of reference when you are stuck in writing the final copy of your post.
If you have to write some information verbatim, then make sure you add links or cite the original sources.
#6: Adopt relationship building or networking
Blogging by nature may seem to be an individual pursuit, but this is not the reality.
You must adopt networking as a means of building a community around your blog.
You will reach out to people who will benefit from what you are writing, as well as learn from those who have come before you.
When you talk to some of the most successful bloggers today, they will affirm that networking played a vital role in the success of their blogs.
Relationship building is about finding win-win partnerships with people operating within your niche, or those associated with it.
If you want to be better at creating meaningful relationships within your niche, here are some tips on what you should do:
- Speak at conferences and offer expert advice:
If you are a blogger who relies on expertise to create content, then you may consider sharing information at conferences and others forums.
This is a great way of getting your audience’s attention and also displaying your authority in matters associated with what you blog about.
- Be a guest on an authority podcast:
As mentioned earlier, podcasts have become quite popular. People listen to them even when they are on the move, or doing chores in their homes.
When you appear as a guest on an authority podcast with a huge following, you reach a much wider audience within a short time.
- Join online communities:
If you find communities built around your preferred niche, then you increase your chances of getting a high volume of targeted visitors to your blog.
You can try out message boards, social media groups, niche-based forums, and others.
- Host experts in your niche
Although people put a lot of emphasis on writing guest posts for other authoritative blogs, you should get some experts to write content on your blog as guests. This is a great way to share audiences.
- Host or Co-host a webinar:
You can host a webinar with a YouTube Creator, Podcaster, Exert or blogger in your niche and jointly increase traffic to your blogs.
- Contact those you mention in your blog posts:
When you write or quote someone on your blog, it would be a great idea to let them know about it. This networking technique works well since they may be obliged to mention you in their blogs too.
This is a great way to share mutually beneficial content and share audiences within your network.
- Comment on other people’s blogs:
You want people to comment on your blogs to cultivate engagement, right? It is also a good idea to comment on other people’s blogs too, with the same goal in mind.
Make sure your comments are meaningful since others who read them may be drawn to your blog because of the authority you displaying the manner that you comment.
Don’t just write “Great Job” in a comment.
In the beginning, you may feel reluctant to start building relationships around your blog, but this is something that you can get better at with practice.
You will be pleasantly surprised by how much networking can help you grow your blog.
#7: Find your audience and learn from them.
One other characteristic you must develop is how to find your audience, develop a deep understanding of them and learn from them.
You cannot market your blog content properly if you do not understand the people you are writing to; it will even be more difficult to monetize your blog with them.
Here are some tips on how you can find your audience and understand their needs:
- Hang out with people who share the same interests:
Find people who have an interest in what you are blogging about and share ideas with them. You can learn a lot about the experiences they have had in relation to the topics you blog about.
- Research your niche:
This is the best way to learn about the challenges people are facing concerning the topics you want to blog about.
Go to Quora and check on the questions people are asking about your niche.
This is a great way of understanding the pains that people need to be addressed and a wonderful way of finding topics to write about that people will easily identify with.
For example, you may be blogging about a service that people need, and going to places where people ask how they can find and use the service allows you to create a helpful blog post that they can benefit from.
- Be present on social media:
Get to know which social media platforms your targeted audience spends a lot of time in and make your presence felt.
Joining social media groups is a great way of learning what people are struggling with. If you are blogging about 3D modeling and animation, you will find topics raised by beginners and you can bring them into your fold by writing actionable tutorials for them on your blog.
- Browse discussion forums:
Find discussion forums related to your niche and follow the chats and see what people are talking about, and the topics that are most important to them.
- Visit your competition:
Go to your competitors’ blogs and find out what they are writing about. Observe the comments on their blogs and see if there is more information that readers need and you can cover that.
If you can find topics that are not covered by your competition, you can create blogs that will have low competition.
- Watch videos:
Earlier on, we discussed videos and podcasts as a way of reaching out to your competition. You can also use these to find out what your audience wants to know.
You also get updated on the happenings in your niche and you may find ways to reach out to your audience in a better manner.
You can also use these mediums to pitch yourself to your potential audience.
Having a culture of networking and building relationships is a non-negotiable character that you MUST have to succeed as a blogger.
#8: Be responsible with your finances
A large proportion of bloggers are not financial professionals, but it is important to have a business plan that lays out your finances and you should follow it religiously.
A blog should be treated as a business and there are financial aspects of the business that cannot be ignored
This is a blogging characteristic that most bloggers have to learn, so you should cultivate financial responsivity from the start.
The principle is that you should be getting more money coming in than you are spending.
It is also crucial to be thoughtful and organized when planning what to do with the money earned from the blog.
Here are a few tips on how you can cultivate financial responsibility as a blogger:
- Come to grips with your spending
You must master your expenses, especially at the start of your blogging endeavor.
Ideally, starting a blog does not need to be expensive, but costs will increase as the blog grows.
When starting a blog, some of the initial costs will include
- The cost of a computer
- Getting a reliable Internet connection
- Buying a domain for your blog
- Getting a hosting plan for your blog
These are the bare minimum costs that you will incur at the start. As your blog grows, you will have to pay for tools and services that help you reach more people with minimum effort.
