Friday, April 5, 2013

Blogging for Dollars: 7 Reasons Why Professional Bloggers are Successful

In the last post about blogging: Blogging for Dollars: Top 7 Places to Look for Blogging Jobs
we talked about the second way one could blog for money.  This post will explore Way 1: Beginning Your Own Blog.

To start your own blog and begin blogging you are in luck because there is a lot of information out there on how to start a blog, maintain it, monetize it, promote it and ultimately make money doing it. Do you realize that blogs with 100,000 or more unique visitors a month earn an average of $75,000 annually?  Eighteen percent of all bloggers in the blogoshere are part-time or full-time professional (earning an income) bloggers.

As we know, success first starts with "success in mind." To be a successful blogger, one has to become mentally prepared to establish success in their life.  Many people start a blog (present company included) and often fail at growing their blog because they don't have the right mind-set at the beginning of their journey.

The ones that do succeed, seem to be able to gleen information from the people that did it right.  They carefully emulate successful people's thought patterns and habits, tweek them to fit their personality and business model, and then make these new habits their own.

After much struggle with creating, writing and maintaining my own blog, I thought I would help you figure out how the professionals of the blogsphere got that way and the very things that they did to make them successful at it.

In my study of professional bloggers, I found 7 things that all successful bloggers do:

1.  Find a topic/subject/cause to love

You don't just love the topic, this is a topic that dominates your life.  You can not get enough of this topic.  You read about it, you think about it, you do it, you talk to your friends about it (until they are sick of you and it), you constantly research it, and you want to learn more and more about it.  A good blogger, will immerse themselves in their beloved topic, so it's very important that this topic is something you will not get tired of exploring 6 months down the line.  You will be wedded to this topic, so make sure you can live with it for better or worse.

2.  Have patience and have a need to share

You can't be stingy with what you learn.  In fact, you must have a driving need to share what you have learned. You're goal should be on the grand scale of sharing.  It should look something like: I want to educate 1,000,000 people on "following their dreams" in the next 6 months!  I want to touch and change the lives of 100 people in the next 30 days. Well, to do that you have to share and educate and be present for your audience.  But that is going to take time, and effort, and openness to others.

3.  Build a large audience for your blog  

You have the topic you love and the patience to share it with everyone you meet.  Cool.  You know what would really be cool?  Getting a lot of people to realize that you love this topic and will talk about this topic -- even before you start your blog.  You know how to do that?  Twitter and Facebook.

Create a Facebook Page about your topic and promote the hell out of it.  Get people active on your page talking about the topic.  Or, create a Twitter Account and only talk about your topic.  Develop a large audience on Twitter that simply love talking about your topic.  What you are essentially doing is gathering people of the same interests, you are developing an "audience."  When you then establish your blog, you will have a ready-made audience that trusts you and your opinion and will want to read your posts on said topic!  Having a large audience through social media can really help you get your blog growing quickly.

What is a large audience?  On Facebook having over 250 likes and Twitter having over 1,000 followers is a good start.  But let's face it the more followers you have on both social media sites the better.  We'll elaborate on techniques for gaining followers on social media sites in another blog post.

4.  Commit to Time 

It takes time to create a successful blog. Go to the calendar right now and put a big X 90 days from today. If you started your blog today -- 90 days is a realistic length of time -- you must commit to working on your blog daily for 90 days to see any gains. What are you committing to? Putting up posts regularly.  Replying to comments.  Designing and configuring features. Generally making your blog better each day.  Most bloggers don't make it past the 3 month mark into their blogging venture.  The successful bloggers commit to working on your blog every day until they reach that X on the 90th day.  By the time they reach that X, they have establish a habit of blogging. Which means they will continue working on their blog daily, gaining the ground to success.

Time commitment is essential to success, did you know that 13% of all bloggers (63% of the top professional bloggers) blog more than 10 hours per week or 1.5 hours per day (90 minutes per day).  Wow, that 90 number seems to keep popping up!  I think it really means something.

So, let's commit to 90 minutes per day for 90 days to gain blogging success!

5.  Commit to Consistency

The more consistent the posts, the more profit bloggers gain.  Did you know that?  You didn't?  Well, here's something else: professional full-time bloggers update their blog at least 3 times per day.  Okay, that's a lot of work and I'm not expecting a new blog writer to be able to update a blog 3 times per day and keep their day job.  But, gradually growing your writing techniques to consistently publish one post per day will make your audience grow and thus your earnings will grow as well.

This is easy to do if you keep your blog posts short (300 to 500 words) but packed full of information. I tend to write long blog posts (this post is an example).  If you are like me and put much blood, sweat and tears in each post -- creating long articles that average 1,000 words or more -- committing to 3 or 4 posts a week at regular/predictable intervals is a good starting point.

Just for reference, The top bloggers (like Mashable, TechCrunch, etc.) post at least every 24 hours.  Also note that 27% of the top bloggers post at least once week.  However, if you want to run with the "big dogs" then you should know, the top 100 bloggers post 20+ post per day.  The top 500 bloggers post 12 posts per day.  So, it's pretty clear -- good quality posts and more of them on a consistent basis is the key to gaining a large, devoted audience.

6.  Your List of Fans/Readers/Followers is Key

Gather contact information, create a list of people that have visited your blog so you can promote to those people again! Your list of contacts, of people who are interested in your topic is your GOLDEN EGG.  Find a way to gather and capture information from your visitors.  Compile and store the list like it is a golden treasure, because it is! That list will be your way to riches.  How do you get this information from readers? Well, many bloggers use free e-books, free e-newsletters, free gifts or contests entries in exchange for names, e-mails and addresses of visitors.

The beautiful thing about these lists you compile is, you can use them over and over again to promote future blog posts, to promote books and other materials you create around your blog.  There are so many advantages to list building, it requires its own blog post to give it its full due.  Don't worry, I'm on it -- look for a blog post on the topic soon.

7.  Promotion, promotion, promotion 

There are so many ways to promote your blog and part of creating and maintaining a blog is promoting it.  There is so much good advice out there on promoting your blog -- seriously, all you need to do is take three or four ideas and consistently do them.  If you are consistent in your promotional efforts (remember 90 minutes each day for 90 days) you will see your blog grow by leaps and bounds.  Currently, social media is a big promotional tool for blogs, 93% of professional bloggers use Twitter and Facebook and have over 1,000 followers on these sites to help promote their blog.

An Extra Tip Because I Like You:

8.  Remain Open to Other Forms of Media

Don't get stuck in the blogosphere.  Be open to using other media and digital formats to deliver your ideas and information.  Look into Google+ Hangouts, Guest Blogging, Podcasts, Online Radio Shows, YouTube.  By adding other formats to deliver your information and educate new audiences you can gain a whole new set of people to add to your blogging audience and grow even bigger.   Don't settle of just blogging, the Internet is big.  Try new things, you might just like it.

Well, that's it.  If you are willing to embrace the habits of professional bloggers your blogging endeavors will be a success in no time! Which is really good for me because I need you to be very successful people, because I'm telling you -- I need powerful and influential friends.

Like this article? Then you will probably like these articles too:

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