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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