10 Habits of Highly Successful Bloggers

I wish I was as successful as Jon Morrow.

As talented as Stanford Smith (Pushing Social) - as enigmatic as Derek Halphern (Social Triggers).

As business savvy as Mary Jaksch (Write to Done) – as prolific like Ali Luke (Aliventures)

I wish I were an A-list blogger like Sonia Simone! (Copyblogger – need I say that?) Had a cult following like Leo Babauta (Zen Habits).

Relate much? I thought so.

Why are all of these bloggers so successful that the vast majority can only dream of the attention and respect they command?

What do they have in common?

As it turns out – a whole lot.

So let’s get into it, shall we?

#1 They are voracious readers

This is one thing that is common to all A-list bloggers. It makes no difference what niche they are in.

They read religiously.

You can taste it in their writing.

Not only do they have in-depth knowledge of their topics, they are always citing book authors, quoting passages and referencing case studies. You would think like they are a walking library of useful resources – and they are.

An average blogger simply won’t have this advantage if they don’t read.

And it’s not only books either, if you want to make a dent in the blogosphere, you need to be on top on what’s happening in your industry. You need to subscribe to other influencers, hang out at their places and generally learn from them.

You can self appoint mentors. They don’t have to agree to mentor you. Even if you just follow them closely, read their work, you should learn plenty.

#2 They are true experts

Popular bloggers are huge advocates of life long learning.

Life long learners are hungry for knowledge. They are on the quest of learning and they seek information that they can then put into action. They are the known experts.

They learn from books, they learn from media. They learn from their peers, colleagues, friends and even their own kids. They approach each task with a ‘beginner’s mind’, a concept that comes from Zen teachings.

They go through formal blogger education programs and invest in their business.

They tweak things until they find better and more efficient ways of doing things.

Marie Forleo is a great inspiration to a lot of bloggers. She has made quite a name for herself, and caused ripples when she got interviewed by THE Tony Robbins and entered into a partnership with Sir Richard Branson. If you ask her, she would admit to being a poster child for this one. She never stops learning.

#3 They are self starters

There are a hundred and one million things that go into running a successful blog.

You got to be the writer, the designer; the marketer, social media person and the technical expert. You need to have financial know-how and have business smarts.

But most of all, you need to be a highly disciplined self starter. You must have that entrepreneurial spirit that is pushing you to keep moving forward.

If you need a boss overlooking your every move, you might have chosen a wrong business.

You are the boss now, what you decide, happens. And if you procrastinate or slack off – nothing will get done.

You have got to be accountable for your own deeds. It is as simple as that.

#4 They manage their time effectively

When you are in charge, you are also in charge of what gets done, and when.

There are countless ways you can waste your time under the guise of working on your blog. You could subscribe to 200 blog feeds because you are scared of missing out. You spend a lot of time on social media without measuring its return on investment ROI. You keep on fiddling with design and other plugins on your blog.

All of that is not going to help you much, expect maybe feel like you have done something.

You have goals, you need to schedule them in your planner. If you are a stay at home mom, or a part time blogger with a full time job, you need to be accountable for your free time. Put all your blog related and non-related tasks on your planner. What doesn’t get put in, doesn’t get done.

This is how the big shots do it anyway.

#5 They develop genuine relations with other bloggers

Jon Morrow, the Associate Copyeditor of Copyblogger can talk about this for hours.

You can create the most amazing content, but if nobody knows you, it won’t go anywhere.

In one of the videos he did for his guest blogging program, he laments the fact that the blogosphere has changed. Before, it was a handful of people creating excellent content so it was easy for them to get found. Today, there are hundreds and thousands crying for attention. If your content is good enough, you MUST leverage your relationships with other successful bloggers.

Subscribe to their blogs, go over and leave thoughtful comments when you can, share their posts, email them personally once in a while. And be genuine about it. The influencers can see what you are up to if you are sucking up. They know all the tricks. Remember, once they were newbies too.

#6 They are passionate - with a capital P

The highly successful bloggers are so passionate that their blogs practically seem alive with their personalities.

When you read their work you can see just how much they care about what they are saying. And they can’t afford not to, nothing puts you off more quickly than listening to somebody who obviously has no interest in what they are writing about.

