Ever wondered how those “big” bloggers got so successful in the first place?
You know, the ones who get hundreds of thousands of monthly pageviews and live off of passive income? You wonder what their secret sauce is, what they’re doing so differently from you, and what you need to do in order to achieve the same level of success with your blog.
But the truth is, those bloggers really aren’t all that different from you and me. For realz! They started out the same way that we did – with an idea and a passion for something that they wanted to share. And probably with the same resources you and I had when we started our blogs, too!
Here’s where the secret sauce comes in: What sets the truly successful bloggers apart from the pack is the way they work. Yep, you heard me! These bloggers have a set of carefully crafted habits that maximize their productivity, keep them organized, and help them churn out content and products that their readers gobble up like candy.
Here’s another secret for you: You can do this too!
To help you out, I’ve compiled a list of the top 10 habits of successful bloggers. And these are all things you can start doing, too (like, today!) to see big results. Ready to get to work?
Here are the top 10 things successful bloggers do differently, and that you should start doing for your own blog ASAP.
1. They know the value of Pinterest
Pinterest is a god-send. Even if you don’t have a lot of Pinterest followers, you can still send massive traffic to your blog by pinning the right way.
A few tips to make the most of Pinterest:
+ Include at least one pinnable image in every blog post
+ Add a Pin-It button to your blog (I like this one by JQuery)
+ Pin everything: Your blog posts, services, freebies + products
+ Use a tool like BoardBooster to loop + schedule pins
Related: Pinterest for Beginners: How to Start Off With a BANG
2. They feature multiple products in their posts
Picture this: I’m scrolling through my Bloglovin’ feed, and you’ve just uploaded a new post called “My Review on Too Faced Born This Way Foundation”. I’ve never heard of that foundation before, and I’m not really in the market for a new foundation. So I keep scrolling.
I’m scrolling through my Bloglovin’ feed and you just uploaded a new post called “The 10 Best Foundations of All-Time”. Whoa. Now you’ve got my attention, and you can bet I’m clicking over to see which foundations made your list.
The take-home message is that unless someone is specifically searching for a review of that one foundation you wrote about in Post A, the chances of them clicking over and reading your post are slim. But by including multiple products in Post B, you make your post 10x more intriguing and click-worthy.
People are looking to get the most value for their time, which is why they’d rather read 10 mini-reviews in a single post instead of a long, epic review of just one product. Successful bloggers know that the best way to attract an audience is to give people as much value as possible in each and every post!
3. They do tasks in bulk
I used to look at super successful bloggers and wonder how they did it all. How on earth did they manage to keep on top of their work, while still interacting on social media, creating new products, hosting webinars, and so on?
After doing some digging I found out that most of the “big name” bloggers have virtual assistants to help them out. Those lucky ducks! But while hiring a virtual assistant isn’t feasible for everyone, there’s another technique those bloggers use that we can take advantage of.
What is batching? It’s basically a fancy way of saying “doing things in bulk.”
Say it takes you 4 hours to write a blog post, edit it, create a graphic, and schedule social media promotions. Instead of doing all those things back to back, you would devote one large chunk of time to each task, but do more of that task at once.
For example, you’d spend a few hours writing drafts for multiple blog posts, then spend another chunk of time taking and editing photos for multiple posts.
With this method, you’re not jumping around from task to task, making your brain work overtime as it tries to switch gears. You’ll work more quickly and efficiently if you focus on one type of task for hours on end without distractions.
4. They check in with their email list regularly
Your email list is seriously important. I talked in this post about why every blogger needs a mailing list, but let’s just say it’s your ticket to the big leagues!
Your email list is the best way to share, promote, and sell your online products, courses, and services. So if you want to make any sort of money with your blog, building your email list is a great first step to take.
If you haven’t started your list yet, check out MailChimp — It’s easy to use and completely free for up to 2,000 subscribers. If you can afford to spend a bit, I use ConvertKit for my email list and LOVE it.
Once you have your list in place, make sure to send out emails to your subscribers regularly. I send mine out once a week, usually on Fridays. This way, people know when they’re coming, and (hopefully!) look forward to receiving them.
Related: How to Send Emails Your Subscribers Love to Receive
5. They frequently share other people’s work
Can you imagine how boring it would be if people ONLY shared and promoted their own content?
