When it comes to blogging the majority of bloggers out there are looking to succeed in the sense that people will not only be able to find their blogs through the various search engines, but also be compelled enough after reading the title to continue reading the post. Once you’ve nailed those three aspects it’s up to your style of writing to convince them of the benefits of subscribing to your blog or returning for future visits.
I thought I’d compile a list of seven traits that can help a blogger in the day to day life of running a successful blog. Please don’t think there are only seven, because if you visited a dozen blogs I’m sure you’d find each blog owner possessed a slightly different, though just as useful set of habits.
Habit #1 – They are strategic
A blog doesn’t just come into existence, and more importantly, a successful and profitable one filled with content, comments, and a sense of community around it. The owner made decisions that shaped the flow and growth of his or her blog, and then monitored the results of their actions to see which were favorable under which conditions, and which were to be avoided.
It’s important to have an idea of what exactly you think success will look like so that you can put an action plan into place in order to make it come to pass. If you wake up in the morning and sit down in front of your computer and are unsure of your next move chances are you don’t have a solid enough strategic plan in place.
Setting goals, even large ones can be mapped out with the first steps without seeming overwhelming. Sometimes you need to stop looking at the big picture and wondering how you’re ever going to get there, and simply focus on the next step in the process.
Habit #2 – They set measurable goals
What I mean by measurable is that you should stick to goals that have some sort of measurable component to them. I’ll have 30,000 monthly visitors to my blog is a measurable goal, and one that is easy to monitor. Once you’ve established a goal, the next step is to put an action plan against it because as you know what’s talked about is a dream, what’s planned becomes possible, and what’s scheduled is real!
Now for some 30,000 visitors or 1000 daily might seem astronomical considering that would put you in the very top 0.25% of all websites online, but like every other goal it can be broken down into smaller goals. In this case it’s simply a goal with 1000 steps. Get 1 more reader!
Habit #3 – They model the success systems of others
Quite often we have this bad habit of comparing ourselves to others despite not having all the facts needed to even make such a comparison. You don’t know what they’ve done to get where they are, and in fact it probably wouldn’t be a good idea to follow them step for step because you’d also be making the same mistakes they’d already made.
A much better process would be to analyze the way they do things now, rather than look for how they arrived where they are. Chances are if they are successful they have access to resources you and I simply don’t. If you see them building a sales funnel a certain way, it’s likely the result of a lot of effort, expense and testing that brought them to where they are now.
Rather than starting off with a blank slate and reinventing the wheel over and over, the time invested in doing some competitive research, and listening the advice of those sharing about their experiences will pay off in dividends for sure!
As Tony Robbins says “Success leaves clues!” It’s just a matter of paying attention, and taking action on them!
Habit #4 – They take action
It isn’t enough to have a dream; dreams are great and wonderful because they require zero effort to imagine. But would you rather have a dream or a reality? The only difference between someone dreaming a dream, and living one is the one living it, is taking some sort of action toward it in a consistent fashion day in and day out, and are moving closer and closer toward it over time.
Try this little experiment (do it on yourself if you like), ask someone what they want, what they would wish for if they could have anything at all in life. We all have dreams we carry with us through life, for some it might be to own a house, other might prefer a Ferrari or other sports car. Maybe you’d like to do all the things on your bucket list, or make a million dollars!
Whatever it is the next logical question that follows is “what have you done to bring you closer to that goal today?” How about this week? How about this month? Too often the answer is a blank stare, or “well nothing I was busy”.
If you aren’t taking action toward your dreams then you aren’t living them!
Habit #5 – They have habits
When you hear that someone has a habit, you often turn to the darker side of thinking, but did you know that having habits are like having super powers when it comes to accomplishing amazing things in life?
Let’s look at two very different habits and how they affect our lives differently.
First Habit: Habit Herman spends four hours each day (A.C. Nielsen TV average for Americans) watching TV after his long days as a computer programmer for a busy firm. He enjoys his “down time” and usually indulges in some snacking because let’s face it four hours is a pretty long time to go without food!
Second Habit: Healthy Herman cuts out two hours out of his Television schedule in order to hit the gym in his neighborhood since let’s face it sitting at your desk for eight hours doesn’t do much for your figure!
Do you think these two Herman’s might live two very different lives (not to mention potentially longer)?
Is Herman #1 any happier than Herman #2? I doubt it, unless Television programming has gotten a lot better lately.
What if we stop talking about Herman here (sorry Herman) and focus on you! What could two hours less Television (could be any bad habit) do for your blog, or your business? Do you realize that it works out to the equivalent of more than 18 full forty hour work weeks by the end of the year? Could that make a difference in your business? I bet it would!
Habits are anything we do on a regular basis (typically daily) and can be as simple as taking the stairs vs. the elevator, but by implementing the switch you’ll be improving the quality of your life. Try looking at your own routines and seeing which one’s you’d like to eliminate, and which ones need to be added in order to align with what’s important in your life.
Habit #6 – They build communities
In blogging especially, it is so important to build your community, reach out and be a part of the lives of others in a way that enriches it for them. Too often we approach it from a “me” standpoint when we should be focusing on the person on the other side of that blog post.
I guarantee you that the collective knowledge of a community will always be greater than your own.
The skills of a community will be greater than your own as well. A community shares its knowledge and skills freely and if you don’t belong to one, or are trying to go it alone you’ll find it a hundred times harder than it needs to be.
When a community takes you in, you become a part of their family. They are excited when you are succeeding, they are supportive when you are failing (remember failing is part of life) and will encourage you to get up, dust yourself off, and get back to work. They may even have some ideas on how you can avoid, or overcome that particular setback you’re facing.
I had a visitor write to me telling me that they enjoyed one of my posts and they mentioned that they had a blog, but had stopped posting several months back because they’d accidentally added some code to a file and could no longer access the site (dreaded white screen).
Instead of reaching out they struggled for about a week and then quit. Turns out we (yes of course I helped) were able to modify the wp-config-sample.php file and use it as the wp-config file. Took us less than 30 minutes to get setup and she was back in business.
This is a community of just two of us, imagine if it were a much larger community?
Habit #7 – They have balance
Working ten hours a day on anything in life will allow you to accomplish amazing things I’m sure, but will you still be enjoying them at the end of day when you realize you’ve sacrificed time with your spouse, child, or anything else that matters?
Balance is an important aspect to a healthy life, and it should be something we spend time on developing. It does you no good to have a ton of cash coming in each month if you’re working 80 hour weeks to get it. On the flip side it does no good to have 80 hours of free time each week if we have nothing to spend it on.
Everyone’s balance will be different but at the very least you should write out all the most important components of your life and then strive to invest time on each one. So many people that I talk to don’t even know what’s important to them. Remember these are THE most important aspects you’d like to have in your life!
Mastering these seven habits can definitely be useful at conquering the niche you’re in, and give you an edge over those who aren’t coming at blogging from a strategic standpoint. Like anything in life the more you immerse yourself into something, the more results you’ll get out of it.
I should point out that results come in two very different flavors, positive ones, and of course negative ones. Don’t be discouraged if you find yourself failing at some aspects more than others around you. If you’re investing more time than the person next to you, you’ll of course end up with more results (both kinds).
The trick is to fail fast, and get on with running and growing your blog and business!
If you’ve enjoyed this post, I’d love to hear your comments and promise to always respond to each and every one of them. I know how busy we can get in life (and blogging) and I truly do appreciate it when you comment or share my posts!