The takeaway from this? Be careful choosing your blog topic and niche. It should be narrow enough to interest a particular segment of the audience, and yet broad enough that it gives you room to grow.

A-listers also evolve alongside their blogs. They are life long learners, remember?

#7 They deliver insanely useful content

Because they are avid readers, life long learners, highly productive and passionate about what they do, they create amazing content.

They read a lot so they have tons of published, superior quality sources to add credibility to their work. If they make any claims, they will back them up. If they make outrageous statements, they will have the largely unknown studies available to kill your protests before they even surface.

Because they continuously learn from others, they learn to write like an A-list blogger. Their content is worthy of being published on sites like Forbes (Danny Iny of Firepole marketing), Entrepreneur (Carol Tice of Make a Living) and others such as Huffington Post and Social Media Examiner (Kristin Hines of Kikolani)

#8 They are consistent

All they do all of this consistently, day in, day out.

#9 They are persistent

They do encounter setbacks, who doesn’t; but they pick themselves up, dust themselves off and keep going.

“Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “Press On” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” – Calvin Coolidge

#10 They care deeply about their community

And lastly, they build a successful, thriving community. They pay attention to their readers and create a sense of belonging. They cultivate a level of trust in themselves.

Their readers feel safe and follow them religiously. They turn into die-hard fans and who doesn’t want that?

So there it is. Who knew there was so much work involved? Phew!

They make it seem so easy.

Which quality do you need to develop in order to join the ranks of A-list bloggers? Leave a comment.

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55 Responses to 10 Habits of Highly Successful Bloggers
  1. That is quite the post, well developed. You bet, blogging is tough, but it’s fun. Appreciate the insight.
    Jeff recently posted..Computer Calamity Creates Confused Countenance

    • marya

      Thanks Jeff. Appreciate your kind words.
      Marya

  2. Good morning, Marya.

    I agree with Jeff – you have put out a very nicely developed post. If anything, I would want to emphasise being in a niche where there is a lot of interest probably helps.

    With so many people wanting to learn to write more effectively; blog more productively; sell themselves and their businesses more easily; get to grips with the wonders of the world wide web; and so on, there’s likely to be more interest for their work than – say – someone who writes about stamp collecting (sorry philatelists, I couldn’t think of anything else!).

    I wouldn’t want to seem to be decrying all that you have said about these so-called A-listers – far from it – but I do think their sphere of influence owes a lot to niche choice.

    Kind regards,
    L
    Linda recently posted..Gorgeous Gardens Made For A Great Day Out

    • marya

      Hey Linda, first up thanks for the compliment. And I agree, choosing the right niche is definitely THE key to building a popular blog, not necessarily a profitable one. For instance you can sell a specialized product in a small niche and still do well. You will have issues creating huge audiences but still.. Since niche selection is not a habit, I didn’t include it but probably should have said something under point #3 They are experts in a profitable niche .. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. :)
      Marya

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  4. Perhaps my greatest short-coming is in the area that you address in requirement #5. I am working on it but I am terribly shy and quiet. I am not anti-social but I have a hard time building relationships. I am an insurance professional by trade and have had too many people look past me as a human and only see my job over the years. I guess being shy is what a psychologist would call a defense mechanism. Still, I know that I need to be more out-going. It is just hard.

    • marya

      I hear you Tim. Shyness is indeed a tough nut to crack. Although I am not shy, I am an introvert (there is a difference). I have appalling skills at making small talk. The only way I connect with people is if we have something meanigful in common. That helps to start conversations. Otherwise, I am perfectly happy minding my own business. And this is precisely why I love the online world so much. I don’t have to approach strangers, engage in idle chitchat. Just makes it easier. Have a go at contacting bloggers you admire, if that’s what you’d like to do. And let me know if I can help in any way. Cheers, Marya

  5. Can you tell me who did your layout? I’ve been looking for one kind of like yours. Thank you.

    • marya

      Hey Jennifer, I am almost ashamed to say that I did it myself. It was last year and I couldn’t afford a professional deisgner then. Now I am thinking of redoing it. You need to buy a premium theme and then customize it to your liking. Hope this helps.

  6. I actually think I agree with every one of those ten–except maybe number ten, which I’ll get to shortly.

    I’m a new blogger and thus I’m not sure how each will impact my career but they seem reasonable–even mandatory.