Sharing other people’s blog posts on social media and in your own blog posts is a great way to enhance your content. Another benefit is that it usually gets you into that blogger’s good books, so they’ll be more likely to promote your stuff in the future!
6. They interact + Build Community
This is one of the biggest things that separates the pros from the amateurs. Successful bloggers are always focused on building a sense of community, both on their blogs and beyond.
How can you develop a sense of community for your audience?
There are lots of different ways, but for starters, make sure you’re always responding to comments and answering questions left on your blog posts. Interact on social media regularly. You could even start a Facebook group or run a weekly Twitter chat for your followers.
Whatever you choose to do, building a sense of community is what will help your blog become more than just a blog. And I think we all want that!
7. They schedule Their Social Media
Bloggers are busy people. If you’re spending hours every day working on your Pinterest boards, brainstorming tweets, and prepping photos for Instagram, you won’t get very far with the stuff that matters most: creating new content, developing new products to sell, etc.
Social media scheduling tools are an absolute lifesaver. The time it takes me now to pin and tweet every day is less than a quarter of what it used to be when I was doing it manually. Some of my favorite tools are Hootsuite for Twitter and Instagram, and BoardBooster for Pinterest. Check ’em out (you’ll thank me later!)
Related: Why BoardBooster is the Best Pinterest Tool Ever & How To Get Started
8. They write + Schedule Blog Posts in Advance
Successful bloggers are organized to a T, and always have things planned in advance. For example, you don’t want to be writing a blog post minutes before it’s supposed to go live. That’s poor planning, and will be super stressful as a long-term strategy.
I try to have all of my posts finished at least a few days before they’re due to go up on my blog. However, if you get really good at it, you can schedule your posts 2 weeks or even up to a month in advance!
To stay organized, an editorial calendar is a huge help for planning everything out and knowing which post is going live on which day. On WordPress, you can install the Editorial Calendar plug-in and then it’s as easy as popping your blog post drafts into a slot on the little calendar.
If old-school is more your thing (me too!), do a Google search for “month/year calendar”, print one off, and then fill it in by hand. Just make sure you use a pencil, because trust me – your plan will change a lot!
9. They maximize SEO to get their posts “found”
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it’s how you get your blog posts to rank higher in search engines like Google (meaning they show up in the first few pages of Google search results).
Although SEO can be a bit complex – it’s all based on fancy algorithms which quite frankly, are mostly above my head! – I’ll try to break it down for you as simply as I can.
For each blog post, you should choose a specific “keyword” to target. Contrary to what it sounds like, a keyword isn’t actually a word at all, but a phrase. For your phrase, choose something that your ideal reader might search for on Google. For example, “best shampoo for oily scalp” or “tips for being more productive.”
Next, include your keyword in as many places as possible throughout your blog post (without overdoing it!)
Good places to include your keyword are:
+ in your blog post title
+ in the URL for the post
+ in your headings and sub-headings
+ in your actual blog post itself
+ in the alt tags for your images
If you struggle with SEO, I highly recommend installing the Yoast SEO plug-in for WordPress. It makes nailing your SEO a breeze, and you’ll learn a ton about SEO just by using it.
10. They solve problems for their readers
I hate to break it to you, but unless you live a lavish, luxurious lifestyle, most people don’t care too much about what you got up to over the weekend. They’re coming to your blog because they want something from you, and that “something” is information.
In other words, your readers want you to teach them something or help them solve a problem.
The problems you solve for your readers will vary depending on what your niche is. For example, people come to my blog because they want advice about blogging. People might come to you for skin care advice, or business tips, or any of a million other things.
A good blogger is focused on helping her readers in whatever way possible. If you want to be truly successful online, you need to remember that you’re not blogging for yourself. You’re blogging for your readers.
If you’re not sure what your readers need help with, just ask! Send out a survey to your email list, run a poll on Twitter or Facebook, or reach out one-on-one to see what your audience struggles with most. Then focus on helping them solve those problems in your blog posts and email letters!
Above all else, a successful blogger never gives up. I know it’s not always easy, but keep working hard and don’t let anything stop you from making your dreams come true! If I can do it, so can you.