Some of the other costs you will incur as the blog grows include:
- SEO tools
- Costs of advertising
- Analytics tools
- Premium themes that you can customize
- Blog plugins and security tools
- Email marketing tools
- Office supplies
- Other related hardware like a microphone and headphones if you want to host a podcast.
- Keep good financial records
You must develop a habit of keeping reliable financial records of your revenue and expenses. You should do this every month.
- Identify multiple income sources
As your blog grows, you should diversify your income sources.
You can start small by using Google AdSense to earn from Google Ads and perhaps start an affiliate marketing program.
Later on, you can look for ambitious and highly paying income sources to make more money on your blog.
One goal that most bloggers have is to finally be able to sell their own products online, whether it is a service or a digital product like an eBook.
Make a document that lays out your income sources and helps you plan on how you can optimize your income from each.
- Pay your taxes
Depending on your geographical region, you may have to pay taxes just like any other business.
The only way to do this is to keep meticulous financial records which you can then use to determine how much tax you should pay every year.
If your blog grows too big, you should consider hiring an accountant or using simple tools such as QuickBooks Self-employed to help you with your taxes.
#9: Cultivate a flexible mindset
Cultivating a flexible mindset is crucial to a blogger since he or she should be able to adjust according to recent changes.
You may have started your blog with a very wonderful business plan, but certain unavoidable circumstances arise and you must be flexible enough to adapt without losing ground.
For example, you may have a business plan that predicts you will have some income within 6 months.
If you fail to hit that target, you must be flexible enough to adapt and find out what went wrong and what you can do to get back on track.
The Internet is a fast-paced and fluid environment.
What may be working right now may take a drastic change in the next few months and you must be able to adapt and make changes that will keep your blog on course.
Learn how to change with what is changing around you using some of the following tips:
- Perform A/B testing
It is necessary to test several approaches and see which plan or strategy works best for your blogging business.
For example, you can create posts on Instagram using different background images, fonts, and colors and see which ones people love the most.
This could be a great way to determine the colors, fonts, and images to use in your blog. Do this over a period of a few days.
- Be honest with yourself
No matter how much you believe you know what is best for your blog, you must be honest with yourself about what works and what does not.
If you keep pushing something to your audience without getting the desired response, then you should be honest and accept that it needs changing, no matter how great you think it is.
Know when to change the outlets that you use for promoting your blog. Be honest and accept the recent trends of promotion if what you do is not working.
- Keep on top of your statistics
Statistics, or analytics, are a great way of knowing whether your blog is performing well or not. You will know if you are reaching the desired audience and whether you are covering them optimally.
If you send out a newsletter and people are not responding to it, then you need to rethink your whole approach since the statistics do not lie.
- Keep updated on recent trends
Be very fast to notice changes in the niche that you are blogging about and convey this message to your audience.
Bloggers who are the first ones to write about a recent trend get the most traffic, and that is a fact you cannot ignore.
Find out where you can get the latest trends in your industry. This may be different for various niches.
For example, social media may be a great place to look for the latest fashion trends as people keep posting images of what they currently wear, while engineering websites and forums may be the best part to find information on the latest trends in detailing a motor vehicle
- Be ready to go against the grain
Sometimes you indeed get better traction in your niche when you go against the grain.
When you do things differently, you may capture a significant section of your audience that is not satisfied with the status quo.
Standing out from the crows may require you to do things differently.
You could perhaps promote your content in a way that others have not, or do something totally alien in your niche, and may somehow benefit your target audience.
As you can see, adopting a flexible mindset can influence the performance of your blog.
To be a successful blogger, you must stop being rigid in the way you think and earn to change when change could be good for your business.
In blogging, the environment is constantly changing and those who do not evolve with these changes become obsolete.
#10: Learn to be humble
You are probably asking yourself what humility has to do with becoming a successful blogger, right?
Humility is a basic backbone of many of the characteristics that we have mentioned above.
You must be humble to be disciplined
You must be humble to be flexible, and so on.
Humility allows you to change your character for the better.
It is humility that will allow you to have a hard look at the negative things that affect your blogging business and make beneficial changes where needed.
It may be easy to change the technical aspect of blogging, but if you cannot change your character, then you might end up failing – humility makes it easy to change your character, which is the principal goal of this blog.
Another benefit of humility is that it allows you to accept others’ opinions.
When you put out a blog post, people will react differently and these reactions may find a way into your comments section.
Be humble to accept criticism and respond positively.
You may have seen some controversial posts on social media, and seen how people respond to them.
Humility allows you to go past negativity with grace and helps in avoiding the internalization of negative posts.
Humility saves your self-confidence from crumbling since you will be able to smile in the face of negativity and zealously continue with the blog.
Humility also allows you to learn from other people, even when you consider yourself to be more experienced or knowledgeable than them.
You are not the only source of information within your niche and you can learn something great from a person who has been blogging for a shorter time than you have.
Over to you now
These are some of the most important characteristics that you must have to succeed as a blogger.
It is now time that you examined your character and see which of these are lacking and then make changes to them.
Like what was mentioned earlier, you must approach this process with a lot of honesty and humility.
You must be willing to understand which of these traits you have not developed and what you can do to improve them
Once you do that, you will start seeing a great change in the way you approach blogging.
Adopting great characteristics will improve how you conduct business as a blogger, how you interact with your audience to make things better for them.
Share your thoughts in the comments section below and let us know how you are getting along in creating characters that will help you build a better blogging career.
Over to you now!