    I meet people all the time who say they want to be writers yet they don’t read all the time, voraciously, obsessively, compulsively.

    No writer in his right mind would have a one hour commute by train and not have something—many things to read.

    No writer would spend ten minutes sitting in the bathroom without something to read.

    I used to stand on street corners at four AM waiting for public transportation, urban craziness happening all around—yet I still would have either a book out to read or my notebook out scribbling.

    If you really want to do something, to master it—not just blabber about it, not just fantasize about, but really passionately want to do it—then you have to do it. You have to do it a lot. You have to do it like a screw-loose crazy person racked with OCD.

    You can trace this exact pattern back through history: Experts—in practically any field you can name–seldom became that way by sheer accident. They worked at it.

    Show me a pianist and I’ll show you somebody who, yes, may have been blessed with a degree of raw, natural talent, but he coupled that, augmented that, multiplied that with an immense amount of effort, of instruction, of practice. In fact, he probably rehearsed the piano, read musical scores, listened to concerts, played recitals more than practically anything else.

    Oh, as far as number ten. I don’t really know what my niche is. I’d like to say I’m a general interest blogger. I’m not selling anything. My blog deals with Life Love and Loot—a fairly wide open playing field. Only time will tell whether I’ll need to be more specific, whether I’ve cast too wide a net.

    So, although I’m passionate to a degree about those topics—who isn’t?
    Adam D. Oglesby recently posted..Abstinence Doesn’t Work: How Long Can You Wait?

    • marya

      Hey Adam, first of all I really enjoyed reading your comment. I checked out your blog and you are doing a fantastic job – congrats!

      You make a valid point. Reading to a point of lunacy and expertise are closely tied together. What do they say about 10,000 hours of deliberate practice?

      When you disagree with point 10, I know where you are coming from. But that is only for the business side of things. You can very well have a highly popular personal blog but usually if one needs to blog for business, it is a good target to go deep rather than wide. Hope this makes sense.

      Thanks for dropping by. Like I said, I enjoyed reading what you had to say. Keep in touch? :)
      Marya

  7. i really like you post, i am not regular visitor of your site but after reading this post,now i daily visit you site, thanks for sharing…!!!
    Bhavesh recently posted..Toyota Kurin Car Will Work By Compressed Air

    • marya

      Glad you like it Bahvesh. And welcome! :)

  8. Thanks for the mention Marya. Excellent post that help me put some things into perspective. One thing though… “what one person can do – another can do”. Don’t ever sell yourself short.
    Stanford @ PushingSocial recently posted..Why Your Startup Should Launch a Blog

    • marya

      Thanks Stanford. Much appreciated! :)
      Marya

  9. Hi Marya,

    I really enjoyed reading this one. They make it seem so easy but people generally notice them once they have made it and they get to take their foot off the gas a little.

    We don’t generally see all of the hard work up front to get to that point.

    That being said, you’ve picked a bunch of great examples.

    The other thing I think they all have in common is that they are all down-to-earth, I guess that kind of relates to your final point though in theory you could care deeply about your community without being…

    great post!
    Alan | Life’s Too Good recently posted..The Power of Small Changes

    • marya

      Thanks for that Alan. Glad you enjoyed reading it – I had a blast writing it, too. :)

      Marya

  10. [...] writinghappiness.com – Today, 8:59 PM Rescoop [...]

  11. PJ

    Hi Marya. Nice job on this article. I’ve been an amateur web developer for the last four years and I’ve just recently decided to try blogging to share my experience. It is very helpful to read articles like the one you posted since it gives newbies a sense of what a Blogger should follow in order to be successful.

    Take care.

    PJ

    • marya

      Glad to be of help. Stick around for more blogging posts PJ. Cheers

  12. Hi,I shall pass this on to my friend, 2 weeks ago she finished/left her mainstream job to go self-employed blogging, she said it was time she got on with her passion (writing) and earning money from it, I like the way you described blogs as being alive with their owners’personalities.

    • marya

      Yup, do that. I am sure she will thank you for your kind gesture Nyka. Cheers.

  13. [...] 10 HABITS OF HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL BLOGGERS [...]

