Ever wondered how those “big” bloggers got so successful in the first place? The ones who get hundreds of thousands of pageviews every month 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 they have.
But the truth is, those bloggers really aren’t all that different from you and me. Fo’ realz! They started out the same way we did – with an idea and a passion for something they wanted to share – and probably with the same resources you and I had when we started our blogs.
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!) and see results. Ready to get to work?
Here are the top 10 things successful bloggers do (that you should start doing too!)
1. Know the value of Pinterest
Pinterest is honestly 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 kinds of things.
A few tips to make the most of Pinterest:
To learn how to step up your Pinterest game, check out this post where I share my top 40 tips for being EPIC on Pinterest.
2. 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 deciding to click over and read your post are slim. But by including multiple products in one post, you’ve just made your post 10 x more intriguing and click-worthy.
People are looking to get the most value for their time, which is why they usually prefer to read 10 mini-reviews in a single post rather than a long, epic review of one product. Successful bloggers know that the best way to attract an audience is to give people as much value as possible within each and every post!
3. 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 might not be feasible for all of us, there is another technique those bloggers use that we can take advantage of. It’s called “batching.”
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 trying to switch gears so fast. You’ll work more efficiently and quickly if you can focus on one type of task for hours on end without distractions.
Trust me, it works! I’ve even started making Wednesdays my “Batch Content Creation Retreat” days, where all I focus on is writing new blog content. So fun AND productive!
4. Check in with their email list regularly
Your email list is so SO important, guys. 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 your #1 way of promoting, marketing, and selling your online products, courses, and services. So if you’d like 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 Mail Chimp — It’s easy to use and completely free for up to 2,000 subscribers. If you can afford to spend a little bit, I use this email list provider and LOVE it. Their automation features are unparalleled.
Once you have your list in place, make sure to send out emails to your subscribers regularly and on a set schedule. I send mine out once a week, on Fridays. This way, people know when they’re coming, and (hopefully!) look forward to receiving them.
For more awesome email list tips, check out these posts:
• How to Start a Free Mailing List with MailChimp
• The Best Tools & Tips to Rock Your Email List
• How to Send Newsletters Your Subscribers Love to Receive
5. Frequently share other people’s work
Can you imagine how boring it would be if people ONLY shared and promoted their own content? Hella boring, right?
Sharing other people’s blog posts on social media and in your own blog posts is a great way to enhance your content. You’re providing your readers with tons of valuable information that’s super helpful for them. What’s not to love?
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!
On Twitter I aim for about 40% of my tweets to be promoting other people’s content, 40% promoting my own, and then the other 20% are quotes or whatever else I want to share. On Pinterest, I stick to an 80/20 ratio of promoting other people’s content vs. my own.
6. Interact + Build Community
This is one of the biggest things that separates the pro bloggers from the amateurs. Successful bloggers are ALWAYS focused on building a sense of community – both on their blogs and beyond their blogs.
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 people leave on your blog posts. Interact on social media regularly (at least once a day). You could even start a Facebook group like this one or run a weekly Twitter chat for your followers!
Whatever you choose to do, building a sense of community is what’s going to help your blog become more than just a blog. And I think we all want that!
7. Schedule Their Social Media
Bloggers are busy people. There’s no denying it. 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, etc.
Scheduling tools are an absolute lifesaver when it comes to managing your social media accounts. 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 all manually. Some of my favorite tools are Hootsuite for Twitter, and BoardBooster for Pinterest. Check ’em out (you’ll thank me later!)
8. Write + Schedule Blog Posts in Advance
Successful bloggers are organized to a T, and you need to take a page out of their books. You don’t want to be writing a blog post minutes before it’s supposed to go live. That just comes down to poor planning, and will only put a ton of strain and stress on you in the long run.
I try to have all of my posts finished at least a week before they’re due to go up. Although I’m not perfect, and sometimes they’re only ready a day or two early. However, if you get really good at it, you can schedule your posts 2 weeks or even a month in advance!
To help you stay organized, an editorial calendar will be a HUGE help in planning everything out and knowing what post is going up when. 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 their little virtual calendar.
Or if old-school is more your thing (me too!), do a Google search for “November 2016 Calendar” (or whatever month/year it is), print one off, and then fill it in by hand. Just make sure you use pencil, because trust me, your plan will change a lot!
9. Utilize SEO to get their posts “found”
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it’s an awesome way to help your blog posts 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 a bit above my head!), I’ll try to break it down as simply as I can.
For each blog post, you’ll want to choose a specific “keyword” to focus on — which, contrary to what it sounds like, 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.”
Then, include your keyword in as many places as possible throughout your blog post (without overdoing it, or you’ll look spammy!)
Good places to include keywords are:
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. 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. They want you to teach them what you know, or to help solve a problem they have.
The problems you solve for your readers will vary depending on what niche you’re in. 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 one of a million other things.
A good blogger is 100% focused on helping their readers in whatever way possible. If you want to be truly successful online, you have to remember that you are not blogging for yourself. You are blogging for your readers.
If you’re not sure what your readers need help with, 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!