You might think it doesn’t take much to be a successful blogger. I mean all you do is type some words, hit publish and wait for them to dazzle your audience, right? Well, it turns out there is a little more to being a successful blogger. As a blogger and blog reader of three years, I have figured out a few things that set apart the blogs that make a splash (and maybe even some cash) from the ones that are real duds. Here are 7 common traits they share:
1. A successful blogger will proofread his or her posts.
One of my biggest pet peeves when reading a blog is seeing multiple spelling and grammar errors. This is understandable, of course, because spell check does not always pick up on certain errors. It is even easy to read through your own post multiple times and not see a certain error. A recent embarrassing occurrence on my own blog was that the tag on my header, which is at the top of the blog explaining to everyone what it is all about, was misspelled. A professional designer had misspelled it when she made it for me and I never noticed until two months later when a reader commented. The thing is, when there are grammatical errors or misspellings in a blog post, it makes the entire blog seem unprofessional.
2. A successful blogger engages with his or her readers.
One of the reasons to have a blog is to have readers. After all, if you didn’t wish to have anyone reading your words, you would not be publishing them on the World Wide Web. If you ignore your reader’s comments, you might not see those readers returning. Try instead to ask engaging questions at the end of your post and respond to as many comments as you can. At the very least, you should be answering any questions readers might be asking, whether directly or in a future post if many seem to have the same one.
3. A successful blogger knows how to interact on social media.
Another way to interact with readers and potential readers is on social media. It’s easy to create social media accounts and post to these accounts at least once a week. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest are all great ways to promote your blog and to interact with other bloggers as well as potential brands. The great thing about these is that you can easily post from your phone or mobile device much more quickly than it would take to sit at a laptop and type out a whole post.
4. A successful blogger sees the many opportunities available through a blog.
From generating revenue with ads, to working with favorite brands, to securing a job, a good blogger recognizes all of these things are possible with his or her blog. If you treat your blog as a professional tool, even if you do add personal stories and anecdotes, your blog can take you places.
5. A successful blogger knows his or her purpose in blogging.
Maybe you are not looking for money, but just a way to educate people about current events. Keep your goals in mind. If you stray too much, your readers might wonder what the heck your blog is about and will find something else to read.
6. A successful blogger is able to take criticism.
This is something I am definitely working on, but it is very important. When you are online commenting on a blog post, there is this feeling that you are invincible. Since you are not showing your face, you do not feel as responsible for what you are typing. In this light, others can be make some hurtful comments about a post you have written, but you need to either learn from it, or ignore it. Never dwell on it.
7. A successful blogger enjoys what he or she is blogging about.
Your readers are smart and will know if you are writing just to write versus being passionate about the subject matter. If you know your purpose and are excited to write about it, this should come naturally. When you find yourself becoming frustrated or bored, take some time off and come back to writing when you get excited again.
So what do you say? Do you think you could start and maintain your own blog?
If you’re like me, you can’t spend every waking moment of every day writing, editing, polishing, Tweeting, and enjoying the fruits of your hard labor. How to Maintain a Blog AND a Full-Time JobFeatured photo credit: Young creative woman typing on a laptop in her office./ Close up of fashion hand's woman blogger working in a creative workspace.via Shutterstock