  14. Hi Marya,

    Yes – I do agree. Especially on being consistent. Every good blogger knows the value of consistency when it comes to traffic and SEO value.

    • marya

      But the thing is being consistent is the hardest thing to do. Especially when you are on your own .The slightest problem can derail you easily and you lose all that momentum. This is something that I personally struggle with a lot. Sigh.

  15. [...] 10 Habits of Highly Successful Bloggers - Why are all of these bloggers so successful that the vast majority can only dream of the attention and respect they command? What do they have in common? As it turns out – a whole lot. [...]

  16. Hey Marya, Found you on Daily Blog Tips. It’s really great to visit your blog and read your posts. Thanks for sharing the habits of pro bloggers. The one habit which I love to see on all successful bloggers is that they must be productive blogger.

    Thanks,
    Ehsan U.
    Ehsan Ullah recently posted..BlueHost Review – 10 Reasons To Choose BlueHost Service

    • marya

      Thanks Ehsan. (And I did respond and clarify what I meant over at Daily Blog Tips). Hope you find lots of useful here. Let me know if I can help you with anything. Cheers, Marya

  17. Hi Marya,

    Love this post. I agree with all the points and have heard from some of the people mentioned (John and Derek come to mind) that #1, being voracious readers is one of the most important practices.

    I also like the idea of approaching things with a ‘beginner’s mind’ and to never stop learning. It’s part of want makes any entrepreneurial venture enjoyable. Taking on new things and learning.

    Yes you need to push yourself and plan too and I think those daily baby steps will get you to your goal.

    I’m a big believer in putting your true personality out there too. Bring those traits to the fore and let your true self shine through!
    Craig McBreen recently posted..The future of blogging and why you need to pay attention

    • marya

      Thanks Craig. I really think being a bookworm does give you an edge – an upper hand. In fact, that’s what jumps out at me when I read a new blogger, how well read they are, or not! It greatly influences my decision to read them. Glad you agree. Cheers. :)

  18. [...] — 16 September 2012 I recently read a wonderful post in Writing Happiness blog called "10 habits of highly successful bloggers" and I thought it would be interesting to find out what successful freelance translators have in [...]

  19. Hi Marya, Your blog is so informative and helpful!

    Thanks for these tips…I’m going to keep referring to them as a guide to improve my writing and blogging skills.

    Thanks again,
    Denise Hisey recently posted..The Wake-Up Call

    • marya

      You are most welcome Denise. Do stick around and let me know if I can help with any specific issue. Cheers
      Marya

  20. A great article, thanks Marya.

    Especially keen on the Coolidge quote – “Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb…” Wonderful stuff!

    I’ve only recently started dipping my toe into the blogging world (http://www.hm-marketing.com/Blog.aspx?cid=7) and I’ve a firm feeling your article and references (and ebook) are going to come in very handy as I continue to explore.

    Thanks.
    Matt McGuire recently posted..Homepage

    • marya

      Thanks Matt. Glad to be of service. :)

      Btw, your website is gorgeous. I have been meaning to get mine designed professionally for ages, I did the minimalist look myself. Think your site will inspire me to get on with it sooner, rather than later. I especially loved the three homepage options. I think people will like me would find them irresistible. Just fabulous.

      Marya

      • Hi Marya,

        Great to hear from you & it’s lovely to know you liked my site. Especially glad that you found and liked the alternate versions!

        There’ll be a blog on there too soon enough – I vow it!

        Speak soon,

        Matt
        Matt McGuire recently posted..Homepage

  21. Danyelle Franciosa

    Thank you for these nice inputs Marya!
    I really appreciate this because many bloggers specially the newbies would be able to learn things from this.
    I also find this useful to me and possibly, I’ll take note of those tips as a guide to blogging.

  22. Hi, Marya!

    What a great post! Especially for someone like me who is still new to blogging. Your post was likes finding a chest full of treasures on a beach! I’m still trying to find my niche and work on my consistency. But I’m getting there.

    Good luck with your site (which, by the way, I like!) And thank you for sharing this list!
    Karen recently posted..Recruiting Insights Part 1: Nailing Your Job Application

    • marya

      Thanks Karen. Hope you stick around for more … :)
      Cheers,
      Marya

  23. Hi Marya,
    Its very well developed and informative post. Thanks for these tips…I’m going to keep referring to them as a guide to improve my writing and blogging skills.
    Thanks for sharing
    Usman recently posted..Walthamstow Market: 5 Interesting Things to Know

  24. Ya know what, I totally agree with all of your points.Being consistent is probably the best way to sucess, knowing the value of it when we’re talking about traffic and SEO values.

  25. Liz

    Wow Marya,

    I think those are all super important blogger qualities but I just wanted to add that if you aspire to be a highly successful blogger and are missing a few qualities, don’t be discouraged. These are all habits you can work on and be successful with.

    Liz
    Liz recently posted..Drive Targeted Traffic To Your Website And Do It Without Google

  26. Hello Marya,

    This post is fantastic and guiding. I am a voracious reader and a self starter. Very true all these are.

    Regards,
    Sanjib
    Sanjib recently posted..iOS 6 Upgrade- Download New Features

  27. This is such a great post (I’m overly conscious of not making this comment sycophantic having read what you said, though)!

    However, everything you said is so true about all the top bloggers I can think of. You really can just tell if someone is faking their enthusiasm or pretending to understand something they don’t.
    Philippa Willitts recently posted..Podcast Episode 7: Freelance Writing – To Specialise or Not to Specialise

  28. Thank you for taking the time to put all of this great information together.

    I am a voracious reader. I am also a very good writer and story teller.

    I am a great coach to my clients.

    I suck at anything tech related. But I want to learn and get to the top.

    I’m so stuck on how to get followers. do I just keep reading and learning??

    SW
    steve werner recently posted..Key Signs Success Coaching May Be a Good Choice For You

    • marya

      Short answer – no!

      Steve, the best way to get more followers/subscribers is to guest post on popular blogs in your niche. Have you done any? I also had a little peek at your blog and it looks like you can make some changes to improve your conversion rate. Read this post http://www.dailyblogtips.com/26-tips-to-get-your-blog-ready-for-first-time-visitors/ I wrote for Daily Blog Tips. It has useful info that will definitely help you out. Let me know if you have any specific questions. Feel free to email me. :)

      Cheers,
      Marya

  29. “They care deeply about their community”

    I think this is very important. I run into people who are so focused on driving new traffic to their blog but they forget about the fanbase they already have. If neglected you’ll lose what’s most important.
    Chris recently posted..Finding Great Guest Blog Writing Opportunities

  30. INSPIRATIONAL!!! that’s what i want to say. I am a newbie at blogging stage and i really liked the qualities mentioned above especially the first one to be a good reader. “The more you read, better you write”. Thanks for sharing your views.
    Tarun Bajaj recently posted..TOP 10 Most Populated Countries in the World

    • marya

      Glad you found it useful. And welcome! :)
      Marya

  31. Awesome post. Thanks for these tips…I’m going to keep referring to them as a guide to improve my writing and blogging skills.
    Fashstylo recently posted..5 Best Way To Reduce You Fat With Minimum Time

  32. [...] understanding your highs – and lows and keep going no matter what. Once you develop the right mindset, you will finally’ make [...]

  33. Billie Humphrey

    I was searchng google for how to attract bloggers and found your page. Thank you for offering your advise. I am just getting started with my blog and have a lot I need to learn. I am a selfl-published author with two of my books on Amazon. Quigley’s Demise and Angels Awaiting. I want to have a presence in the bloging community. I decide to design my blog for people who like to read and the name is Billie Humphrey Short Story Blog. I have uploaded several of my short stories for someone to read abd see if they like my writing style. if you would be interested in seeing it go to:
    billieschupphumphrey.blogspot.coom

  34. Having passion (#6) is something that can’t be taught. This is why finding something in life you’re passionate about is so important. If you are truly passionate about something, the rest will fall into place.

    Cheers!
    Justin Bennett recently posted..Forex Trade Ideas – AUDNZD and USDJPY

  35. Eddie

    I like this content. It gives learners like me a target. I can feel my way to a point of proficiency. Thanks, Marya.

  36. Very impressive post which contains very useful information and how nicely you share the key points of successful bloggers.

    Thanks for nice sharing.
    Muhammad Mairaj recently posted..How You Can Use Commentluv Plugin To Make Your Blog Worthy